I’m sure some of you remember the backlash of the Tina Anderson story. The Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches all felt they were being branded for actions taken by the few. Yes, you tend to hear these type of responses anytime something ugly like this happens. Unfortunately, the victims tend to be lost in most of it.
Sadly, Bob Jones University is showing that Chuck Phelp’s response ISN’T all that uncommon. Sounds like the ‘few’ are the ones that can see the failings in this case.
On a very optimistic note, there have been students from the Bob Jones University that have stepped up to call out issues that arose that made them feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Chuck Phelps as you may remember feels that he is the true victim in what happened. He has taken credit for the conviction of Ernie Willis, and yet still feels justified on leaving his website up calling Tina Anderson a liar. How can you take credit for a conviction of the rapist, and then call the rape victim a liar? Could be one of the principals that make the students uneasy.
When the students found that Chuck Phelps was on the board of BJU a protest was started. They had a petition online for signatures, and started a Facebook page called, ‘Do Right BJU’. BJU is a very strict school, and the students were instructed to step down (stop creation of page) and remove the Facebook page. They have not done so at this point, and frankly it would be wise if the university addressed their concerns. Most knew when the students were asked to stop the chances of expulsion were highly likely. BJU also issued a statement that has been removed, but people uploaded screenshots online.
Sadly, the university had taken the stand in agreement with Chuck Phelps that he was indeed the victim in the Tina Anderson Case. They decided to stand behind their man, and if you read the statement itself? Its drips with manipulation.
They also refer people to Chuck Phelps website for details, and state that others that are speaking about this case don’t have the correct knowledge. At the end of the statement they tell you that God is Grieved if you do not stand where they tell you too. They claim they have checked into details, and asked the right sources – which again seems to be Phelp’s website.
No, they did not ask the victim in all this Tina Anderson according to her husband. I guess that would make things to balanced!
Bloggers have posted a wealth of information about this incident and how Dr. Phelps handled it. Dr. Phelps has been accused of not reporting the crime to officials, sending the girl out of state to hide the situation, harboring a criminal and protecting a sexual predator. We believe that the biblical way to approach this information is to get all the facts before judging Dr. Phelps or his actions, including going directly to him for answers to questions.
While the University maintained regular contact with Dr. Phelps since the matter came to light, we have recently spent time on Dr. Phelps’ website—drchuckphelps.com —and reading what the bloggers are saying. To verify facts and get our questions answered we called him and he answered our questions. After speaking with him and weighing the criticisms against the facts,we have concluded that some of what is posted on the internet about this incident is true, but the majority is a little bit of truth mixed with a lot of opinion and speculation.
The problem with this statement is that the university DID NOT ‘get all the facts’, and yet claims they did. It would make sense if you are wishing to get ‘all the facts’ that you look further than a one sided website that is meant for self protection. Could be one of the principals that make the students uneasy.
The internet posts criticizing Dr. Phelps are a great reminder of the consequences of the negative use of social media—how it can be used to tear down a person’s reputation with little verification of fact. They are also a reminder that there are positive, biblical ways to participate in social media discussions, including not quickly rushing to judgment, considering the intent and motives of those posting, considering the tone of what is said and whether it is Christ like in nature, being willing to exert the time and energy to seek the truth humbly, and being willing to challenge others with deep questions and facts.
The BJU Board of Trustees and the Cooperating Board are comprised of godly men and women who exhibit wisdom and humility in their positions. If Dr. Phelps or any other Board member covered up a crime such as this, he or she would not be retained on the Board.
In conclusion, we cannot overlook the human side in all of this.
A teenage girl was raped—this is a tragedy.
A rapist is in jail—this is justice.
A faithful pastor is being pummeled in social media and his family maligned—this is unjust.
Our God is being grieved.
Does it exhibit wisdom and humility to look at one side of things – claim they are the facts – and use that to shame others? No. They just told you that, and yet…what did they do? Opps!
It seems that Dr. Phelps site has inaccurate information, because the courts found that she is not a liar about the rape. They also found at trial that the facts contradict his statements online. No one seemed to feel it was right to remind Dr. Phelps – in the fact searching – to remove the portions that accused her of lying or his contradictions of fact. It seems Phelps used the site to tear down a person’s reputation, but for some reason that is acceptable.
Could be one of the principals that make the students uneasy.
I guess it may look bad at this point for the school to be heavy handed online, and so they sent in ‘supporters’ to use the same shaming techniques that their supporting statement of Phelps had used. The picture you can click on to see two statements of many. How people are whiners at this point, and instead should be spending energy doing ‘God’s work’.
Dr. Phelps decided on his own to step down from the board, and yet the students are still asking for supporters to wear ‘red’ to their chapel service on 12/13. Now the Phelps supporters and university are playing dumb, because they can’t grasp why the protest will still go on. They feel since Phelps stepped down it should be over. They don’t understand WHY the students may still feel uncomfortable, and not safe.
No offense, but that alone is a red flag that maybe they don’t have such intelligent people in their administration.
I have heard you can get a excellent education at BJU, so it seems thankfully the professors may have some common sense that the administration seems to lack. How sad is that! The administration is going to kill the good reputation of the education you get there, because they can’t grasp what ‘verification of facts’ entails. Yes, its more than asking the ‘maligned’ pastor in question.
Recently, on the I support Tina Anderson site they had a news clip. They were questioning the PR employee of the university about the perceptions at this point, and also the protest. Watch what the man says carefully. He says a whole lot of nothing.
According to him the BJU’s statements online is NOT a ringing endorsement of Chuck Phelps. They have no plans as of now to discipline the students for the protest. The reporter – having went to BJU – stated that she knew that if she went to report something like this she also would be questioned. How that has to be hard for a 15 year old that was questioned by Chuck Phelps, and how the reality of this hurts to the bone. She asked for him to make students feel better about how they can be safe, and the response from the University representative was – they comply with state laws. (Anyone feel better yet?)
When the reporter and the other guest stated that Chuck Phelps did the right thing by stepping down? NO response from the BJU representative at all.
Now, it seems there are reports that Do Right BJU supporters on campus are being intimidated. So, no need to discipline I guess if intimidation can do the job that is needed instead.
Could be one of the principals that make the students uneasy.
So what is with the Sesame Street Martians? These ‘out there’ Martians give the response that BJU wants their students to give.
A teenage girl was raped—this is a tragedy. (Martians say, Yep Yep Yep Yep!)
A rapist is in jail—this is justice. (Yep Yep Yep Yep Yep!)
A faithful pastor is being pummeled in social media and his family maligned—this is unjust. (Yep Yep Yep Yep)
Our God is being grieved. (Yep Yep Yep Yep Yep!)
Want to join Do Right BJU? (nope nope nope nope nope!)
Should we look at the principals that are making our students uneasy? (Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope!)
Should we acknowledge they feel unsafe? (Nope Nope Nope nope NOPE!)
All is well now right? YEP YEP YEP YEP!!
Ahem. Could be why the protest is still going on this Monday. I plan on wearing red although I won’t be there. Its my way of showing support.
Disciplining those students would be the worse thing they could do. You think your faithful pastor had it bad? The backlash will then be felt by you personally if I were a betting person.
Stop the prideful, entitled bullying. Check your scripture boys – that isn’t the true way to change hearts.
Be gracious and show compassion so you don’t grieve your reputation, college campus, and lose what support you may still have. You want Martians go to MARS!
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