Same Old, Same Old | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Same Old, Same Old 

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I witnessed some of the latest LDS General Conference sessions in which the faithful sincerely look for advice for dealing with their future. But again, the prophetic “revelations” were nothing more than “back to the future,” as nothing remotely related to what’s actually relevant today was revealed.

Let’s go on a brief journey back in time: When I was in high school in the ’60s, beatniks, beards, the Beatles and pants on women were more than frowned on—they were explicitly banned. General authorities were quoted as saying such things, and people doing them, were evil and to be avoided, if not punished.

After the adversary was first vilified and then banned, each decade later, they then became tolerated, and finally invited on campus, apparently, then fully embraced and forgiven. And with each decade since, the same repressive attitude on any current relevant issue, social trend or advanced thinking in society is again taboo.

Enter the BYU Honor Code—not a revelation by any Mormon prophet but the creation of a wannabee senator and lawyer, BYU president, Ernest Wilkinson, well-known as “Ernie the Attorney,” who crafted the beginnings of what has become the social downfall of the church’s flagship university. Due process be damned, the equivalent of the secret police and Nazi youth have, at an astonishing level, and without any necessity of appearance or even personal identity of the accuser, staunchly reported or proudly outted myriad luckless BYU students during their simple pursuit of a “higher” education and college degree, while they were simply being, well … human.

Shudder to think that a jilted lover, offended friend or just another ecclesiastic believer decides in some ratty dorm room that you are not a worthy person—no matter how many tests, papers, scores, and credits you have already earned in pursuit of your important, if not expensive, education not to mention the rest of your personal accomplishments and qualities.

One phone call, one cell-phone picture, one Facebook posting, or now even one simple Tweet, and your 1- to 3-plus years of blood, sweat and study are basically screwed. No appeal, no hearing, no facing your accuser—just a simple, anonymously-based dismissal. How un-American, how chicken, how “frickin’” (as they say at the Y) unfair. It has become an inbred society of human betrayal.

Now this “peculiar” educational institution has also gone independent in college football. Was this move just about football? No. This is simply a formal, and socially fearful, acclamation by the LDS Church of its increasing real-world loneliness.

As the following famous statement implies—and not just in their sports—this church and school are, athletically, philosophically, and in many other ways, independent of reality: Same old, same old …

Jeff Clawson
Salt Lake City

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