Student Expelled From College Days Before Graduation For Watching “Glee”

(This just in: DailyKos reports on Christopher Peterman story!)


This is not a headline from The Onion. It happened to Christopher Peterman on Tuesday.

Here’s what really happened.

In the late 1990’s, a 15-year old girl was raped by a married man at her fundamentalist church in New Hampshire. She became pregnant. When the girl reported it to her pastor, the pastor had her publicly apologize to the congregation for her role in an adulterous relationship. Then he sent her to live with people in Colorado where she had the baby and gave it up for adoption. The pastor’s name was Chuck Phelps. (No apparent relation to Fred Phelps of the Westboro Church in Kansas).

A year ago, ABC’s 20/20 aired an entire episode on this incident, with Elizabeth Vargas reporting. Soon after, the rapist was brought to trial, convicted by a jury of his peers and sentenced by a judge to 15-30 years in prison, where he is today.

As it turns out, however, the pastor who covered this man’s crimes for fifteen years remained on the board of trustees of Bob Jones University, the self-proclaimed “Fortress of Faith” in Greenville, South Carolina. The founder of BJU famously said that if his university ever strayed, he hoped alumni and students would take action and demand the administration “Do right.” His most famous saying was “Do right til the stars fall!”

Christopher Peterman decided to do just that, to follow the founder’s admonition and demand that BJU “Do right” and remove Chuck Phelps from the board. BJU, in typical fashion, rather than do the right thing, threatened Chris with expulsion if he continued to protest the school’s board member.

Chris refused to be silenced. Rather than back down, he organized a protest of students and alumni. A protest at Bob Jones University! Last December, those who opposed BJU’s decision to keep Phelps on its board wore red to show their opposition to Phelps. A BJU spokesperson told a reporter that the university would take no retaliation against any students organizing or participating in the protest. Days before the protest, in an unprecedented move, Phelps stepped down from the board. Naturally BJU said his resignation had nothing to do with the protest.

At BJU, however, nothing is ever as it seems. Despite its claims that no retaliation would be taken against the students, Chris became a marked man. He was called into meeting after meeting, sometimes in the middle of the night, to talk about his spiritual condition with a dean. They moved an informant, a resident assistant, into his room, to report on his activities. Finally, days before he was to have graduated, they expelled him. Supposedly, his expulsion was due to an accumulation of demerits for offenses like watching Glee. But we know the truth and the truth has a nasty habit of coming back to haunt those who don’t want the truth to be known. Just ask Ernie Willis. He’s just begun a 15-30 year prison sentence because the truth, although slow, eventually became known by everyone.

Here’s what happened in Chris’s own words:


54 Responses to “Student Expelled From College Days Before Graduation For Watching “Glee””

  1. heartlikefire Says:

    Reblogged this on heart like fire and commented:
    I usually stay out of things like this, but I can’t ignore anymore. This is not an attack on the University or on their (however misguided or not) intents to please God. This is a defense of those who are trying desperately to DO THE RIGHT THING but are being painted as the villains. God is not a “respecter of persons” and every child of His deserves respect and “a voice”. Not to be squelched or shoved under the rug for the sake of “saving face”. This is real life. These are real people. This is not a game.

  2. a Says:

    BJ doesn’t put every TV show and Movie in their hand book, but there are guidelines. BJ is openly against homosexuality, sensual dancing, and immodest clothing. These would seem like guidelines for why Glee would be something they would ask you not to watch.

    Also, if you had offense with the university, you should have taken it to the university first. The fact that you tried to drum up public sentiment and went to news agencies first really left the school little choice. They are a private institution, and you don’t have a “right” to be a student there.

    I feel there is far more to this story than what is here…I don’t blame BJ for wanting to keep an eye on you. Going public with things can get out of hand very quickly for the university.

    • Rich Merritt Says:

      If you believe as I do, that places like BJU shouldn’t exist, Chris was completely justified in doing what he did. It’s time for this “university” to end its dismal existence. Hopefully this will help that process.

    • Doug Wilson Says:

      I agree. If you are f-cked up enough to go to this “university” you know what it is all about. While the rest of the intelligent world finds this shocking, this IS Bob Jones. Students at BJU get what they pay for… what they deserve.

    • Shelley Ferner Says:

      Bob Jones University hates homosexuals and penalizes students who listen to improper music. But they strongly encourage listening to classical music by the old musical masters . . . men who were mostly homosexual. This is one of thousands of examples of a fundamental looney bin (emphasis on MENTAL)!!!!

  3. DJ Forrester-Roberts Says:

    Kudos, Rich. You captured the essence of this story perfectly. Thanks for writing it and for spreading the word about how horribly Chris has been treated. To expel him ten days before graduation is not only a horrible abuse on the part of BJU, but it’s also typical of BJU. It shows exactly how little they care about their students who worked thier asses off for four years…only to get dumped and literally thrown off campus for doing absolutely nothing wrong. Great blog, dude!

    • Shelley Ferner Says:

      As a student at Bob Jones University in 1973-1974, I received 50 demerits for praying with a friend after the 11 PM light bell. I received other demerits for similar “sins.” I was forced to get on my knees and beg Dr. Lewis to forgive me for fainting on the sidewalk near the Dining Commons and ending up in the campus hospital. Compassion is not practiced at Bob Jones University. Psychopathic cruelty and absolute control are the favored behaviors of the powers-that-be at Bob Jones University.

  4. perrybrass Says:

    I think the really interesting story is why does a personable, intelligent young man like Chris Peterman go to Bob Jones University? Is this is an attempt to escape the “immoral” modern world; to adhere to a faith that is now politically driven and so far from that of Jesus himself that he’d never recognize it; or is he really finding himself and in the process ready to leave BJU anyway? I don’t find what happened at BJU surprising: first that they’d harbor this mescreant on its board (what is else is new?), second that despite all their P.R. to the contrary, they were ready to go after Chris Peterman, and third that they’d use any kind of trumped up b.s. to go after him—Glee as anti-religious? Please, how dumb can they get? (Forgot: very, very drumb.)

  5. mamacassket Says:

    It’s sad he got expelled for watching a tv show but I think the article should be about how he was expelled for trying to get a rape advocate off of a religious board. That’s the story, not glee.

    • Rich Merritt Says:

      While I don’t disagree that speaking truth to power is far more important than watching a television show, today has been a record day for traffic to this blog, providing evidence that having Glee in the headline was the right call. The purpose was to get readers’ to pay attention then explain the true nature. It seems that’s what has happened.

      • mamacassket Says:

        Awesome 🙂 And I get that. I posted your link as well as a link that has the title ” University Student Expelled for Outing Child Rape Cover-Up” on my fb wall. I’m sure this could turn into a “SEe how BJU Hates Gays” thing too by having Glee as a show their students can’t watch. I think it’s horrible that some Christians hate, but i don’t call into question their right to have any tv shows on their “do not watch” list

  6. mamacassket Says:

    But really it’s truly sad thatsome would protest Bob Jones over the Glee thing faster than they would over the rape case.

    • Rich Merritt Says:

      Well…I think the Glee thing is there to grab people’s attention who are overloaded with info…then immediately let them know what it’s really about. Hopefully then they’ll be so intrigued that is where their attention will remain.

      I dealt with this with my memoir in 2005. The title and cover get your attention but the story is why people keep reading. And it’s in its 4th printing so obviously my publisher knew what he was doing.

      • mamacassket Says:

        i meant, sadly I know some people who would be more offended by the Glee thing than by the rape case. Sad sad. PEACE and have an awesome day and I do hope you continue to get record hits 🙂

  7. Sick of Chris's BS Says:

    As someone who personally knows Chris, he just wants attention. He chose to go to BJU. The school asks the students to not do certain things (and it’s they’re right to do so–every school has rules and regulations, BJU just happens to have seemingly “unusual” and strict ones. Consider West Point–they have even stricter rules in some cases!). It is Chris’s own fault for getting kicked out. He broke the rules over and over and over and over and over again. I’m surprised he even made it this far. He started getting attention from disgruntled alumni/former students about the Phelps issue, and it started the fire. He liked the attention, and wanted more, no matter the cost. Enter disrespectful bashing and slandering of the entire University, stage right. He has no respect for his authorities; I don’t care what the admin did or did not do concerning the Phelps thing–they are the authority. God put them there, and he is commanded in Scripture to respect them and obey them. There is no exception clause in the Bible, and if he truly was/is soooo bothered by how the school handles things, why didn’t he just leave after last semester? Why did he stay and keep making trouble? Oh, and of course he was being “watched”! He is smearing the school! Why would any administration want a current student, who represents the school–as every student does–to bash and spread fire on the internet/media about the institution they work for and believe in?! DUH. My question for Chris is, are you happy? Are you pleased with yourself? The God of the Bible surely cannot be pleased with your actions of disobedience, disrespect, and selfish power-hungry negative words and actions. Chris, you are a moron, and you know what I’ve said is true. To all those who are giving him this “martyr” status: thank you for helping to discredit my university which I truly love attending, and have had dozens of wonderful, godly teachers who not only have given me a great education, but have encouraged me spiritually. BJU is a lot more than the administration, folks. You are tarnishing a place beloved by many, many people. How would you feel if this was being accused at your alma mater, or job, or church, or whatever? Would you want someone ripping it to shreds falsely? I think not.

    • Rich Merritt Says:

      BJU is corrupt to the core and needs to end. Period.

      • Sick of Chris's BS Says:

        LOL. Ok, Mr. Merritt. I’ll take that statement with a nicely-sized grain of salt, considering it comes from you.

      • Rich Merritt Says:

        I’m a truth-teller. The religious have always despised people like me. Go join your tribe Pharisee.

    • mamacassket Says:

      So it’s false that a board member supported a rape?

    • Ryan Says:

      “I don’t care what the admin did or did not do concerning the Phelps thing–they are the authority. God put them there, and he is commanded in Scripture to respect them and obey them.” Seriously this is your response? Where in any scripture does it mention Bob Jones University and it’s administration as being the authority appointed by GOD? Are you delusional or simply brainwashed so inherently that you cannot even think for yourself? If people did not stand up against institutions like these for morally and socially unacceptable abuses of power we’d still be living in a racially segregated unjust world. Then again this is the same school that had it’s tax exempt status removed by The Supreme Court for it’s racially diversive practices in 1983 and did not life it’s ban on interracial dating until the year 2000. Please try and explain to me how we should all just shut up and accept the “authority’s” stand on that. We’re not talking 40 years ago, this was just 12 years ago.

    • Nancy Says:

      This IS my alma mater -and I’m ashamed to admit it! I see nothing of the person of Jesus reflected in what the admin have done to some students over the years. Why so much offense for an attempt to help other students by working towards a better sexual abuse policy? Thats the bigger issue, not what a human being dared watch on tv.

      • Rich Merritt Says:

        Exactly and because of Chris, the truth is getting out there, never mind the headline. Thanks for your comment! Gods will WILL be done!

    • zories Says:

      “My question for Chris is, are you happy? Are you pleased with yourself? The God of the Bible surely cannot be pleased with your actions of disobedience, disrespect, and selfish power-hungry negative words and actions.”

      C.J. Mahaney gives a very good definition of legalism as, “seeking to achieve forgiveness from God and acceptance by God through obedience to God” (The Cross-Centered Life, Multnomah, 2002, p. 25). Mahaney helps us to understand that legalism is seen in our view of justification, or what it takes to be saved. Basically, if you believe that God is pleased or displeased with you because of your works, then you are a legalist. You are justified in God’s eyes based on Christ’s work, not yours.

      “Chris, you are a moron, and you know what I’ve said is true.”

      EPHESIANS 4.29

      • Rich Merritt Says:

        Chris is ecstatic that Pharisees like you are being revealed as the hypocrites you are.

      • Rich Merritt Says:

        And why do you put your own words in quotation marks, and then when you quote someone else, you don’t? You can’t even get that right. Geez.

      • zories Says:

        @Rich: hmmm…think that my original comment may have been confusing.
        @sick of chris bs: I am afraid that you have fallen into a false gospel based on the fact that you think “The God of the Bible surely cannot be pleased with your actions of disobedience, disrespect, and selfish power-hungry negative words and actions.” What’s the good news about a God who weighs His affection for us based on our motivations or actions, besides that, what you think was “disobedience, disrespect, and selfish power-hungry negative words and actions,” others, who struggled to have a voice against our abusers, think is HEROIC!

        Additionally, when you call someone “a moron,” it’s offensive, so please don’t follow that up with saying that you “have had dozens of wonderful, godly teachers who not only have given me a great education, but have encouraged me spiritually.” Godly teachers would have said, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Eph. 4.29)

        Lastly, I AM a graduate of BJU, and in reference to “How would you feel if this was being accused at your alma mater, or job, or church, or whatever? Would you want someone ripping it to shreds falsely? I think not.” IT’S ABSOLUTELY NOT FALSE & IT’S ABOUT TIME!

      • Rich Merritt Says:

        Argh. I’m doing all this on iPhone and email. It gets confusifying. Sorry.

      • zories Says:

        No problem. I could tell right away by your response that I had been confusing.

    • Just One Voice Says:

      Well as someone who personally grew up with Chris I am going to address some of your arguments against him. Does Chris like attention? Yes–but who doesn’t? Would you like to know why he chose to go to BJU? Well I’ll tell you. We happened to go to a Christian school. Chris had been there since Kindergarten. Now, while I think it was a good school overall, I did not agree with it’s views on college education. You see, all secular colleges and universities were painted to be these evil, reprehensible places. We were basically told that if we went to a secular university we would become heathens. We were given the notion that evil would be hounding us from all sides. That even the best of us would get drug down to it’s morally reprehensible state of being. In fact, I was voted as having the most Christian character in my class every year. I graduated as valedictorian. In my speech at graduation I was not allowed to mention the name of the university that I would be attending because it was not a Christian university. What’s more, we were pretty much corralled into choosing BJU. This school even had problems with some of the other Christian universities (although they are much better about supporting other universities now). BJU was held high on a pedestal. As a result, many of the graduates from this school (who were Chris’s lifelong friends) attended BJU. So I ask you-why wouldn’t he want to go here?

      Now yes every school has the right to their own rules and regulations. And I do not doubt the fact that Chris got demerits for a lot of things that were his own fault (ie. not shaving every day, not making it back to his dorm before curfew, etc). Oh and you cannot compare BJU to West Point. It is plain disrespectful to hold a university like Bob Jones up as a comparison to West Point. A close friend of mine went to West Point. I know what it is like to get in there and to succeed there. Oh and of course they have stricter rules at West Point–it’s a military academy!

      Now to address your bit on authority. Yes they are technically his authority. Chris is bound by scripture to respect them because of their position. There is a big difference in respecting a position and respecting a person. I applaud him for bringing the situation of Phelps to light. Did you ever think that he did this because he actually cares about rape victims? Or do you really have such a narrow avenue of thought as to believe that anything that anyone does to challenge this university must be because of a personal spiritual issue.
      Oh and there is also a difference between God placing someone in authority and God allowing someone to be in authority. (Oh dear heavens–you aren’t one of those people who believes got put Hitler in authority are you?)

      My question for you is, are you happy? Are you pleased with yourself? Certainly God cannot be happy with you calling one of his children a moron. And all those negative words that you said God was displeased with Chris for, I never saw them in your post. Good one on you there (insert sarcastic voice). I’m glad you enjoy your university–everyone should. I’m sure there are teachers there who truly want the best for you and have encouraged you. However, like it or not administration plays a huge role and cannot be ignored.

      • Rich Merritt Says:

        Excellent reply! Thanks.

    • tiquatoo Says:

      “Consider West Point–they have even stricter rules in some cases!”

      Yes, but they never claim that their rules are backed up by GOD and the BIBLE. And if you break the rules at West Point, yeah, you get into trouble, but you’re not told you’re a sinner and a bad person. Contrast that to BJU, where every. single. picayune. offense has a “spiritual” underpinning.

      I’d like to know if the student who reported Chris for watching Glee was also shipped. After all, s/he had to be watching it, too. (Actually, I know the answer to that: no. Why? Because tattletales of this sort don’t ever face any disciplinary action. It’s built into the entire ethos at BJU. I know firsthand; I was a grad assistant there.)

      • Rich Merritt Says:

        Excellent point! They probably were promoted to Prayer Captain.

    • Eutychus Says:

      Sick: You wrote, “I don’t care what the admin did or did not do concerning the Phelps thing–they are the authority. God put them there, and he is commanded in Scripture to respect them and obey them.”
      Chuck Phelps was on the board at BJU. In your opinion then he was in authority as well – put there by God yet when his evil deeds were brought to further light he resigned. Did God make a mistake in putting him on the board? Did the administration at BJU make a mistake in appointing Phelps to the board? Were they listening to God? Do you submit to the authority of one such as Phelps? Who said these people were put in their positions by God? My guess is that they themselves have said that – We have been placed in our positions of authority by God therefore you had better not question out claim that we have God given authority over your life. And oddly circular argument don’t you think? Authority comes not by claiming it due to position but because of earned respect, recognition of wisdom, displaying a Christ-like character etc. Things that these people “in authority” seem to be lacking.

    • mrcodebreaker Says:

      As a Christian allow me to debate this with you. If what you say is true, that he was blatant about his disrespect to authorities and such then yes he may have had those demerits coming. But let me ask you this as a human, what brought the social need for this interaction? I understand that BJU is super strict about male and female physical contact or intermingling. God forbid we bring up the gay orgies that happened in the basements of a some of the buildings. BJU has put so many strict standards on the students themselves that a lot feel like they are being watched 24/7. I mean to say, is that these students who were willingly wanting to go to this college signed up for this and I don’t know if they deserve it or not. In my mind I believe it is okay to want to go there but what about the facades that are put on to bring the students in there? I mean students aren’t allowed to even give a quick pat or even a HIGH FIVE to someone of the opposite sex. Yes, a pat on the butt and on the back are completely two different things. But the students become starved for affection from another human being. Sexual affection isn’t wrong unless taken out of their original context. I hate to say it but BJU is a prison for Christians. They seriously need to reform some rules there.

  8. Rich Merritt Says:

    (This is from friend’s blog – checkout “”)

    With the issues being raised about Christopher Peterman being expelled from Bob Jones University, I’ve heard a question asked that needs to be addressed. I’ve heard this question and been annoyed, frustrated and/or angry. If you are looking for more information about the situation with Christopher, his statement (in video format) is below, and another excellent blog post can fill in the information. (I have strong thoughts on this, but I feel it is important to answer this question.) So, what is the important question?

    If you know what BJU is like and disagree with BJU, why would you go there for college?

    This question is being asked from two different sources, and that’s why my reaction is different.

    First, there are folks from the outside of BJU Christian fundamentalism that are asking this. After all, reviewing the background and story of Christopher, he seems to be a normal, reasonable, intelligent young man. He has an obvious desire to see the right thing done. Why would someone that seems so reasonable even think about attending somewhere like BJU? The question is sincere and comes about because the person asking is genuinely confused. I respect this, but the constant repetition of the question is frustrating. That is the reason for this blog post, and it is you to whom I speak.

    Second, there are BJU apologists (or quasi-apologists) who are asking why someone would go to BJU if they don’t agree. This blog post is not for you. Let’s face it, you probably wrote me off when I confessed anger up above. Besides, until you come to the realization that someone can be perfectly OK before God and still disagree with you, there isn’t much else to talk about.

    So, why would someone like Christopher (and me) go to someplace like BJU? Well, there are a handful of reasons for going and returning, but essentially, they boil down to two simply concepts that drive people into bad decisions all the time. Money and deceit.


    Quite frankly, as unfortunate as it is, education is expensive. College costs and, for most people, our parents are a large part of our college support. Whether that support comes in actual tuition or just in providing a place to live and eat while going to school, the financial support of parents plays a large part in our ability to go to school.

    So, when a parent demands that their child attend Bob Jones University, there isn’t much of a choice involved. Either the student has to figure out how to “go it their own” or they duck their head and go to Bob Jones University. Depending on the student this may last and it may not. I had friends expelled and voluntarily leave during the year and I know of many who never attended after their first semester or year. Finances are a huge factor in the decision making process, but when combined with the deceit involved, it is doubly effective.


    Deceit is the key issue that drives most students to Bob Jones University. I’m not talking about deceit of the university. Although the deceptions over accreditation has worked to retain students, I don’t believe that is a primary issue for getting students. No, I’m talking about the subtle deception of a world view. The deception of the system created by Bob Jones University’s brand of Christian fundamentalism.

    As a high school student I went to a church and attended camps and youth rallies that promoted this mindset. Here are a few “truths” that I “learned” about college and how to make the choice of where to go. (For what it is worth, I attended college over 20 years ago and this story hasn’t really changed.)

    At a secular college:
    •Professors and administrators will actively work to destroy your Christian faith.
    •Professors have little to no concern over whether you actually learn anything or not.
    •No one studies or cares about their grades.
    •You will be exposed to all sorts of evil like beach parties and drugs.
    •You will be forced to participate in drunken orgies every weekend.
    •You will likely have to step over kids (multiple couples) having sex in the hallway just to get from your room to class. Every time.
    •You will probably lose your religion and become an alcoholic.

    Other Christian colleges:
    •Liberty University (yes, Jerry Falwell) was a bastion of liberalism that was no different than secular schools.
    •The only reason someone would attend Pensacola Christian College is because they wanted to weekend at the beach. (Evil sinners!!)
    •There were no other Christian universities, they were just Christian in name.
    •Tennessee Temple University had gone “the way of the world”.

    This was the mindset and fodder that is fed to high school students and their parents by respected leaders in the churches and Christian schools. We all know it is easier to accept and believe what you are told than to actually do research on your own, so this mindset finds root and becomes truth regardless of what life is really like. As a “good Christian” kid, you really don’t want any of the above, or, at least, you don’t want anyone to know that you want it. The only “good, Christian” thing to do is to go to Bob Jones University.

    Now, I won’t say that some of the above might be true in some cases, it is hardly the norm for either category. Some of the things were just untrue, others were just enough deception mixed into the truth to be enticing. And, honestly, I don’t really fault the preachers, teen evangelists, and youth ministers who told us these things. Sure, some of them may have known better and used these lies to control people, but for the most part I give them the benefit of the doubt and suggest that they were just as deceived as we were.

    It is difficult to make an intelligent, appropriate decision when everything you have ever been told is lies about reality. One of the foundational principles of Bob Jones University’s brand of Christian fundamentalism is a very strict us-verses-them mentality. The “us” is very tightly limited, and even many who think they are part of “us” are kept at arms length. And the “them” is not only “verses”, but is actively out to “get” the us. Honestly it is almost clinical paranoia. From that framework and world view, a high school student choosing a college has very little in the way of real options. And making the wrong choice can result in being pushed further than that “arm’s length” away or even in being fully ostracized as an outsider.

    Overall, there is way too much baggage and social drama within the “group” to allow a student to make a reasonable choice to attend somewhere other than BJU. The more a student has invested money and time at BJU, the harder (and more costly) it is to pull away before they are done. BJU is not SACS accredited and not only do credits not easily transfer, but they are worth much less than the unaccredited degree the student would earn. (Accreditation is an entirely other issue covered by other skilled bloggers.)

    Yes, it is sad and confusing that someone would choose to go to Bob Jones University. Hopefully, this will help you understand why a student might go there and why that student might stay and try to finish.


    • Just One Voice Says:

      This is so true! I went to school at a institutional “system created by Bob Jones University’s brand of Christian fundamentalism.” I graduated from there with intent on going to Florida University and you pretty much hit right on the nose everything that I was told was going to happen. I was actually surprised to find the opposite when I arrived. The handful of us who chose to go to secular universities were (and still are) looked down on by the faculty and the other students. Sad but true.

    • Mamacassket Says:

      I was hardcore Christian in high school, 45 min from Bju and thank God I didn’t want to go there. I found Northwestern College in st Paul Minnesota. It was strict but not so by Bju standards by far. The president even allowed boys to have pierced ears my sophomore year. His reasoning was “God makes my hair grow and I cut it. Isn’t that against nature? Women pierce theirs and men should be allowed to, too”. Good times!

  9. seawindsolution Says:

    Thanks for posting this blog, its really impressive.

    • Rich Merritt Says:

      Christopher Peterman is an impressive young man whose story needs to be told to as many people as possible. Please help us spread the word.

  10. CH Says:

    This entire thing is very disappointing to me. No, I did not attend BJU but I know many wonderful people that attend and graduated from BJU. Yes, they have rules and yes if you choose to go there you should obey them. No student is forced to go.

    The girl was raped and should not have had to apologize to the congregation for it. We can all agree on that. And yes, we can all agree that Mr. phelps was wrong to have her do that. My questions are… where were her parents? They had a say as to whether their child should apologize or not. They had a say into her being sent away and giving up her child. Also, did Mr. Phelps ever say he was wrong? We all have made bad decision and chooses over our lifetime. I know I have. If Mr. Phelps had acknowledged his error in handling the situation, I would have no problem with him being on the board. But, if he stands by his decision back then he should not have been on the board.

    As to the student. I can understand him being watched if he was known for causing trouble. That is true in ANY institution whether public or private and is also true in the work place. A student that chooses to go to BJU knows the rules and chooses to and agrees to live by them. If he was going to graduate in a few weeks, he had been their for a number of years and definitely knew what was expected of him. He could have transferred to another school. He could have chosen to voice his opinions about the school after his graduation. He agreed to a code of conduct. It is not just because he went to BJU that he had rules. There are rules in everyday life. Rules for driving, laws to obey by the government, etc. There are employers that have codes of conduct for their employees. If you don’t wish to follow them then don’t attend. There are many great Christian and Bible college out there for young people that choose to attend them. None of us are perfect and no school is perfect. There is a good Christian school at the church where I attend and the seniors each year go off to Christian as well as public universities. They are not treated poorly because of what they choose. Not all Christians should be judged by the few who have given them a bad name. As well, not all Christian and Bible colleges should be judged by one.

    In closing, I do not know Mr Phelps but if he made the girl apologize, he was wrong. His action was not biblically based. I also do not know this student. Whether he should have been kicked put is not my place to judge. But, if he chose to break the rules of the university that he CHOSE to attend, he was also wrong.

    • Rich Merritt Says:

      Thank you for posting. A young person’s “choice” of where to go to college isn’t that simple. Others here have posted about that.

      • CH Says:

        I also went to a Christian school for elementary and high school. My school strongly promoted BJU, but it was still my choice and I did not go. My choice was not simple either. I went to another Christian college as well as two public colleges over the course of my educational career. I was not looked down upon for it. I did not like all the rules at the Christian college I went to but I obeyed them while I was there. I never said that the choice of a college was simple, it is not. Whether his choice of a college was beyond his control or not, he still had a choice to follow the rules while there.

      • Rich Merritt Says:

        I think the complication comes when, once you’re there, and your beliefs change, what then? Should a 23-year old forfeit his money and years of work simply because he grows into a different understanding of life? Most reasonable people would say “no.”

        Places have to have rules but at bju the unspoken rule is “never stand up to ‘authority'”. That’s the rule Chris broke and in reality it’s why his days were numbered. A young man shouldn’t be punished for exercising his conscience, eapwcilly at a place that allegedly encourages people to believers with conscience.

        But if you believe as I do, that bju is an irredeemable den of hypocrisy and should simply shut down, it doesn’t make much of a difference. Students and faculty will always be beaten into submission there.

      • CH Says:

        I understand that their are place that you never challenge the authority. I also understand that when you do, ere are correct ways of doing it. I also can understand beliefs changing, so why not transfer? I know others who transferred out of BJU because they were not happy. They may have had to take a few extra courses but they did not lose their money.

      • Rich Merritt Says:

        Ultimately that’s what’s going to happen. Chris is a smart guy who will transfer to an accredited school and get his degree and probably go on to grad school. But prospective students should be aware that if they go to BJU and change ideas midstream, this can happen to them too. Transferring isn’t easy especially after sophomore year.

      • zories Says:

        Transferring is next to impossible! Most of my friends who did transfer, couldn’t get an even transfer & they lost a significant amount of credits.
        I tried to break up my degree & get a degree from a “secular” university, and they questioned every single credit & the professors’ credentials. BJU wasn’t helpful either…rude, actually!
        When you’ve been targeted, demerits constantly happen. You break rules just by breathing! My husband was targeted the minute he stepped foot on the campus. Every semester he was close to getting kicked out, and it was over little things like rivets on his pants’ pockets or playing his guitar. He was once accused by Berg & Miller that he was a part of a group that were attempting to “take the school down.” It was strange & funny! In the end, they got their way & screwed him out of his degree his senior year, last semester, also. They changed his degree when he sat out 1 semester, then when he returned for his last semester, they told him he had to start ALL OVER!! LOTS OF $$$$$ LATER, HE DOES HAVE HIS DEGREE, not from BJU!! 🙂
        I love that he stood up to the admin., while he was still attending. Most of us have waited until we were out of there to get our voice, and he was bold enough to try it while he was still attending!

    • tiquatoo Says:

      I suggest you do a search on Tina Anderson (she allowed the press to use her name in hopes of encouraging rape victims to come forward). WMUR in New Hampshire had a reporter in the courtroom during the trial of her rapist. The reporter Tweeted the trial, especially the comments Chuck Phelps made on the stand. They may also still have the recordings taken during the proceedings and broadcast each night.

      The worst part about Tina’s situation was, after he helped her mother ship Tina off (her mother was married to a convicted, jailed pedophile), Phelps allowed Tina’s rapist to continue in the church. The man was allowed to ask forgiveness for adultery, but there was never any connection made between Tina’s pregnancy and just who got her that way. So, the rapist remained a member in good standing at Phelp’s church for many years while Tina had to give her baby up for adoption and write a letter of apology to her rapist’s wife!

  11. tiquatoo Says:

    And, for the record, I wouldn’t send my children to Bob Jones University if they offered a free ride for four years and paid me cash money. I wouldn’t jeapordize my children’s educational future that way.

  12. CH Says:

    I definitely do not agree with what happened to the girl. She had nothing to apologize for to her church or to the wife of the man who did it. I also do not believe that he should have been allowed to be a remain a member under the circumstance described. It sounds like a mess for that poor girl and he mother is another story. Although I have deep sympathy for the girl, she is not the point of this conversation. I believe the point of this conversation is the rules of BJU and the student being expelled in part for his opposition to a board member. As I said, if Mr Phelps still believes that how he handled the situation was correct, then he should not be and never should have been on the board of that college or any other.

    The other point is that not all “Christians” are hypocrites and Pharisees.

    I am very familiar with BJU but I would not and have not encouraged any of my children to go to there. My child attended and another one will be attending a Bible college that has more realistic standards and rules. One that prepares them for real life and provides them with a top-notch education.

  13. Michael Says:

    Take a stand Chris, but also take a look around you. There are mountains to climb, and hills you can die on. You’re in a place where taking a stand will not be tolerated. So while there, drink the kool-aid, get your tassel turned, and move on. I graduate from BJU in 1994. My sophomore year I, too, was a marked man. Demerits for silly things while others got away with it. “Surprise” hair checks on my hall every 2 weeks. Searches of my room while I was in chapel. Demerits for “intentionally wearing a tie and shirt that don’t match.” I racked up 137 demerits, and had to come to a decision point. I had invested time and money into something that could be lost at the snap of a finger (either expulsion or transfer, didn’t matter). I had to either decide to throw it away and start over, or suck it up and deal with it. It was a long semester, and I felt awkward having lunch with my hall leader twice a week, and other things that “brought favor,” but it’s what you do. So congratulations on your courage to take a stand regarding the Phelps issue, but I feel no pity for someone who knows they are smack-dab in the middle of the cross hairs, and still decides to watch Glee openly in the Bob Jones Starbucks 10 days from graduation. What kind of mindset is that? You couldn’t wait 10 days to watch Glee? Immature, short sighted, foolish decision. But if making your point, despite 4 years of tuition and hard work, is worth getting expelled, then I’m happy if you’re happy.

    • Rich Merritt Says:

      You wore a tie and shirt that didn’t match?!?! How very dare you!

  14. Gregg Jocoy Says:

    This is the topic of tomorrow’s episode of The Daisy Deadhead Show, a radio program broadcast on WFIS, 1600 am, out of Fountain Inn, SC. FI is in Greenville County, home of Bob Jones University.

  15. Mamacassket Says:

    Fwiw I grew up 45 minutes from Bju. We had student teachers in high school from there and a friend of mine went there. My sister lives within 2 miles of the campus. My friend who went there on a full scholarship (main reason she went there) said one time an older male student told her she needed to buy a more supportive bra because her large chest caused him to stumble. Thank God she had some humor about it and while shaking her chest at him said something like, “yeah I’ll get over to the lingerie store ASAP.” Do I think BJu needs to not exist anymore? No bc people choose to go there. However I have heard many say the strict rules aren’t known until you are a student. It seems they function out of fear and not love. I think an atmosphere of equipping for the real world is much more helpful. You can do that in a much less strict manner and still be reverent and true to the book you base your life on.

  16. Young Man Expelled For Watching “Glee” Answers Critics « Rich Merritt Says:

    […] Student Expelled From College Days Before Graduation For Watching “Glee” […]

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