Bob Jones University
The name is synonymous with religious fundamentalism and rigidity, with racism and misogyny.
We are a few of its products. Set free after years of wrestling with the guilt and loathing that was instilled in us since childhood, we found community on the internet, in social media. Facebook, to be exact.
At first, it was great. We were all in different places on our journey, but we had come from a common root and as the tree grew, even though the branches spread out everywhere, in all different directions, we were all still attached to the trunk. We had a bond.
One result of that bond was a desire to help free as many of our compatriots as possible from the psychological prison that is religious fundamentalism. This included, but is not limited to, those whose branches were considered "not desirable" by the fundamentalist world of our youth.
Sometimes the branch is theological. We found that we collectively embrace almost every type of theology imaginable, including none at all.
Sometimes it involves sexual orientation, which varies almost as widely as theology.
Political views? All over the map.
And one issue that bound us, united at first, was sexual harassment/abuse, whether of adults or children. With the revelations of sexual abuse issues in the Roman Catholic church, our eyes turned to fundamentalism: was it guilty of the same coverups and incompetencies? The answer appears to be a resounding "Yes."
Among us are those who are victims. Some of us have friends who have dealt with this first hand, up close and personal. Others have learned about the issues involved second-hand. But everyone seemed to be united in making sure that the tree that held our roots responded with accountability and transparency.
Sexual abuse and GRACE
Here are some links to the basic story about Bob Jones University and the GRACE investigation. It's very tangential to the purpose behind this web site, so we won't elaborate about it here.
This is an official statement from Bob Jones University.
And here's the official statement from GRACE.
These are from the news media, including the New York Times where both the Scholar and the Victim were interviewed.
Accountability and transparency. That's what we all collectively wanted. And that's what we want now, from both the University and its critics.
Nothing is more disheartening than watching your allies adopt a philosophy of deceit, obfuscation, and outright dishonesty with the idea that anything is okay as long as it is for the cause. We cannot claim to be the champions of truth, those who demand transparency and accountability, and then refuse to hold those in our midst, especially those who have assumed a leadership role of some sort, to the same standard.
When the cause, whatever it might be, becomes more important than the truth; when expediency trumps honesty; when the end becomes more important than the means, the cause is the casualty.
This is about telling the truth.
There is a Facebook page called Truth Seeking Graduates of Bob Jones. It's run largely by two women -- the Victim and the Scholar. We are seeking truth from them.
We cannot go to them directly and just ask. We've tried that, repeatedly. Asking questions, showing any doubt at all, results in having comments deleted and character maligned.
We've been down that road before. It's what they do at BJU when you ask questions.
So we are presenting the evidence here. Read it and make up your own mind.
The "we" referred to above does not mean, and should not be construed to mean, that a group of people has control of this web site. One person does. Me. My name is Sally Davis. I am the sole owner here. I have final say in what goes up and what does not. Yes, I get and welcome input from others. No, that doesn't mean that there is a huge conspiracy, nor do I run some top secret group on Facebook or elsewhere to plot. It means that some other folks have some concern and sympathy with what I am trying to do here and from time to time provide me with material.
This may be a very difficult concept for some folks to grasp, but it's entirely possible that a relatively large number of people are simply fed up with the lying and the fakery and the deception.
For more about this sort of thing, visit the FAQ.