Readers’ Forum March 31, 2006


    Critic, not apostate

    Todd Hendricks’ termination reminded me of an earlier saga in BYU’s history: the “modernism crisis” of 1911. The “modernism crisis” concerned three BYU professors who were fired for their outspoken beliefs; they openly taught evolutionary Darwinism and higher biblical criticism, the belief that the Bible should not be taken literally. Such teachings not only contradicted church doctrine, but destroyed some students’ testimonies. Since then BYU has earned the reputation of restricting faculty academic freedom.

    In both Hendricks’ case and the “modernism crisis,” BYU employees were terminated for their outspoken beliefs that challenged the administration. However, there is a major difference between promoting biblical criticism that can destroy students’ testimonies and exposing healthy criticism intended to improve the status quo.

    Although I believe the issue is intrinsically more complicated than either party will admit, the administration is continuing a dangerous precedence when they dismiss staff over disagreements. Don’t get me wrong; teachers who promote false doctrine have every right to be released, but not those who offer healthy criticism in hopes of improving the situation. Paraphrasing President Samuelson from last Thursday’s Q&A, here at BYU we can disagree, but still be agreeable. I wonder how Todd Hendricks would respond.

    John Rhoden

    University Place, Wash.

    Administration, not BYUSA

    BYUSA is not at fault for the faulty elections and the ludicrous aftermath regarding the Hendricks scandal. The administration of BYUSA and student life are at fault. BYUSA is a great organization, full of students that work for free with conviction to serve the student body.

    Unfortunately, this cover up is not uncommon. Each and every year, the students are faced with another controversy regarding elections and people like Dean Heperi and Brent Barclay don’t want to face the music. You can’t possibly sue BYU right? BYU is owned by the church and so it would be like pressing a lawsuit against the church. That is how they try to force you to give up. They rely on the students to just give up and move on, until next year, when the same thing happens all over again. It will blow over because the students move on and the administration remains. Any guesses on what will happen next year? I have a few predictions.

    Bryce Porter

    Pasadena, California

    Change things yourself

    Most of these people making complaints about BYUSA have not stepped past the front desk of the Student Leadership office to actually make the changes or see how the organization is actually run. They’re content to stay in ignorance (read: Kevin Winters letter, March 3, 2006). So many people are quick to point the finger, yet do nothing but write editorials and wear fancy T-shirts. As fashionable as this may be, this is not the effective way to make changes. Be ye doers of the word.

    If you think BYUSA is so narrow-minded, like Andrew Stephens does, then I challenge you again to go up to the Student Leadership office and get involved. Apparently, you think they need you! No, get away from that Bright Ideas box. We’ve already heard what you have to say about BYUSA. Stop saying “Todd Hendricks” this and that for your excuse to slack off on making a difference. Get up there and do it yourself! When you start complaining about how you don’t have the time to make the sufficient changes you are calling out for, then stop complaining about the people who are trying to take that time.

    Tom Reyes-Cairo

    Toledo, Ohio

    Outside reflects inside

    I’ve felt frustrated with the recent discussion of rewriting the Honor Code. Although living a morally clean life and the conditions of the heart are the core of BYU’s Honor Code, our outward appearance is a reflection of our inward commitment to the standards of the gospel. The Honor Code was one of the biggest reasons I chose to come to BYU. Where else can you find a university that requires such high morals of living – whether it be keeping curfew or wearing modest clothing? If our dress and grooming standards are weakened, what will make our university (and church, for that matter) stand out as a beacon in a world that is constantly becoming more morally relaxed? This is the season of standing up for what’s right, even (and especially) if it means standing out. What will be left for the students of tomorrow if we adopt the ways of the world and lose one of the very things that makes Brigham Young University truly remarkable?

    Julianna Hopkins

    Spanish Fork

    Christian judgments

    I agree with both Garrett Bodily and Kaulana Shum’s letters on March 29, 2006. Obeying the Honor Code does represent the church; however, it doesn’t always represent Jesus Christ. The fact that we as Mormons have been “taught” to treat others with love and respect no matter who they are doesn’t mean we’ve “learned” this lesson. The students who made judgments against Kaulana for his appearance in no way represent Christ. My husband, a non-member with “anarchist sideburns” and tattoos, represents Jesus Christ more with his actions that any other Mormon boy I have dated, including returned missionaries. His ability to appreciate diversity in all people exceeds that of most people I have met. His one complaint against Mormons is that we were “taught” not to have non-LDS friends. The fact that we as BYU students judge and persecute other BYU students gives little chance of us representing Christ and befriending all people.

    Amanda Meyer


    Days for sale

    Having read the article “Testing Center late fees explained” only made me more frustrated with the late fee policy. I understand that it costs the university and colleges money to administer tests, but isn’t that why we pay tuition (to cover the costs of our education)? If the departments are in serious need for money they should not prey on students. Rather, they should budget their current funds better.

    In the article, a professor said she used late fees to encourage the students to take their tests in a timely manner. Since when was it the job of a Chemistry professor to govern how students schedules their lives? I say schedule the test so that it has to be taken in a timely manner. The professors are essentially selling days. If a student approached a professor and offered the professor money in order to take a non-testing-center test a day late, the student would be reported to the Honor Code office for bribery. Abolish late fees along with all other ridiculous fees that this university has figured out how to slam on the students it is supposedly serving.

    Stuart Layton


    Kindness: The new crime

    I have always considered myself a well-mannered, polite individual. However, now it has been a detriment to my character. Recently I met a nice lady who works at a jewelry store. She was kind and receptive. I made conversation, and noticed her dry hands. I too have dry hands that bother me in Utah. Fortunately, I know of a good moisturizer, and I recommended it to her. That evening, I checked to see if she was on Facebook. She was, and I requested to be added as a friend. The following morning I went to Wal-Mart and coincidentally saw her there. I had my old hand cream in my pocket and gave it to her and told her to have a nice day.

    That evening, I returned to the mall to visit a different jewelry store. While there, the two friends I was with left me. I went looking for them. Instead of finding them, I found mall security. They asked if my name was Ian and said a woman at the jewelry store was concerned about my behavior. I assured the two I was being courteous and had no intention of doing anything malicious. I was shocked at the accusation of being a stalker. I was being considerate and said I was offended by her accusation. They wrote down my license number and asked where I went to school. They said she was crying, but I was on the brink of tears myself.

    Not only is chivalry going out the window, but being hospitable and friendly is a crime. I am now extremely wary about complimenting or helping women. That is sad.

    Ian McConnaughey

    Duxbury, Mass.

    Those great BYU guys

    I am writing this to praise the wonderful guys on this campus! I have never met such amazing men in my entire life. BYU guys are fun, creative, funny, good-looking and strong in the gospel. They even enjoy singing and dancing, and they are such gentlemen! I would like to thank all the great guys who always hold open the door for me, especially those kind enough to do so even when I am still several paces behind them.

    I understand that not all the guys here are wonderful. Trust me, I’ve met my share of creepy, rude, and fake guys. But overall, I think we ladies have it good here at BYU. Thank you guys for your smiles, kindness and fun times!

    Francesca Caruso

    San Diego

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