Bob Jones III Issues Fake Apology

Back in 1980, when Jimmy Carter was still president, Bob Jones III, third generation head of Bob Jones University and a vile bigot, joined a group of fundamentalist leaders at the White House to deal with the “problem” of homosexuality. He told reporters that the whole problem would be fixed if we just stoned gay people to death.

“I’m sure this will be greatly misquoted,” Jones told the AP. “But it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel’s day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands.”

And now, 35 years later, he’s issuing an “apology” and excusing it as comments made “in the heat of a political controversy” that don’t “represent the belief of my heart or the content of my preaching.”

“I take personal ownership of this inflammatory rhetoric. This reckless statement was made in the heat of a political controversy 35 years ago,” Jones said in a statement. “Upon now reading these long-forgotten words, they seem to me as words belonging to a total stranger—were my name not attached.”

“I cannot erase them, but wish I could, because they do not represent the belief of my heart or the content of my preaching. Neither before, nor since, that event in 1980 have I ever advocated the stoning of sinners,” he added.

Oh, I think it fits perfectly well with a lifetime of disgusting bigotry that came straight out of Jones’ warped theology. Wikipedia has just a few such statements:

Bob Jones III once declared that BJU had banned interracial dating because “God has separated people for His own purpose”; nevertheless, on March 3, 2000, he announced on Larry King Live that the University would abandon the long-standing rule over which the university had lost its federal tax-exempt status in 1983…

Jones once denounced Ronald Reagan as ‘a traitor to God’s people’ for choosing as his vice president George H.W. Bush, whom Jones called “a devil.” But some years later, he personally thanked the elder Bush for being a good president.

Jones referred to Catholicism as “the religion of the anti-Christ and a Satanic system” and called Mormonism and Catholicism “cults which call themselves Christian,” but in October 2007, he endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon, for the Republican nomination for President.

So he has a long history of both rank bigotry and making bizarre, extremist claims and then much later retracting them when public opinion has turned massively against him. No one should accept this “apology.”

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  • eric

    I wish some smart reporter would feed him some more rope. “Okay Mr. Jones, if that was not in your heart, what IS in your heart now when it comes to gays and gay rights? “

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Bee Jay III now rejects explicit teachings of The Holy Bible™?!?

    Stone him!!!1!

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    I may be greatly misquoting him here, but Bob Jones III spoke out in favour of marijuana legalization for the LGBTQ community. “I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned,” Jones said. Later Jones spoke out in favour of demolishing the justice system and letting angry mobs execute alleged murderers as soon as the accusation is leveled.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    In fairness, the devil made him say those things out loud. They were meant to be private thoughts that God intended for Bob’s ears only.

  • anubisprime

    “But it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel’s day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands.”

    That is not a rhetoric delivered in ‘the heat of political controversy’…that is a definitive statement which he obviously supports enthusiastically as a ‘not bad idea’ urging that a solution lies with the bible and its prescription is death by stoning, what is more he guarantees its effectiveness.

    That is not said in a temper tantrum in an ill considered retort… that is a direct appeal to an audience to murder homosexuals like the bible commands.

    Bigots and xtians, ostensibly the same thing these days, do not like the torch being shone on their antennae do they?…scuttling for the dark with a half baked mumbled twisted meandering diatribe appears to be their usual response.

  • Trebuchet

    Off topic, but speaking of fake apologies, Bibi Netanyahu has issued a “heart-felt” apology to Arab-Israeli citizens for the racist remarks he used to get reelected. Right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    To be fair, Bob Jones didn’t drop the ban on interracial dating because of public opinion, but because it was costing them money by losing their tax exempt status. I mean, the Lord may have made the races separate, but not at the cost of the almighty dollar.

  • Michael Heath

    Wikipedia:

    [Bob III] Jones once denounced Ronald Reagan as ‘a traitor to God’s people’ for choosing as his vice president George H.W. Bush, whom Jones called “a devil.” But some years later, he personally thanked the elder Bush for being a good president.

    Jones referred to Catholicism as “the religion of the anti-Christ and a Satanic system” and called Mormonism and Catholicism “cults which call themselves Christian,” but in October 2007, he endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon, for the Republican nomination for President.

    Mr. Jones is evolving here just like we see the general population of conservative Christians evolve over the past several decades. Politics has become a far higher priority than theological purity.

    The hatred conservative Christian churches generate is now being directed more towards non-conservative political groups rather than competing religious sects who are also conservative-friendly. In fact as we all now, these sects are now all allies.

    From a survival standpoint I’ve long speculated the reason politics has become a predominant force amongst conservative Christians is that these denominations were losing too many men. Give these bigots someone to hate and give them a political tribe to identify with similar to a sports team and you’ll put more devoted butts in the seats on Sunday.

    To this day I still can’t understand why any sane semi-smart woman would belong to a conservative Christian church given that by definition – they’re all dedicated misogynists.

  • felidae

    So, Mr. Jones, I guess you won’t allow anyone to refer to your eponymous institution of higher learning as B-J-U

  • anubisprime

    Michael Heath @ 8

    In fact as we all now, these sects are now all allies.

    Well they have bigger more bigotry worthy fish to fry at the moment, so they do tend to rather circle the theological wagons and make uncustomary pals with the other grifters to get the common ‘enemy’ on the pyre…

    They have a major threat from the ‘auld enemy the atheists, that is one where they all need to pile in on cos these pesky zombie like sub-humans are far above their station in life and getting higher year on year…one day, rapidly approaching, there will be such an abomination in office, sends chills down their backs so it does…how dare they not burn in hell right now, which is a bit of a puzzle cos the accepted smiting from jeebus and his layabout dad does not seem apparent, and it should be, but it ain’t.

    So things must be taken in hand to do their heroes work for them…and so it goes….

    Added to those woes they have another common enemy teh muslims…that one has got them all of a doodah, and can quite easily turn nasty, Xtians love smiting other religions with different gods, but are badly out of practice in the hand to hand stuff.

    They seem quite busy trying to bully the government to do their work for them, a few invasions and a couple of nukes should do the lawds’ work very nicely. according to a few of the loonies on the right wing.

    Which does seem to fit in with the American dream of global control especially from the military industrial complex…but lets hope wiser heads keep a lid on that aspect.

    Not a great track record as it ‘appens but time, and budget for the military, will tell.

    When push comes to shove it is unlikely the American public will be consulted, well not if they know whats good for them.

    In the meantime the delusionally afflicted can sharpen their blunted claws and frustrated sexuality on teh ghey and wimmins’ rights, cos the final battle with the atheist will be the mummy and daddy of them all, after Allah has bitten the dust anyways, and they need the practice, since the burnin’ times they all got rather fat and stagnant in the righteousness stakes.

    But after all their chores are done, and atheists are executed and Islam illegal and teh ghey back in the closet and wimmins’ back in the kitchen, and they all got the pink and fluffies from doing gods work and they will finish congratulating each other…then normal service will be resumed with a vengeance, and it will be bloody, tis what Xtians like to do.