Moral Superiority

Last night I read the headlines about BYU’s suspension of Brandon Davies.  At first I was amused, noting the scurried clarification that Davies’s suspension was not due to criminal activity. I laughed. And then I thought about it some more, and my blood began to boil. I lay in bed, unable to sleep. I was troubled by the highly personal nature of the infraction, and by the pharisaical self-congratulation of those who agreed with BYU's decision. I was reminded of my own experiences, of my own departure from the “Honor Code” of my youth, and of my subsequent treatment by my former tribe.

Of course I understand that Davies knew the rules, agreed to the rules, and accepted the consequences administered. But I cannot help but recognize, quite clearly, the underlying message:

Our morality is superior to yours.

Davies was classified, in effect, as an infidel. No longer worthy to be part of the team, and even more significant - no longer worthy to receive higher learning.

As a child, I was taught to love all people and treat them with respect, even those who disagreed with me. I was taught that I was blinded by my own humanity and thus unable to know completely the hearts of others. I was taught to leave the judgment to God.

But when I departed from my faith, the judgment was not left to God. 

From the people who had taught me, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” - I received words of condemnation.

By the people who had taught me, “Love your enemies,” and “Go after that [sheep] which was lost,” - I was ignored, avoided, and often defriended without explanation or attempts at reconciliation.

By the people who had taught me, “Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” - I was told that my choices rendered me no longer deserving of their help.

By the people who had taught me, “Let them worship how, where, and what they may,” – I was insulted for voicing my opinion and was asked to refrain from sharing that opinion with others.

The morality I have observed is different from mine, but it is certainly not superior. At the end of the day, we are all human.

To BYU and the people of the LDS Church, I say:
You can kick us off your team, 
but in the end you'll find you're only hurting yourselves. 


Daniel said...

How dare they presume to stand in judgment of the sexual behaviour of grown men and women. It's outrageous from the outset.

Dave P. said...

Ah yes, the good old Law of Moses- I mean- BYU Honor Code. I saw more than a few times it was used basically as a political tool to stifle opposition or new ideas, but the most ridiculous one dealt with a guy who got fired from his job there for writing a letter to the editor and saying that the BYUSA student association had numerous flaws that needed fixing. He was fired for committing a "disloyal act."