As a BYU freshman who enjoys skateboarding regularly, I am writing in response to the March 23 letter ?Sinboards.? The ridiculous presumptions made by the author are astounding. Paralleling the devil to hip-hop? Saying all skaters are bad people? Claiming that skaters are incapable students, and even worse, church members? That letter was not only preposterous and grossly misinformed, but false as well.
I can name 10 people off the top of my head who attend BYU, who have received or are soon receiving their mission calls, who I skate regularly with. All are terrific examples to me. Outlawing skateboarding is unnecessary. Skateboarding is a creative outlet that has brought a great deal of joy into my life as well as countless other adolescents to young adults.
I keep the honor code. I don?t smoke weed. I don?t cheat in class. I?m submitting my mission papers soon. And I skate all the time and love it! This contradicts the author?s statements completely. The skaters aren?t the problem ? it?s ignorance that needs to stop. Skaters don?t need to be weeded out, which is the wish of the author.
As 3 Nephi 18:30 reads, ?ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him.? Let the Lord judge who can have enough ?faith to be a believing member of the church.? The ?Sinboards? author and anyone else worried that skating is tainting BYU?s middle-upper-class image can keep their close-minded, dogmatic opinions to themselves.
Not a human right
In her viewpoint article on Monday, March 23, Christa Saffell points out that, according to the World Health Organization, receiving adequate health care is a human right.
This is a logical fallacy. Receiving health care (or housing, food or any other good) cannot be a human right. If it is a right, somebody is obligated to provide it. And then, that person who is obligated to provide the good becomes the slave of the recipient of the good.
The rights that are outlined in the Declaration of Independence (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) and the rights that are outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants (free exercise of conscience, right and control of property and protection of life) require the government to avoid interfering in my life. In contrast, the right to health care gives the government the right to make a doctor an indentured servant, serving patients only where, when, how and at what price the government decrees.
I do not want to live under a government where health care is a human right. Such a government is, in its basic function, tyrannical.
No, I?m not trying to say that Obama is the devil, so everyone just relax! But this is in response to the March 23 viewpoint, ?Obama?s health care plan.? It may not be socialism, but it?s clearly a step in that direction and I?d prefer to run the other way.
No, I?m not a naive college student who went from living off Mom and Dad?s insurance to the BYU Health Center. Last year I was not at BYU and paid more than $150 per month for insurance. I went to the doctor once for a routine check-up and blood work. A month later, I was slapped with a $529 bill. My response, however, was not a desire for socialized medicine, but the longing for a true free market system (something that hasn?t existed for a long time).
Politics can be gray at times, but one principle has always remained black and white: When citizens give the government more money, more responsibility and thus, more control, they must be prepared to give up some freedom. It may just be a step to the middle, a compromise for now, but it?s a slippery slope. Freedom is hard to come by these days and I?d prefer to keep as much of mine as possible.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Skateboarder and still worthy
My name is Lin Skinner my wife and I were recently married in the Provo temple, but after reading that article I realize that I wasn?t worthy of a temple marriage because I was a sly serpent, a bad person, not honest enough to sign the Honor Code or intelligent enough to graduate without cheating, and that I have been committing a multitude of sins for the last 14 years of my life. According to the author of ?Sinboards,? skateboarding is a sin.
I skateboard with many different people; some are students at BYU, but you are right, they are not like you. They are open-minded and intelligent individuals with many different personality traits. One could not classify them simply as skateboarders. You have a very ignorant and biased point of view of skateboarding. I wish for you to actually know something about skateboarding and those that participate in it before you run your mouth in such a way that is very insulting to my wife and I and many others attending the fine university of Brigham Young.
I remember the first skateboard I got; my mother got it for me. I loved it and it kept me out of trouble. It was the only thing that could help me relax. I can?t count the times I have prayed while kneeling on my skateboard. I just want you to know that your article has inspired me not to quit but to continue skateboarding for all eternity.
Saints and skaters
To the author of the March 23 letter, ?Sinboards,? how can you be so shallow and narrow-minded? Your lack of perspective is not only embarrassing, but even frightening ? what if someone believes you are an accurate representation of BYU students and faculty?
You have apparently had a less than positive experience with those who choose to skateboard, but, regardless, who is to say that everyone is the same? Who has met every skater? Is it to be said that everyone who rides horses thus loves country music, owns a pair of cowboy boots and enjoys branding livestock? Does anyone who drives an electric car consequently enjoy ethereal music, follow a vegan diet and smoke marijuana? It isn?t fair to categorize. It isn?t just to presume. It isn?t Christlike to discriminate. God loves us all.
My hope is that your eyes will be opened as you venture out of your shell and learn to see the beauty in all people, find their virtues and see what some of us ?non-boarding students? have seen. Every one of us has flaws and ?all (of us) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).? Don?t let yourself down because you choose not to see the good in others: ?skater? and ?saint? are not mutually exclusive.
(Wasn?t the debate about longboards anyway?)
Men?s responsibility also
To the author of the March 23 letter, ?Considerate clothing?? the shy boy afraid of talking to girls in the Helaman Quad: While I definitely agree with you that women must wear modest clothing in order to help men maintain clean thoughts, if you view woman as wearing attire such as this as pornographic, that?s how you?ll portray it. This emphasizes a certain part of President Oaks?s message that you seem to have forgotten: ?some of the men.? Not only does the weight rest on women to help men have clean thoughts, but men need to take some of the responsibility as well. Men need to make sure they keep these unclean thoughts out of their heads and not view things like short shorts and tank tops as pornographic, because they aren?t. If we see things for what they are, many of these impure thoughts would simply go away. Writing about something like this is rather absurd and is going to do nothing but merely make some people chuckle.
Hint: A much easier way to solve a problem such as this would be to go over and talk to the girls. They?ll respect you and actually take you seriously if you ask them kindly to dress modestly. Also on one last note, if anything, a tank top and short shorts is more like one-quarter naked than half-naked.
?I prefer tolerance?
In response to the letter on March 23 entitled ?Sinboarders,? I present the following:
Eradicating skateboarders on BYU campus is a really good idea. The best way to show Christ-like love is to turn all middle-upper-class BYU students into intolerant people that stereotype skateboarders as bad, baggy-pants wearing cannabis users.
Let?s use Gov. Boggs? idea from the 1830s and issue an extermination order, but this time, instead of eliminating the ?Mormon? problem, we will be eliminating the ?sinboarding? problem. It worked really well back then so, of course, it will work now. It is not enough to kick skateboarders out of every part of campus. If they don?t denounce their skateboarding faith, we can take a sledgehammer to their board and put them on public display in Brigham Square for being an evil ?sinboarder? so all the good, honest, faithful members of the church can point and laugh at them.
I, for one, prefer tolerance for people?s likes and interests instead of labeling them as ?skateboarders are bad people.? Oh, I?m also a non-boarding student toward whom your letter was addressed.
Before we weed all of the ?evil sinboarders? from campus, how about we work on weeding out intolerance and showing true faith in the Gospel of Christ by loving our neighbor as ourselves.