Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My first blog tirade - David vs. Goliath

Well, here I am, about to embark on my first bonafide blogged rant. There I was this afternoon, innocently reading a teeny-bopper romance novel (I promised Elise...), actually starting to get into the drama and romance of it, when Mom, talking to Cami about the politics of college life, hesitantly informed me that BYU has changed its Honor Code in favor of homosexuality (story on Deseret News here and the actual text here).

. . . I could think of little else for several minutes after hearing this news. Mom said she hadn't wanted to tell me when I was in Wisconsin because she was sure it would upset me. I read the article--actual, verified, complete with quotes and names. I can honestly say that I am genuinely surprised by this. I remember when I was in college there was a lot of to-do about some students being expelled because of homosexual behavior, and now this? I know the "clarification" merely says that homosexual students/faculty are allowed to participate at Brigham Young University, as long as they don't act out or whatever, but that is absurd!!! They are acting out!!! I have seen it! Entertaining thoughts is behavior! What ever happened to controlling thoughts and changing and becoming? What ever happened to the Savior?? What ever happened to the all-encompassing and enabling Atonement??? Believe you me, these confused students have rationalized homosexual behavior up and down. They think it's only "fair" that they be allowed to do whatever they like, since the hetero students can. In fact, they are so entrenched in the victim mentality that they think they actually have special privileges, and are entitled to even more liberality of behavior. I am aware of the attacks against the Church in recent months and years, particularly in regards to the gay movement and agenda, and I am ALL for loving everyone as a child of God, regardless of their beliefs and opinions, but God's laws are ABSOLUTE, and nothing can change them! Judging wrong behavior as wrong is not judging a person. Why are we these days being so subtly, but SURELY, being conditioned into this? I guess it's fair to say that people who are struggling with this can still go to school, but people who are unapologetically arguing that this is actually WHO THEY ARE? And that we owe something to them just because they identify themselves as "different" and victims? People who have self-identified as someone against the creation and design of God? That is just sad and self-defeating. This is something that can and MUST be overcome, as can be attested in the experiences of thousands around the world (which is a very hopeful and Christ-centered study). In the name of being "tolerant" and "accepting", we are advocating a gospel of hopelessness, allowing our beloved brothers and sisters to walk right into the jaws of hell. We are fighting against the Philistine, but remember how David was triumphant, in spite of the seemingly unconquerable odds. And yes, I have every right to be indignant about this--I am BYU alumnus.

Chalk one up for being politically correct. Even at a private institution owned and operated by General Authorities of the true and living Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

For now. . .

42 comments:

  1. Bravo, Drew. You are my hero. I feel so bad for people getting lured and and encouraged into this dead end mindset and behavior. Many good people are being deceived and their lives ruined,not to mention their posterity. It's indefensible that BYU has caved into the goofy and harmful philosophies of men in this way. I can only surmise that they care more about how they look to the world than the welfare of souls.

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  2. Very well said, Drew. You are the best when it comes to these kinds of things. BYU is totally giving in to the "equal rights" junk going on. It is ridiculous, especially when the prophet of our church just said in the last conference that bit about tolerance... it is just a mask... Sigh. It just means the second coming is that much closer.

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  3. Amen dude. People around here love BYU as much as they love the Church in general. BYU is not to be questioned, says the community. This is a serious step in the wrong direction, because many people will accept it as part of their core beliefs. Sad times for everyone. BYU: give me a break.

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  4. Hi this is Mike, Miris fiance. I would just like to say I enjoyed reading your view and opinion on this issue. I was... refreshing? I suppose that is the word for it.

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  5. I'm going to have to disagree with you, my friend. I have a couple of issues with what you're saying.

    First, let's talk about this statement: "Entertaining thoughts is behavior." Now, you had better hope to God that this is not true, because if it is, you and I are in far worse trouble than we realize. Fortunately, we have it on good authority that this isn't the case: "The distinction between feelings or inclinations on the one hand, and behavior on the other hand, is very clear. It’s no sin to have inclinations that if yielded to would produce behavior that would be a transgression. The sin is in yielding to temptation. Temptation is not unique. Even the Savior was tempted." -Dallin H Oaks http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/same-gender-attraction
    Granted, you did kind of edge away from this hard-line definition as you proceeded, but the fact is, you’ve based this entire post on this faulty statement.

    You also mention how “they think it's only "fair" that they be allowed to do whatever they like, since the hetero students can.” First let me address the obvious. Heterosexual students at BYU absolutely CANNOT do whatever they want. There are handfuls of students that are expelled from BYU for sexual misconduct each semester. The BYU Honor Code is very specific on this point. The point being if they do indeed feel entitled to do whatever they want, then they’re every bit as free to be expelled as heterosexual students with the same opinion.

    The broader issue at stake here is your presumption that you know what all these individuals are thinking. Sure, there are some people who miraculously experience the healing power of the atonement and have the bitter cup taken from them. But for every instance of such miracles, there is another instance of the Lord allowing the individual to continue to labor under the burden of temptation. Notable examples include Paul (2 Cor. 12:7-10) and even our Savior (Luke 22:42)
    In this light, your willingness to mete out judgment in behalf of the Lord based only on your own personal experience is troubling.

    Finally, I have a comment relating to your insinuation that the church is caving to political and social pressure. Remember that the prophet and members of the 12 are on the board of directors for BYU. Also keep in mind that this attitude is the same attitude that led to the foundation of the FLDS church. They apostatized because they felt that polygamy had been abandoned by the church in response to outside pressure. I leave the conclusion up to you.

    Here’s some additional reading on the topic, along with a snippet to support what I’ve said:
    The Atonement also gives us the strength to endure “pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind,” because our Savior also took upon Him “the pains and the sicknesses of his people” (Alma 7:11). Brothers and sisters, if your faith and prayers and the power of the priesthood do not heal you from an affliction, the power of the Atonement will surely give you the strength to bear the burden."
    http://tinyurl.com/5nqkca “He Heals the Heavy Laden,” Dallin H. Oaks.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me hijack your comments to share my thoughts and feelings on this subject. Just felt like another point of view was important to the conversation.

    Nate Kartchner

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  6. Wow, talk about coming out of the woodwork! That's a surprise post from good old Txoj Sia...

    Anyway, I don't want to turn the comments into a forum for argument or debate, I will just say I believe what I believe, and my beliefs are consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why it's so troubling that BYU is doing these kinds of things. Like I said, I know BYU is run by General Authorities, which is why I'm surprised that something like this could slip in. If you recall, President Monson himself spoke on evil being passed under the mask of tolerance these days. This is just another example, the only difference is with the homosexuality issue, it's so politically charged, and so many people are deceived by it.

    And I said "ENTERTAINING thoughts is behavior," not "HAVING thoughts is behavior". Of course we can't control what thoughts come into our heads, and of course we aren't condemned for every little thought we have, but we can certainly choose what to indulge, and so, indulging sinful thoughts is sinful behavior. The Savior WAS tempted, but He never indulged or entertained the temptations. He dismissed them immediately. Consider the words of Christ himself--Matthew 5:28, and throughout the Book of Mormon we are told to control our thoughts and actions. Also, Christ said not to judge, but in the next verse, told us to just righteously, meaning judge behavior, NOT people. We have to distinguish the difference between right and wrong behavior, and THAT is judging, which we are commanded to do in that sense.

    So, the Plan of Salvation offers the bitter cup to be taken from EVERY ONE of God's children. Why, oh why would Christ suffer for us if there were some things that were just "beyond" the all-encompassing power of the Atonement???

    Sorry, Nate, you must know someone who is struggling with this, that always causes strong emotional reactions. I hope the best for them, if that's the case. Just make sure you find the right resources, and that you don't misinterpret the things you find. And it's not the Church I'm questioning here, it's the politics that come into play when there are so many levels of decision-making, as regards a side institution like BYU. Why do you think this is so difficult for me to swallow? It's inconsistent with the teachings and Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ can help you OVERCOME (not just endure) any and all trials. To disagree is to deny the power of the Atonement.

    Peace.

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  7. I'd like to add my two cents here - I hope you don't mind or feel like I'm adding to an argument, I would just like to voice some of the things I've been thinking about with this post.
    First, I really don't think that the clarification here was "in favor" of homosexuality. It was a clarification that we are against behaviors and not people. That's church doctrine, is it not? That's what you've been saying. The clarification simply makes it more evident to people that we are not conducting a gay witch hunt. We accept people who are living the standards of the church even if they have inclinations toward certain sins. Once they "act out," they no longer fall into the category for whom the clarification was meant.
    I also really don't think I'm misreading the section of Elder Oaks's talk that Nate quoted. He says that "IF your faith and prayers and the power of the priesthood DO NOT heal you from an affliction, the power of the Atonement will surely give you the strength to bear the burden." (emphasis added) Although I am certainly not saying that it isn't possible for people to completely overcome their trials through the Atonement, I also know that not every affliction is removed. Sometimes people have to deal with things throughout their lives. That doesn't discount the power of the Atonement, it's just the result of an imperfect world and is evidence that the Lord knows what each person needs to go through to become perfect and complete. Christ suffered so that his bowels would be filled with mercy toward us and so that he would know how to succor his people in their infirmities in this life. (Alma 7:11-12)
    I remember when I was living with a certain roommate, she told me that the reason she had to suffer with severe clinical depression was that she didn't have enough faith. She was sure that if she just had more faith her affliction would be taken away. I remember bringing up Paul to her, because surely Paul had enough faith to be healed, and yet when he was not he knew that his trials were to humble him and strengthen him in his weakness. My roommate wasn't suddenly healed because her faith was finally strong enough. Things did get better for her, but the problem may resurface. The amazing power of the Atonement for her is that through all of the trials that she will face, the Lord will be there for her, supporting her through them and making them possible to bear. Without that, they surely would be more than anyone could bear, as indeed many people's trials would be. I don't think this situation is different - it's something that some people deal with and many people do so with great courage and strength without ever acting on their impulses, even if the trial is never completely overcome in this life.

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  8. Yep, I guess that makes sense, they just want us to sound "tolerant" or whatever. (By the way, remember what President Monson recently said about wicked things being allowed under the mask of tolerance...) I guess it's a PR issue, so the self-identified, vice-indulging students will get warm fuzzies. Does the old Honor Code REALLY sound like we're having a "gay witch hunt" though?? And why encourage anyone to overcome any temptation? As long as they don't DO anything, right? There are a lot more politics involved at BYU than most people think...

    It just sounds like arguing for the weakness to me. Thinking that there are some things that "just can't be overcome" in this life is SO Ty Mansfield. Not Christ. I have overcome what some might call the impossible. Nothing to my credit at all, just showing what the power of the Atonement can do, if you REALLY want it to.

    Otherwise, I might as well join PFLAG. That would be the tolerant thing to do.

    P.S. Ignore what I said in the above comment about "Txoj Sia" and woodwork... I was thinking about another Nate Kartchner, ha ha.

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  9. Fair enough. I wasn't trying to attack you. I was stating my opinion, one that I feel is valid. I understand if you disagree. I just wish you'd responded to what I actually said, and not to the attack you seemed to feel.

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  10. Drew, I somehow missed this post before. I admire your stance on the issue, and living in a place where many, many people believe differently than me (even in the church), I have had to learn how to talk about it in such a different way without giving up my beliefs. I get so upset about it that sometimes my emotions cloud my argument. This happens on both sides. Boy is it hard to avoid.

    Recently, my favorite analogy is to use Autism. No one knows exactly what causes it or if you are born with it. There is a wide spectrum of behavior. It is extremely hard, and even sometimes impossible to overcome. However, everyone agrees that it is something that SHOULD be worked on, and that many people DO have hope for overcoming it. My own son is one of those who worked hard, and with the help and faith of his family was able to overcome Autism and live a happy and normal life.

    The difference between them is that I don't believe H. to be biological or a physical ailment--more of a psychological one (and if like unto depression, why not treat it?). I believe perhaps many people have physical or psychological factors that play into the addictions which lead to the problem, and perhaps there are a few who may never overcome it. Does that mean we give up trying? No.

    Wow. Too much for here. But there you go.

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  11. I hope I'm not going to be fueling any fires by jumping in here, but I have a couple thoughts.
    I think that allowing people with homosexual tendencies to attend BYU is a far cry from changing BYU's policy to be "in favor" of homosexuality, especially since the Honor Code specifically states that advocacy of homosexuality is not acceptable. I also think that there are students struggling with all kinds of different issues at BYU, and that this is no different from those other situations. The fact that homosexuality IS so politically charged shouldn't mean that those students are less welcome than students struggling with other things. It also doesn't mean that BYU is succumbing to political or social pressure--to me, it means that BYU recognizes the presence of the issue and is expressing an attitude of tolerance, which we have all been encouraged to do. In General Conference President Hinckley said, "we must never forget that we live in a world of great diversity. The people of the earth are all our Father’s children and are of many and varied religious persuasions. We must cultivate tolerance and appreciation and respect one another. We have differences of doctrine. This need not bring about animosity or any kind of holier-than-thou attitude (April 1999)."
    The Honor Code clearly states that people with homosexual tendencies are required to live by the same standards that heterosexual students live by. Would BYU really be encouraging students to overcome temptation by threatening to kick them out if they don't?
    And also, I don't think that you can just decide to overcome your trials and then have it be done. Sometimes we DO have to "just endure" them first, and it is definitely not denying the Atonement to realize that things don't happen just whenever we decide they're going to happen. They happen when the Lord thinks we are ready for them to happen. If we just OVERCAME our trials immediately, we wouldn't learn much from them. Maybe people who are struggling with homosexuality at BYU are in a different stage in the process; expelling them isn't going to "encourage them to overcome temptation."
    I really appreciate what Cami said about the Autism analogy. I don't think for a second that homosexuality is okay--but I do think that we have to let people deal with it the way they can. Just like BYU wouldn't kick someone out for struggling with depression. It's not a matter of evil being masked by tolerance--it's a matter of letting people go through the process of learning and repenting and experiencing the power of the Atonement.

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  12. Wow, I am honestly amazed at the incredible hyper-conservatism and closedmindedness that was portrayed in this blog.

    I think it's safe to assume that you have never been personally affected by the reality of homosexuality.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you've had your fair share of uncomfortable moments while in the presence of a gay couple. Many of us have. For me, however, it wasn't until a very close friend of mine came forward about his struggles with homosexuality that it turned from a scary and repulsive lifestyle to a very real, very difficult challenge that many people face.

    Just because a person struggles (or even embraces) homosexuality does not mean that they are some sort of sex crazed maniac bent on convincing you that your hetro lifestyle is wrong. They're not trying to overrun the world and impose some sort of homosexual regime. They are normal people who don't deserve to be berated by people who have absolutely no idea what types of trials and struggles they are facing.

    The zero-tolerance stance that you are taking towards the issue shows little or know understanding of the concept of mercy, and, quite frankly a severe lack of maturity.

    Judging by the populous inhabiting BYU and its surrounding suburbs, the university should be one of the most love-filled, welcoming and judgment-free places on Earth. Unfortunately, rather that being saturated with Christ-like people who love and embrace people of every walk of life, it is full of people like you... people who discriminate, hate and oppress.

    I find it hard to believe that Jesus would kick anyone out of his school for struggling with sin of ANY kind. What gives you that right?

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  13. Cami--thank you.

    Miri--There is a big difference between between allowing students who are struggling with overcoming homosexuality, and allowing students who have embraced the backwards lifestyle, succumbing to the idea that it's just "who they are", as long as they don't act out. THAT is what I think is wrong, not the fact that there are people struggling with this at BYU, but that there are people (students AND faculty) who not only embrace, but endorse the validification of such a behavior and lifestyle. That's why I said I think it's okay as long as these people aren't labeling themselves, but if they are sincerely trying to overcome, which I guess is only up to them. But since you're quoting General Authorities, on the subject, Miri, why don't I bring up what our beloved Prophet said in this our most recent General Conference? "The face of sin today often wears the Halloween mask of tolerance. Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, unhappiness and pain. You know what is right and what is wrong, and no disguise, however appealing, can change that." That can be referring to a couple of things, but it seems clear that this is included.

    As for bags... You go right ahead and assume away, though let it be known that I know in a VERY PERSONAL WAY the effects that this can have (and I don't mean just happening to run into a random gay couple now and then... Please, what a ridiculous assumption! You know absolutely nothing about me!). I have seen, in my life and the lives of many friends (even, yes, at BYU) the damage that the homosexual lifestyle can do (and they acted so innocent, like they were not "acting out"...). But wow, I've already been labeled as closed-minded, discriminatory, hateful and oppressive! All from just one comment! I'm on a roll! Are you sure you didn't want to throw "bigoted" on there as well? Oh, how original. Funny how the name-calling always comes from the other side, while you exhibit the same traits you accuse me of.

    WHY do people just presume that because I speak out on this, I know nothing on the subject??? I have done my homework. I suggest you do yours.

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  14. Drew, we all know what President Monson said in conference. Apparently you didn't notice, but I actually quoted that too. I'm not saying that I don't think that's true--what I'm saying is that I don't think BYU's change in Honor Code policy falls into that category.
    How would you suggest they distinguish between those who are struggling and those who are accepting it, any more than they already have? The Honor Code specifies that any outward manifestation, any behavior that could be considered "acting out," is inappropriate and will bring the same consequences that heterosexual students face for breaking the Honor Code. What more can they do? I think this change is meant to exemplify a Christlike acceptance of people, no matter who they are, and to help the students who are struggling, not accepting. Sure, there will be people who take advantage of it. There are heterosexual students who take advantage of it all the time, and why should they be any different? Heterosexual immorality is no different or better than homosexual immorality. The point of this change IS to allow people to experience the Atonement if that is what they are trying to do. Since we can't distinguish between those who are and those who aren't, it is only right that they be given the same starting ground as heterosexual people.

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  15. So i just have a question, You keep quoting President Monson, about the mask thing, and i think we get it. But if BYU is run by General Authorities, dont you think they would know what they are doing? So i say amen to Miri and Bags. I think if BYU is run by the church, then they probably know what they are doing.

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  16. Thanks for the post, Alex, and you make a good point--if the school is run by General Authorities, you would think you could count on the decisions they make, but remember that there are still politics and bureaucracy involved, especially where academia is concerned, and especially when it's such a politically-charged, hot topic. LDS, and even the faculty and staff at BYU are increasingly liberal these days--just look at this conversation!

    And Miri, thanks too. Like I said, I'm fine as long as people are working at overcoming, which definitely doesn't happen overnight. I'm just afraid that people will use this as a crutch, and continue to identify themselves in this way, and will see this as the Church slowly giving in to accepting the behavior as legit (which they believe is imminent). This just causes the people with a homosexual problem to be further confused, and maybe ultimately accept it. I mean, if even BYU says it's fine...

    I have seen first-hand the underground gay side of BYU, and it is not pretty. This is a subtle step, but definitely one they will use to their advantage.

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  17. The homosexual students in question at Brigham Young University are not—as you might think—grand marshals of the San Francisco Pride Parade donning nothing but leopard skin thongs and sodomizing kittens in front of your grandmother’s home. They are students who are currently in therapy, weekly one-on-ones with their Bishops and other priesthood authority figures and are living by gospel standards. As long as they live and act—and I reiterate—LIVE and ACT by GOSPEL STANDARDS, they are free to obtain a Christ-centered education at the Church’s university.
    Contrary to your panicky post, the Church is not condoning homosexuality nor is it allowing it onto campus. I, as a practicing homosexual, have been asked to leave. As well I should… why not free the space I was taking for a practicing Mormon who would love nothing more than to spend their daily pursuits living, working, and learning in a religious environment? As for myself, I find the University of Washington to be a more enriching and fulfilling educational institution. One where diversity and the contributions of *every* type of person is analyzed, studied, critiqued or revered.

    But I digress…though I may not be an devotee to the LDS faith (or any faith for that matter), I will be the first to stand with my brothers and sisters who choose a Christ-centered life and their right to “control” their same-sex feelings and channel their energies in what they deem to be more worthwhile pursuits within the Church.

    And may I add: at no point in time have you been given the keys or the authority to administer over the spiritual well-being of the student body at Brigham Young University—so it is not for you to say whether a chaste Mormon with “same-sex struggles” can remain on campus or not.

    Stealing the chance for these people to lead a chaste, gospel-centered life because of *your* perceived unworthiness of their desires (though I don’t see a similar tirade from you against those who don’t smoke but have been tempted to smoke at one point… or heterosexuals who are chaste but have been tempted at one point or another to engage in sexual relations with someone they found attractive) will only lead them to seek solidarity and support elsewhere. That, my friend, will be the homosexual community. And if there is a God and a Jesus Christ and they truly are how you and other hysterical religious people describe—they will cast these homosexuals down to “hell” (though as a practicing LDS adult, you should be well-versed enough to know that the “sin” of homosexuality is not enough to curse one into Outer Darkness)… and *you* will have been the catalyst that sent them there. In short: your garments will be stained with their blood.
    From your blog posts I ascertain that political correctness is not your strongest suit. May I suggest that one more thing for you to work on be proper metaphorical characterization? In this post you suggest that you are David locked in a righteous struggle with Goliath. I, and I assume most readers for that matter, would be more apt to characterize you as a Pharisee of the worst order. Your tirade is devoid of Christ-like love and will embarrass any gospel adherent who has already mastered the Master’s art of forgiveness, brotherly love, the understanding of the struggles of their fellow man and a genuine desire to help.

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  18. You guys should really take a step back and look at what your saying.

    Here is a quote from a comment praising this blogpost

    ""BYU is totally giving in to the "equal rights" junk going on. It is ridiculous""

    Imagine that, equal rights. Who would want that, definitely not school students looking to be more Christlike.

    Seriously it is this same kind of thinking that leads to un-Christlike behavior and hate crimes

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  19. Bottom line--
    BYU is a private, religious institution, and is allowed to do what ever they want accordingly. Not endorsing the gay lifestyle is not hateful or intolerant, it is our morals that we believe in. We are entitled to this belief as much as the Gay people are to theirs.

    Why should the church's school continue to endorse this behavior when it completely contradicts the whole reason we are on this earth? I love all people, and know every one is a child of God and we all have our own struggles, but it just doesn't make any sense to give someone the option of being Gay, and just not acting out on it. That is like telling me to love Jeff all I want, but I can ever marry him... or be a ballerina and n ever dance, or be a chef and don't ever eat food. Doesn't make sense.

    Sir Jupiter-- I know lots of people at BYU who are struggling, but like you said, are working hard to overcome it. The honor code isn't directed towards them, because they are trying to overcome it. The honor code is now protecting those who are openly gay, not trying to change, and are a walking, talking contradiction of beliefs our church holds dear, choosing the world over the power of Christ.

    Miri and Megan-- I have lived with you for two years now, and I have never heard such things coming from you, which is odd, since the conversation came up quite often, seeing as how I am my brother's sister. This was shocking to me. Have you been holding back on me...?

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  20. Another debated aspect of the honor code is the curfew. In all actuality, little changes between 11:59PM and 12:01AM, however there hinges the Honor Code. A student may think of disobeying the curfew, they may “entertain thoughts” of it--wondering what they might do after curfew, or wishing that they could stay till the end of the movie--but as long as they leave at 11:59 PM, they have not broken the honor code. Entertaining thoughts is not behavior. A student may, for the duration of their education at Brigham Young University, bristle daily under the curfew rule, but if they honor it, they are welcome at the institution and have every right to attend BYU in good standing.

    BYU is essentially saying, “We welcome ‘night-owls.’ As long as they obey the curfew we are as happy to have them study as we are ‘early birds’”

    Now I am not trying to minimize the seriousness of the issues and the struggles associated with sexuality. But the BYU honor code is about providing an atmosphere conducive to learning that is in harmony with the teachings of the gospel, but that is also academically diverse.

    BYU will/should offer homosexuals an education as much as it would alchemists, atheists or theoretical physicists.

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  21. I must say one more thing. Sure, Drew has used strong language in this post. Sure, there are several sides to this issue. But if there is one place a person has to vent their feelings on an issue without major concern, I believe it is their own blog, for heaven's sake! This post is really only about the misunderstandings that may occur at BYU by condemning behavior while allowing a label that seems to condone it at the same time. If I were a student struggling with this issue at BYU, I would be confused. I feel it is this ambiguity that is the problem, not that general authorities are right or wrong or whatever. The point is, this fuels the fire for more confusion. The liberals will perceive this as either a great step in the right direction, or just not enough. The conservatives can see it with the same confusion. Let Drew vent. This is no forum for serious argument.

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  22. Good point, Cami, and it's true, I do say a lot of things when I'm fired up about something. I don't take it back, but sometimes I wish I had worded it differently. But I'm not going to edit. It was how I felt at the time, and that is what blogging is for, for better or worse. And besides, in retrospect, it doesn't really seem all that volatile. I've heard much worse coming my way, especially recently.

    And good point also, Alex, although the difference here is that breaking the honor code isn't necessarily a sin against God. Like you said, little happens between 11:59 pm and 12:01 am, but in the sexual sphere, especially regarding thoughts, a lot can happen over the space of just a little line if thoughts are entertained and indulged. Still, good thoughts, and thanks for being polite!

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  23. You don't understand church policy about homosexuals, we don't excommunicate people for being gay or having gay thoughts, only when they act on them and violate the law of chastity. BYU's change aligns their honor code with church policy and no matter what you think you know about it, you don't know more than the church leaders that are on the board at BYU making these changes and decisions.

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  24. wow... instead of concerning yourself with issues way beyond your comprehension level, perhaps you should stick to working on your own imperfections. i think toweringintellect has many valid and accurate points with sufficient evidence to refute your horrendously one-sided rant. i just pity those who are so closed minded as to condemn those who are struggling to hell, rather than focusing on their own salvation. yes, the practice homosexuality is not condoned by the LDS church, but we are also taught that everyone is given their own agency. byu has explicitly stated that the very appearance of the practice of homosexuality can result in expulsion, so what's your problem? this amended honor code is now in better accordance to the actual stance of the church. in the end, we are not the judge, and i thank heaven for that.

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  25. Being personally acquainted with those who pushed for the change, they're people who deal with Same Gender Attraction, but who want to remain faithful to their Church and their God, living by the same rules as every other member of the Church. Fearing a possible misunderstanding by closed-minded people, they wanted it to be made clear that it was the acts that condemned them with the Honor Code office and not the thoughts.

    People who are tempted to drink, or to smoke, or to fantasize about the opposite sex should not be thrown out of BYU, the same as those who are tempted to fantasize about the same gender; it's the commission of the outward sin that the Honor Code worries about. And for that matter, if any of those that I've just mentioned gave in to that temptation, it would be between them and their priesthood leaders.

    Thoughts are thoughts, and straight or gay, thoughts of a sexual nature come up in every day life. Straight people should fall just as much under your condemnation, Drew, as gay people who entertain thoughts of a sexual nature, something I feel your post fails to mention.

    If you're going to appoint yourself judge, just make sure you're fair. (Matt 7:1, JST)

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  26. Wow. You are a very narrow minded, self absorbed, hypocritical person. I'm very surprised that a "rightous" member of the church would think they have the responsibility to play the role of God and judge others.

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  27. Cami-

    You're right, Drew does have the right to post whatever he wants on his blog. But by posting on his blog, he also opens his opinion up to scrutiny by the entire world wide web. Welcome to the internet.

    Drew, I hadn't thought of "bigoted" at first, just discriminatory, hateful and oppressive, but now that you mention it... yeah,I'd say you can come across as a bigot. Like Nate (Towering Intellect) stated so beautifully, "You’re ridiculous, but I support your right to be so."

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  28. With all due respect Kuab...you're mistaken.

    First of all, I trust the brethren's capacity to receive revelation for the church more than I trust yours. If they felt it was appropriate to clarify the honor code, then it was. In the end, your opinion really doesn't matter. (BTW: I don't believe that they actually changed anything policy-wise, they simply clarified how the honor code applies to students who struggle with a particular issue.

    Second, you said, "I'm fine as long as people are working at overcoming...I'm just afraid that people will use this as a crutch." Let me say this bluntly: That's not your concern. Your responsibility is to love those around you as Christ would. If a few choose to use 'working at it' as a crutch, then that's between them and the Lord...not you.

    Here's an example. If the school decided to make an addition to the honor code that said, "Anyone who eats cheese will be expelled," I'm sure many people would obey. That's not to say they wouldn't crave cheese, but as long as they don't eat it...they're worthy. Over time, they can work on managing that craving and hopefully someday, they'll lose the desire. But for now, we can only expect them to avoid eating cheese.

    Now sure there will be a couple of people who say they're struggling with not eating cheese just so they have an excuse to eat it every now and then. And yes, those people will be judged accordingly by those with authority to judge them. But neither you nor I is authorized. It is our responsibility to show love to those people. That's the only way they can hope to change.

    P.S. As Elder Nelson stated, there is a huge difference between "tolerance" and "tolerate" Teach Us Tolerance and Love. We need to have tolerance for those around us and love them as Christ would. But we shouldn't tolerate inappropriate behavior.

    P.P.S. I don't allow smoking in my home...but that doesn't mean that smokers are absolutely prohibited. What if I invited a smoker over to listen to the missionaries. Banning people based on their temptations never makes sense. Think about it.

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  30. I have been going back and forth on whether or not to even comment on this post. Frankly, it took me several read-throughs to realize that you weren't, in fact, being satirical; I actually debated with several people on whether or not you are being quite serious in here. Various statements you make ("They are acting out!!! I have seen it! Entertaining thoughts is behavior!", "they are so entrenched in the victim mentality that they think they actually have special privileges, and are entitled to even more liberality of behavior", "People who have self-identified as someone against the creation and design of God?", "This is something that can and MUST be overcome, as can be attested in the experiences of thousands around the world", "In the name of being "tolerant" and "accepting", we are advocating a gospel of hopelessness, allowing our beloved brothers and sisters to walk right into the jaws of hell") left me aghast from their sheer lunacy. Surely this piece is just a mockery of people who actually DO believe and make assertions such as these, right?

    But then as I read the words of your commenters, and your own comments, I see that what you wrote is indeed a true reflection of your beliefs and perceptions. And this being the case, I don't harbour the delusion that anything I say is going to change your mind--a fair number of years ago I would have been found with a similar mindset to yours, and, like everyone who thinks the world/the apostates/the gays/the Mexicans/the pro-choicers/the pagans/the Democrats are out to get them/seduce them off the strait and narrow/sodomize them/steal their jobs/abort their babies/sacrifice their children to the Devil/give America to the terrorists, there wasn't a thing the other side could say to me that could convince me I was wrong.

    You have made up your mind--it is very obvious that is the case--on a subject you demonstrate to know very little about. I don't know who you spoke to or what you read by way of forming your opinion, but you should at least be aware that opinions like yours cause more pain than you realize. It's not so much that your opinion dissents from mine, or from the hundreds of thousands of people who actually ARE gay and Mormon and have to reconcile the two, but its that you have the audacity to prescribe! You are neither their therapist, a psychologist, their clergyman, a Ph.D in gender studies, or even someone truly interested in learning more about a kind of life you weren't born with a natural understanding of. If you had spent any amount of time with someone who had to reconcile the fact that they're gay with their belief in the truth of the Gospel, you would know beyond all doubt that IT IS NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU THINK IT IS. If "the all encompassing and enabling Atonement" did what you believe it does, there Would. Not. Be. Any. More. Gay. Mormons. For god's sake, you have no idea what you are talking about here! You CANNOT prescribe, because you don't know. And from the way you sound in your post, you aren't willing to LEARN.

    Of course your associates here enjoyed reading your view--you have given voice to what they probably have always felt but have always feared would reflect poorly on their character to come out and say, in this society that EVEN AT BYU is giving in to the incipient spread of TOLERANCE and EQUAL RIGHTS; the syphilis of political movements, no? A society which disgraces itself by sleeping with Lady Tolerance of the Evening will find itself afflicted with the 19st Amendment, the Civil Rights Act, religious freedom, and Massachusetts. Armageddon is surely nigh at hand.

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  31. (You probably have no idea who this is--I'm Elise Crane, as in wife of Joel Crane.)

    As I read your blog and the resulting comments, I am overwhelmingly grateful that I don't have to be the end-all judge for anyone in this world. I'm sure you have had enough experience to feel the way you do, and you are more than welcome to feel this way. I am also incredibly grateful that I don't personally have to deal with this struggle myself. Lack of time management skills, on the other hand, may be the death of me. It's a good thing they don't kick out practicing procrastinators from BYU, otherwise I would be sunk.

    I am whole heartedly committed to the Church and believe it is a divine institution with all the revelatory privileges that are connected with the Church. I feel that the honor code is not taken lightly by the Board of Directors or the General Authorities who watch over the school and as such, they must have prayed fervently to know if this change should be made. I understand that even those who head this church are subject to fault because they are mortal and we are prone to make mistakes. Having said this, I have my own ability to discern what is good from what is evil, as do you and all others in this world. I have thought this change over and feel the clarification is helpful, especially in a day of ambiguity. You do not need to agree with me on this point, and I understand that you don't. Just because I feel this way does not mean that I am pro-gay. I'm not. I struggle with issues that no one but me knows about and I'm grateful that I can feel comfortable at BYU where I can take place in an environment of learning and acceptance to try towards perfection. If students come to BYU with struggles of same sex attraction and try their hardest to overcome, they too can profit from a Gospel-centered environment just like I can. Besides, if they follow the honor code as it is outlined, no one would be the wiser if they were or weren't attracted to the same gender. Let their actions show what kind of people they are.

    I understand this may look like a slackening of our moral standards to some, and if some take it to be an initiation and use it as such, let Christ be the one to judge them. He knows their strengths and faults and, in his perfection, can lead them away from the lies the world tells them that the gay lifestyle is ok.

    I feel strongly about this subject, and even though people like Megan and Miri and I say things that seem to contradict what you are saying, look closely. We agree on principle--sin is evil and should not be embraced, but many of those sinners are trying their hardest to come back to the path and live clean lives. Just because we believe this change in the honor code is wise does not mean we are being hoodwinked by political correctness or acceptance of evil. It means we have weighed the information we were presented with and feel it will make BYU a better institution.

    I hope this makes sense to you. You don't have to agree but I hope you understand.

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  32. Wow, there have been a lot of hateful and angry comments on here! I actually hadn't checked in a few days because it was so long ago, but look at that! People are still disallowing me an opinion while forcing their own down my throat!

    I welcome all of your opinions, even though most of you just don't understand the point I was trying to make. No matter.

    I will reiterate: I know a thing or two about this subject. I have personally been in and out of this lifestyle.

    Thanks for your comment, Elise C.

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  33. And... whoever said anything about ex-communication?!?!? I am talking about HELPING people CHANGE through the ATONEMENT. How is that narrow-minded or intolerant? I feel like the "clarification" or "change" or whatever just validates it more as a valid lifestyle choice, that's all.

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  34. People who are struggling with same sex attraction don't label themselves gay. It is when they have already accepted the lifestyle that they then give themselves the label.

    Seeing my friends struggle with homosexuality is like watching my friends play with a ticking time bomb. I do everything I can to help them overcome it, and avoid having to live their lives struggling. We are to do the same with our brothers and sisters in the church.

    So, I guess it is ok to have sinful thoughts now, according to basically everyone on here. Sin starts from your thoughts. I guess I can fantasize about being with someone that isn't my husband, but as long as I don't act out on it, then I am still being faithful to my husband.

    I can't believe how angry an opposing opinion makes people. Honestly there is quite a lot of hypocrisy going on. People accusing Drew of judging, but look what you are doing to him... Judging. I am sorry that everyone feels that this little comment space is a place to tear someone down. I don't think any of you know Drew, yet make accusations that he doesn't know what he is talking about. Perhaps he has a little insight... Perhaps more than you know? Which is an example of what Utah Valley is. Ignorance and political correctness. Bravo to Drew for actually being able to say such bold things that people find so hard to swallow.

    We aren't alone in thinking this. People just don't like to speak up, because when they do, this happens. We are ripped apart and silenced.

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  35. I have a quick question, then. So, this issue has been compared to eating cheese, staying a few minutes past curfew, etc., seemingly small transgressions to emphasize the point. Let's try it the other way.

    What if I were an outspoken pedophile? I've never molested a child in my life, but remember, I let everyone know about my feelings, but have no desire to change. I really really really want to pursue a degree in elementary education at BYU. I've never "acted" on my feelings. Would that still be okay? Because the majority of you, after I read what you say, should not hesitate in declaring, "YES! Come one in! Just keep your hands off children while you're here! That's fine!"

    As I was pondering over the many comments made, I remembered that BYU's mission is "to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life." It goes on to say, "To succeed in this mission the university must provide an environment enlightened by living prophets and sustained by those moral virtues which characterize the life and teachings of the Son of God." I think everyone here should read BYU's entire mission statement and then really think whether this step BYU has taken is leading them closer or further from their initial goal.

    In my opinion, furher. Sure, they're allowing everybody to come in and receive an education now, but is this really helping those students in their quest for perfection and eternal life?

    Kuab Ci,
    Txhob txhawj! Koj tseem muaj phooj ywg ntau ntau! Koj hais yog! Txhob tso tseg nawj!

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  36. So have you found a girlfriend yet? They're ladies, you know.

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  37. Erm... how is that relevant?

    And (to indulge your question), as a matter of fact, I have! Thanks very much for asking, and she is lovely.

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  38. The lists and ratings of books read and movies recently viewed here tell me all I need to know about the level of judgment, experience and insight that went into this blog post.

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  39. Checking in 5 years later to see if you and the wife are still goin' strong.

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    1. Again: 1) It's not really any of your business, but 2) yes we are, and stronger than ever! I'm happier every day.

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  40. P.S. I just spent a few minutes looking back through these comments, some of which I had forgotten completely, and I am truly amazed at the total hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness of many of the complete strangers who felt it their duty to come on here and tell me who I am and what I know (like the bit about someone laughing it up with their friends at this delightfully satirical piece, and one of my favorites was "you have no idea what you are talking about here!" Ha ha haaa, as if you know me). It's also funny how much some of these people have changed their views, in either direction. Either they were lying before, or they've completely abandoned their standards. Either way, not too cool. Luckily I couldn't care less what a bunch of intolerant bigots had to say five years ago. For the record, though nowadays if I wrote this blog it would have been MUCH longer and more detailed, I stand by what I wrote 100%, except that things have only grown worse. The slippery slope gets more slippery by the day.

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