After witnessing the treatment that my friend Jeff Sessions, a decent and honorable man who bears only good will and good cheer to everyone he meets, had to endure at the hands of a partisan opposition that will say anything and do anything to advance their political interests, I am unwilling to subject myself, my family, and my friends to such a process, Cooper wrote in a statement. He didn't want to his hate to be on widespread public display.
In 2008, past president Stephen Jones, great-grandson of evangelist and university founder Bob Jones, apologized for the school’s past racial discrimination.
The dating policy was reversed in 2000 (provided you have parental consent and a chaperone, of course), but the school still has a pretty detailed personal conduct code, which bans, among other things, phones that have Internet access, “contemporary Christian music,” Gmail, and “posters of movie and music stars.” I stopped by BJU on Tuesday hoping to speak with some current students about what brought them there (the art program is supposed to be excellent), how they like the school, and what they make of the school’s not-so-distant history.
But, alas, when I approached a group of undergrads, they broke the bad news: “We’re not technically allowed to talk to reporters unless we have the school’s permission,” as one of them explained. Instead, I ended up walking across campus, checking out the Renaissance art museum (quite impressive, in addition to being the only place at BJU where you’ll find Catholics); the Shakespeare-centric theater; and the memorial to the school’s namesake, which places him in the tradition of transcendent historical figures like George Whitefield and Billy Sunday.
But the university didn’t seek to reinstate its tax-exempt status until 2014 after Steve Pettit took over as the fifth president in the school’s 90-year history.“Organizing as a tax-exempt entity is something BJU has needed to do for quite some time,” Pettit said.
In his first meeting with the university’s cabinet, Pettit said he believed it was appropriate for the school to seek its tax-exempt status because the it no longer believes the positions it once held about race.
As a result, the two universities’ prohibitions on homosexual behavior could be used to penalize or even expel students.Pettit called the university’s racist policies a social issue that was not biblical.“The Bible is very clear,” Pettit said as he announced the change to the university Wednesday night.“We are made of one blood.”Bob Jones University lost its tax exemption after a 13-year battle with the IRS over whether the university’s policies against interracial dating precluded it as a non-taxable religious educational institution.More likely, though, you know it as a bastion of the far right: For decades, big-shot conservative politicians from Ronald Reagan to George W.Bush have traveled to the self-described “fundamentalist” outpost to pander to the Christian right, all the while pleading ignorance to its institutional opposition to Catholicism (“a Satanic counterfeit”) and its longstanding ban on interracial dating.The protections, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, prohibit the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent certain states "from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana." In his letter, first obtained by Tom Angell of and verified independently by The Washington Post, Sessions argued that the amendment would "inhibit [the Justice Department's] authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act." He continues: I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime.