Thursday, April 19, 2007

BYU Students Don't Support Torture

Well, that's what one of the signs in this picture says:



Am I surprised? Absolutely. Not about BYU students opposing torture -- that should be a no-brainer I hope -- but rather that BYU students are openly protesting a decision made by the board of trustees, which includes the first presidency of the LDS church. (For those who aren't up on the latest Mormon news: they invited Dick Cheney to speak at the BYU commencement.)

I don't think it's so much that BYU has changed as it is that Cheney has just done too much damage for anyone to want to honor him. So apparently some students, faculty, etc. have planned what has got to be the world's politest protest: an alternative commencement.

Why do I call it polite? Because it's not even competing with the regular commencement -- they've conveniently scheduled it after so everyone can attend both...

22 comments:

Kullervo said...

Hahaha! That's hilariously nonconfrontational.

Johnny said...

I am surprised also. My sources tell me that this has turned into a "do you support the prophet or not?" routine by those who are not oppossed to Cheney.

For people to pull that number and students to still protest means that the BYU students, and faculty, actually have some backbone.

Of course this means that the PR machine will go into effect and tidy it allup.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Kullervo!!!

Well, of course these protesters wouldn't want to be mistaken for those long-haired-hippy-type protesters. ;^)

p.s. I'm not trying to make fun of them here -- I applaud them for tackling this issue within the framework of their own value system (which overlaps with mine on issues such as torture and some of their other complaints about Cheney).

Hey Johnny!!!

Really? I haven't heard that people are pulling the "do you support the prophet or not?" card, but maybe I'm spending too much time on the liberal end of the blogosphere...

JulieAnn said...

Someone's gonna get fried for this. Film at 11.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey JulieAnn!!!

You mean fired, right? Or expelled? And/or ex'ed?

aerin said...

I hope that someone will use this BYI students against torture time to talk about the experiments on g_ay people in the 60s. My stomach still turns every time I think of what happened.

They need to admit that it happened, admit that it was wrong and apologize.

I do applaud the students for their protest - while some protesting is pointless - I'm glad there is some questioning.

aerin said...

I meant BYU - not sure why I typed BYI....

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Aerin!!!

I hadn't though of that connection, but you're right -- there should be a statement and apology about that.

Catherine said...

Wow. Very interesting. I hadn't heard about this. I wonder how popular the alternative will be. I was a believer when I went to the Y, but I wonder which commencement I would have attended.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Catherine!!!

Yeah, it will be interesting to see how this turns out!!!

I didn't attend my own BYU commencement, but I might have attended something like this...

Mark said...

Sounds like a very luke warm type of protest.

AZ Awakening said...

Wow the mere fact BYU students are protesting anything involving the Board of Trustees is interesting. However from what I have noticed lately is there is an under current of doubt at BYU, and this is good way to protest and voice displeasure as you note within the framework of their college and rules.

The Sacred Sister said...

Wow, this is amazing. I'm excited to see where this petition goes, too. So far there are only 152 signatures... many are anonymous, which is understandable.
Thanks for posting this. My sister is at BYU, I think I'm gonna give her a buzz tonight... LOL

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Mark!!!

It does seem like a mild gesture, but it's understandable -- anyone who works for BYU or is enrolled can get in trouble for stepping out of line. As I recall, a BYU professor recently lost his job for writing an editorial or something like that...

Hey AZ Awakening!!!

Exactly!!!

Hey Sacred Sister!!!

Now that you mention it, my sister's at BYU too -- I should email her and ask if she's involved in the protest...

Stephen said...

BTW, the Senate Majority Leader is speaking at BYU this fall.

Cheney is an interesting story, in that his office approached BYU about speaking there.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Stephen!!!

Ah, I hadn't heard about the Senate Majority Leader speaking there too. It should be interesting to see how this plays out. :D

JulieAnn said...

No I actually meant fried.

Freckle Face Girl said...

Wow, such rebels! I'm impressed by passive aggressive protests.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Freckle Face Girl!!!

It seems a little passive, but it's more than one might expect at BYU...

Freudian Slip said...

Gotta love the contradictions :)
Matt

Gluby said...

Fascinating! Nonconfrontational and passive-aggressive as it is, that's a big deal when absolute deference and submission is the standard.

I would be even more surprised if the "do you support the prophet or not?" card was not raised. After all, this is young up-and-coming leadership Mormons at center of Mormonism bucking Mormon authority. The future "suits" -- middle class professionals who will be the bishops, and whose M.R.S.-degree-endowed wives will be R.S. presidents. Huge deal, though it will probably be contained and squashed in that oh-so-Mormon way to which Johnny alludes.

An interesting side-note is that it is not so obvious that Mormons should oppose torture. After all, it was now-federal-judge Brother Jay Bybee who wrote one of the infamous torture memorandums and who was afterward celebrated by Meridian Magazine as a protector of law and the constitution. (And, it should be noted, his federal judgeship came as a result of it, shortly afterward.)

You know what I mean -- the memo with the argument that only physical pain that approximates actual death or organ failure can constitute "torture," therefore making the definition of torture so extreme as to render it into irrelevance.

No, the Mormon-approved stand on torture is quite in line with Cheney's.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Matt!!!

I suppose the inconsistency you're talking about is the same one Gluby mentions...

Hey Gluby!!!

That's horrible. I guess I meant that opposition to torture should be a non-brainer (but isn't always), and that I'm not surprised by this because in every group there will be some people who stand up and say something (even when the majority just go along with what they're told).