Readers - I don't ordinarily make two posts in one day, but wanted to get this video up on my blog this morning. [Don't overlook my post below on WFAA and Brett Shipp and Ed Young].
Below is a 10-minute video of Christopher Peterman, senior at Bob Jones University, telling how just days before he was to graduate he was expelled from school.
This video, and the events leading up to it at Bob Jones University, demonstrate just how powerful a force social media, including blogs and Facebook and YouTube, have become in exposing fundamentalist abuse and just plain old nonsensical actions of religious leaders of our day.
Chris Peterman is a hero. He has been kicked out of school days before graduation for daring to speak against his "leadership" and calling on them to do the right thing.
Chris is the student who started the Facebook page "DoRightBJU" late in 2011 in response to pastor Chuck Phelps being nominated for the board of trustees at Bob Jones University. Who is Chuck Phelps? He was the pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Concorde, New Hamphsire when Tina Anderson was raped by a member of the church. Read about it on the Watchdog here, here, here, and here.
The interviewer asks Chris how the BJU responded to Chris when he came back to school for the current semester after all the media exposure over the holidays regarding Chuck Phelps and Chris' public statements against Phelps as a trustee:
Chris: "When I cam back, I began having weekly meetings with the Dean of Men, I was required to attend these meetings."Chris goes on to explain how BJU put a resident assistant in his dorm to monitor his every action. He received demerits for watching the TV show Glee because of its "morally reprehensible" content.
Interviewer: "What was their reason?"
Chris: "That I needed spiritual help because I was not a good Christian. I had talked against my authority and I had brought shame to Bob Jones."
Interviewer: "What were they wanting to accomplish with these meetings?"
Chris: "They were hoping to accomplish a change in me. They wanted me to become exactly like them and to not speak out and to not have a voice. They wanted me to have their beliefs."
Chris was called into a final meeting with the "Dean of Men", and while they deliberated the fate of Chris' appeal, Chris decided to contact several news agencies and the Department of Education and the national accrediting agency for BJU.
While BJU thinks they are doing the will of God, the very work of Jesus in taking these actions against Chris, they don't even realize the mockery of their own faith that they are producing.
Below is a quote from Bob Felton's "Civil Commotion" website on this matter of Chris being expelled in part for watching Glee. - Bob is a skeptic of the Christian faith who regularly comments on nonsense he sees in churches that confirms his distaste for organized religion:
"I’m not kidding y’all: You really can’t make up how stupid and vicious fundamentalists actually are. They look just like everybody else, and are usually well-groomed and -mannered — but they are not part of the decent, educated world."This is why powerful Christian leaders today can't stand blogs and other social media - it exposes to the people they are trying to market - er, I mean reach for Jesus - of how nutty they can be. Sure, they love to use social media to promote themselves and their churches and their personal brands, but when it is used to express dissent and to criticize their ministries, they try to use their power to punish those who speak out.
Thank you, Chris, for standing strong. You stood for right in the Chuck Phelps matter, and when they tried to bully you and silence you, you didn't back down. I'm sure you have a bright future, and consider it a blessing that BJU decided not to grant you a degree.
H/T: Bob Felton and Jeri Massey
What is happening at BJU is also happening at large in this country as a whole. I am constantly reminded how prescient 1984 was and current| state| today.
Here's an actual news account about this.
Bob Jones student caught watching Glee kicked off campus
Here is a copy of his demerit record: Chris Peterman's demeric record
BJU did everything they could to make his life miserable for his last semester in retaliation for DoRightBJU. Why not just expell him for that? Because a BJU official, Brian Scoles, said, on camera, on the air, at the very station who aired the above report, that no student would be expelled or given demerits for participating in the protest. So they had to find another way to punish him and, unfortunately, this is standard operating procedure for them. Expel a few days before graduation and make it about something else, not the real crux of the matter. Without that protest, Chris wouldn't have gone through what he did. He would likely have graduated on time.
I'm glad these institutions can no longer do these things in private. A light can be shined through Facebook and bloggers. Then people can take a look and evaluate for themselves.
I doubt many outsiders are clamoring to join fundamentalist-type churches and universities. But to those of us who grew up in these churches, it's a good thing that they are getting exposed for how wacky and corrupt some of it is. I actually believed the preachers were "men of God." I actually believed that fellow Christians were fundamentally different from "the lost." Growing up in that world sets you up for a tough awakening further along the road. Suddenly you see it all for what it is, and it's a hard blow to your whole psyche.
Bob Jones is a diploma mill
They are also a cult
Exactly. Cult is a much better word
Wow. Given that record, he should be in prison! At least ten yrs
These type of schools are so controling. From what I know about "christian" colleges is that when the kids are off campus,they do what they want anyway. Drinking,etc.
The problem is that these "Christian leaders" think that they can get students to submit to their legalism and that their legalism is Biblical. But it obviously doesn't work. Even at the elementary through high school levels, Christian schools are legalistic. Basically it is saying to the kids that your works is what get you into heaven.
Listen; he was watching GLEE - a television abomination.
He deserves to be kicked out of school and have his driver's license, which identifies him as a male, revoked.
Puhleese People. You have to draw the line somewhere.
I was told, by a Christian college, that I would not be returning at the end of my freshman year.
I got over it.
This "kid" knew the convictions of this school...I have no respect for this boy.
This is our problem in America-everyone is a victim.
We have people suing Pastors because they hurt our feelings.
I don't agree with Bob Jones but if you go there you only have yourself to blame.
I don't agree with Mac but I highly respect the fact that he kicked Dog out of his Church.
I respect strength.
I do not respect whiners like this kid, this young man will be on food stamps and complaining about waiting in line at DSS one day.
What a loser.
Watching GLEE? I'd give him an award for poor taste, but that about covers it. :-)
"I don't agree with Mac but I highly respect the fact that he kicked Dog out of his Church."
His church? It's Mac's church now. Nice.
Anon 7:42 am:
It is not Mac's church, and that is the major problem. The church belongs to the congregation and to God and not the their employee Mac. So Mac was overstepping his authority like the petty dictator he is.
If you go to Bob Jones University, and you don't KNOW what you will get, you gotta be blind. And I am WELL acquainted with the school, and the area having lived in the area for 20 years and also having relatives who worked there for multiple years. If you don't want a dictatorship, then you don't go there. One time I went to see a relative of mine and walked thru the grounds and there were these posters up that had pictures of modest dress, and non-modest dress, modest haircuts, and non-modest haircuts. Anybody who goes there HAS to know what it's all about. Of course you can't watch Glee there. That's why I would never go. And of course there are authoritarian types there. Thats why I would never go. I do, however, draw the line at supporting rape. Geez. But the kid HAD to know what he was getting in to there, anybody would. I wouldn't have gone there if someone had given me a fully paid scholarship.
I thank God for a school that uses Biblical discipline.
Glee is of the devil.
There are other Christian schools that will let him watch Glee, go to one of those liberal campuses.
Give me that old time religion, it is good enough for me.
I think I saw this young man today and he spoke to me...he asked me a very important question...
"Do you want fries with that?"
The story here is the Pastor/Trustee who does not have a spine to report a rape.
The story here is that this Student wants to play investigative reporter.
That is not his place.
If the kid spent as much time in prayer as he did on Facebook, he would be a spiritual giant.
Don't kid yourself, this student will find himself in court soon for slander.
Don't you hate these people that are so full of hate?
Yeah, this kid's issue is a non-issue. Like others have said, if he didn't know what he was getting into with Bob Jones, then he doesn't have the mental faculty to ... well lets just say he wasn't paying much attention. They have been a notoriously dogmatic and conservative institution for decades. That they didn't allow him to openly blog disagreement, or watch Glee should surprise no one.
Nope. You have it wrong.
This all started when this young man realized Chuck Phelps was being appointed to the board of trustees at BJU.
Chuck Phelps was the pastor at a church where a minor was raped, and Phelps was involved in shipping the girl out of state and not being completely honest with the congregation about the man who was the rapist.
It takes heroes like Chris Peterman who are insiders (a student) to stand up for what is right.
No one goes to BJU expecting a Chuck Phelps to be appointed to the Board.
I love the Christian explanations here: you know how abusive this place is, so when you are abused why are you complaining? It is just another version of the abusive argument that the abused deserved what they got.
Way to go Chris! Standing against that abuse at your age is incredible. Most would have buckled.
Today I went to protest the Warren Community Church's appointment of Paul Williams as Trustee of the church and was approached by two squad cars using deceptive maneuvers to intimidate me to leave. I refused to leave and they gave up their attempts.
Charles Page - please do not post on this blog any more. I will delete your posts. Thank you.
"If the kid spent as much time in prayer as he did on Facebook, he would be a spiritual giant."
The story is actually about a flip-flopper who got influenced by bitter alumni.
And way to go. Bash BJU about being dictatorial and controlling from one side of your mouth but threaten to delete any dissenting comments from your blog's comment thread.
Look, Chris Peterman knew what he was getting into when he came to BJU. Everyone admits that BJU is strict.
So Chris comes voluntarily to a school he knows he will disagree with and signs an agreement that he will abide by the rules and expectations of the institution while attending.
Then, not only does he break the rules and expectations, but he is also known for being extremely openly critical of BJU... the school he chose to attend. I'm no psychologist, but that ain't make no sense.
Heck, people aren't even giving BJU credit for allowing the protest! A few years ago a group of homosexuals came to protest and then a group came to protest the homosexual protestors and BJU helped set up lines and everything for them all to keep it organized. But I guess that'd be within BJU controlling everything.
So once Chris gets in with these angry alumni (who also voluntarily came to BJU) he gets used as a posterchild for being a jackass at a strict school that he consistently badmouths. And blogs like this go and make him a hero for defending some vague crusade.
I just don't understand.
The kid invested over three years of his life in getting a degree. He saw a man appointed to the board of trustees that will bring disrepute upon the school, a man who used his position as pastor to abuse a victim of rape and protect the rapist. He and a lot of others protested. Then BJU abused him, taking away the hard earned degree within weeks of graduation over trivialities.
Yeah, it says if you want to be at a Christian university, do not go to BJU.
Exactly. Somehow, he supposedly was days from getting his 4-year degree in 4years by being a busybody. Doesn't add up. But when the whole Authority=Truth thing tried to sweep the unspoken clergy perk (willing and unwilling concubines)under the rug, he was compelled to speak up. Ie., per example, Michael Loftis has an important job and more speaking engagements than ever after being unofficially booted from ABWE over the Bangladesh MKs coverup.
It's Bob Jones University. I wouldn't go there. But chose to.
he chose to go to BJUi. case closed.
Why can't I post to this blog?
Many other legalistic Christian colleges have done the exact same thing over the years. Chris Peterman's experience is similar to that found in the novel 'Pale Tides' by Cass Tell, which is based on a real story. The ultimate punishment is to get kicked out a few days before final exams, thereby stealing your money.
I feel bad for this guy and it's a shame that he wasted his time at BJU. However, Bob Jones has a HORRIBLE reputation of legalism and racism & has been an embarrassment to the state of South Carolina for years. Hopefully other kids will be informed and not make the same mistake of attending there.
There is a problem with those who say "He knew whwat he signed up for & he agreed to it." ... How is a 17 year old supposed to know just what attitudes he/she will agree to for the whole next 4 years? Isn't university supposed to be about learning how to THINK, including think-through, and either confirm or dispute, your own prior beliefs? By not encouraging this intellectual formation, this BJU proving itself NOT a university, just a fake.
The selective "theology" pf BJU never addresses the Biblical injunction against provoking wrath.
Perhaps present leadership should ask itself, What is it about BJU that provokes such wrath against the institution from former students, faculty and alumnai. Maybe, just maybe, Misters Jones and the one real Dr. Jones, the problem is YOU.
Where did I hear that?
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