Tags: Bob Jones III | gays | 1980 comments | apology

Bob Jones III Sorry He Called For Stoning of Gay People

Bob Jones III Sorry He Called For Stoning of Gay People
President of Bob Jones University, Bob Jones III. (Chris Kleponis/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 23 March 2015 01:21 PM

Bob Jones III has apologized for an inflammatory remark he made in 1980 against gay people.

The former president of Bob Jones University, a leader in the Southern evangelical movement, said more than three decades ago in an interview with the Associated Press that people who are gay should be stoned.

In a statement on the university's website, Jones, 75, called his comments "reckless" and in poor contrast to his faith's Christian mission.

His comments were made after a petition was circulated garnering more than 2,000 signatures from the school's BJ Unity, a group of lesbian, gay and transgender alumni who urged him to apologize.

They wrote: "Thousands of young people have attended the Bob Jones family of schools in Greenville, SC under the leadership of a man who wishes some of them dead. For their sake and the sake of students yet to attend, many of whom will have difficulty accepting their sexual orientation because of Dr. Jones and his attitudes, it is time Bob Jones University and its leadership, including Dr. Jones, are made aware of the harm they have caused. Apologizing for this statement is one small step in the right direction."

Jones received the message and responded to say he was sorry.

"I take personal ownership of this inflammatory rhetoric. This reckless statement was made in the heat of a political controversy 35 years ago," he said in his statement. "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."

Jones expressed contrition for his poor judgment, which came after in 1980 he had urged leaders in Washington not to support civil rights for homosexuals.

"I cannot erase them, but wish I could, because they do not represent the belief of my heart or the content of my preaching. Neither before, nor since, that event in 1980 have I ever advocated the stoning of sinners," Jones said.

He added that his comments stood in stark contrast to the Biblical message of salvation.

"The Bible I love, preach, and try to practice, does not present today the stoning of sinners as God's way. Its message is the good news that Christ Jesus was condemned on behalf of sinners to rescue all of us from condemnation and judgment by His willing sacrifice, for He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."

Jones added: "I apologize for the reflection those remarks bring upon Jesus Christ, Whom I love; Bob Jones University, which I have loved and served; and my own personal testimony.”

The Greenville, S.C. university's history on civil rights is unsavory. Founded in 1927, it had refused to admit black students until 1971 and had banned interracial dating until 2000, Talking Points Memo reports, noting the private school's importance to Republican political candidates who frequently visited to stump to that wing of the GOP.

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Bob Jones III has apologized for an inflammatory remark he made in 1980 against gay people.
Bob Jones III, gays, 1980 comments, apology
Monday, 23 March 2015 01:21 PM
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