Tag Archives: racism

Racial Confusion

After a chapel message wherein Bob III addressed his stance on interracial dating/marriage, “Peter” sent a letter simply asking how BJU could take this this position since Moses had married an Ethiopian.
The response from BJII is below, exemplifying all of the grace, compassion, and wisdom that one would expect from a fundamentalist. Can you spot the bit where he goes really off track on the matter of which races are which?

To answer the question I posted above, here’s a picture of Emperor Haile Selassi I, “the famous white dude” and his wife.

One can only imagine that all through history people like the Joneses had in their possession a a sacred color wheel that they passed down through the generations to determine who is morally allowed to date whom based on shade, tint, and hue.

A Study in Racism

Meet Stinnet Ballew, author, preacher, and racist. Ballew is the host of the Harvest Time Broadcast which is replayed on fundy radio stations all over the country. He’s also a speaker at various churches and conferences.

In the audio clip below you can hear him attempt to use Scripture to prove that interracial marriage is a sin against God. And lest you be tempted to dismiss this man’s racist rantings as an anomaly in fundamentalism, this kind of teaching was embraced widely through fundyland until recent years by men like Bob Jones Sr., J. Frank Norris and others.

It’s worth noting that clip was discovered on Twitter via @IFBJoshOwens who was using it to defend this statement that he had made previously:

My wife & I were lookin’ on the web a little while ago & found a picture of a young, single, Missionary-friend, who’s a Missionary to a part of the world with folk of another color/race. Jess made the observation that “he’ll probably get him a black wife” & she’s probably right. When a young, single, Missionary s to a field of another culture/color/race, more than likely, they’ll get ’em a wife of that culture/color/race. How sad/wicked. That’s why it’s not a good idea, to say the least, to be a young, single Missionary.

I can only hope that @IFBJoshOwens is a parody account which is using some really strange attempts at humor. But reading through Twitter and listening to his online podcast, I get no real indication that this is anything but legit.

Now here’s Stinnet Ballew to bless our hearts with more racist drivel in the same vein:

Subtle (And Sometimes Not So Subtle) Bigotry

Although there are exceptions, fundamentalist churches are predominantly full of (and I’m generalizing here) middle aged white people who like to watch reruns of the Lawrence Welk show. This lack of diversity comes as no surprise given the uneasy history of fundies with race relations. If you managed to get all the way through Christian high school and Bible college without having ever been taught why Martin Luther King Jr. was important in American history, you might have been a fundamentalist. After all, nothing bad ever happened in America prior to 1963, so whatever he did couldn’t have been that necessary.

Although it is less frequent nowadays, there are still some fundamentalist institutions that are overtly racist in their practices. For example, Maranatha Baptist Mission still carries in its Purposes, Precepts, Policies, and Practices booklet a prohibition both against interracial marriage and interracial adoption. There’s a sick irony in sending out international missionaries to bring the peoples of the world into the family of God while forbidding them to bring any into their own family that aren’t the right skin color. (Pardon me while I beat this drum again, but Pensacola Christian College has supported missionaries from MBM and had its President to speak in their services while this policy was in place. Mainstream? Hardly.)

More popular in the last decade, however, is a subtler more insidious ethnocentric approach to bigotry. It shows up in things like blaming Africa for the ‘demonic’ forces of rock music and condemning ethnic styles of dress. Although much of the racism has been forced underground by the winds of change and political expediency, the roots are often still there. Bob Jones University may now not officially prohibit interracial dating but it’s still a hotly debated topic among parts of the student body.

It stands to reason that a group of people who assign moral values to cultural norms would have issues with those who are different from themselves. Fundamentalists evidently espouse the theory that the more like Jesus a person becomes the more they will dress and act like a middle class white suburbanite. By this shall all men know that we are His disciples.