Kathryn Joyce

Recent Articles

Report: Bob Jones University Responded to Rape Claims with Woeful Ignorance of the Law, Often Blaming Victims

GRACE's investigation is a major new contribution to the current debate on campus rape.

(Photo/John Foxe)
With multiple publications still gleefully dissecting the failures of a recent Rolling Stone exposé on campus rape, granting rape skeptics an unusually warm national spotlight, a new report from an unlikely corner of American culture confirms just how real the problems with reporting sex abuse in American higher education can be. On Thursday, the Christian nonprofit ministry GRACE (an acronym for Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) released its long-awaited report on the mishandling of sex abuse allegations at Bob Jones University, the South Carolina school that for most of a century has served as the flagship institution of fundamentalist Christianity in the United States. The report is at once a grim autopsy detailing just how badly college administrators botched the handling of sexual abuse and rape claims, and also an example of surprising transparency from one of the most cloistered and conservative schools in the country. In the 301-page report, GRACE...

The Next Christian Sex-Abuse Scandal

As sex-abuse allegations multiply, Billy Graham’s grandson is on a mission to 
persuade Protestant churches to come clean.

I. The Calling In November 2012, Bob Jones University, the longtime flagship institution of fundamentalism, announced it had hired GRACE (short for Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), an independent group of evangelical lawyers, pastors, and psychologists, to investigate the university’s handling of sexual-abuse and -harassment reports. Bob Jones officials said they were taking the step after watching the pedophilia scandal unfold at Pennsylvania State University the previous year. They vowed to ask forgiveness of any students they may have “underserved.” In truth, the origins of the investigation were closer to home. In 2011, an abuse scandal from years before had become national news with a 20/20 report. Tina Anderson, a 15-year-old who lived in New Hampshire, was raped and impregnated in 1997 by one of her church’s deacons, then in his late thirties, while she was a babysitter for his family. When Anderson and her mother told their pastor...

The Homeschool Apostates

They were raised to carry the fundamentalist banner forward and redeem America. But now the Joshua Generation is rebelling.

At 10 P.M. on a Sunday night in May, Lauren and John,* a young couple in the Washington, D.C., area, started an emergency 14-hour drive to the state where Lauren grew up in a strict fundamentalist household. Earlier that day, Lauren’s younger sister, Jennifer, who had recently graduated from homeschooling high school, had called her in tears: “I need you to get me out of this place.” The day, Jennifer said, had started with another fight with her parents, after she declined to sing hymns in church. Her slight speech impediment made her self-conscious about singing in public, but to her parents, her refusal to sing or recite scripture was more evidence that she wasn’t saved. It didn’t help that she was a vegan animal-rights enthusiast. After the family returned home from church, Jennifer’s parents discovered that she had recently been posting about animal rights on Facebook, which they had forbidden. They took away Jennifer’s graduation...

The Homeschool Apostates

They were raised to carry the fundamentalist banner forward and redeem America. But now the Joshua Generation is rebelling.

The American Prospect/Brian Stauffer
To view the interactive version of this piece, open a browser to http://prospect.org/article/homeschool-apostates At 10 P.M. on a Sunday night in May, Lauren and John*, a young couple in the Washington, D.C., area, started an emergency 14-hour drive to the state where Lauren grew up in a strict fundamentalist household. Earlier that day, Lauren’s younger sister, Jennifer, who had recently graduated from homeschooling high school, had called her in tears: “I need you to get me out of this place.” The day, Jennifer said, had started with another fight with her parents, after she declined to sing hymns in church. Her slight speech impediment made her self-conscious about singing in public, but to her parents, her refusal to sing or recite scripture was more evidence that she wasn’t saved. It didn’t help that she was a vegan animal-rights enthusiast. After the family returned home from church, Jennifer’s parents discovered that she had recently been...

The FundamentaList (No. 46)

Anti-abortion protestors are expelled from China, McCain equates Obama with the Antichrist, and a plan to move evangelicals to South Carolina falls flat.

1. "Persecuted" in China Three fellow soldiers in the American anti-abortion movement, Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition and a former Operation Rescue spokesperson; Brandi Swindell, the national director of Generation Life; and Michael McMonagle, founder of Generation Life, took their cause to China last week, where they were twice detained and eventually deported on Aug. 8 by Chinese officials for demonstrating in Tiananmen Square against abortion and religious persecution. The three said they went to the site of the 1989 government crackdowns to "stand in solidarity with our oppressed Chinese brothers and sisters," focusing particularly on religious persecution against Christians and other believers (namely the Falun Gong, on whose behalf Mahoney and Swindell have protested before ), and the forced abortions that sometimes occur under China's one-child population policy. The activists unfurled a banner that read, "Jesus Christ is King," and shouted...

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