Bob Jones III: Sorry About That Time I Called For Gays To Be Stoned To Death
Former BJU president Bob Jones III 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." His statement came after the university earlier this week received a 2,000-signature petition asking Jones to apologize for the anti-gay comments he made to the Associated Press while at a White House press conference. BJUnity, which offers support for past and present lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender BJU students, mailed the petition Wednesday, Jeffrey Hoffman, the executive director, said. "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," BJUnity said in a response Saturday afternoon. "This means a lot to us because it represents the beginning of a change in the rhetoric and conversation."The 1980 quote: "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."
RELATED: The Bob Jones University code of conduct for students is famously one of the most strict in the nation. Students face expulsion for any sex outside of marriage and in 1998 the school's dean issued a letter in which he threatened to have gay alumni arrested for trespassing were they to visit the campus.