Readers’ Forum Feb. 28


Religion classes unfair for non-LDS

One of four BYU education aims — intellectually enlarging — is what I believe is at the core of universities. Under such institutions, students should be discriminated against for their intellects, diligence and abilities, but not for their religion or race. From my personal experience with BYU religion classes, I felt I was discriminated against for my beliefs.

I’m a non-LDS student, but understand why BYU requires students to complete religion classes for their general education. I’m also really pleased to see BYU providing one introductory LDS religion class to non-LDS students. My problems with religion classes came when I started mandatory religion classes with LDS students. As 98.5 percent of the student body are LDS, in a class of  200-students there are on average only a few of us who are non-LDS. So it’s not unreasonable for professors to structure these classes to accommodate the majority. Among LDS students, 63.5 percent are returned missionaries who spent at least two years teaching LDS doctrine. Me taking a BYU religion class is like taking a French class as a beginner with one-third of the class being native speakers and two-thirds of them being teachers. Because of the way the class is structured, it felt nearly impossible for me to succeed in the class. I hope the religion department can offer more classes for non-LDS students. Just like language programs, there should be different classes which match students’ skill sets.

Mu Zhang

Sichuan, China

Safety first while driving

Dear Jeep Driver,

Today our paths crossed in the BYU Creamery parking lot. As I was backing out I must’ve done something to offend you. In retaliation you chose to recklessly back up your car and slam down your brakes to stop within centimeters of a collision. No doubt this was your intention, no doubt you did it to scare me, no doubt that it worked! But I thought you should know that my reasons for being scared may not be exactly what you had in mind. Certainly I was unnerved to watch helplessly as your big car careened full speed and on target to hit two of my precious children buckled in the back. But somehow I knew you would stop.

No, the thing about our situation which unsettled me most was that you, on an impulse, would feel that whatever small misunderstanding happened between us could justify such a foolish, reckless, vengeful and selfish response. If, Jeep Driver, you’re comfortable with what happened between us today, I can’t help but wonder what you are capable of or feel justified doing in retaliation over an offense much more serious. Next time, take the five seconds required to pause and assess your situation and your potential consequences. Don’t take your chances and play Russian roulette with lives simply to satisfy a knee-jerk reaction to gratify your annoyance. We are all are worth more than that.

Emily West

American Fork, Utah

Response: Wall is start of damaging administration

Using President Kimball’s quote on walls to drive home the idea of a “wicked” Trump presidency is pure mediocrity. Was Moroni a wicked leader for fortifying cities (building walls) for protection in the war chapters of the Book of Mormon? This is not Donald Trump’s America — this is our America. This is a democratic republic with checks and balances, just as seen in the original executive order travel ban and the stay issued by the courts.

Clinton, Bush and Obama contributed to sections of wall already in place or beefed up manpower across the southern border to protect the country. Does this mean they were “wicked leaders” as well? We should not have to wait for a disaster to act for the safety of people. 

No, we have not turned our backs on refugees. The FBI stated that they cannot be properly vetted. We need a system to ensure protection. This freeze was to create that system. If the freeze is permanent, I will be upset as well.

Enough with the race card and scapegoating minorities. Walls are not racist. Donald Trump is focused on illegal activities independent of race and most of the country wants this. Enough with this mainstream media garbage.

If “racist” to you means stopping illegal activities, then yes, the administration is “racist.”

I personally would like to see more manpower and drones employed to protect our border. I think they would be more effective, but probably still “a racist symbol” according to anti-Trumpers.

Dekker Smith

Baker City, Oregon

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