Thursday, December 12, 2002

Lott and Bob Jones University

Lott can't say that his comment at Thurmond's birthday party was an isolated occurrence. In 1982 he tried to save Bob Jones University from losing its tax exemption because of its policy of racial discrimination. Lott both filed a friend of the court brief and then when the Supreme Court ruled (U.S. Supreme Court BOB JONES UNIVERSITY v. UNITED STATES, 461 U.S. 574 (1983)) against Bob Jones, cosponsored a bill to preserve the tax exemption.

In 2000, after the furor about George W. Bush speaking at Bob Jones University, Bob Jones II said: "In our court case 20 years ago we fought for religious freedom, not for our policy banning interracial dating, but for our right to hold that policy. God has again brought us to national attention." (Chapel Talks, Monday March 6, 2000). The place hasn't changed much: the rules for guests in the dormitories include that women must wear dresses or skirts (no pants except for recreation) that are knee length or below and "hose". Openly-gay alumni were banned from visiting campus in 1998. Bob Jones Univ. started admitting African-American students in the 1970s but was in 2000 still defending its prohibition of interracial dating. The ban was dropped in March of that year but the university has not chosen to try to get back its tax exempt status back. More sources

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