Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Reginald Shareef - Not Solomon's wisdom

Reginald Shareef - Not Solomon's wisdom

Dr. Shareef,

I enjoyed your article "Not Solomon's Wisdom." I found myself saying "amen" through much of the piece. However, I did want to point something out to you that you probably did not know.

Bob Jones University did lose its case in federal courts back in the 1980s. We lost our tax exempt status as well as any federal funding to our students. Even though we have since removed the policy in question, we still have not sought tax exempt status nor have we accepted any federal funding.

We see on the horizon a new battle that will face many tax exempt churches and organizations. While you correctly maintain in your piece that "sexual orientation" is not a right, that does not mean that the government will not soon cave to pressure to make it so. At such a time any institution that would speak out against it will be subject to the same treatment BJU received in the 1980s.

The price of freedom to practice our beliefs is the refusal of tax exempt status and federal funding. It has been said that the power to tax is the power to destroy. Well, the "giving" of tax exempt status and federal funding has become the power to control. Only those with the fortitude to let go of these enticements - or sacrifice their convictions - will survive.

The hypocrisy of the judicial system was made very plain in your piece. I thank you for it. Though I did wish to clarify the fact that we have made no changes here for the purpose of obtaining tax exempt status or federal funding. We could - because there are no policies here that would hinder us from doing so - but we have refused to this point because we see great danger in the current system.

Jonathan Pait
Public Relations
Bob Jones University

Getting the facts straight

Looking at why college students pick religiously affiliated schools


You write:

"Fundamentalist Bob Jones University and Catholic Magdalen College prohibit listening to music (even Christian music) - a puzzle considering that students are able to attend opera."

This is factually incorrect (and Naomi did not make this statement). Come to the campus of Bob Jones University and walk through most buildings or through the residence halls and you will find that music is very much a part of our campus. Our School of Fine Arts, which turns out musicians who go on to attend conservatories and graduate schools, is the largest school in our University.

You are correct that Naomi did not focus on the success or failure of the schools she visited. She took the myopic and sensational approach of "exposing" the "restrictive" standards of these institutions. However, had she looked at the success, of at least BJU (the only one I can speak for), she would have found that the disciplines of academics, philosophy and living serve BJU students well as they go into our culture "to speak thoughtfully about issues like feminism, homosexuality, religious and racial diversity."

A clear understanding of God and His Word does not lead to an insular graduate. Rather, it gives that graduate the wisdom, love and selflessness to influence the current culture.

Jonathan Pait
Public Relations
Bob Jones University

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Stephen Jones' First National Interview

MSNBC - Passing the Torch at Bob Jones U.

I think our not-quite-yet president did a great job in this interview. I have known him for sometime and know that dealing with the media is not something he gets excited about. However, I have also known him long enough to know that he will do a great job of it when he needs to do so.

I love Dr. Bob and would like to see him remain president of the institution indefinitely. However, I keep having people tell me, "The school's best years may be just ahead." That isn't a knock on Dr. Jones - it is only in a position to move forward because of how the Lord has lead him - but it is a realization that the younger Jones will bring a different personality to the school that will open up new avenues for success.

But for you people who hold out hope that it could lead to a BJU what will compromise on issues of purity of doctrine and're in for a disappointment.

My Meeting with Marty

Here is an update for you BJU folks out there. I wanted to let you know how my visit with the UCLA doctoral student went. We'll know for sure when we get a chance to read his dissertation! Until then, I'll think the best.

Marty was a regular guy. I guess I am getting old. Here is this fellow who has spent the last eight years working on his doctorate in Political Science and he looked as old as me - at best. Actually, he still had his hair!

He arrived around 11:30 AM on Thursday. The funny thing is that I had my calendar confused and was looking for him on Wednesday. It made for a very hectic Wednesday, as I also had to deal with a Japanese reporter who was coming on the campus. What a relief it was to realize that I didn’t have to deal with two groups at the same time!

Back to Marty... The first thing we did was to go to the faculty dining area for lunch. I had a sudden panic when I realized that Marty might be Jewish - his last name is Cohen. I checked out the first plate I saw as we walked in. I was hoping it wouldn't be pork barbeque or something like that! Ah, chicken broccoli bake! No pork and one of my favorite dishes.

We talked about what Marty hoped to learn while in Greenville. I took comfort in the fact that he stayed on topic. I felt more and more sure this wasn't one of those Al Franken situations. I really enjoyed the conversation. We talked much more about politics in South Carolina than we did about BJU.

After lunch I took him on a tour of the campus. We continued our talk about local politics. It would appear that he wanted to focus on a few congressional districts across the country and how they shifted from one party to another. He was particularly interested in the last Democratic elected in the 4th District - Liz Patterson and the final victor for the Republicans with Bob Inglis.

He had already spoken with Ted Adams (former Republican and now Constitution Party member) and former Mayor Bill Workman. Once he left BJU, he was headed over to talk to current Mayor Knox White. Then he planned to leave for Columbia today (I hope the ice didn't trap him).

After our tour we went to talk with Dr. Bob Taylor who is a current member of the Greenville County Council and also a Dean at BJU. Here is a guy who has been deeply involved in Greenville County politics since the early '70s. I knew he would be an ideal person for Marty to speak with. I wasn't wrong. They sat there and talked about the campaigns of the '80s and '90s like old friends.

Once that interview was over, I walked Marty over to the bookstore on campus and said goodbye.

I don't know if Marty learned much, but I sure did. I am reminded of how things are beginning to change now in Greenville politics. It is obvious that the GOP that sprang up out of the grassroots activism of the mid-seventies is splintering. In some ways, it is a microcosm of what is happening across the entire country.

I wonder what Marty thinks about it?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

UCLA Comes to the Upstate

What a busy last several days for me! With Bob Jones III announcing his retirement and the transition to the new president here at BJU, it has been pretty busy. Of course, being busy is fun, but it doesn't give me much opportunity to pop something up on

There is a little break this morning, so I thought I would mention something I will be doing today. A graduate student from UCLA will be in the Upstate today. We'll be having lunch together and I'll be taking him around the campus here and show him around Greenville.

We'll be talking about a thesis for his doctoral work. He wants to do a study of areas of the country that have made shifts in political control - specifically from Democrat to Republican. He is curious about how this came about.

I guess he contacted BJU because we have been in the news lately. However, he does not plan to limit his conversations to people here.

I will admit that I am a little wary of this process. Somethings I have found on the Web make me wonder if he is approaching this with less than an open mind. I expressed this concern to him...we will see...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Google Search: "Bob Jones University"

Google Search: "Bob Jones University"

Okay, I give up. There are just starting to be too many of them. You can see it all here.

Latest from The Greenville News - Bob Jones III to retire as president of Bob Jones University

AP Wire | The Kansas City Star | Bob Jones U. President to Retire

AP Wire | The Kansas City Star | Bob Jones U. President to Retire

AP Wire | Lexington Herald-Leader | Bob Jones U. President to Retire

AP Wire | Lexington Herald-Leader | Bob Jones U. President to Retire

AP Wire | State College | Bob Jones U. President to Retire

AP Wire | State College | Bob Jones U. President to Retire

GreenvilleOnline - AP Nation / World: School president to hand over reins to son

GreenvilleOnline - AP Nation / World: School president to hand over reins to son

AP Wire | The State | School president to hand over reins to son

AP Wire | The State | School president to hand over reins to son Columbia, SC: Pres. of Bob Jones Univ. to retire in May Columbia, SC: Pres. of Bob Jones Univ. to retire in May

I figure I'll go ahead an keep a log of the mentions I find on this.

Bob Jones University Announces Three Key Administrative Changes

This is something for my fellow BoJos:

GREENVILLE, SC….January 20, 2005 . . . Dr. Bob Jones III will retire as president of Bob Jones University at the annual commencement exercises May 7, 2005, Bob Jones University announced today. The Board of Trustees has elected Rev. Stephen Jones, Vice President for Administration and Chief Administrative Oversight Officer, to succeed his father as president.

Dr. Jones has been elected Chancellor of the University and will continue as Chairman of the Board.

During Dr. Jones’ 34-year tenure as president, the University saw its largest advances in academic programs and expansion of campus facilities and extended its outreach around the globe, today drawing students from all 50 states and 46 countries.

Stephen Jones will be the fourth president in the 78-year history of the University. He earned a B.A. in Public Speaking from BJU in 1992, a Master of Divinity in 1996, and in May will earn a Ph.D. in Liberal Arts Studies with concentrations in business, education, and organizational communication. Mr. Jones was a member of the University faculty for five years, teaching Speech Communication and Pulpit Speech, and also served as Dormitory Supervisor and Assistant to the President. He assumed his current executive position of Vice President for Administration in 2001. “The opportunity to step into the role occupied by my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather is overwhelming,” said Jones. “The faculty and staff that the Lord has assembled here are unmatched in their abilities, dedication, and love for our students. I can’t imagine a greater joy than serving side by side with them in this new role and being involved in the lives of the world’s most wonderful student body. I am eager for the days that lie ahead for Bob Jones University and believe that the Lord has wonderful things in store for us as we remain faithful to His Word.”

Dr. Gary Weier, currently the University Registrar, will replace Stephen Jones as Vice President for Administration and Chief Administrative Oversight Officer. Before assuming his current position in 2002, Dr. Weier was a faculty member in the Division of Speech Communication at BJU and teaching assistant in Speech Communication at Purdue University. Dr. Weir holds a B.S. in Interpretative Speech and an M.A. in Speech Communications from Bob Jones University and a Ph.D. in Rhetorical Studies and Public Affairs/Issue Management from Purdue University.

In addition, the University announced the retirement of Dr. Bob Wood, Executive Vice President, also effective at the May Convocation. Dr. Wood has served as Chief Operations Officer of the University for the past 29 years. An ordained pastor and former executive of Brown Transport Corporation, Dr. Wood has applied the unique combination of business acumen and a pastor’s heart as he has ministered to the students and directed the phenomenal growth of University operations, including the Bob Jones University Press, over the past three decades.

Dr. Wood will continue on a part-time basis to handle special projects for the new president and will continue his preaching ministry.

Alan Carper will assume the position of Executive Vice President when Dr. Wood steps down in May. A 22-year faculty member in the University’s School of Business Administration, Mr. Carper is a former Branch Manager of the First Citizens Bank & Trust Company, Lincolnton, North Carolina, and former sales development Manager at Clark Equipment Company, Aurora, Illinois. He holds a B.S. degree in Business Management from Bob Jones University and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from McColl School of Business, Queens College, in Charlotte. He is currently completing two years as the Commanding Officer of the Navy’s largest Mobilization Processing Site in Norfolk, where he has managed the preparation of naval reservists being mobilized to Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and other military theaters.

Dr. Philip Smith, Chief Academic Officer, will also retire at the end of this academic year, following nearly 50 years at the University. Dr. Smith’s positions have included Dean of the College of Arts and Science, Registrar, Provost, and currently Chief Academic Officer. He has provided oversight in all areas of the University academic life, including the faculty, curriculum, and related departments as well as Bob Jones Elementary School, Junior High, and Academy, the BJU Press, and the Center for Educational Technology.

Dr. Smith will be replaced by Dr. David Fisher, principal of Bob Jones Academy and faculty member in the University Department of History. In addition, he has taught on BJ LINC, the University’s interactive classroom network, and has worked at the BJU Press as author and director of history curriculum development. Dr. Fisher holds a B.S. in Social Studies Education and an M.A. and Ph.D. in church. He, assisted by Dr. Dan Smith, the Director of Educational Services, will be the architect of the University’s future academic growth.

All three of these administrative changes have been in the planning stage for the past 18 months. They are being announced at this time to enable the new officers to be mentored in their positions the remainder of this academic year.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I know how they feel

Film captures suicides on Golden Gate Bridge / Angry officials say moviemaker misled them

I know exactly how they feel. This has happened to me a couple of times. The most recent one was a couple of Britts who really suckered me. They spent months planning on coming to the US to do a documentary on Christians who believe in pre-tribulational rapture (think Left Behind).

Being naturally skeptical about these sorts of things, I held them off for some time. Then they informed me they would be in the area anyway to interview Tim LaHaye while he was visiting in Spartanburg. I gave in.

They presented themselves as producing a serious series of documentaries on people of various relgious beliefs. They would do a segment on a Hindi family and others around the world. Of course, they were on a limited budget (as they all claim to be) and it would be great if we could put them up for the two days they would be here.

Well, once we commit we roll out the red carpet. We also opened our hearts to these guys and really took them in and gave them nearly all the access they requested. Even after they were gone I had folks here asking about them.

These guys were really nice and covered themselves quite well. The longer they were here the less suspicious I became. Bad move.

Elliott Gerner called up to one week before the TV series was aired. He was asking for permission to use some music. He assured me he would be in contact afterwards to send me a copy of the program. Well, as soon as the program aired, Elliott lost my email address and phone number.

My first sign that something was wrong was when I got an email from someone in the UK asking, "What's up with this?" Turns out this program was not a serious look at religion but a "mockumentary" by two guys wishing to make fun of something they did not understand - and did not really care to understand. You know you are in trouble when you read the title: Putting the Fun in Fundamental: Beam Me Up Jesus.

Oh, well, what is new? They will just go in the same file as my good buddy Al Franken.

Following in the Dark - County Council approves BJU zoning request

I have been following this story in the news. Obviously - because I work for BJU. However, much of what I am learning is right here in the paper. I don't know any behind the scenes type stuff because the developer handles the public information requests.

I am curious to know what the list of "arcane" zoning changes happened to be. I guess only a few people understood what they were talking about.

I also think it should be pointed out that BJU met with stiff resistance from some residents. There were many residents in favor of the development.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Sean Hannity Comes to the Upstate

News Radio WORD

Those of you who felt the Savage Nation was a little too savage will be glad to know that you can now hear Sean Hannity on the radio here in the Upstate. Tonight is the premiere of Hannity on WORD 1330 AM / 950 AM.

New feature at

The Ralph Bristol Show

This weekend I finished up a project for the Ralph Bristol Show at It allows Ralph to upload and manage audio clips directly from his home machine. Seems like a very obvious option to appear on the Web site of a radio show :-)

If you are a radio show host, I'd be glad to talk with you about the site. The entire site can be managed by the host or producer from any machine with an Internet connection. It also ties directly into The Common Voice to allow listeners to use TCV's discussion forums to chat about the topics in Ralph's show prep.


Friday, January 14, 2005

List of ways to give for tsunami victims

Aid and Comfort

I'm sure those people who freak out about people actually wanting to tell others about Jesus as they serve them in His name will not like this list! Thanks to World Magazine for sharing it with us.

I have a special connection with Compassion International as one of my cousins serves as a liaison for the group. You can get updates of the work they are doing in the affected region here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

God on the Quad

Q&A with Naomi Schaefer Riley on God on the Quad on National Review Online

Ah, my friend Naomi. A very nice young lady. Still, I think she missed some stuff. I would like to at some point put together my own review of the book - and of my experience with Mrs. Riley when she visited BJU.