Assholier Than Thou

« February 2014 »

Memo to Bob Jones University: HOLIER THAN WHO, AGAIN?

One of the problems facing America this decade, a problem that won't be getting better anytime soon, is the increasing number, and percentage, and percentage by weight, of people participating in our democracy who aren't merely uneducated, but have in fact been deliberately miseducated.

As they've done in other fields in which they are woefully outmatched, like rock music, science museums, and journalism, hardline conservatives and religious fanatics have developed their own parallel higher education system. Colleges like Liberty University churn out loads of potential state legislators every year, without the pesky liberal indoctrination that turns so many conservative high-school graduates into Marxists by exposing them to information.

And the granddaddy of all of these is, of course, Bob Jones University, a place so open to change that it's been acceptable for students to date outside their race for almost fourteen years now. Which is especially informative given what it seems they ARE comfortable with.

For about a year, at the request of the college (which we will henceforth abbreviate as BJU because we think that's funny), an organization named Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (Grace) has been investigating how the college has counseled victims of sexual abuse, for a very, very loose definition of the word "counsel".

Apparently, for decades, students who'd suffered sexual abuse or assault at various points in their lives, and came to BJU counselors for help, were told to keep quiet in order to protect the reputation of the fundamentalist Christian community. BJU brought Grace in after these allegations came to light in an attempt to pre-emptively investigate, and recently FIRED Grace and ended the investigation to, I can only presume, pre-emptively avoid the results.

Or, as president Stephen Jones put it, in a statement that I guess he thought would seem responsible and mature and totally not like he's trying to hide something deeply awful, "We grew concerned that in the process, Grace had begun going beyond the originally outlined intentions.”

Oh, I bet you did. I'm a bit shocked that it took you a year to decide that Grace wasn't part of the broader Christian cover-up community, some kind of inside-the-fold front group designed to provide publicly palatable wrist-slaps and maintain carefully crafted illusions. But I suppose most of the people in charge of Bob Jones University all went to Bob Jones University, and thus have a difficult time matching the EEG intensity of rocks.

Jones has, of course, promised to finish the investigation. With or without the investigators he just fired. Just, you know. Without all that messy stuff outside the original intentions. Because outside those intentions, there's the unfortunate truth that so many of these insular, supposedly righteous institutions are chock full of evil fucks who will do anything to keep their imaginary kingdoms intact.