If you’ve been following along (see Monday’s Waiting for Bob Jones’s Huge Gay Bomb to Drop and yesterday’s Dear Men Who Run Bob Jones University), you know that this week, in their mandatory morning chapel services, students at Christian fundamentalist Bob Jones “University” have been receiving lectures on homosexuality. (Why the quote marks? Because BJU is an actual university like I’m an actual microbiologist: a degree from BJU carries about the same weight as a PostIt on which you’ve scribbled, Me smart! Give job to, k?)
Every morning, within an hour or so following chapel, Bob Jones has always made available here the audio file for that morning’s service.
This week, however, they are not doing that:
(Note the “we understand.” What a perfect deflection of responsibility. That is imperious cowardice made instinct.)
A few brave students, at considerable risk to themselves (BJU is nothing if not draconian in its control of its students: the college is basically a mini-police state, and that’s no joke) have been secretly recording the chapel services. The good folks at BJ News have made those audio file available here.
I’ve listened to Monday’s lecture, delivered by BJU President Stephen Jones. (I’ve also read the text of the sermon, which was transcribed and sent to me by Ray Kirstein, producer of the State of Belief radio show.)
Stephen Jones was born on the campus of BJU, and received all of his “degrees” there. (Interesting factoid: Stephen’s Ph.D. dissertation has been read by no one and is available nowhere.) As far as I know, he has never lived anywhere but on or near the college founded by his great-grandfather Bob.
You take a cloistered, severely undereducated guy, born to power and pretentiousness, have him deliver before 3,500 people a lecture on the nexus between theology and sociology, and what do you get? Well, for one, you get this, which is from the opening of Stephen’s sermon on Monday:
Now today the word—for somebody to call you a “homophobe” is almost the worst type of accusation that they can make. But I want to state very plainly, if you are stating the biblical position lovingly is not homophobia. And your manner in stating it also should not be homophobian. But what the world is after is not just to be rid of homophobia, is homophilia. To accept as just another choice.
I swear I’m not making that up.
But I’m sure the poor guy was just nervous going in. It gets better as he continues.
Or—depending on where you stand on the gay “issue”—it gets worse. A lot worse.
More later today.
(A great thanks to those of you who are sharing this series. It’s important to do that, because it helps put pressure on Bob Jones to at the very least make public what they say about homosexuality. That shouldn’t be too much to ask from an institution that prides itself on being Christian. Wasn’t it Christ, after all, who proclaimed, “The truth shall set you free.”?)