Tags: bob jones iii | apologized | stoning | gay

Bob Jones III Apologizes for Advocating Stoning of Gay People in 1980

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 07:16 AM

Bob Jones III, evangelical preacher and chancellor of Bob Jones University, apologized on Saturday for saying gay people should be stoned to death during a visit to Jimmy Carter's White House in 1980.

"I take personal ownership of this inflammatory rhetoric," he said in a letter after receiving a petition from a student group asking him to apologize.

"This reckless statement was made in the heat of a political controversy 35 years ago. It is antithetical to my theology and my 50 years of preaching a redeeming Christ Who came into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved . . . Neither before, nor since, that event in 1980 have I ever advocated the stoning of sinners."

Jones' 35-year-old comments came at a time when President Carter was considering extending the Civil Rights Act to homosexuals. Jones was among a chorus of preachers and ministers who urged Carter to stay his pen.

The student-led LGBT group that formed and gathered signatures for the petition, BJUnity, released a statement of thanks to Jones the same day.

"Three years ago, when BJUnity launched our petition, we didn’t imagine we would ever see this day," wrote the group's board of directors.

"We are grateful for this apology. We are grateful that Bob Jones III has taken responsibility for these words; words that have caused deep harm for many more people than any of us knows. This means a lot to us because it represents the beginning of a change in the rhetoric and conversation."

Jones' original comments were made during a news conference.

"I'm sure this will be greatly misquoted," Jones said at the time. "But it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel's day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem posthaste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands."

According to the Los Angeles Times, Bob Jones University has a history of controversy.

It once prohibited interracial dating, and lost its tax-exempt status as a religious university during a famous Supreme Court battle in 1983.

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Bob Jones III, evangelical preacher and chancellor of Bob Jones University, apologized on Saturday for saying gay people should be stoned to death during a visit to Jimmy Carter's White House in 1980.
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2015-16-24
Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 07:16 AM
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