Jesus wept, and no wonder by Christ!

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The name "Bob Jones" has become such a repository of political meaning that it's sometimes easy to forget there is actually a guy named Bob Jones (I mean, putting aside that there are probably a hundred million guys named Bob Jones). Lest we forget, the original greaser Bob has written a hilarious letter of congratulations to President Bush. Some excerpts:

In your re-election, God has graciously granted America—though she doesn't deserve it—a reprieve from the agenda of paganism. You have been given a mandate.

…Don't equivocate. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you.

…Undoubtedly, you will have opportunity to appoint many conservative judges and exercise forceful leadership with the Congress in passing legislation that is defined by biblical norm regarding the family, sexuality, sanctity of life, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and limited government. You have four years—a brief time only—to leave an imprint for righteousness upon this nation that brings with it the blessings of Almighty God.

Although the Bob Jones University site appears to be down at the moment, the full text of the letter can apparently be found here.

Thanks to Mark Bonacquisti for the heads up.

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  1. Jesus wept indeed.

    …and someday he’ll save us all from people like Bob Jones.

  2. “God has graciously granted America?though she doesn’t deserve it?a reprieve from the agenda of paganism.”

    Oh, it’s so true! We don’t deserve it. If it be your will, o Lord, please take him back!

  3. Is there a defined biblical norm regarding freedom of speech? Does anyone have any idea what passages BJ might be talking about?

  4. Lord Jesus,
    save us from your followers.

  5. J,

    There are oodles code words coming from the religious right these days. President Bush invoked Dread Scott duriing the debates, for instance; Dread Scott being code for Roe vs. Wade.

    I suspect that “freedom of speech” in this context is code for prayer in public schools.

  6. had kerry been elected, we’d all be making offerings to various wood sprites.

    the biblical norm for freedom of speech he refers to, i believe, would be “you have the right to speak until you hit the wall that i find offensive and will now back up with some random quotations.”

  7. J – uh, it’s a big book you know. I think it’s in the back somewhere.

    This too is pretty weird: “religious freedom”. I don’t recall YHWH saying anywhere “Whatever floats your boat baby. Wave your freak flag high!” I thought there was sorta one god and the heathen were misled (at best) and fit for the sword.

    Fundies are a blast. Except when they control all three branches of government.

  8. Bob Jones sounds like a typical Rushdoony Christian Reconstructionist. Christian Reconstructionists can be on par with the Taliban. To be frank, they should scare the shit out of anyone remotely interested in liberty.

    More on Christian Reconstructionism (and interrelated beliefs known as Dominion Theology and Theonomy):

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr.htm

    http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/ChRecon.html

    http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/5/21/13392/6893

  9. “a reprieve from the agenda of paganism”

    Really? I think that if forced to chose, Julius Caesar, Sargon, and Hammurabi would’ve voted for Bush. Though Alexander the Great and Marcus Aureilus might’ve been swing votes.

  10. I’m not sure that’s “the original greaser Bob.” Wasn’t the university originally set up by his father?

  11. I figured those phrases he used (like “religious freedom, freedom of speech, and limited government”) were not-so-subtle code for his own notion of the US as a righteous Christian nation. But for most of the other things he mentions I can at least come up with some biblical passages (or at least very vague recollections of them) he would use to justify his position – nevermind that there are also a lot that would contradict his position.
    But for freedom of speech, nothing at all comes to mind. I have at least a passing familiarity with the Good Book, but I’m drawing a blank. I was just curious what he might be referring to, or if he’s talking out of his God-fearing ass even more on this one.

  12. J,

    Freedom of speech likely refers to blasphemy, which is a capital crime according to many Christian Reconstructionists.

  13. Jason,

    Wow, I hope he’s not encouraging Bush to put blasphemers to the sword. I’ll have to be much more careful what I write on these threads (I’m sure W checks them out on a regular basis).

  14. I’m almost sure the reference to free speech is about prayer in public schools.

  15. If I remember correctly, and I could be completely wrong about this but too lazy to re-research it BJ University is denied federal financial aid when they refused to put their flag at half-mast when the chickens came home to roost for a certain Pagan Martin Luther King Jr.

    There are at least two other kooky fundy schools that purposefully don’t take federal financial aid (good for them) — some place in Michigan — Hillsdale with some weird leader who has affairs and suicide? and some place in podunk PA that produced Peter Bottke.

  16. It’s hard to believe that the letter was serious.

    Am I the only one chuckling over the URL bju.edu?

  17. A little passage in the new testament concerning wolves presenting themselves as lambs comes to mind every time I hear of Bob Jones. All sarcasm aside, he really does have a lot in common with the mullahs, he rejects the entire doctrine of christ in favor of something a little more, shall we say, roman? And yet presents himself as a christian, always counting on the fact that most have not actually read the bible. Bob’s behaviour more acuretly reflects the positions of the pharisees from the bible, a group that the dude they call christ regularly disagreed with.

  18. Ken Schultz,

    No, I am fairly certain it refers at least in part to the issue of blasphemy. All the other issues track Christian Reconstructist thought quite nicely, so it would surprise me if he deviated with regard to this issue. You can see this sort of reasoning in the work of Greg Bahnsen:

    When someone comes and proselytizes for another god or another final authority (and by the way, that god may be man)–when someone tries to undermine the commitment to Jehovah which is fundamental to the civil order of a godly state–then that person needs to be restrained by the magistrate. However, this does not mean that individuals should be punished for holding heretical views, the views that Baptists think are heretical or Lutherans think are heretical and so forth. It simply means that those who will not acknowledge Jehovah as the ultimate authority behind the civil law code which the magistrate is enforcing would be punished and repressed. You would, therefore, be open, I believe, to hold Muslim views or Hindu views in the privacy of your own home, provided it was not a Christian home that you’ve now come into to subvert and draw away from Jehovah. You would be able to hold these views as a private conviction. But you would not be allowed to proselytize and undermine the order of the state. Before people who are non-theonomists get too terribly upset about this view, I would at least ask them to reflect on this fact: every civil order protects its foundations.

    Greg Bahnsen, “An Interview with Greg L. Bahnsen,” Calvinism Today, Jan. 1994, p. 23.

  19. Another prominent Christian Reconstructionist has this to say about speech:

    The question eventually must be raised: Is it a criminal offense to take the name of the Lord in vain? When people curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime (Ex. 21:17). The son or daughter is under the lawful jurisdiction of the family. The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death. Clearly, cursing God (blasphemy) is a comparable crime, and is therefore a capital crime (Lev. 24:16).

    What about the integrity of the church? What if someone who is not a member of the church publicly curses the church? Is the State required to apply the same sanction? The person may not be covenantally subordinate to the particular church, or any church, unlike the subordinate child who curses a parent. There is no specific reference to any civil penalty for cursing anyone but a parent or God, nor is there any civil penalty assigned for using God?s name in vain. Then is there a general prohibition against cursing? On what grounds could a church prosecute a cursing rebel?

    One possible answer is the law against assault. Battery involves physical violence against a person, but assault can be verbal. A threat is made. A curse is a threat: calling the wrath of God down upon someone. Another approach is the law against public indecency. A third: cursing as a violation of the victim?s peace and quiet. Restitution could be imposed by the civil magistrate to defend a church or an individual who is victimized by cursing.

    What about cursing a civil magistrate? It is clear that this is an act of rebellion analogous to someone in the military who is insubordinate to his superior officer. A citizen or resident alien is under the lawful authority of the civil government. By publicly challenging this lawful authority, the person becomes a criminal rebel. There is no explicit penalty assigned to this crime. We know, however, that public flogging is lawful, up to forty lashes (Deut. 25:3), yet no crime in the Bible ever explicitly requires public physical punishment, except on an eye-for-eye basis, or the unique case of the woman who has her palm split in response to her specific prohibited physical violence against her husband?s opponent in a fight (Deut. 25:11-12). The punishment for cursing a civil magistrate is therefore left to the discretion of the magistrates or a jury. It might be public flogging; it might be a fine imposed in lieu of public flogging.

    Gary North, The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1986), pp. 59-60

  20. We here spend so much time trying to figure out how to scrape together just a few more Libertarian voters.
    I’ve said we should first have a look at conscientious non-voters.
    How about this for a compromise?
    Could Libertarians form a coalition with pagans?
    My point is: conscientious non-voters, pagans, etc., etc.–they each and all far outnumber Libertarians, and always will.

    Anarchist atheist speaking.

  21. Jason Bourne has made it very evident that he is a Christian hating, anti-religious, intolerant LIBERAL many times on this discussion board where people like to feel their hot air through their keyboards.

  22. B. Beatty,

    Actually, I am a libertarian. 🙂

    And if its “intolerant” for me to quote actual Christians, well so be it. 🙂

    *yawn*

  23. B. Beatty,

    And let’s be blunt, you will never, ever see me asking for the government to impinge on the rights of Christians (or any other religious group) to worship, assemble, think, say, etc., anything that they want to, and I have never, ever argued for such here. So I really don’t get the whole “intolerance” charge. Unless by “intolerance” you mean simply that I am not an adherent of Christianity, to which I would reply, tough shit bitch.

  24. B. Beatty,

    What you appear to want is “affirmative action” for Christians, where they are free from criticism, derision, mockery, etc. Well, let’s be clear about this; if Christians have the right (which I acknowledge) to create banners where they call me – a gay man – a sinner who is headedfor hell, then I have the right to mock them in turn. Get over it.

  25. B. Beatty,

    BTW, I await this “evidence” of me being a “liberal.” 🙂

  26. Hey- who’s this “lw” person who actually wrote the letter? lw, reveal thyself!

  27. JB… or is BJ… You are a blow hard. You’re a liberal. And, Libertarians are so often no more than a grown up children who grew up listening to punk music, raised by Christians and never got over their teenage agnostic, anarchist rebellion.

    Wah, wah, wah. You sure swear a lot for a grown up.

  28. B. Beatty,

    JB… or is BJ… You are a blow hard. You’re a liberal.

    I asked you to prove it once already; now I’ll ask you to prove it again. You implied that the proof was ubiquitous, so I should that it would be easy for your demonstrate. Either put or shut up. 🙂

    And, Libertarians are so often no more than a grown up children who grew up listening to punk music, raised by Christians and never got over their teenage agnostic, anarchist rebellion.

    Are the extent of your comments always going to be personal insults that border on the absurd?

  29. In your case, YES.

  30. B. Beatty,

    BTW, I didn’t grow up listening to punk music. And if anyone is being childish, its well, you, for this pointless lashing out you are subjecting us to. I await a reasoned response to my statements, but I am afraid that I will be waiting a long time.

  31. B. Beatty,

    Come on, you can do better than that.

    What, pray reveal, makes me a “liberal?”

    Hmm, let’s see, I am a capitalist, does that make me a liberal?

    I favor a very small and limited government, does that make me a liberal?

    I advocate very expansive near unlimited rights with regard to freedom of speech, assembly, the press, expression, etc., does that make me a liberal?

    I advocate personal ownership and take a dim view of laws which seek to regulate the use of drugs, pornography, etc., does that make me a liberal?

    I’m an atheist, does that make me a liberal?

    I’m gay, does that make me a liberal?

    Somehow I suspect its the being gay and atheist part that offends you so. However, neither of those particular traits make me a liberal, they just make me someone who offends your own moral code.

  32. It’s always so easy to get you guys to come out. Why do you figure that is? You’re so defensive?

    It’s so easy for you to generalize about “all” Christians.. but, if someone generalizes about why you hide under the Libertarian rainbow you go charging through the board loaded for Bear.

    Grow up. You’re not teenager anymore. Try to be a part of the society that grants you all the privileges that go with that.

  33. Jason, your style gets quite annoying.

  34. Especially the way you use several posts to reply to a single post.

  35. Your style is similar to some other posters who are no longer with us.

  36. B. Beatty,

    It’s always so easy to get you guys to come out. Why do you figure that is? You’re so defensive?

    Now you’re just getting lame. Now you are apparently just a troll.

    It’s so easy for you to generalize about “all” Christians..

    That would be interesting if it were actually true, but it isn’t. You’ll note that I referred to Christian Reconstructionists in these posts, not to “all” Christians. Quit misrepresenting my posts.

    …but, if someone generalizes about why you hide under the Libertarian rainbow you go charging through the board loaded for Bear.

    Actually, you didn’t “generalize” in reference to me; you attacked me individually. At least get your fucking story straight lady.

    Grow up. You’re not teenager anymore. Try to be a part of the society that grants you all the privileges that go with that.

    I am part of that society. I’ll treat this as the silly, throwaway statement that it is.

    Anyway, now that you’ve declared yourself a troll, I think that you can safely be ignored.

  37. Neither Jason nor Jean nor Gary,

    My style? *chuckle*

    Let’s see here, Beatty laid into me with a inept personal attack, and we are discussing “my style?” *LOL*

  38. B. Beatty,

    Thanks for the chat though; I really enjoyed fisking your comments. I mean it was easy to do and all, but still, it helps me keep in practice. 🙂

  39. Mr. Beatty,

    What about those who grew up as you described but were raised by Jews?

    Just wondering …

    “Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.”

  40. We need a sign on each thread that says:

    “Don’t Feed The Trolls”

  41. J,

    Sorry, Beatty’s buffoonery was just too hard to resist. 🙂

  42. I’ll take my shot at generalizing Christians. They are charged to be christ-like, yet I have never found one that has given it any significant effort. I think its more of a club than anything; like the Toastmasters, but more bossy.

  43. Would the webmaster redact all posts just south of Ruthless at 2:06?
    Thank you very much.
    (You can leave in what pigwiggle just said.)

  44. wtf’s a toastmaster?

  45. dhex,

    Toastmasters are, well, an organization which celebrates the art of rhetoric. Though they might resemble the Elk’s Lodge in organization, they are devoted to rhetoric rather than swilling beers.

  46. Hey Jason,
    Is the ‘Gary North’ you quote the same guy that posts fairly routinely on lew rockwell dot com?
    The position seems only slightly more extreme…
    Thanks,
    Shirley

  47. Shirley Knott,

    Yes, I think that’s the case. North is heavily influenced by Austrian economics. North is also one of those Y2K-disaster idiots too (guess we are still waiting for that). 🙂

  48. i dunno jb, this gal seems to have been hitting something:

    http://www.toastmasters.org/images/homesteph.jpg

    thanks for the 411.

  49. Whose rights did Jones violate by writing this letter? So what’s the BFD?

  50. Eric,

    He has the right to say what he wants to say, and we have the right to criticize what he says; no violation of rights is required for individuals to criticize the communications of others.

  51. Jason,
    I’m aware of all that. I’m just wondering what’s the point? So an idiot wrote a letter? Happens all the time. He didn’t hurt anybody. Why waste time on it?

  52. Eric,

    I guess for the same reason we waste our time on a lot of shit here. 🙂

  53. Jason,
    Good enough reason as any!

    BTW, I like your alias. I’ve read Ludlum’s Bourne books and they’re great. Movies weren’t nearly as good, of course.

  54. Sorry to go back to B Beatty, but “Grow up. You’re not teenager anymore. Try to be a part of the society that grants you all the privileges that go with that” reminds me of people who think my rights exist because of the Armed Forces. Get it straight, Beatty – Individual rights exist not through some benevolent fiat of government or society, but because of the fact of the existence of that individual. Our rights exist BEFORE the creation of any government or society run by self-serving, pompous blowhards like yourself.

  55. “He didn’t hurt anybody. Why waste time on it?”

    Speaking for myself, he makes other Christians look like idiots. As a Christian, when such people expose themselves in public, I have a duty to denounce them.

  56. davepotts,

    Well, I shut her/him up. 🙂

  57. Having the same name as this guy is really embarassing.

  58. “The question eventually must be raised: Is it a criminal offense to take the name of the Lord in vain?”

    By the way, Jason, I find this quote to be particularly interesting because the writer has misconstrued the meaning of the Commandment so. This is the Commandment against hypocrisy. Don’t tell other people you’re one of God’s people unless you’re going to act like one of God’s people; that’s what the Commandment means.

    The traditional example of people breaking this Commandment are those who say “Damn it!”; they aren’t taking the admonition seriously. However, those who, like Mr. Bob Jones III, would force God’s will on others in spite of God’s refusal to do so himself provide the best example of breaking this Commandment, I think.

  59. hey b betty:

    how nice: either your circus had a day off, or your beginning composition at community college ?

    snicker.

  60. Jason –
    Some good posts. But I think Beaty really is joking. The reconstructionists need to be read by more people.

  61. drf said:
    “hey b betty:

    how nice: either your circus had a day off, or your beginning composition at community college ?

    snicker.”

    Are you thinking of Clyde Beatty, the straight lion tamer?
    Clyde was straight, wasn’t he?
    He was with the lions, at least, I guess.
    Or did I mean rigid? Or turgid?

  62. “I advocate very expansive near unlimited rights with regard to freedom of speech, assembly, the press, expression, etc., does that make me a liberal?

    I’m an atheist, does that make me a liberal?

    I’m gay, does that make me a liberal?”

    YOU’RE A LIBERAL! GET BEHIND ME, SATAN! THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU! THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU! THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!
    THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU! THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!

  63. The original Bob Jones is quite dead. The current Bob Jones of note is Bob Jones III.

    – Josh

  64. i thought these guys were *against* cloning? har har.

    seriously, unless you’re rambo, don’t be a sequel.

  65. Jason and shirley,

    Gary North is Rushdoony’s son-in-law, BTW.

    Here in Northwest Arkansas, we have a lot of Republibaptists in the state legislature. I mean, these guys are Shiite Republicans–and most of them have degrees from Bob Jones. I can usually identify one of them on TV without ever having seen him before, just because he wears a navy blue suit and looks like he’s got a stick up his ass (sort of like the Hitlerjugend equivalent of an Eagle Scout, or something).

  66. So the missing link here, the one that makes BJ talk about “free speech” and “freedom of religion” is that a certain type of fundie believies it is their right, as good God-fearing Christians, to have civil power. Therefore, when they are restrained from exercising coercive state power (by Roe vs. Wade, by the First Amendment, etc.), the consider that to be an affront to their civil liberties.

  67. Kevin Carson,

    Wow, I had no idea. I knew that Rushdoony was North’s mentor, but I had no idea he married into the clan.

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