Former “Moral Majority” Leader Bob Jones III of Bob Jones University Apologizes For Anti-Gay Comments Made 35 Years Ago

Bob

 

Former BJU president Bob Jones III and a leader of the Moral Majority issued a public apology Saturday for anti-gay comments he made in 1980 calling for homosexuals to be stoned.

“I take personal ownership for this inflammatory rhetoric,” Jones said in a statement. “This reckless statement was made in the heat of a political controversy 35 years ago.”

The long absent apology comes after BJUnity, a group which offers support for past and present lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender BJU students, mailed a 2000 sinature petition to Jones asking for his apology.

Jones was president of the university in March of 1980 when he and a group of fundamentalist ministers went to the White House with 70,000 signatures on a petition opposed to extending provisions of the Civil Rights Act to homosexuals.

“I’m sure this will be greatly misquoted,” Jones said. “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 post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands.”

Saturday, Jones called those comments “antithetical to my theology and my 50 years of preaching a redeeming Christ.”

“Upon now reading these long-forgotten words, they seem to me as words belonging to a total stranger — were my name not attached,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

According to an AP article , the 1980 petition urged then-President Jimmy Carter to oppose any presidential action that would legalize homosexuality within the federal government.

“We are here to tell the president that homosexuality must not become a protective way of life; an alternate life style,” Jones said in the AP story.

He added that Carter, “who claims to be a Bible-believing Christian,” is not fit to be president and that there is “no question that Ronald Reagan is the unanimous choice of Bible-believing people all over the country.”

Better late than never.  I suppose.

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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