By Gustav Niebuhr
- March 4, 2000
In an urgent move, Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian institution which had come under nationwide critique for the ban on interracial relationship among its students, abandoned that long-held policy, its president, Bob Jones 3d stated tonight.
Mr. Jones, in a look regarding the CNN program ”Larry King Live,” said which he had expected the college’s board this afternoon to get rid of the policy.
<р>”In fact, to date, we now have dropped the rule,” Mr. Jones stated.
In the remarks, Mr. Jones, grandson associated with the university’s founder, supplied only a quick description, saying your choice was according to a notion that criticism within the policy was threatening to obscure the college’s Christian mission. ”We have a wider testimony,” he stated.
Mr. Jones included: ”I thought to our administration, ‘You understand, dudes, this thing is of these insignificance to us, it’s so significant into the globe in particular, the media especially, why should we now have this here being an obstacle?’ ” then he said that the ban had damaged the trustworthiness of the college’s graduates and Protestantism that is possibly conservative as. ”I do not desire to harm the church of Jesus Christ,” Mr. Jones stated.
Your choice also came only times after Democrats in Congress had proposed an answer that could have condemned the university for the ban as well as statements that Bob Jones leaders are making about Roman Catholicism, which were interpreted as attacks on Catholics as a whole (an intent that the college has rejected).
The statement amounted to a turnaround that is remarkable Bob Jones, a 73-year-old institution that hews to an unapologetic adherence to classic Protestant fundamentalism. After having a 13-year appropriate fight, the university lost its taxation exemption in 1983. And also as late as Wednesday, the college ended up being wanting to give an explanation for ban on interracial dating relating to its belief that the Bible shows that God will not would like a unified and undifferentiated world.
”God made racial differences as he made gender differences,” said a declaration the college posted on its web site. But, the statement added, when Jesus stopped humans from building the Tower of Babel, a whole story told in Genesis, Jesus did therefore to avoid them from creating ”one-world federal government.”
”Based about this biblical account (Genesis 10 and 11),” the statement said, ”the university wishes to give Jesus the advantage of any question and give a wide berth to pursuing any direction that could offer assist with the renewed efforts of guy generate a one-world community consisting of one faith, one economy, one government and another competition.”
The university has admitted interracial married couples despite its stance.
In the remarks, Mr. Jones said that even though the principle on that your college’s former ban was based stayed essential, the ban itself had been ”meaningless to us.”
With its online declaration, the university described Catholic beliefs as a ”false system,” but asserted so it enjoyed Catholics as individuals and desired to convert them.
The matter stumbled on the fore following the see on Feb. 2 by Gov. George W. Bush of Texas, an applicant when it comes to Republican presidential nomination. Mr. Bush’s opponents, Republicans and Democrats alike, faulted him for not using the possibility to speak out resistant to the dating ban and the statements in the american local dating Catholic faith.
Tonight, after Mr. Jones’s statement, Mr. Bush said: ”I’m heartened to know that Bob Jones University has reversed its ban on interracial relationship. It absolutely was wrong in the first place, so in retrospect I spoke away up against the ban when I ended up being expected about this at a news meeting right after my check out here. Tonight, the college has been doing the proper thing.”
The university said it did not hate Catholics, but asserted that a ”wide gulf” existed between Catholic and Protestant beliefs in a paid advertisement that Bob Jones took out today in USA Today and in South Carolina newspapers.
Into the adverts, the college contended it was being falsely accused in news reports as being a haven for bigotry. Instead, it stated that the issue that is real the debate ended up being the college’s constitutional straight to its religious freedom.