Tuesday, December 6, 2011

From My Heart: The Responses of Bob Jones University and Chuck Phelps to Tina Anderson

This video is an interview of Brian Scoles, a spokesperson of Bob Jones University, and a local Greenville, SC psychologist regarding Chuck Phelps' resignation from the board at BJU.

I've been discouraged and disappointed with every public response I've seen from BJU and local press. First there was a not-so-subtle reference by Dr. Bob Jones III from the chapel platform to the public expression of disappointment and disagreement with Chuck Phelps being placed on the board at Bob Jones University. Then there was the statement read by BJU Executive Vice President for Operations, Marshall Franklin from the chapel platform on November 21, 2011--a statement posted and then removed from the BJU newsfeed (as of 9:52 p.m. 12/06/2011). For the purpose of clarity, a pdf screenshot of the original statement is included below.

BJU Statement Re Chuck Phelps on Board

Does it even matter to BJU or Chuck Phelps that the jury delivered a verdict? Ernie Willis was found to be GUILTY of forcible rape--felonious sexual assault. Yet Chuck Phelps still has documents on his website calling Tina Anderson a liar -- a website that Bob Jones University PROMOTED and ENDORSED both on its website in the written statement and from the chapel platform when Marshall Franklin spoke on Nov. 21.

A jury of his peers found Willis GUILTY of FORCIBLE RAPE and Chuck Phelps and by extension BJU are calling Tina a liar. And if the board of BJU has a problem with this they sure aren't saying anything. What is wrong with them??? How much does Tina have to continue to suffer at the hands of these people? Chuck Phelps gets a pass for calling her a liar STILL. BJU gets a pass for agreeing with him. Where is Tina left in all of this? She is STILL being shamed and shunned by the people that should care for her more than anyone else -- they claim to be Christ followers! This is not representative of the Jesus that suffered and gave up everything to suffer and die for our sins. NOT grace. NOT love. NOT compassion. NOT Jesus. I am so broken and hurt by the way my alma mater and former pastor and boss is treating this whole thing.

Why should one single rape victim ever ask for help from anyone in the Bob Jones University circle of pastors, grads or churches? Why? Why should any rape or molestation victim ever trust any of them? Bob Jones University appears to care more about STEVE GREEN and his music (preached against in chapel March 1992) than it cares about a young girl who was abused over and over and over again.

Chris Leaf, Tina Anderson's biological mother, allowed her husband Daniel Leaf, (the convicted child abusing, sex offender stepfather) to abuse Tina and her brother, Tom. It's a matter of court record that while those children were under the shepherding care of Chuck Phelps the stepfather was imprisoned for a second time for physical assault of Tom. Court records indicate the vicious bruising results of the beating Tom took from a BELT WITH METAL RIVETS IN IT at the hands of Daniel Leaf (who still to this day is married and living with Chris Leaf). Tina and Tom both still have scars from the buckle end of a belt at the hands of Daniel Leaf on their backs and legs. As an aside, the first prison sentence Daniel Leaf served for assault of the children was in Arizona. While he was in prison Chris Leaf moved to NH to be closer to her family. When Daniel was released from prison Chris allowed him to come back into her home.

Why does Chris Leaf and her indefensible choices as a mother even matter in a discussion of the responses of Bob Jones University and Chuck Phelps to Tina Anderson? Well, it is Chris Leaf to whom Chuck Phelps refers to defend his choices in response to Tina Anderson's rape in 1997.

In conclusion what we have here is two sides:

1. A poor excuse for a mother that exposes her two biological children over and over again to a convicted child beater and molester, the giant of fundamentalist Christian universities--Bob Jones University, and one of their graduates--Chuck Phelps saying Tina lied. Oh... and Ernie Willis who claimed on the witness stand under oath that he asked a 15 year old girl if she would like to engage in sexual intercourse with him and she said yes (yes--that is what he said). Chris Leaf and Chuck Phelps are saying Tina lied -- the jury got it all wrong when they found Ernie Willis guilty of forcible rape. And Bob Jones University, via statements by Bob Jones III and Marshall Franklin, supports Chris and Chuck.

2. A woman that never had anyone speak up for and protect her as a child--molested, physically assaulted and raped. Validated by a week long court case that SHE DID NOT CONSENT to Ernie Willis' criminal act. That SHE SAID NO. That she was RAPED FORCIBLY. A woman that did NOT seek any of this--the police CAME TO HER and asked her to cooperate in the prosecution of Ernie Willis.

I just want to make it clear to current students and graduates of Bob Jones University. You may not like those clear facts. They aren't trifling minutia such as has become the focus in other debates (like: did Chuck Phelps call the police -- YES, was Ernie Willis a deacon -- NO). This isn't about little errors others have gotten wrong. Before you feel sorry for Chuck Phelps, remember he still is calling a rape victim a liar. Not an alleged rape victim. Willis is CONVICTED of forcible and statutory rape. And Bob Jones University is standing behind Chuck Phelps as he calls Tina a liar.

Are YOU standing behind Chuck Phelps too? Grads and current students, you have a choice to make. You have incontrovertible facts. Chuck Phelps AT THE VERY LEAST should remove the statements accusing Tina of lying from his website. AT THE VERY LEAST he owes her an apology for keeping them up over six months past the conviction of Ernie Willis. The court found that Tina did not lie--that Willis forcibly raped her. She did not consent--was not in a long term dating relationship. She was raped.

Bob Jones University AT THE VERY LEAST owes a public statement of apology for agreeing with Phelps that Tina lied. Marshall Franklin read that statement without even calling Tina like he did Chuck Phelps! Marshall Franklin violated the very biblical principles he was advocating in the statement he read.

I'm not saying that current students and alumni need to rage and rampage. But if you have the information, you are responsible for it. It's that simple. Two sides:  those proclaiming to be Christian ministers calling a rape victim a liar -- and the woman that endured in her faith because of the grace of God that was vindicated by a court of law. Choose one.


  1. You articulated this very well. I know you love Tina and that your heart is broken over the pain she endures. She couldn't ask for a more loyal friend.
    Even a small amount of humility from those who could have and should have protected Tina and sought justice so many years ago would be appreciated.

  2. Laurie,
    I can no longer find the reference on Pastor Phelps website saying Tina was lying or in a consensual, dating relationship with Willis. Do you think they changed it? Or maybe I'm just missing it. Thanks.


  3. Wendy,
    Thanks for the question. I need to go back to the original files I have saved to see what was removed. It's been a while since I compared the original documents with the current ones.


  4. Wendy,
    Your question is answered in a new blog post: http://isupporttinaanderson.blogspot.com/2011/12/chuck-phelps-removed-some-information.html

  5. I'm sorry for her /your pain. I'm sorry that BJU and Christians in leadership positions have inflicted such pain on someone who had already suffered more than her share. I grew up in an IFB church/school/home. If it weren't for the fact that my family is a strong solid loving family - I might not have survived. God bless y'all.

  6. As a mother, I cannot imagine taking an abusive man back into my home after he beat my children. Can. Not. Imagine. How can she defend that? How can she justify a male pastor doing to Tina what he did?

    She is seriously psycho.