By Gustav Niebuhr
- March 4, 2000
A fundamentalist Christian institution that had come under national criticism for its ban on interracial dating among its students, abandoned that long-held policy, its president, Bob Jones 3d said tonight in an unexpected move, Bob Jones University.
Mr. Jones, in a appearance from the CNN program »Larry King Live,» said which he had asked the college’s board this to end the policy afternoon.
<р>»In fact, to date, we now have dropped the rule,» Mr. Jones stated.
In the remarks, Mr. Jones, grandson associated with the college’s founder, provided only an explanation that is brief saying your choice ended up being predicated on a perception that criticism throughout the policy had been threatening to obscure the university’s Christian objective. »We have a wider testimony,» he said.
Mr. Jones added: »I thought to our administration, ‘You understand, guys, this thing is of such insignificance to us, its so significant into the world most importantly, the media especially, why should we now have this here as an barrier?’ » then he said that the ban had damaged the standing of the college’s graduates and perhaps conservative Protestantism as well. »I do not wish to harm the church of Jesus Christ,» Mr. Jones stated.
Your choice additionally came just times after Democrats in Congress had proposed an answer that will have condemned the university for the ban as well as for statements that Bob Jones leaders are making about Roman Catholicism, which were interpreted as assaults on Catholics as a whole (an intent that the university has denied).
The statement amounted up 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 legal fight, the college destroyed its tax exemption in 1983. So that as belated as Wednesday, the college had been trying to explain the ban on interracial relationship in accordance with its belief that the Bible teaches that God doesn’t want a unified and world that is undifferentiated.
»God made racial distinctions as he made sex differences,» stated a statement the university posted on its web site. But, the declaration included, when God stopped humans from building the Tower of Babel, story told in Genesis, God did therefore to avoid them from producing »one-world federal government.»
»Based with this bhm dating review account that is biblicalGenesis 10 and 11),» the declaration said, »the university wishes to give Jesus the advantage of any question and prevent pursuing any direction that could give assist with the renewed efforts of guy to produce a one-world community composed of one faith, one economy, one government plus one battle.»
The university has admitted interracial married couples despite its stance.
Inside the remarks, Mr. Jones said that even though principle on which the university’s former ban was based stayed essential, the ban itself was »meaningless to us.»
In its Internet declaration, the university described Catholic beliefs as being a »false system,» but asserted so it enjoyed Catholics as people and wished 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 nomination that is presidential. Mr. Bush’s opponents, Republicans and Democrats alike, faulted him for not using the possibility to speak out up against the dating ban and the statements in the 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 dating. It had been incorrect in the first place, this is exactly why I spoke away from the ban once I was inquired about it at a news meeting soon after my visit here. Tonight, the college has done the proper thing.»
In a paid ad that Bob Jones took down today in United States Of America Today plus in sc magazines, the university stated it would not hate Catholics, but asserted that the »wide gulf» existed between Catholic and Protestant values.
Into the adverts, the university contended it was being falsely accused in news reports being a haven for bigotry. Instead, it stated that the issue that is real the controversy was the college’s constitutional directly to its spiritual freedom.