Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mohler on the Evil of Prohibiting Inter-Racial Marriage

Al Mohler delved into racial discrimination in his radio program last Monday in a discussion of how same-sex marriage advocates are trying to claim the same protections from discrimination as are guaranteed based on ethnicity. In other words, they say (and have for some time) that homosexuality is equivalent to race and deserves equal protection. In this context, Mohler had some strong words for the seriousness with which we ought to view racial discrimination:
We as a society rightly celebrate the fact that [racially discriminatory laws] are gone, and we rightly look back with horror and embarrassment that they ever had existed because we now understand as a society that discrimination on the basis of skin color is morally abhorrent. It is a scandal to God's purpose in creation . . . We understand that discrimination on the basis of race is not only wrong, it's evil, but not only evil, it's illegal.
He also alluded briefly to the Bob Jones University inter-racial dating policy that caused BJU to lose its tax exempt status in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling:
I believe it was a morally abhorrent position. I believe it was wrong because it created a scandal for the gospel on the wrong line of discrimination. It's a university that in so many ways has stood for the truth. But in this case, it was a policy that led to a scandal, and it was a scandal that became a national issue, and there was litigation, and Bob Jones University was stripped of its tax exempt status because of that policy.
This issue has been beaten to death in the fundamentalist blogosphere, so I'm not particularly interested in re-hashing the facts pertaining to BJU. What I'm wondering is if anyone would disagree with Mohler when he says that racial discriminatory policies in general and this policy in particular are evil and morally abhorrent. Some of the conversations on which I've eavesdropped seem to have nimbly skipped the central issue in an attempt to defend BJU's right to the policy and the fact that it no longer exists.

So how about it? Does anybody still think these kinds of policies weren't evil and abhorrent in fundamentalist culture, even if they should have been constitutionally protected?

This was a terrific show. Mohler had a great guest and did some concise analytical work on how same-sex marriage opens Pandora's box to all sorts of eventual perversions of marriage in his discussion of the Mary Cheney interview that I alluded to last week.


Nathan said...

Perhaps someone can confirm or deny this, but from what I understand the ban on interracial dating still does exist at my alma mater. You still can't do it unless you have signed permission from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

I've been out of the loop, and am hoping you or somebody can clear that up for me.

Don said...

nwc, I think you are out of the loop on that one. I don't think any restrictions exist any longer.

Ben, the only difficulty I have with Mohler's argument is that it is difficult to be consistent over time with what is or is not racial discrimination. While I never agreed with the University's policy, it was impartial, not discriminatory.

I wonder if Mohler touched on the current debate over immigration law. Most conservatives are for stricter border control of some sort, but some could level the accusation that this is all race based discrimination. I haven't read up on it all, but I bet some have made that argument. I think President Bush (or someone) made some comment to Canadians that there were no plans to build walls on the northern border.

I don't mean to be a relativist on this, I do think the BJU policy was hurtful, that it was the wrong hill to die on, etc. I am not sure it was discriminatory though. I think 'morally abhorrent' is too strong for it. I suspect Mohler has other reasons to dislike BJU but this is too easy a target. Suppose the history of BJU never included this rule but the rest of its positions remained the same? Do you think Mohler would be more conciliatory?

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Ben said...

Ok, then I will chalk you up in the "Yes, I still think they were not evil and abhorrent" column, Don.

I think the immigration issue is a red herring, but I'll bite. Mohler has discussed immigration at length in other programs and has grappled with those very issues, as I remember. Regardless, I don't think we see Canadians streaming across the border in remotely comparable numbers, and I don't think they are as likely to tap into our welfare system when they do get here. That makes the Mexican border a greater problem. Also, I suspect that you Canadians do a better job securing your own borders against terrorist infiltration than Mexico does.

As far as Mohler and BJU, if it hadn't been for the policy, he wouldn't have had any reason to say anything at all, so I don't see how conciliation would have entered the picture. Take away the scandal of the policy, and everything else he said about BJU was complimentary. Your implication that Mohler doesn't like BJU is nothing more than conjecture, unless you have some way to document your allegation.


Can't help you on that one. You're right that the parental approval policy was in effect, but that may have been dropped by now. I checked with a current student, but he didn't know.

Bob Hodges said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bob Hodges said...

Racial discrimination vs. prohibitions on homosexuals? Not even close. Genetics vs. Choice? Not even close.

BJU is a private and privately funded college and should have the right to set their own policies. Interracial dating bans are not neccesarily racist in nature but are wrong. As a BJU grad I'm glad the policy was changed but still support BJU or any other private college's right to set their own policy. I hear little screaming about sexual bias against all male or female colleges.