Bob Jones University Expelled Me 9 Days Before Graduation For Watching Glee

Last week we wrote about former Bob Jones University student Christopher Peterman and how he got expelled for watching Glee. Here’s his version of what led to his expulsion. 

Graduation is coming … at least it was for me, until I was expelled from Bob Jones University on April 24, 2012, nine days before my graduation. This is my story.

 I grew up in Bradenton, Florida where I attended Community Baptist Church and Community Christian School my entire life. Community Baptist Church is an independent, fundamental, Baptist church within the Bob Jones University network. So from a very young age I knew that I was going to attend BJU in Greenville, South Carolina.  That was what was expected of me and that was my dream.

I graduated from high school in 2006 and was immediately accepted to BJU. I attended BJU from 2006 to 2009 and then, I stayed out of school working full time from 2009 through the first semester of 2010 to save enough money to return to school.

During the time I sat out of school I began to interact with people outside of the independent fundamental Baptist church. I realized that there were good Christian people outside of the IFB and I realized that being a Christian wasn’t about following the law; it was about loving others and loving God.

I returned the second semester of 2010 to Bob Jones University with a radically changed view of Christ and the power of grace and love in a Christian’s life. I now realized that because God loves, I am suppose to love everyone. This was a radical shift from my fundamentalist upbringing and from the views of Bob Jones University. But I still returned to BJU expecting to finish my degree in a year and a half and to then be done with BJU.

Little did I know my plans would soon be changed forever.

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    • Alexandra

      His first mistake was going to Bob Jones University in the first place. I have absolutely no simpathy for this guy.

    • been there done that

      I have been reading the Hidalgo Grain Company ever since Grace posted it for the first time on here and man did this guy post a good one today! COMPLETE with Peterman Tweets and Facebook posts that shed some LIGHT on the subject. HEY CHRIS: be sure your TWEETS, and POSTS will find you out. DUDE, you should have erased these suckers, now you shall rue the day! wow just wow!
      http://thehidalgograincompany.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/the-oracle-of-truth/

      • Zadig

        He was a Political Science major? At BJU? That’s a hoot, but it does explain the Sarah Palinesque hunger for media attention.

    • Judith Vanaman McCall

      I don’t disagree w/BJUs right to make & hold to any rules they wish nor that any 1 enrolled or on staff is fully aware of & has pledged to abide by them. As Bob Jones, Sr. told my dad, “This is my college, & I can run it any way I want. If you don’t like it , go start your own.” So, agreed; choice to attend is choice to adhere.
      My pain is caused by BJUs prerogative to cover or ignore blatant biblical trespass of 10 commandments magnitude by strong or large “supporters” & exact, by comparison, levitical retribution on their captive audience.
      Additionally, at this, my 40th anniversary of graduating BJU, I’m thankful, beyond description, for the complete realm of experiences & wisdom gained there. BJU is, as they openly claim, “The World’s Most Unusual University!” It is, however, NOT the way to operate the local church. Scripture is clear on the latter; it’s a flock to be cared for & guided by a loving shepherd, not herded like a cattle drive. John 10. Many fundamental, independent pastors should have rather become travel agents! Their churches have thrived on guilt trips! Many have usurped the Holy Spirits’ position. Many have become presumptuous, pretentious autocrats.
      The 2nd generations of these alumni perpetuated this all or nothing, my way or the highway approach thro’ majoring on the minor & visa versa.
      Sadly, as my dad said & I continually debated, the 3rd & 4th generations are bailing by the droves. His hypothesis for it was lack of zeal & love for “the cause,” but I’m alive to see that it’s truly their search for the true, loving, forgiving spirit of Jesus in a fellowship of unworthy sinners accepting grace & mercy from Jesus the Christ.

      • Kevin.

        Excellently put Judy.I honestly think this is a smear campaign that is just fuel to the fire to make Christians look like wack-jobs.I mean look at all the comments about how crazy we Christians are.No matter if Chris is right or wrong on this issue….Is this helping form the opinions of the world that we Christians truly love people and want them to come to know Christ as their Savior?

    • henry

      Wait… I’m confused… is this all a big joke?

      This situation and these students’ comments cannot be serious?

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    • Gagging

      Wait…are these comments all serious? Religious people are literally insane. All of the people commenting that they have no sympathy because he knew what he was getting into clearly missed the entire part about growing up in a super religious environment and knowing nothing else UNTIL he took time off in the real world. Who wouldn’t begin to find fault in such a ridiculous place after experiencing life outside of religious fanaticism? Seriously man, you need to take the board at BJU to court and get that school shut down. Take all of your credits to a real school (if you can) and graduate from somewhere reputable and respectable. It is, of course, in a Bible belt flyover state…so there’s that mistake. Move to NY or CA where many more (although not all) people have fully functioning brains — not clouded by religion and ignorance. JESUS CHRIST THIS IS SO STUPID. Yeah, I said it. I’m done reading this nonsense now. Chris – way to go for standing up for yourself (and others) and becoming more aware of reality.

      • http://www.facebook.com/chrispeterman Christopher Peterman

        Gagging — thanks for the reply. I am currently suing the school via the Department of Education. I hope to stop what happened to me from happening to anyone else.

    • fair-n-square

      Dear Chris, whether there are inconsistencies in your story or not, I am a well-educated, 44 year old, sincere Christian female, and I applaud your actions.

      Since I was a child, I heard rumors about “Bob Jones” (as we called your school, for short) even a thousand+ miles northwest of you. We always felt sorry for the students attending there, as we knew that it was hyper-legalistic and not grace-oriented, and therefore, we felt missing the mark on Jesus Christ’s gospel and driving people away from faith.

      Have many true believers attended there? No doubt. But, much like during the Reformation, oftentimes there needs to be some upstart young priest like Martin Luther who tries to pull the focus back to where it ought to lie, and not on side issues, like shaving (for crying out loud, really!!! By all counts JC himself would have far surpassed 150 demerits!) It might take a while, but hopefully, BJU will not modernize, per se, but will realize their overreaching standards are NOT Christian.

      To the students who berate Chris for his behavior: Yes, perhaps he was baiting them after he felt targeted from the very beginning on purer issues like abuse and misuse of power on the board, and later digressed to sillier stuff like watching Glee. Yes, he signed on some type of lifestyle statement that he promised to follow. I also signed a lifestyle statement at my Christian college in 1986. However, I agreed with everything on it. There was nothing crazy like prohibiting facial hair. We were never given demerits either (how outdated and irrelevant sounding!) But if Chris were to just stand by, then how would a positive change, that likely many students would agree with, ever happen? I’m not saying lose your values. I’m saying PULL THE FOCUS BACK WHERE IT SHOULD BE–CHRIST. More people will be drawn TO the truth instead of AWAY from overbearing religious nonsense. Look at all the agnostics and atheists commenting that all religious people are nuts. Odds are, they’ve encountered legalistic Christians and not loving, graceful Christians. The problem is actually that the students aren’t rallying together but are staying quiet and not creating waves.

      Lastly, Chris, I hope you will not give up. Not on your faith, not on your education, and not on engineering positive change. Just be sure that your efforts stay as pure as possible so that your critics have nothing real to latch on to. You’re young, still, and I think you can go far! And remember, Martin Luther’s church threw him out, too, and refused to make the changes he appealed them for…so he set up an alternate place for people to hear the unadulterated truth!

      • been there done that

        ms. “fair and square”,
        you are going on rumors about the college, and rumors, or Chris’ side of the story. That is hardly ‘fair and square’. I went to the school. Yeah some of the rules nutso, but not so much that you can’t make it through and get a great education. And the administration and teachers are straight up with answering questions when asked in a ‘respectful’ manner. A LOT of great changes have taken place over the past years making it a a great place to be.
        As far as Chis goes again you are going on one side of his story… this dude was up in the admins face, stickin’ his attitude to them and anyone who would listen. He didn’t try to hide his disrespect or his attitude. Don’t fall into the trap of throwing the baby out with the bath water! I will say it again there are two flippin sides to every side story. Take a gander at this VERY revealing and goes against every reason he claims he was shipped! this is one in a series of blogs a few more are linked on here by someone named grace. Don’t be duped. Study your facts so you CAN be “Fair-n-Square”. Always two sides! http://thehidalgograincompany.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/the-oracle-of-truth/

      • http://www.facebook.com/chrispeterman Christopher Peterman

        Always two sides — and Greg Easton (writer of the blog above) was not privy to either side. He twists and manipulates things I say — and he uses Photoshop very well. One thing I do have … lots and lots of audio recordings of the meetings and a Department of Education investigation to boot.

      • Zadig

        Martin Luther? Now there’s a role model. At least Hitler thought so. Ever read his book, The Jews and their Lies where he claims they should be hung from the highest gallows? Nah they probably didn’t teach that part of Protestant history at your Christian college just like BJU avoids teaching their students about John Calvin’s murder of theologian Michael Servetus. When it comes to Christianity, it’s all about stacking the cards in favor of your version of it.

    • Inshock!

      WOW!…This is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen!!!…I went to BJ, I disagree with MUCH of what they say…however…when I was there…i sucked it up and did WHAT I KNEW WAS EXPECTED! “specifically written” or not…How dumb can you be Chris?….Not to mention…what true Christian is going to watch such Godlessness and enjoy it? Glee is very anti-God…in its morals, music, ideas…I’m all about loving God and Loving others but…Christianity as a whole has changed “Love” to acceptance of evil…a sad and very dangerous place to be. Accept and/or Love the sinner…NOT the sin!
      It completely boggles my mind why someone would be foolish enough to post on any social network or media that they feel wronged for being kicked out of somewhere where they had signed a contract to abide by certain guideline then they spend there time walking the fine line and end up falling off on the wrong side!…Its like walking a tight-rope with no balancing stick and expecting to come out just fine…

      • http://www.facebook.com/chrispeterman Christopher Peterman

        Inshock: If you went to BJU then you would know that watching GLEE was not against the rules since I watched it off campus. You would also know that BJU does everything it can to quite dissenters — they harassed and stalked me and eventually made up enough stuff to expel me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kdee23 Kristi Dwelis

      I can’t believe a college like this really exists…. If living like this and having educators and academic leaders treat you like a child is God’s way then count me out. I’ll keep my ‘sinning’ ass in community college! Jeesh…. Glad my parents raised me to think for myself and not mindlessly follow rapists and racists.

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    • Jon

      I’m proud of you for what you did. You stood up for righteousness and were punished. I graduated from BJU in 1980 and it did me almost no good. Most jobs I’ve had (and I’m nearing retirement) required that college credits be from an accredited university or college, so you know how that goes. Thankfully I had a graduate degree from an accredited school, so was able to break into my career field based solely upon the graduate credits. One of my great regrets in life has been attending (and graduating from) BJU. I met some great people there, a few of whom are still my friends. Other than that, it was years of spiritual abuse. Get a degree from an accredited school and try to forget BJU. They’re part of the lunatic fringe. If you’d have graduated, decades later, you’d be like me–trying to figure out how to keep that degree off your resume and still be honest.