BOB JONES AND DAVID BEASLEY | 2000-01-08
On December 5, 1998, I wrote an article entitled "Blasphemy." In it I discussed then-Governor David Beasley's convenient announcement that God had told him to abandon his support for the Confederate flag on the State House dome.
In 1996, Beasley was considered a hot candidate for a vice presidential bid on the national Republican ticket. Those pushing this goal said that he needed to drop his support of the flag if he wanted national party support.
But Beasley could not abandon flag supporters before November 1996, because he needed them to carry the state for Dole if he was going to get the vice presidential nod in 2000. But he had to do it quickly after November 1996, if South Carolina Republicans were to get over the shock in time to support him for reelection in 1998.
So he waited one month after the 1996 election.
In December 1996, Beasley said that God told him to abandon flag supporters. His message from the Lord came at exactly the right moment.
At the time, I thought that you couldn't get a more blatant example of blasphemy than that.
Then, in October, Bob Jones suddenly announced that, as a man of God, he must demand that the flag come down. He said it offends blacks and, of course, he quoted scripture.
Like Beasley, Jones used a lot of weasel wording to soften his perfectly timed sellout, but nobody has any doubt what is going on. The bottom line is in the timing.
If the flag is that offensive to blacks, Jones should have had this Revelation twenty years ago. If it offends blacks so much, he could have made that decision a year ago. But the Voice of God only comes to Bob Jones when the NAACP has started a boycott and business leaders and college boards of directors are lining up against us.
Bob Jones is very upset that he is being attacked for this sudden and convenient conversion. He says it is awful to attack him just because he has taken a position grassroots conservatives don't like.
Liberals keep insisting that if taxpayers don't pay for obscene art, that is censorship. They say that artists have a right to do whatever they want to do.
Artists have a right to do their own thing. They do not have a right to get taxpayer money to do it. Liberals keep acting like they don't understand this distinction.
Bob Jones is pulling a similar deaf act. He is not just "taking a position." He has done exactly what David Beasley did. He has taken a stand with our enemies at the worst possible moment. He has thrown his family name and all the faith we had in Bob Jones University into our enemies' campaign. He has jumped right out in front at the moment he needed to in order to gain the approval of the money people.
Again, as with Beasley, the big question is, why NOW?
I can see why Beasley picked that moment, and so could the people. That is why he is not governor any more.
So how did a minister of God suddenly decide that God has decided to give him the green light at this perfect moment for gaining the favor of the state's moneymen?
I expect a politician to pull a trick like that. The fact that Beasley blamed his perfect timing on God offended me deeply. But he is, after all, a politician.
But with Bob Jones, this is altogether different.