What's Happening At BYU?
As alumni, parents of alumni, and active members of the LDS Church, up to now we at SoL have tried to refrain from reporting anything too negative about BYU or any other Church-affiliated organization or business. But as some concerned like-minded friends said the other day, "We're over it." So, here we go, come what may. We feel those who have invested in this institution and continue to support it, including financially, deserve to know what's going on at BYU.
If you think BYU upholds traditional family values, think again. Certain department heads, professors, guest lecturers, and students have become a law unto themselves, regularly preaching all manner of progressivism including socialism, radical feminism, anti-Americanism, revisionist history, outdated Darwinism, and popular homosexualism, and continue to be supported, employed, and welcomed.
The issue of homosexuality is a prime example. Incredible and exasperating as it is, we must face the fact that our beloved and trusted BYU has made concessions, step by step, for homosexuality as an alternative sexual identity to be accepted and respected. This is reflected in the change BYU made to its Honor Code in 2007 (with input from gay activist students) which approved the accepting of openly gay instructors and students. Individuals acting out, however, is still prohibited, although the definition of acting out is open to interpretation, rationalization, and can easily be covered in secrecy. Even though the honor code still prohibits the advocating of homosexuality, advocating homosexuality is definitely happening. Of course all these problems are born of the compromising and soul-killing inconsistency of allowing homosexuality in principle but not in practice.
Just a few years ago in 2006 we publicly opposed the intrusion of the lawless traveling gay advocacy group Soulforce onto the BYU campus, with their flyers and posters. BYU allowed them that year, the next year they disallowed them and arrests were made. Interestingly, we don't have to worry about Soulforce anymore because now BYU has a very vocal home-grown student advocacy group of its own called USGA, Understanding Same-Gender Attraction. It meets every Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. in room 111 of the TMCB on the BYU campus with BYU's permission. Call this group what they will, from what we've seen firsthand, it's really about affirming out-of-bounds sexual lust.
Not many know about the BYU's counseling office's invitation to a formerly LDS, ex-communicated acting-out gay man to train its counselors to help sexually confused students accept "their gayness." It was found out at the last minute by concerned Church members who complained, but the result was that the training was merely moved off campus. This was in February 2010.
Recent news concerned an openly gay man being fired as executive producer in BYU's broadcasting department; BYU public relations was quick to make it clear that he was not fired because he was gay as some suggested. Is BYU that concerned about "bad publicity," that is, being thought of as taking any kind of stand against homosexuality?
Most recently, the media reported student outrage about a series of letters supporting traditional values in The Daily Universe concerning gay parenting/adoption, prompted by the TV show "Modern Family." A group of gay activist students who took especial offense to one letter to the editor made up an accusatory flyer and without permission stuffed a number of them in the next day's edition. Joe Campbell, the managing editor of the paper, faculty member, and also a columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune, catered to the lawless gay activists by printing an apology and affirming the Church's understanding and respect for homosexually-attracted people, at the same time removing the offending letter from the online version of The Daily Universe, a letter that unequivocally expressed the timeless Biblical truth that homosexuality is sinful. SoL wonders, what about the person who wrote the letter that got removed? There seems to be no understanding and respect for him - or the Bible for that matter. Shouldn't he now be offended? Shouldn't God be offended? Apparently not. To quote the Salt Lake Tribune article, "BYU has no interest in pursuing or punishing the students who produced or distributed the flyer, Campbell said. 'We count this as a learning experience.'" And what has BYU learned? Never to publish scriptural doctrine in its paper because it might offend gay activists?
By the way, the only defense of the social experiment called gay parenting students could come up with was to compare it as better than foster homes, orphanages, and bad traditional parents. Besides having no information on which to base this comparison, and besides respectable foster parents, honorable orphanages, and imperfect but striving traditional parents rightly taking umbrage at this comparison, the issue is not about comparing these situations. The issue is that gay parents are modeling sinful and highly harmful and risky sexual ideas and behaviors to innocent, untaught children. Everybody needs to read Dawn Stefanowicz's book, Out From Under, The Impact of Homosexual Parenting and hear her highly-researched presentation, to name but one of many resources of reality and truth.
What is going on at BYU is incongruent and inexplicable. Unless we are instructed to turn in our Standard Works for new gay-affirming scriptures and clean out our ward and home library shelves of all our LDS Church manuals, books, and magazines, homosexuality should still be officially, courageously, and correctly shown as sinful and harmful in both thought and deed in every ward, stake, and Church-owned or endorsed group, business, or education entity.
(And for our detractors: pointing out relatively recent statements made by this or that leader which contrive to make certain allowances for homosexuality only proves to confuse the issue, since directly contrary scriptures, treatises, and statements by prophets and apostles have not been recalled and continue to be made.)
For those of us who attended BYU, dated and became engaged on its campus, sent our children to be educated there and hoped to send our grandchildren, these developments feel like a gross and incomprehensible betrayal. Gone are the days of visiting this beautiful, memory-laden place with a warm, light heart, feeling as if it were indeed the Lord's university, and having confidence in it as a fearless source of spreading goodness, knowledge, truth, and righteousness.
The gay activists continue their work and grow in boldness. Why aren't those who are obligated to stand for truth and righteousness at all times, in all things, and in all places vocal as well? At the very least, as things stand, you may want to think again about making that regular financial contribution to BYU.
--Stephen and Janice Graham, Standard of Liberty
Our new book Captain of My Soul may be ordered on www.tidalwavebooks.com now for 12.95, free shipping. It will be available soon on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. Also find Chased by an Elephant, the Gospel Truth about Today's Stampeding Sexuality for LDS families, Wild Elephant, the Gospel Truth about Today's Stampeding Sexuality for all Christian families, and Me, Tarzan, You Jane for the youngest children written for all Christian families, also at Tidal Wave Books, BYU Bookstore, through Barnes and Noble and amazon.com.