What Should I Think?

I can’t make up my mind on this one. The University of Utah has released a draft of its new "accommodation policy" that professes to work with students when course requirements conflict with core beliefs.

On the one hand, isn’t part of college experiencing new things? If everytime someone’s offended at something, they can just complain and get out of it, then that strikes me as a bit problematic. No, I’m not talking about experiencing college by waking up hungover with a stranger in your bed. How about experiencing new information? A teacher’s aid at the University of Utah was excoriated by students after using the LDS Church as an example of institutional racism. First, what if the aid was right – students might just learn something about their own religion (shocking, yes). Second, if the aid was wrong, then . . . so what? Unbelievable as it may seem, people have opinions or ideas that are wrong. Can’t Church members stand hearing something they don’t agree with – or will their ears start to bleed?

On the other hand, no one should be forced to do something that violates their moral values (so long as their values in turn don’t violate another’s rights). Just as I object when Latter-day Saints try and force their values on others, I also object when Church members are pressured or mocked because of their moral beliefs. Most often, Mormon values aren’t exactly medieval. So we don’t want to get high or watch other people have sex – is that really too much to ask? But even in cases where I think Latter-day Saints are displaying a shocking amount of hypersensitivity or gross ignorance in their refusal to read, watch, or participate in some activity, I have to admit part of freedom means you get to be hypersensitive or scarily ignorant.

What’s the solution? Do we just make an exception for everyone who doesn’t fit exactly? (Remember the Muslim woman in Florida who refused to remove her burka for a drivers license photo? Kinda makes the whole I.D. thing – which stands for, you know, identification – a bit tough.) Are we as a society doomed to just throw up our hands and say, "Well, they don’t like it, so whadda ya do?" Should people suck it up and put up with stuff once in a while, or is that a slippery slope? Or are people just lousy at picking their battles?

Comments

  1. In my mind, this core beliefs stuff sounds like a sop handed out because of the drama student that wouldn’t use profanity or whatever. It smacks of the type of diversity commitments used by large corporations as lip service against lawsuits — I’m sure that it will be of no practical effect.

    Now, that doesn’t resolve the issue of how you should feel about all this, but at least you can sleep at night knowing that in reality, the world is just as it was.

  2. This is an interesting situation. Most Universities I’m familiar with are wrapped up in their own little microcosm. If a student disagrees with a professor that student better keep it close to the chest. The professor is always right, damned the real world. But this is an interesting outreach. If there are moral objections the U is willing to accept that the student should be empowered to not bend to the whim of a professor.

    I would consider myself torn as well. I’m curious what criteria would be used to determine what is too much. Course requirements are just that, requirements that can be used as a common platform to judge students’ performance. I would agree that exposing the student to new information, even if they don’t agree with it, should probably be exempt from this accommodation. Students can incorporate that information into their paradigm any way they choose.

    I took a philosophy of art course as one of my requisites for my degree. I didn’t agree with a lot of what I was exposed to as art, and even took offense to some of it. But it was my duty as a student to take that exposure and determine how it would impact my paradigm and how I incorporated it into my life. That’s where my choice and participation came into it.

    I don’t believe the U should require students to do something they find morally objectionable, especially when that morality can be benchmarked by a common set of beliefs held by a significant population. Accommodations in actions are a part of life and it would do the U well to consider that. It sounds like that is what they are shooting for but it will be interesting to see how it is implemented.

  3. “If a student disagrees with a professor that student better keep it close to the chest. The professor is always right, damned the real world.”

    This is a pretty common criticism of university professors, and one that always seems unfounded to me–I’ve vocally disagreed with many (maybe even most) of my professors on various topics, and not suffered any noticable repercussions. [Maybe it’s just because I’m so cute ;)]

    I do think it’s true that professors often have an unfair advantage in arguments with students, in that they have years of study and experience under their belts, and are likely to be experts in the field about which they’re arguing. Thus their opinion is likely to be significantly better-informed than the student’s, unless the student goes about becoming very well-informed (instead of whining that her contrary opinion is being unfairly shot down.) But it’s hardly a mark of unreasonable bias to reject an opinion that is not well-supported or well-reasoned.

    Sorry, don’t mean to threadjack–you happened to land on one of my too-numerous hot-buttons.

  4. D. Fletcher says:

    It’s a thorny issue, and I’m not sure where I stand. One thing I can say: I don’t think professors should have the opportunity to *grade* a student on the basis of whether they are in agreement. A famous story is retold: a male student took Woman’s Studies at the U. of Washington (I think) and in the first lecture, he was told that the central premise of the course is that “all men are potential rapists.” He took some umbrage at that, and spoke later to the professor, who said that it was indeed her thesis, that it was true, and if he disagreed anywhere in his essays or testpapers, he would be graded lower. He dropped the course, and made a big stink about it, and the course was later dropped by the university. Who was right in this instance?

  5. D.–I’ve heard plenty of stories like that; I’m just not inclined to believe them. Or, more precisely, I’m inclined to believe that there are significant portions of the story missing from the information which becomes public.

  6. “I’ve vocally disagreed with many…of my professors on various topics, and not suffered any noticable repercussions.”

    Ditto. However, being in my thirties may provide me with a bit of cushion.

  7. D. Fletcher says:

    Oh, I totally agree, Kristine. It may be urban folklore (that’s why I said “oft-told”). But it does present the thorny issue. Students need to learn new things. Professors may have new things to teach which may be… odd. The professors shouldn’t be hindered from teaching. But the students shouldn’t be hindered from disagreeing, either. Unfortunately, with a setup where a professor grades a student on what they have learned, it may give too much weight to the professor’s argument as truth or fact that the student must simply adhere to in order to get the grade.

  8. D., we’re almost in complete agreement (as befits twins separated at birth :)). I agree that the risk is there, though I think it has real-world consequences far less often than, say, the editorial board of _National Review_ would like us to believe.

    Speaking of National Review, I think that part of what John is addressing is a peculiar victory of the conservative movement in the last couple of decades: they’ve pretty successfully convinced many people that universities are fortresses of intolerant leftist orthodoxies where their children’s religious beliefs are in grave danger. I’m not entirely convinced that this is the case. Though it’s clear that a significant majority of professors (at least at elite universities) are “liberal” on some social issues, I think it’s far from clear that they are heavy-handed enforcers of their views.

    It only happened *once* in my college career that I felt a professor was using his bully pulpit inappropriately–when E.O. Wilson spent about 5 minutes telling us that it would be totally irresponsible to have more than two children. (Rebel that I am, I’ve had three so far ;))

  9. This is fun: a “try your hand at public policy” thread. Here’s my proposed rule: No student should be forced to do anything illegal or objectively immoral as a course requirement, and profs shall announce any requirements that individual students might conceivably regard as subjectively immoral on the first day of class. So requiring a student to smoke pot in a “Drugs in History” course is barred, and requiring students to engage in consensual sex (of any flavor) in a “Human Sexuality” course and then writing a report about it is barred — both are objectively immoral by public standards.

    On the other hand, requiring students to attend a lecture where a pot smoker discusses her experience with pot or displays drug paraphernalia in the “Drugs in History” course is allowed. And requiring students to watch R-rated films is allowed. Society doesn’t consider these activities (looking at drug stuff or watching R-rated films) to be immoral. If individual students find these activities immoral, they hear the prof’s disclosure on the first day and drop the class. Obviously, the profanity as a requirement of the drama course (the U scenario) is allowed. Incidentally, I think any drama student who thinks they can impose their moral values on every character they play or every line they speak is in the wrong major.

    I think the whole religious accomodation angle should be left out of it. It encourages students to make religion a chip on their shoulder.

  10. Dave for President!
    (of something, anyway)

  11. Bob Caswell says:

    “I’ve vocally disagreed with many (maybe even most) of my professors on various topics, and not suffered any noticable repercussions.”

    Kristine, the key word there is “vocally”. If there’s anything my time at BYU taught me… it’s that you can be [mildly] controversial in class (so as to know what the professor really wants) but not on paper.

    For example, my current ethics professor is an ultra- feminist / environmentalist… How much flexibility do you think I really have in my final paper when [almost] the entire basis of a liberal education is subjectivity?

    No math problems to correct here. My wife is still suffering at BYU and continues to get papers back with no marks off for spelling or grammar (because there are none) and hardly any comments until the very last page. Then, when the final comment starts, “I’m not sure I agree with…” and the grade is a 70/100, and it’s happened half a dozen times… You start to write whatever the professor wants.

  12. Peter Beinart wrote an excellent essay in the most recent The New Republic on how the evangelical right has adopted the victimization playbook that those on the left wielded over the last two decades. His take is that by joining PC/diversity movement, the evangelicals have forsaken one of the few good things they had to offer.

    I have zero sympathy for any possible conflict in the university setting. If the student has chosen to take the class and is unwilling to fully participate, then he needs to take the responsibility and the consequences of his actions. If that is a lower grade, then so be it.

    Even if the potential action is morally incompatible to the agent in question, there can be no institutionalized means to deviate. If such deviation is allowed, then academic freedom is dead. I hate to raise the slippery slope, so I won’t; but, there is no objective way to determine what is moral and what is not for a given individual (outside the individual in question). As a consequence, if we fully embrace the diversity movement, we have to accept one student’s antipathy toward evolution as equally valid as another student’s antipathy towards premarital sex (although I don’t know if antipathy is the right word for sex).

    If you don’t like it, go to a different school.

  13. I dunno guys, I think the question John raised is pretty tricky. IF we accept the assumption that the one of the primary purposes of higher education is teach students to think, then students need expect their thinking to be challenged. On the other hand, I don’t think faculty members are any better than anybody else; I expect them to take advantage of their position of authority. Sadly, at least for me, a few of the profs at the U when I was there couldn’t let a week go by without saying someting stupid and insulting about the church. It was also totally gratuitous, in that it had nothing to do with the class.

    So, I’m not sure that counts as “heavy-handed enforcement of their views”, but it really bugged me anyway. Kristine, I’m glad you had a better experience. By the way, if you are “not entirely convinced” that universities are full of intolerant leftist orthodoxy, does that mean that you are just kind of convinced? Like maybe 90%?

    :-)

    Dave, I agree with you on the issue of profanity in the drama class. But what about smoking or nudity. I think I remember reading where Jon Heder has announced that he will not accept roles that contain profanity. But I guess heck and dang are OK.

  14. Nate Oman says:

    Dave is wrong.

    The reason is that there are certain sorts of behaviors that ought to be accomodated by a tolerant institution that are not properly thought of in terms of objective morality or in terms of illegality.

    For example, suppose that a Jewish student wants a test shifted so that she can observe Yom Kippur. This does not seem to be a matter of illegality. (There is nothing illegal about taking tests on Yom Kippur.) Nor is it really a matter of objective morality (whatever that means), since I take it that it is not objectively immoral to take a test on Yom Kippur either. In other words, there are certain acts that are religiously proscribed that are niether immoral or illegal. Another example might be a LDS student who was required to drink wine as part of a class.

    Notice, this is not a matter of giving students exemptions from educational requirements that they find offensive.

    I think that professors also ought to exercise soem sensitivity to the religious and other convictions of their students. This is not, however, something that I think is well-suited for rules. Nevertheless, I take it that there is a real distinction between a professor who presents challenging ideas in order to expand her student’s education and one who is simply a jerk and a blowhard. The muddiness of this distinction does not mean that there are not a substantial number of teachers in the second category who are prentending to be in the first.

  15. Dave replies to the refreshingly direct Nate: My rule wasn’t really directed at scheduling conflicts. I don’t see the Yom Kippur scheduling conflict as any different than grandma’s funeral or the first day of hunting season, and I don’t really see it as a moral or religious conflict. Nor is scheduling the problem that is held out as causing any difficulty to students. Profs and students seem to be able to work out scheduling problems.

    Nothing in my rule prevents profs or universities from being more tolerant or flexible, as most are and as they arguably should be. The disputes arise in the rare cases of an inflexible and possibly jerk prof whose impositions are opposed by an inflexible and possibly hypersensitive student. The rule defines how far the jerk can impose on sensitive students. They can impose up to illegality or immorality (defined objectively in the sense of the opinion that prevails in society as opposed to the individual view of the imposed-upon student).

    For what it’s worth, my personal sympathies generally lie with the sensitive student in such a scenario, but I don’t think you can set policy around the outer boudaries of their sensitivities. Apply that thinking to freeways and we’d have 50 mph speed limits.

  16. I think the question that interests me here is why is our culture producing so many “sensitive” students? Since when did our attempts to personally live moral lives morph into a culture where we cannot stand to hear someone take a position that we oppose?

    It seems to me that as part of our self imposed mandate to “seek” after “anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy” we would necessarily be exposed to things that aren’t. Otherwise, we would already be in possession of everything praiseworty etc. and have no reason to seek.

    Shouldn’t we be trying to help our children learn how to sift through good ideas and bad, make good decisions, and in general be prepared to live in a world filled with both?

    Why are we so allergic to those who disagree with us?

  17. john fowles says:

    Karen asked Why are we so allergic to those who disagree with us?

    Maybe it just a practical thing: it is uncomfortable to sit and listen to a UofU professor “teach” that the Church is a big, bad fraud. I doubt it would be kosher for a professor at any university in the US to stand in front of a class and “teach” about the Jews and how they really are behind numerous sinister conspiracies etc., which would be a very biased and bigoted lesson (and recognized as such in the wider community); why then are Latter-day Saints being overly “sensitive” to insist on the same respect and political correctness that is otherwise expected of people?

  18. John–haven’t you just picked an extreme example to represent the entire spectrum of the problem? I’m sure that there are professors at the U who are hostile to the church and are vocal about it. (Let’s leave aside for a moment the whole problem of Mormon vs. Non-mormon in the Salt Lake Valley, while still remembering that we–as a group–are not innocent in that problematic state of affairs….) And I agree that any kind of vocal religious intolerance is problematic and ought to be discussed. However, if I understand correctly, the problems that surfaced and served to catalyze release of the accomadation policy were not (at least not solely) the off hand remarks of some professors, but rather students objecting to what they were being taught.

    I have been in plenty of classes, both at BYU, and at Harvard, where I disagreed with what was being taught, but I learned the material, and listened to the professor’s point of view. Then I used that material to construct and strengthen my own beliefs–the process of disagreeing can be extremely useful in actual learning. This doesn’t mean that you can’t vocally challenge the person doing the teaching…but seeking to silence them or to remove yourself from the situation lest you be challenged or even offended is in reality detrimental to the higher education that those students should be seeking.

    I was an academic adviser to undergraduate students when I was in law school and saw a variation on this problem. Those students who came in with a chip on their shoulder and the idea that they knew more than the professors were getting very little out of their educational experience, and should have just stayed home, saved their money, and started blogging.

  19. Bob Caswell says:

    Karen, I like your thoughts but have some questions if you don’t mind. I personally don’t think of myself as the student with a chip on his shoulder. Rather, my limited experience has led me to circumstances where numerous professors have had chips on THEIR shoulders. It may be a trendy thing to say for a site like this, but I’m not easily offended. I’m just annoyed when professors vent to their students instead of, you know, teach.

    As a student at BYU, my naive little self was really surprised to learn early on that the professors weren’t there for the students. It turned out to be the opposite. I know, I know, blanket statement covering all professors at BYU… For the record, two were actually “there for me” while the rest [for me] were not. Once I switched schools, life improved. Pull the next BYU student off the street and he/she could tell you the opposite and possibly be offended by the notion that someone didn’t assimilate right into BYU. I digress.

    But my question is how do we not allow chip-on-their-shoulder students and/or professors to get away with this loosely defined phenomenon without extreme measures being taken? Maybe I’m asking for something that will never exist or more likely, maybe I don’t even know what I’m asking for.

  20. Bob,

    You hit on a really good point earlier. Vocally announcing your POV vs Putting it on paper for the final essay.

    I believe as long as you provide suitable support for your POV, a professor should not penalize you because you disagree. I have two examples.

    One professor did not believe the mafia existed. He had written books on why it was all a myth. He drew a line down the center of the class one side took his angle the other side the opposing angle. Guess which side got the lower grades. Another professor I had refused to give her position on anything we studied and graded pretty fairly. I realize this is specific to two teaching styles but I found one more fair for purposes of measuring a student’s ability to discuss the material.

  21. Ed "Grant Palmer" Enochs says:

    I feel exactly like Grant Palmer. The Times and Seasons guys censured me because I do not agree with them. Seems like this kind of thing is common among the LDS.

    Before they censure me too. get my side of the story. E-mail me and see my perspective.

    edenochs@yahoo.com

  22. john fowles says:

    Ed, why are you doing this? I thought you were having good discussion with people both at Times and Seasons and here at BCC.

  23. Ed, all they asked was that you stay on topic, which you rarely did. No one was complaining because they disagreed with you. Simply that you wanted to debate fundamental LDS views in a fashion that seemed only tangentally related to the topic that was raised.

    It was impolite.

    Karen, I tend to agree with you, but you must agree that Bob’s examples are rather common as well. There is often an at minimum unconscious belief that our views are right. That can affect our views. The problem is that in any class there is a tension between the “right answer” and “critical thinking.” Especially in places where the right answer is more nebulous, this can cause trouble.

    It’s obviously less of a problem in the sciences were there is an objective truth of the matter in most cases. Somewhat interesting many would argue that in the sciences one picks up critical thinking better than in most humanity classes.

    But I definitely quickly discovered that ones success in humanity classes was figuring out what the professor really wanted in subjective way. You then gave it to them whether you agreed or not. Of course one could also argue that is good preparation for the real world…

    Part of wisdom in college is learning a lot about your professors before you take the class. Unfortunately you usually don’t realize this until the end and many never do. Further, in some cases a necessary class is taught by a problematic professor. Of course the problem often in the sciences is getting a professor who can barely teach and may barely speak English… So it’s not as if the sciences are immune to problems.

  24. Ed "Grant Palmer" Enochs says:

    You are absolutely wrong. It was they that was impolite. You can suppress me like Grant Palmer but my message for that will continue.

    Like Nelson Mandela in prison, my message will only grow bigger. I am the “Grant Palmer” of Mormonblogdom. I am a mayrtr for the cause of the freedom of speech, for truth and free though against authoratrianism and repression.

    Let the revolution begin!

    Ed “Grant Palmer”

  25. Am I the only one that thinks that usernames and passwords might help us to know who we are actually talking to? I am guessing that either the real Ed is a bit tipsy or we have an Ed impersonator here that thinks (in error) that he is funny.

  26. Ed Enochs (the one and only) says:

    Dear LDS Friends,

    This is indeed Ed Enochs, the one and only. Please do not supress me to oguys. Please give me a voice.

    I have been just notified by Times and Seasons that I cannot post there anymore. They, without any judge or jury just axed me out. They do not understand the magnitude of what they have done. I am one of the leading Evanglical activists in California and I am sounding the battle cry that the LDS church is into censuring all dissent.

    I want to formally challenge Matt Evans to an open debate held here in Southern California on the topic entitled:

    “The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints and the Grant Palmer contoversy: Is Dissent Allowed in the Mormon Church?”

    Times and Seasons, like the Grant Palmer incident shows that the LDS church wants to supress any real discussion and dialog. Before you hear their side of the issue, hear both sides. There are two sides too every issue, hear me friends, here me out. Let freedom of speech and not repression.

    Ed Enochs

  27. Dear LDS Friends,

    Please see my blog. Please let everyone know. Contact Times and Seasons and Let the debate begin!

    http://timesandseasonsldscontoversy.blogspot.com/

  28. “The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints and the Grant Palmer contoversy: Is Dissent Allowed in the Mormon Church?”

    Kind of interesting question. So how do you feel about Open Theism and the actions of Evangelicals towards scholars promoting Open Theism?

    But it seems like a fairly short question. Of course some kinds of dissent aren’t allow within the church. I think the church has always been rather forthright about that. I’m not sure what bearing it has on Times and Seasons which is run by a bunch of private indivual Mormons, none of whom have any real authority in the hierarchy of the church.

  29. D. Fletcher says:

    The most interesting thing to me is that Ed is pinpointing Matt Evans. Conservative vs. conservative, eh?

  30. I am for all people being able to express their opinions irrespective of their ideological flavour, be they Rush Limbaugh, Eminem, Martha Stewart, Marlyn Manson, Dr. Ruth, Gordon B. Hinckley, Billy Graham, John Kerry, Jane Fonda or Sean Hannidy period.

    I was at the Evangelical Theological Society Meetings when they debated the issue of Open Theism and I personally spoke with Clark Pinnock and Gregory Boyd, who along with John Sanders are the leading theologians of Open Theism in the nation.

    While I do not agree with them. I do believe in their right of freedom of speech and be able to speak on the issue.

    Thousands of people will soon hear about this Times and Seasons debate proposal. I am not sure if they know about it yet. My friends, I believe in the freedom of speech, the freedom of thought against all forms of repression. I am against what the LDS church did with Grant Palmer and what those guys did with me. Please get the word out to Matt Evans and times and seasons. I will get the word out to thousands of Evangelicals and secularists. Let freedom of speech prevail. Free Grant Palmer. Let the debate begin.

  31. I think you missed that train, Ed. The trial’s over and Palmer said he was pleased with the outcome of his proceeding so there’s really not much left to talk about. He wasn’t censored (anyone on the planet can still buy his book). He’s moving on.

    I am much more concerned about Evangelical attempts to silence open theists like Pinnock and Sanders — this is serious! This demands an active response from a concerned Christian! Go read the following informative article at Christianity Today, and you will be as appalled as I am!

    Evangelical Theological Society Moves Against Open Theists

  32. The firing of Sanders over the issue offers even stronger problems. Seems to me there is a question of beams vs. motes here.

  33. I disagree. The Grant Palmer controversy is being heard across the country right now on the news, in the papers and on the internet. Even if Palmer is glad about not being able to get back into the temple or have any function in the LDS church as a disfellowshipped Mormon. One who can’t have any teaching role in his own church, though he has a Master’s degree in history from BYU, that just confirms what many people believe, that the LDS church is repressive and censures all dissent.

    I am very well familiar with the Open theism issue in the Evangelical Theological Society, I was there. I met Pinnock and Boyd, heard them speak and spoke to them personally while they were there.

    Your comparison is very faulty because the Evangelical Theological Society is just a group of scholars that don’t represent all scholars in our churches. It is not like the LDS church that supressed Palmer. Clark Pinnock is still teaching at his college and Boyd is still the pastor of his church in Minnesota.

    I studied Open Theism carefully in theological grad school. I do not agree with it but I also disagree Evangelical Theological Society kicking those guys out under the pretense that they violated an “inerrancy” doctrinal statement.

    I am serious about the Times and Seasons debate, I have the blog post records for all to see. I did nothing wrong but diagree and attempt to refute their doctines. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Let freedom flow like a mighty river.”

    Times and Seasons awoke a sleeping giant when they tried to repress a sleeping giant.

    I believe in freedom of speech. Freedom of thought. Freedom of expression. Let freedom reign like a mighty fortress. They can kick me out of some LDS blog site, but they cannot supress my voice. It shall be heard more now more than ever before. They just created a marytr for freedom of speech when they repressed my dissent.

  34. Ed, if the Evangelical Theological Society is no threat because it is “just a group of scholars that don’t represent all scholars in [Evangelical] churches,” then T&S is absolutely no threat — they don’t represent anything to anyone. It’s institutions that are the threat, and T&S is not an institution. They don’t even have an address. However, they do have Comment Policies, which they were forced to put in place a few months ago. I am utterly mystified as to which rule you ran afoul of. But who has time to worry about little things like that when there are so many more important things in life?

    Grant Palmer is certainly an expert on the Grant Palmer controversy, and he was happy with the outcome. If you’re not happy with the outcome, I think it is because you are unfamiliar with the issues, the history, and the institutional context. However, you are obviously very familiar with Open Theism, so I think you could be very effective convincing Evangelicals to practice the virtues of freedom of thought and expression that you so ferociously champion. Mormons are certainly familiar with how ugly Evangelicals get when confronted with differing religious views, but Evangelicals just don’t listen to us. But you would have instant credibility in that forum. Good luck! God bless!

  35. I am trying hard to see what this has to do with the U of U’s accomodation policy. This is a threadjack pure and simple.

  36. Hi Everyone,

    The Blog I created about the Times and Seasons is sizzling right now. Evidently I hit a major nerve.

    Outside sexually explicit language and vulgarity all comments are welcome. All views are tolerated without repression. Check it out and comment.

    http://timesandseasonsldscontoversy.blogspot.com/2004/12/does-mormon-church-repress-all.html

  37. better yet for the short way to get to it check out:

    http://timesandseasonsldscontoversy.blogspot.com

  38. wow i never thought the blog would expolde in just one hour!

  39. Wow, 11 comments. Thats really sizzling.

  40. Wow- Ed! I think you’ve gone a bit off the deep end here. It wasn’t the LDS Church that cut you off over at that other blog, but slightly over half of the permanent bloggers- not more than 6 or 7 LDS members!!

    You can’t reasonably attribute their behavior to the church as a whole. If there is anyone you should have a quarrel with, it is with the liberals over here at BCC! These BCC folks don’t care if SSM is legal, and they are for a socialized America! Anyone with the position of President of Conservatives for California ought to be concerned about that!

    The mormon factor is strange- it turns people who would normally be bitter enemies as hard-core evangelical conservative versus liberal democrats into buddies where both seem critical of the mormons- although these people at BCC are not exactly critical of the Church.

    I think this whole episode just shows one of the unfortunate byproducts of blogging! How’s that for a threadjack?!?

  41. Ed, it’s actually quite easy when you have the time to set up a bunch of fake screen names. :)

  42. Yes, and Ed, it would be especially good not to reuse the *same* fake names–I think you used “theologianx” your first day at T&S.

  43. So Matt Evans is a fake name too?

    You guys are like to repress dissent.

    You guys are hate freedom of speech.

  44. Ed,

    I don’t know Matt Evans, but you and I have had direct correspondence with each other in the past. In fact, I was the one who initially invited you post here, and our emails have always been cordial. I’m going to close this thread to comments, and I would encourage all to settle down.

    This isn’t a forum to advertise somebody else’s blog, and it’s not a forum to discuss your personal repression, unless the thread happens to be about personal repression. I don’t like to repress dissent, and I love freedom of speech – but if people can’t speak civilly to each other and stay on-topic, then as the admin and sheriff around here I’ll do what I need to in order to keep the peace.

    In other words, play nice — or else.

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