Letters to the Editor

BYU hypocrisy

March 9, 2011


To the editor:

Boo on the sports columnist published in the Journal-World who praised what he called a “shining moment” when Brigham Young dismissed a basketball player for violating the university’s “honor code.”

Its extremist code bans premarital sex, all homosexual sex, the use of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea and soft drinks with caffeine, facial hair for men and clothing for women that is sleeveless or cut higher than the knees.

This unfortunate young man was kicked off the basketball team for having sex with his girlfriend. It is a cruel irony that he was punished for dishonorable sexual conduct by a university whose very name honors a polygamist/bigamist who had 55 wives, three of whom were 16 years old when he married them. Consummating those relationships would be considered rape today. Who deserves to feel shame, a college student who makes love with his girlfriend or Brigham Young, the man and the university?


Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

The laddie knew what the rules were and chose to break them. Pretty much an open and shut case.

Stuart Evans 6 years, 10 months ago

Disturbingly, I find nothing odd about this behavior, coming from that institution. Had there been an incident involving reason and intelligent actions, I would have been shocked.

oldvet 6 years, 10 months ago

We realize, Ted, that you do not understand what an honor code is... when you choose to belong to an organization and they tell you up front what is expected and what they will do if you break those rules, you are aware of the consequences when you choose to break those rules.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

Actually, even among Mormons, polygamy wasn't universally accepted. And its two of its early major leaders, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, were clearly major loons and megalomaniacs who used the notion of "honor" as more of a hypocritical weapon than as a code for righteous living.

In many respects, they were somewhat similar to Fred Phelps. If the Phelpses and their church could found a state the way the Mormons did, you'd probably see a somewhat kinder and gentler mainstream version of Westboro Baptist as the state religion in a few decades.

an_actual_mormon 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm a practicing Mormon, and although I'm not a BYU alumnus, I would be thrilled if my children went there one day. Imagine a school where young adults are expected to behave like adults and are held to standards that have withstood the test of time in terms of producing healthy, productive citizens. A real education entails more than attending some classes and receiving a diploma.

Regarding Bozo's comparison of Mormons to the Phelpses, it should be clear to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of Mormon doctrine that God does not hate anyone. While He cannot approve of some behaviors that His children engage in, He loves them, wants them to be happy, and even provides them with instructions on how to live a truly happy life.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

Actually, I compared not Mormons but Joseph Smith and Brigham Young to Fred Phelps.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 10 months ago

What does a coke have to do with moral behavior?

jaywalker 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm bettin' it's the use of stimulants like caffeine that they're targeting, fido.

rubberband 6 years, 10 months ago

I was raised Mormon but am no longer a practicing Mormon. First let me say that I believe this young man knew what he was getting into when he signed on at BYU, although I think it is terribly sad that his personal life is now national news. That said, I believe your statement of "standards that have withstood the test of time in terms of producing healthy, productive citizens" is debatable. I could give numerous examples of how being brought up in that sheltered, oppressive, judgmental, intolerant environment produced individuals who were far from "truly happy" despite trying to live "the one true gospel." I could show you broken families, broken hearts, broken people, and terribly depressed children.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 10 months ago

Your comments about BYU and polygamy are incorrect. The LDS Church (BYU) does not allow polygamy, and hasn't condoned it for over 100 years. The man you are referring to, started his own church, and loosely referred to 100 year old LDS doctrine, but has nothing to do with BYU or its policies. As for the rules, this is not any different than any private religious school, if you agree to go to college at any of these schools, you are bound to follow the rules. If you don't agree with them, then go to a different college or university. I wouldn't personally qualify for BYU or some of the other restrictive schools, but I support the ability of those institutions to make and enforce rules of conduct. I

2002 6 years, 10 months ago

Sorry, but the kid signed the code and knew the rules. All students sign the Code. If he didn't want the rules, he should have gone to school somewhere else. I am not a mormon, nor do I believe in what mormons believe in. I also think that it is irrelevant what kid of person Brigham Young or Joe Smith was. But I do believe in honor and keeping commitments. The kid didn't keep his and it cost him and his team mates.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

"I also think that it is irrelevant what kid of person Brigham Young or Joe Smith was."

If a university is going to be named after one of them, I think it's quite relevant how they actually live their lives.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 10 months ago

And I sincerely doubt that you or I actually know enough to judge. The retrospectives are all pretty skewed one way or the other.

Brock Masters 6 years, 10 months ago

It is interesting how so many who demand tolerance are so intolerant. Why attack BYU? BYU has committed no crime and what they do does not infringe upon anyone's rights so why attack them for their rules, standards and code?

Live and let live.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm not attacking them. I think that if the basketball player signed an honor code of some sort, the University is well within its rights to dismiss him from the team, even if I do think that Mormonism took some rather strange turns in getting to that honor code-- the now-dead fellow who used to be called Brigham Young, in particular.

If/when he transfers to another school, he should consider anything he signs a bit more carefully before actually signing on.

Brock Masters 6 years, 10 months ago

Why would you think my post referred to you? Had it been intended for you I would have replied to you. It simply was a comment directed at the letter writer.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

If Mr. B. Young were currently a basketball player at BYU, I'd want him held to the same rules as everyone else.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

B. Young and J. Smith were rather notorious for making up new rules, as necessary, and as it suited them.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

They both lived a long time ago, bozo. The world is somewhat different here in the 21st Century. Try to keep up.

somedude20 6 years, 10 months ago

I was married once and the thought of having 2-15 wives is more scary than The Exorcist. Women yelling at you about needing more shoes in stereo makes the thought of being eaten alive by ferrets seem pleasurable!

Brock Masters 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree.

I saw a show recently about a Mormon guy that had 4 wives - no thank you! That guy was so busy making each of his wives feel special and caring for his kids that he had no time for himself. They were pretty happy and the kids were free to choose their own lifestyle. One young girl said, ain't no way Jose that I am letting my husband have another wife when I get married. Other than being forced to live in the garage and the daily beatings, they were pretty accepting of her view. Of course, i am kidding about the garage and beatings. They were 100 percent supportive of her and her view.

While polygamy is not for me, there is no reason it shouldn't be permitted among consenting ADULTS.

Live and let live!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree. While there should be some rather stringent requirements for how children are taken care of, there is no reason that polygamy, polyandry and gay marriage shouldn't be legal.

an_actual_mormon 6 years, 10 months ago

I would point out that no real Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) have multiple wives. There is probably no quicker way to get excommunicated from the church than to engage in plural marriage.

Brock Masters 6 years, 10 months ago

Not attacking, simply asking to learn more .....

How do you define a "real" Mormon? I am sure the family depicted in the show considered themselves Mormons.

LoveThsLife 6 years, 10 months ago

Actually the show you are referring to called "Sister Wives" showcased a polygamist family from Lehi, Utah that was NOT mormon. Nor did they consider themselves mormon. In fact, in the first episode they talked about it. They are actually a part of a group called the AUB or Allred group. They are a small polygamist group who is not associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

They are also not associated with Warren Jeff's group.

And someone who is a practicing member of the LDS Church probably has more insight into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints than you do Fred.

So quit giving an_actual_mormon a hard time.

Brock Masters 6 years, 10 months ago

I am sure an_actual_mormon can speak for himself, but since you interjected yourself into the conversation I'll respond to you.

If you took time to read my post you might understand that I was asking a question for more information - this suggests that I am deferring to an_actual_mormom as being more knowledgeable than me. Not sure how you could have missed it, but apparently you did.

I also understand how it is difficult to convey intent on a forum and how things can be misconstrued so I purposely started off the post by letting him know my question was not an attack but just a legitimate request for more information.

i do not post on here just to prove I am right, but I think of it as a dialouge from which I can learn.

You really should rethink how you respond to people. No need for hostility.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 10 months ago

The kid admitted to having sex and got suspended. All the players who are lying about it are still playing. There's your "honor code" for ya.

libra101 6 years, 10 months ago

Jim McMahon, BYU quarterback in the 80's, said he was asked to leave BYU for violating the honor code. After he played in the bowl game of course.

ranger73 6 years, 10 months ago

Ya know what? Back then women didn't have the right to vote either. Slavery was still allowed too.
Keep in mind Lawrence has a trail named for a drug addicted young boy lover named Burroughs, who is a "celebrated" Lawrencian.
This is about breaking a rule. The player knew about it. Knew about it when he signed a letter of intent. He made a decision and now has to suffer the ramifications of that decision, and how it affects those around him. Seems to me a KU player just recently was suspended for breaking a rule. How is this different?

somedude20 6 years, 10 months ago

Though, if you can juggle multiple wives and children than you should be able to run the country. Mormons for President!!!! Think of the House and Senate as wives and of course the American people are the children. Can I have five bucks Dad? Moms, Dad said to give me five bucks

Ralph Reed 6 years, 10 months ago

@Cappy. re: your 1257.

One question. How do you know?

@oldvet. re: your 0733.

I agree. I would say that most people don't understand, "We Will Not Lie, Steal Or Cheat, Nor Tolerate Among Us Anyone Who Does."

@all I realize that most here decry information from Wikipedia, but it is a good starting point. Here are a couple comments about BYU. "Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, United States, is a private, coeducational research university owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church)."

Note the words "private" and "owned by the LDS." The church owns the school, so they get to write the rules (charter). It's simple.

"BYU students are required to follow an honor code, which mandates behavior in line with LDS teachings (e.g., academic honesty, adherence to dress and grooming standards, and abstinence from extramarital sex and from the consumption of drugs and alcohol)." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigham_Young_University)

Quite frankly, the young man knew what was expected and chose to violate the honor code. As a result he was dismissed from the roundball team. I would have expected nothing less and do support the coach's decision. (Surprised a lot of you, didn't I.) I know of schools from which he would have been dismissed entirely for violating the honor code.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 10 months ago

What? How do I know some 18 to 22 year old athletes are having sex? ...Really?

Brock Masters 6 years, 10 months ago

Yes, how do you know that other players on the team are having sex? Not all young people have premarital sex. Yes some do, but not all so how do you know the others are lying?

Kirk Larson 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm not saying ALL of them are lying, but I'd be willing to bet a substantial amount that SOME of them are lying. The ones who are having sex and still playing.

LoveThsLife 6 years, 10 months ago

Ted- then don't go to/or support BYU if you have a problem with the honor code.

However, it's their honor code and they have a right to put in that code what they deem important. It is a private university after all.

Brandon Davies knew what he was getting into when he signed up to play for BYU and agreed to live by the honor code. He broke that agreement and had to deal with the consequences.

BYU did the right thing in enforcing their honor code, and Brandon Davies has been a class act through out the whole ordeal.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 10 months ago

I find all this a bit disconcerting. The cult leaders of the Mormon Church know damned well that their "flock" prety much ignores all their concocted and fabricated codes of "honor" (coffe, tea, soda, really!!). They have little real control over this, most of the eating establishments in Salt Lake City serve these beverages. The sex thing is a bit more difficult to ignore, but is tossed in with the ridiculous other items. So this little dust up to destroy their university's chances in basketball is a caculated effort to send a "message" to the fawning members that Big Bilious Brother will strike out to do whatever damage they can.

Mormon morality? In my last trip across Utah into Nevada I noted with some wonderment that as I crossed the state line into Nevada, a HUGE casino/gas station at Wendover, Nevada right across the state line. In the parking lot clearly visible from the highway were rows and rows of busses from Salt Lake City carrying loads of those virtuous Mormons to Nevada to gamble in the casino. Not that is anything wrong, but do Mormons sanction their members gambling? I doubt it.

This whole thing just amplifies the hypocricy of all such fabrications and codes concocted by "religious" leaders to try to indoctrinate, intimidate and dominate the psyche of their members and to make sure that the wallets of the "faithful" will continue to open wide over their collection plates.

coloradoan 6 years, 10 months ago

Wow. Your post seems to presume something that may not be true: the bus-loads of people at the casino from SLC may have or may not have been Mormons. SLC has been, as have the other towns in Utah, increasingly diverse. So the busloads may have been non-Mormons. You can;t know just because they were from SLC.

As for the player, he signed a contract and should have known what it meant.

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