BJU was featured on CSPAN along with other Greenville features. I enjoyed hearing the history of Falls Park, too.
Carl’s comments are somewhat disappointing. The history of the ban on interracial dating was not primarily a vestige of Southern anti-miscegenation laws, but a response to the complaints of an oriental father about his daughter as I recall. Of course, at the time BJU was still a segregated institution, so blacks weren’t really an issue.
I don’t say this as a defense of the policy, simply in the interests of accurate reporting of the history. It isn’t helpful to misreport the history. No doubt the rule was continued in place as integration began, but the rule wasn’t prompted by that issue.
That was indeed how the issue arose. The University was trying to keep peace within the household of faith, and they did it reluctantly.
I don’t want to have to answer for this opinion, because it’s based in part on reading I did over ten years ago at BJU’s Fundamentalism File, but I’m going to put it on the internet anyway… I think that Don and Claudia are making a worthwhile point; it wasn’t mere racist animus on the part of the BJU administration that led to the ban. But I point to the official apology, which did confess (as Abrams noted) a racism influenced by culture rather than Bible. That doesn’t mean everyone who attended or led the institution during the time of the ban was racist; life is more complicated than that. But on the excessively rare occasions when I personally heard official voices of the institution speaking about the ban, they (or rather he—I think it was just one occasion) did appeal to Acts 17 and the supposed biblical separation of the races. This may have been ex post facto; it certainly was not the opinion of any faculty members I ever heard. But it was the only official word I heard.
Well, I have been on record as opposing the apology. It was ridiculous pandering to a pressure group. I think the ban was wrong, it needed to be repealed, and it was repealed. The issue should have ended there. The apology was not entirely truthful about the ban, so besides being unnecessary, it was bearing false witness as well.
This is what bugged me about this video, too. It misstated the facts in a way to perpetuate the supposedly racist origin of the ban.
The appeal to Acts 17 and other passages was taught by several faculty members and from the chapel platform on several occasions during the years of the court case. I think the exegesis was suspect, but my dearly beloved teachers who taught it had talked themselves into it because they weren’t into backing down to the government. They shouldn’t have done it, not only was the exegesis bad, they established a precedent that weakened religious liberty in America.
Last, I don’t want to go on a tirade about this! (Me?) It is not likely that my opinions will change anything in Greenville, but I just wish those on the scene wouldn’t tar and feather their predecessors with inaccurate statements about their past decisions.