It’s never easy being a minority but being black and an Independent Baptist makes a person part of a kind of “super minority” that is fraught with strangeness.
Take the case here of the Titus family who were members of the Landmark Baptist Temple in the 90’s. (Don’t bother Googling it, it dissolved a few years after this story when the founding pastor died)
After attending Landmark for almost a decade, Bro. Titus received the call to preach and headed out to start his own church. Naturally, the folks at his home church decided to show him some appreciation for all his hard work and friendship over the years.
Of course you can’t show appreciation without a skit. And having few other minorities who could play the role of Bro. Titus, they apparently decided to do this…
“People are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” reads the sign. How ironic. How sadly true.
It seems to be a week for West Coast Baptist College around here. Before I get into the new story, however, it’s necessary to give some background…
Way back in the day, Bob Jones University lost its tax-exempt status because it refused to change its policy on interracial (whatever that means) dating. A lot of other fundamentalist institutions beheld this debacle from afar off and were severely torn between the love of two different kinds of money: 1) money in tax savings and 2) money from the racist parents of students at their schools who didn’t want their little girl dating one of “those people.”
So somebody came up with a VERY CLEVER compromise called the “parental consent” rule which said that any dating relationship on campus has to have parental permission. This kicked responsibility up the road a bit so that the administration could claim “We’re not racists — we just follow the wishes of racists parents who pay us money!”
This is all rather strange because in no other area does the administration of a fundy college allow the whims of parents to set its policy. In fact, when I was at a very similar Fundy U I was told that my parents calling and complaining about the rules or asking for exceptions to policy would be seen as rebellion by ME and that I was to ask my parents not to call.
With that in mind, here’s a West Coast Baptist College memo from 2001 (PDF) in which Paul Chappell attempts to quash feelings of unease in his staff about a dating policy that is put in place specifically to cater to racism. The page numbers in the pages that follow indicate that the material is from some kind of official handbook.
There is a fully symphony of dog whistles here with references to words like “compatible”, “unequally yoked”, and “exotic relationship.” We’ve seen this kind of thing before and it stinks to high heaven.
I know we’ve spoken on here before about the (now officially ended) ban on interracial dating at Bob Jones University but if you’ve never actually seen the rule book in black and white here it is now:
Sometimes it takes actually seeing things written down to make them “real” to those of us who weren’t actually at the school when this policy was in effect. I know that’s the case for me. I read this handbook from 1995-96 and literally felt like I needed to throw up.
I apologize for the serious tone today but there’s just no way to make this funny.
A silly blog dedicated to Independent Fundamental Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness.