Mormonism—The Case Against Brigham Young University
Posted: 12 February 2007 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Still giddy over their best football season in years, students at Brigham Young University are brimming with school pride. The Cougars handily defeated the Aggies, my school’s team, and narrowly squeaked out a win over the Utes. But though BYU’s students have earned some bragging rights, I am not yet envious of their school choice.

They are missing out on the marketplace of ideas other universities enjoy. I'm not talking about the filtered porn or lacking cable selection, but the onerous censorship of vital information about the government and the church.

In 1998, the American Association of University Professors voted to censure BYU for infringements on academic freedom that were "distressingly common" and a climate for academic freedom that was "distressingly poor." Despite this condemnation, BYU has persisted in a systematic purge of any freethinking faculty. The two most recent victims: BYU professors Steven E. Jones and Jeffrey Nielson.

Just a few months ago, tenured physics professor Jones was placed on paid leave because of an alternative 9/11 theory he advocated outside of his classroom. The theory was too "speculative" and "accusatory" for the BYU's liking. Jones has colleagues across the country who share his views and have not been subject to discipline. Exhausted from having to endure the controversy, Jones has since retired from BYU altogether.

Nielson was a philosophy instructor and is a faithful Mormon. Following the church's statement in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, Nielson exercised his free agency and respectfully disagreed with the church in a Salt Lake Tribune editorial. Due solely to Nielson's editorial, he was fired, or, as BYU put it, his contract "failed to be renewed."

These releases have the blessing of LDS doctrine. In "The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect," Apostle Boyd K. Packer cautioned LDS educators to avoid any teachings which are not "faith promoting." "Some things that are true are not very useful," he said.

BYU’s deficit in academic freedom is an obvious deterrent to my ever attending there, but of more concern to me is the institutional discrimination against its gay students.

"Advocacy of a homosexual lifestyle (whether implied or explicit) or any behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct, including those not sexual in nature, are inappropriate and violate the Honor Code."—BYU policy

Consider how dehumanizing this policy is. Consider what it means for the hundreds of gay students at BYU. They have no community in which to confide; instead, they are told suppress their identities. Moreover, the policy’s vague language gives BYU more latitude to discriminate.

The school has unforgivingly enforced a harsh interpretation of this policy. The enforcement has a long, infamous, and well-documented history. BYU’s security forces would, for decades, spy on gay students on campus and pursue them off campus on their weekend exoduses to clubs in downtown Salt Lake City. License plates were recorded and put through the university's database for matches. And somewhat humorously, security personnel would often go undercover, infiltrate the clubs, and try to draw favors from students. If caught, these students faced potential expulsion. This represents just one example of BYU’s grossly unequal application of the Honor Code against its gay students. Similar enforcement continues today. Within the past few years, BYU has even gone so far as to discipline students who regularly associate with gay students.

As a private university, BYU can claim the right to maintain these "high standards" in both policy and practice. It cannot, however, claim impunity from criticism. Having the right and being right are different matters entirely.

In BYU’s defense, it did try to help many gay students with their "mental illness.” That help: reparative therapy. In their efforts to cure homosexuality, BYU, as directed by LDS Social Services, has routinely subjected gays, some as young as 15 and without parental consent, to aversive practices.

Affirmation, an LDS gay rights group, has documented the school’s use of shock therapy, where the counselor would produce a mild electric shock in conjunction with slides of males in various stages of dress; no shocks were administered with the images of females. The group has also exposed the use of Ipecac, a vomit inducing drug, in place of an electric shock. As early as 1969, bowing to scientific pressures and seeking to avoid lawsuits, BYU publicly distanced itself from these techniques. Privately, however, it did employ them throughout the 70’s and 80’s and may have continued to well into the ‘90’s.

In 1995, Jayce Cox was referred to BYU by his bishop to undergo shock therapy. Electrodes were attached to his hands, arms, torso and genitals. His emotional and physical scars serve as a testament to the horrific experience. And the fact the Jayce, along with countless others, not only consented to and paid thousands for this therapy is a stark indictment of a culture which breeds such self-loathing submission. Not surprisingly, and as the Deseret News reported earlier this year, Utah leads the nation in suicides among young men—many of whom are homosexual.

"You're taught that the leaders of the church will never lie to you, never deceive you and you're taught to believe them blindly," Jayce lamented in a 2000 interview to the Las Vegas Bugle. "I believed that through [reparative therapy], faith, temple attendance, prayer and fasting I would be healed. I believed that through God anything's possible.”

BYU still largely contends that homosexuality can be corrected. And beyond simply being offensive, this deluded notion is vehemently rejected by all mainstream professional medical and psychological bodies. But, apparently, faith is a sufficient substitute for sound science at BYU.

I honestly can't say I expect more of a school boasting the name of the church’s most despotic leader. Nor am I stunned by its student body's acquiescence. It is, after all, the country's third most conservative student body within the country's most conservative city and state.

Nevertheless, I am optimistic. The church, being a social institution, has already had to divorce itself from its more draconian traditions: polygamy, hostility toward the federal government, and overt racism. Societal pressures will demand yet another convenient “revelation” of the First Presidency to rescind the current homophobia, because tomorrow does not belong to yesterday’s bigots.

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Posted: 14 February 2007 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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[quote author=“liberalpatriot”]Still giddy over their best football season in years,

I graduated from BYU 1995.

Aw come on, they eeked out that victory over the Utes in the final 3 seconds.  Last season was better than the past few, but still grows cold in LaVelle’s giant shadow.

In 1998, the American Association of University Professors voted to censure BYU for infringements on academic freedom that were “distressingly common” and a climate for academic freedom that was “distressingly poor.” Despite this condemnation, BYU has persisted in a systematic purge of any freethinking faculty. The two most recent victims: BYU professors Steven E. Jones and Jeffrey Nielson.

This is a total tragedy.  But it is their game they made up and private instituations dictate the rules of said game by which anyone who wants to play must adhere to.

What is kind of amusing is the gusto in which BYU enforces their rules.

I can tell you that there is actually a fashion code police. 

1. If you are caught on campus with a beard, and you do not hold a “beard card” on your person that indicates, by medical decree no less, that you are unable to shave for medical purposes, you can get written up and even expelled.

2. I was written up for wearing shorts that extended above my knee cap

3. I was written up for wearing sandals on campus.

4. You can only live in BYU approved housing.  You are not allowed to live coed in any fashion.  This includes segregated apartment buildings.  One for the girls and one for the boys.  If the apartment that you live in happens to have girls living down the hallway and you are male, you can be expelled.

5. You can be written up for violating the honor code whereby you pledge to engage in absolute zero premarital sex of any kind, zero alcohol and tobacco and zero drug consumption.

except if you are a football player.  If you are a football player, you can do whatever the hell you like.

Nielson was a philosophy instructor and is a faithful Mormon. Following the church’s statement in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, Nielson exercised his free agency and respectfully disagreed with the church in a Salt Lake Tribune editorial. Due solely to Nielson’s editorial, he was fired, or, as BYU put it, his contract “failed to be renewed.”

Like I said, a total tragedy.

These releases have the blessing of LDS doctrine. In “The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect,” Apostle Boyd K. Packer cautioned LDS educators to avoid any teachings which are not “faith promoting.” “Some things that are true are not very useful,” he said.

I believe it was apostle Dallin H. Oaks who, last decade, said in reference to apostle Packer “Managing Brother Packer is like trying to man handle a grizzly bear on stage”.

BYU’s deficit in academic freedom is an obvious deterrent to my ever attending there, but of more concern to me is the institutional discrimination against its gay students.

It’s a decent education.  Sheltered from the world, but still decent.  I am glad I own my own business and no longer need to put it on any resume.  I sincerely believe there are some companies who will not hire “closed minded, sheltered BYU graduates”.

“Advocacy of a homosexual lifestyle (whether implied or explicit) or any behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct, including those not sexual in nature, are inappropriate and violate the Honor Code.”—BYU policy

Consider how dehumanizing this policy is. Consider what it means for the hundreds of gay students at BYU. They have no community in which to confide; instead, they are told suppress their identities. Moreover, the policy’s vague language gives BYU more latitude to discriminate.

That is untrue.  There is a thriving metropolis of gay men and women at BYU.  You just have to know where to find it.  I know this will sound cliche but I have two very openly gay mormon friends who know this undercurrent at BYU intimately.

1.  Need a hookup?? No problem, go to the Harold B Lee Library basement bathroom and sit in the stall and tap your toe on the ground a couple of times when someone walks in. 

I told my friends they were straight up lying to me.  But they swore it was true and everyone knew about it.  I started asking around discreetly to some of my other friends and about half of them already knew about this technique.  Some were even female who knew.  So I asked my gay friends how long it took to get “hooked up” and I was told you did have to be patient, but if you went in there on a friday or saturday night between 9 and 11 or so, you could get some action on a fairly regular basis.

I began to read the Daily Universe (BYU paper) police beat.  Sure enough, guys were getting busted for “lewd conduct” in the mens bathroom.  Homophobic sting ops at BYU… who’d a thunk it?

There are also, I was told, many gay BYU forum discussions or chat rooms.  Everyone is anon from the paranoia and I am sure there are BYU gestoppo sting ops there too.  What I am saying is BYU appears to be quite proactive in rooting out the evil homosexual from their school.  It’s almost predatory.  Being gay is not a crime.  They just don’t want you in any way shape or form at their school.

The school has unforgivingly enforced a harsh interpretation of this policy. The enforcement has a long, infamous, and well-documented history. BYU’s security forces would, for decades, spy on gay students on campus and pursue them off campus on their weekend exoduses to clubs in downtown Salt Lake City. License plates were recorded and put through the university’s database for matches.

Aha!  I should have read further before I commenced my diatribe above! hee hee I am glad you are confirming what I already know!  BYU is SO FRIGGING HOMOPHOBIC.

And somewhat humorously, security personnel would often go undercover, infiltrate the clubs, and try to draw favors from students. If caught, these students faced potential expulsion.

OH! and I bet they put the squeeze on these red handed evil men and women. 

“We shall be lenient on you if you give us some names of other evil gay men or women!”

Inquisition style!

This represents just one example of BYU’s grossly unequal application of the Honor Code against its gay students. Similar enforcement continues today. Within the past few years, BYU has even gone so far as to discipline students who regularly associate with gay students.

Really?  This I had not heard.  That would mean I would have been disciplined.  I regularily fraternized with my two friends.  Hell, one of them even lived with me at BYU dorm for a summer semester (this was before he came swishing out of the closet).

I haven’t read the rest of your post but I hope you include the bizarre and utterly inhuman penile shock therapy done in the basement of the Smith Family Living Center… whereby gay men had probes/ collars hooked up to their dicks and were forced to way gay porn while their had their nubbins shocked to the next universe… immediately followed by hetero porn and no shocking.  gay porn… ZZZZAPPPP…. hetero porn… cue Lawrence Welk music…. gay porn… ZZZZAAAAPPPP!!

you get the idea.

As a private university, BYU can claim the right to maintain these “high standards” in both policy and practice. It cannot, however, claim impunity from criticism.

true.

In BYU’s defense, it did try to help many gay students with their “mental illness.” That help: reparative therapy. In their efforts to cure homosexuality, BYU, as directed by LDS Social Services, has routinely subjected gays, some as young as 15 and without parental consent, to aversive practices.

YES!  So you give honorable mention to it.  It so disgusts me that there are men alive today who still think what happend those years in the SFLC basement was a correct and proper technique. I am glad they no longer practice it.

Affirmation, an LDS gay rights group, has documented the school’s use of shock therapy, where the counselor would produce a mild electric shock in conjunction with slides of males in various stages of dress; no shocks were administered with the images of females. The group has also exposed the use of Ipecac, a vomit inducing drug, in place of an electric shock. As early as 1969, bowing to scientific pressures and seeking to avoid lawsuits, BYU publicly distanced itself from these techniques. Privately, however, it did employ them throughout the 70’s and 80’s and may have continued to well into the ‘90’s.

I have it documented that these “therapists”  (also read: The_Rapists) did show porn.  I do not know how hard core the porn was.

In 1995, Jayce Cox was referred to BYU by his bishop to undergo shock therapy. Electrodes were attached to his hands, arms, torso and genitals.

1995???  I was there in 1995.  I totally thought all this ended in the late 80’s.

His emotional and physical scars serve as a testament to the horrific experience. And the fact the Jayce, along with countless others, not only consented to and paid thousands for this therapy is a stark indictment of a culture which breeds such self-loathing submission.

they consent, because they believe that god wants them fixed and this method is sanctioned by god’s prophet… after all, BYU is well touted as “The Lord’s University”.  I did not know that The Lord would have torture chambers installed in his university basements.

Not surprisingly, and as the Deseret News reported earlier this year, Utah leads the nation in suicides among young men—many of whom are homosexual.

This is totally true.  Both of my mormon gay friends have called me in crisis, ready to kill themselves.  This has not happened the last decade since they both live openly gay lives with committed partners and have come out to their devout mormon families… who shun them for life.

“You’re taught that the leaders of the church will never lie to you, never deceive you and you’re taught to believe them blindly,” Jayce lamented in a 2000 interview to the Las Vegas Bugle. “I believed that through [reparative therapy], faith, temple attendance, prayer and fasting I would be healed. I believed that through God anything’s possible.”

This is true.  The church props up scriptures that show how humans can overcome any and all temptations.

Gotta run!

Noggin

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Posted: 14 February 2007 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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“That is untrue. There is a thriving metropolis of gay men and women at BYU. You just have to know where to find it. I know this will sound cliche but I have two very openly gay mormon friends who know this undercurrent at BYU intimately.”

Fair enough. I would agree with you that BYU does surprisingly have a healthy, albeit underground, gay community to which struggling gay youth can turn. I should’ve been more specific—I’m just frustrated that this community has to be underground because of the stigma which would otherwise plague it at BYU.

Thank so much for your thoughts. I appreciated reading them.

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Posted: 15 February 2007 02:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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What’s the big deal about being gay? :shock:

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Get with it. Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, and a speck on one in a blink. That’s us, lost in space. The cop, you, me… Who notices?
-Vincent

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Posted: 15 February 2007 03:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“stardusk”]What’s the big deal about being gay? :shock:

Relevant to the contents of this thread? i.e. what is the big deal to Mormons about being gay?

To Mormons (and most religious folks I gather), being gay is a high and willful act of open disobedience to god.  Mormons completely believe that homosexuality is a choice and to choos a gay lifestyle is to go willfully against god’s plan for men and women.  The Mormon creed includes sacred solemn covenants made between the Mormon and their god that they will not have sex in any format, way, shape, or manner.. . nay they will not even think impure thoughts about anyone save they be legally and lawfully wedded to that person.  They enter temples and make these covenants standing up, right arm to the square, left arm fully extended from their body palm facing downward.  As many as 100 or so people will do this simultaneously.  Mormons are encouraged to go to the temple once a month to repledge, re covenant and remind themselves of this and other covenants that they make with god.

There are currently about 120 temples worldwide.  I’d say they house on any given day about 400 to 1000 people every day doing this.  The covenant sessions run from about 5 a.m. until about 8 p.m. every day except sunday and major holidays.

This particular covenant of chastity and fidelity to heterosexuality has been hashed, rehashed, explained, pontificated upon, expounded and exhorted in every way imaginable to clearly delineate and emphasize that god intends marriage to be only between a male and a female.

When the gay “agenda” comes to the limelight, Mormons squirm every which way feeling that the sanctimony of their definition of marriage is being threatened.  It’s so obvious to them.  So black and white, cut and dried.  They are extremely active politically in getting gay marriage to not pass legislation and when a State adopts gay marriage policies, the Mormons hear the bemoaning and decreeing of evil from the high pulpits of The Governing Bretheren.

This is the big deal, from the Mormon perspective, about gay marriage.  Hope that helps?

Noggin

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Posted: 07 April 2007 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I don’t understand your beef, really.  BYU is a university run by the Mormon church.  Every student who attends understands the rules and contractually agrees to follow them before enrolling.  The rules include agreeing to follow their standards of sexual behavior: no premarital sex, no heterosexual activity prior to marriage, no homosexual activity, no pornography, etc.  There are also dress codes and other behavioral codes.

If you don’t want to follow those rules, then don’t attend!  There are hundreds of other schools offering educations without such restrictions.  If you want to live in the same dorm with the opposite sex, have homosexual sex, wear a beard, or wear shorts above your knee…then why on this green earth would you go to BYU, sign their codes of conduct, then complain about them?  It goes beyond logic.  Even more illogical…complaining about BYU from the outside (I assume you’re not a BYU student…I may have missed that part of your post).

You can disagree all you want with the Mormon church’s stand versus homosexuality because you’re entitled to your opinion.  However, I don’t think it’s really justifiable to criticize the university for enforcing rules which all of its students have CONTRACTUALLY agreed to follow prior to attending!  It’s not as if gay students enroll and then the university springs this surprise standard of sexual conduct on them.  Do you expect the school to require their students to follow standards of conduct and then NOT enforce them?  Really, come on now.

Why a homosexual would ever attend BYU is beyond me…why would a gay person attend a school which requires you to sign a contract to follow rules which are against your very orientation?  To complain about it after agreeing to such rules is equally or even more unbelievable.  Your complaint seems pretty unjustifiable.

drmount

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Posted: 07 April 2007 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“drmount”]You can disagree all you want with the Mormon church’s stand versus homosexuality because you’re entitled to your opinion.  However, I don’t think it’s really justifiable to criticize the university for enforcing rules which all of its students have CONTRACTUALLY agreed to follow prior to attending!

I acknowledged that here:

noggin wrote: But it is their game they made up and private instituations dictate the rules of said game by which anyone who wants to play must adhere to.

drmount continues:
It’s not as if gay students enroll and then the university springs this surprise standard of sexual conduct on them.  Do you expect the school to require their students to follow standards of conduct and then NOT enforce them?  Really, come on now.

actually no I don’t, I fully expect BYU to enforce any and all rules as they see fit.  This is a private university.

drmount writes:
Why a homosexual would ever attend BYU is beyond me…why would a gay person attend a school which requires you to sign a contract to follow rules which are against your very orientation?

yeah, why would they?  For starters, if you are a gay Mormon, 9 times out of 10 you are a closeted gay Mormon thowing desparate pleas up into the heaven on wings of hundreds of long and tired nightly prayers to the god of Mormonism so that Elohim, as he is called, will cure you of the sexual orientation that so tediously afflicts you.

Oh I am sure there are a million things that go through the closeted gay Mormon’s head as they fill out the application to attend BYU.  The best reason so many gay Mormons attend BYU just might be because they see BYU as a type of key factor in God’s master plan to finally cure them.  After all, it’s billed out as The Lord’s University.

drmount writes:
  To complain about it after agreeing to such rules is equally or even more unbelievable.  Your complaint seems pretty unjustifiable.

Consider that no one really can expect the level of seriousness that BYU takes itself with the honor and dress code.  You simply cannot prepare yourself for it.  No open toed shoes and shorts really truly have to be below the knee? “Come on…” you say prior to getting to campus…. but say it all you want.  They will toss your assout for a beard, sandals or shorter shorts.

Truth be told I did not want to attend BYU.  I was set to go to UCSD and then a few mission pals talked me into going there.  Being of sound LDS mind I decided to pray about it.  Awww wouldn’t you know, that reliable method of determining what path a Mormon should take made itself manifest to me strongly and I felt called to go to The Lord’s University.  I really felt god had a plan for me there.  I would like to, for the record, enter this exact experience as a valid reason why any other gay closeted Mormon would choose to go to BYU.  They still supplicate god through prayer… and still believe god gives them answers to said prayers.

It’s complete and total bullshit but that is besides the point.

I thought I would love it there.  I hated BYU.  I loathed the sameness, the lack of any individuality whatsoever.  After year two, the forced religion classes were very tedious and a labor to endure.  Not because I hated Mormonism, but because I had teachers like McKonkie’s sister.  I took her class with a non Mormon football player of mine (no one escapes the religion classes).  McKonkie would frequently wax poetic about how she longed for the day that polygamy would be reinstated so that she could be counted as one who lived the fullness of the gospel of Jesus.

I am sorry, well actually, no I am not sorry, but that is way out there and few should have to be subjected to sh!t like that.  My BYU football friend looked at me during these precious moments with a WTF>>> look on his face.  I usually shrugged and looked away. 

I grew weary of the thought police… of being proselyted for John Birch society or Sam Hall or the myriads of right winger mentality cliques.  Soap box open mic forums in the Wilkinsin center?  Forget about it.  Don’t stand on that box unless you have an autographed photo of Rush Limbaugh right beside your shaving mirror. 

The year I graduated, I had a sinking feeling that I was not cut out of the same cloth as these men who wore their hair so high and tight all of them with the same glasses, the same jokes, the same dress, the same “fetch” and “fiddlesticks” vocab.  They were all the same. 

And church at BYU!!  Church was little more than a fashion show for coeds to market themselves for marriage.  If you have not attended BYU church and wish to refute this, then I suggest you shut the hell up and go attend a couple of sacrament meetings to see if I am telling the truth.  Pay close attention to fast and testimony meeting.  That is where the guys and gals go for the hard sells on themselves. 

And back to the dress code.  if I wore open toed sandals and was going to be issued a dress code infraction then so be it.  The beard card and ridiculously controlling dress code was utter foolishness.

I got a half decent private education.  Everything else about the place basically sucked the life out of me.

Noggin

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Posted: 07 April 2007 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I got a half decent private education. Everything else about the place basically sucked the life out of me.

Apparently so.

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Posted: 08 April 2007 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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[quote author=“drmount”]
Apparently so.

Yes, apparently.

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Posted: 09 April 2007 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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I’m glad my post has sparked some discussion. Good thoughts.

One quick word on BYU’s being a private university…so? I know it’s legal what they’ve done and are doing, but I still hold that it’s immoral. And part of the tragedy IS that people “consent” to BYU’s absurdity.

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Posted: 10 April 2007 03:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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[quote author=“liberalpatriot”]I’m glad my post has sparked some discussion. Good thoughts.

One quick word on BYU’s being a private university…so? I know it’s legal what they’ve done and are doing, but I still hold that it’s immoral. And part of the tragedy IS that people “consent” to BYU’s absurdity.

liberalpatriot

perhaps I was too harsh.  BYU more correctly drained the life out of me, not sucked the life out of me.  That sounds like backpeddling and it is.  I have tried to put a good finger on it and I think it’s just the lack of diversity that bothered me so badly about BYU.  Everyone thinks the same there.  Blanket statement, sure, but it’s pretty much an accurate depiction.  It’s a 99% all white, all conservative, all right wing, all Mormon pool of thinking. 

One of the great things about America is we have widely different opinions about issues.  We need to be challenged as to why a certain view makes more sense over another.  BYU does not excel here.  BYU is an environment that engenders stale thinking.

More often than not, The Top 15 Authority Figures in Mormonism dictate what is to be thought about the more charged issues and no one challenges The Bretheren.

Now to your point.  BYU is absurd and people do sign up for it in droves.  But do they have a choice?  Sure, okay they do but there is a draw to be at the Elite Mormon School.  If you are active LDS and smart, chances are good that you strive to go there.  It’s the perfect pool to select an upper echelon Mormon mate.  If you attend some of the more intellectual gatherings there, occasionally you can find the few dissenters that will speak his mind.

And like I said, it’s a half decent education to a point that the stale thinking hinders the overall experience.  It was the thought voids that drained me.  There should have been active pro/con debating at least on a small scale, but to come out say pro abortion—unthinkable.  Everyone there (99%) already “knew” abortion was evil.  I don’t even think abortion rights would be debated there… I never ran into it.  I did not know better at the time as to what exactly bothered me, I mean I did but I was still a Mormon faithful at the time so I did not allow myself to challenge it too terribly… I didn’t have a basis for comparison.  It just wore on me.  It was a sense of unrest.  These days I feel cheated with my college experience.

that’s all.

Noggin

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Posted: 10 April 2007 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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liberalpatriot - ah a fellow USU Aggie!  I knew I was right at home here!

Montevideo - formerly known as Mateo808

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Posted: 10 April 2007 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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another bone to pick with BYU

BYU also has a staunch UNequal opportunity hiring program and policy.  Unless you are an active Mormon who pays full tithing and serves about 5 to 15 hours of your free time to the Mormon church, you cannot get one of their low paying (ranging from $21,900 to $39,000 a year for many faculty positions) job at this University.

The Mormon church has a membership comprised of many individuals who are convinced that BYU is the Lord’s University.  Therefore, and because of this, an influx (surplus) of Mormons want to work there.  This creates a huge pool of highly qualified persons to choose from.  I knew several PHD’s who worked at BYU at about 75% the going salary rate for their position in a comparable University.  It’s their choice, sure, but BYU capitalizes on the advertising.  When I say “the Lord’s University” I mean, people believe weird things that go along with that phrase.  The PHD’s I knew confided in one way or another that working at BYU gave them an opportunity to work in a blessed and unique environment and this alone was more than made up for the missed dollars… besides, they rationalize: 

Jesus’ 2nd coming is any day now and so there is no need to pursue material wealth, besides, I could not dare to ask for a competetive salary, after all I am paid partly by hard working fellow members’ tithing dollars.

A steamed Mormon might refute this, but deep down he knows this attitude is there in many BYU employees.  Not all, but most.

I think a president of BYU, Mr. Samuelson, sums it up accurately when he explained it thus in his 2005 speech entitled “The BYU Way”:

source: http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=10527 

It is a well-considered decision by the board that an element of sacrifice be offered by all who are privileged to have a BYU appointment ( did he just say ‘appointment’?  He means to say “job” but at BYU, employment isn’t just a “job” it’s got to be much more special than that) Stated another way, it is the intent of our trustees that none of us, including faculty and staff, chooses to come to BYU primarily on the basis of a financial decision. It is the job of the administration and the trustees to see that the gap does not become too large, but it is not the preference of the board to participate in bidding wars with other institutions for faculty, staff, or students. Having said this, it must be noted that in terms of our benefits, we do rather well. Travel funds, start-up expenses, and the like are very generous at BYU when compared with most other places. Likewise, our leave policies and faculty enrichment efforts are really quite liberal and remarkable.

BYU appears to take advantage of their flock who, ironically, willfully sign up for it.  The tithing revenues are enormous.  Just try calculating 10% of 6 million active LDS people every month.  another 3 or 4 million each year for proper wages is not going to kill them off. 

”... element of sacrifice”...  please.  As if 10% of one’s gross income and 10-15 hours per week serving this church, , and living within a limited outlook on life is not yet enough of a sacrifice.

Noggin

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Posted: 11 April 2007 01:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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[quote author=“Montevideo”]liberalpatriot - ah a fellow USU Aggie!  I knew I was right at home here!

Montevideo - formerly known as Mateo808

Wow, I’m pleasantly surprised to know that I’m not the first atheist to have attended USU, haha. When did you graduate? I’m only a sophomore.

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Posted: 11 April 2007 06:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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I graduated in 94.  Got my masters from the University of Utah.  I still live in Utah, but not for much longer.  Good luck with your studies, I loved USU.

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