BYU is Denying Chad Hardy’s Degree

Chad Hardy graduated officially from BYU on Aug 15, 2008 and walked with his class in the convocation ceremony.

One month earlier, on July 13, Chad was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for ‘conduct unbecoming of a member of the Church’ (which was specifically related to his part in publishing a calendar depicting shirtless return missionaries, the “Men on a Mission Calendar”).

Shortly after that, Chad received a letter from BYU dated Sept 30 informing him that his name had been removed from the August 15th graduating class list because of his excommunication prior to the posting of his degree.

Salt Lake Tribune Article: BYU yanks calendar maker’s diploma.

Some interesting facts about the case:

  • Chris claims, “the Church [tried] very hard to try to find a moral transgression by spying on me so they could excommunicate me for that instead of having to embarrass themselves by excommunicating me over the calendar.”
  • BYU has explained to Chris that if/when he ever rejoins the church and is in good standing, he may talk with them about the possibility of receiving his degree.
  • The calendar made media headlines in Utah for over a year before the Church contacted him about it.

Chris’s Myspace Page.

Whether you agree or disagree about Chris’s excommunication, it seems a little heavy handed for BYU to withhold the degree. I tend to agree with Chris’s statement that, “Had Hinckley been alive, he would have never allowed this to happen. He was a very media savvy man.”

Further Reading:

LDS Women and Post Secondary Education

Should LDS women be encouraged to seek a post secondary education if they’ve expressed an interest in having a large observant family?

Let us assume that a large family could be classified as a family with five or more kids. These children, if all births are not multiples, can be born in a period not less than five 40 week intervals plus four 4 week periods to become impregnated again. This works out to 216 weeks or 4 years, 2 months. That’s a pretty tight schedule to keep, but possible I guess if one were motivated enough. The time from the birth of the first child until the exit from the home of the last child would be a period not less than approximately 22 and one half years (assuming a good synchronization with a school schedule or a home schooled family).

The world we live in now changes at an ever-increasing rate. There is evidence of exponential rates of change in industries and technologies used by employees and researchers the world over. The education you receive today may, depending on the field of study, not be useful or meaningful in 5 years time. Especially if you plan to work in a technical industry or in a research position. How much out of touch would you be if you were to cease your studies for 5 years? 10 years? Just imagine how hard it would be to initiate a job search in your field after leaving it for more than 20 years.

The description of a women’s role in the ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ is that “women are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children” while men “are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” This is familiar territory for many families with Dad being the breadwinner and Mom working in the home with the children. Most devout LDS women who work in the home go so far as to be available through the day for their children even when they are in secondary school or choose to home school their children themselves. Both of these behaviours offer little to no availability (or motivation) for additional work outside the home.

Given that raising a large family can span over two decades and that education now has an ever-decreasing shelf life, does it make sense for a young LDS women to attend a post secondary institution at all?

Let us, for a moment, consider other reasons one might wish one’s LDS daughters to attend a college, trade school or university if their education is not of a primary concern.

One argument is that being out on one’s own is a character building experience. True enough but one does not necessarily need to pay tuition to live outside one’s parent’s home.

Perhaps the argument is that all their friends are going off to school and they don’t want to be left behind or miss out on the shared experiences of their peers. Arguments that ‘everyone else is doing’ lead invariably in my mind to an exercise in bridge-jumping and at their core hold very little weight in regard to the best activities for youth in life experience and development of coping skills. In fact, leaving the pack can often be the child’s first experience of making their own decisions and developing coping strategies of their own.

Another argument is that attendance at one of the private LDS post secondary institutions is the best way for a young LDS lady to meet and be courted by a returned missionary and in time evaluate to what extent he takes his career studies seriously; not to mention the safety of being surrounded by members of one’s own faith during that courtship. This does have some sense to it, but the question remains; would it not be more cost efficient and time saving for the young lady to simply live in Provo or Rexburg until they’ve met the man they feel is ‘the one’? Many a parent may want to keep their daughters busy while they are in search of a life partner and simply enroll them so they have something to do during the search. But is this really an efficient and effective way of facilitating such a search? And what happens when she is wed and wishes to immediately start a family? Does the education she’s started simply be thrown away? Would this not lead to issues with her self esteem and self worth?

Would it not be more fair and effective if LDS parents were to instruct their daughters who have expressed interest in leading life as an observant LDS Mother of a large family, to not bother with post secondary education altogether?

NDP to decrease tuition

While riding transit to work this morning, I saw an ad for the local NDP candidates running in the upcoming provincial election. One of the platform points was the following:

Reduce tuition fees to 1999-2000 levels, and fully fund a tuition freeze thereafter.

Alberta is at a critical point right now. Post-secondary enrolment of high school students (particularly at universities) is the lowest it’s been in years. Reducing tuition may serve to encourage more high school students to enter post-secondary rather than trying to make it rich in Fort Mac.

At the same time, Inflation has not remained stagnant over the last 8 years. It has increased. The cost to run a university is higher than it was in 1999.

I wonder then how the Alberta NDP plans to allow universities to match increasing operational costs every year if tuition isn’t raised. Will they increase provincial funding? If so, where will that money come from?

Sex Education

This appeared on WorldNetDaily.com

A sexually-explicit guide written in a way that condemns traditional North American values and promotes homosexuality and abortion to young girls learning about sex is being considered for use in public schools, and leaders at a family-values think tank are horrified.

“We have to find a way to stop this from happening,” Joseph Ben-Ami, the executive director of the Institute for Canadian Values, told WND. “People don’t know this is happening.”

The project is called, “The Little Black Book ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú A Book on Healthy Sexuality Written by Grrrls (sic) for Grrrls” and was assembled by a group including the St. Stephen’s House community service organization.

The Toronto project, now online after earlier published versions, is, according to Ben-Ami, “a thinly veiled propaganda piece that undermines healthy parent-child relationships, substitutes voodoo myths for actual science, and provides advice that, if followed, will certainly result in real and serious harm to those who follow it.”

For example, the guide states that “only 10% of the population is heterosexual ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú the rest being ‘mixed’ or bi-sexual,” but mentions no evidence. It also promotes homosexuality and labels parents “homophobes.”

The publishers give this summary of the book.

“A super-important guide for girls?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùwritten by teens for teens. Check it out: not just a book about sex, but a look at girl culture by teenagers. No stuffy school textbook. No nosy adults. Just a diverse group of teen girls from a community youth project who had questions about sexuality. To find answers, they collected stories, poetry and artwork from other youth. They also interviewed frontline health experts to get solid facts about the personalities and pressures that young women have to deal with. It’s a great mix of real-life examples and life-saving info. Topics include: – Relationships – Periods – Sex – Birth control – Pregnancy – Sexually transmitted infections/AIDS – Sexual assault All the content has been vetted by doctors, and the book is endorsed by health professionals — so girls know they’re getting good info. There’s also a section at the back with places to contact to find out more. It’s all stuff that youth need to know, and it’s all decked out in a compact, easy-to-browse zine style. The Little Black Book for Girlz is an important, take-anywhere empowerment guide. Girls shouldn’t leave their teen years without it.”

THE INSTITUTE FOR CANADIAN VALUES HAS STARTED A PETITION TO GET THIS BOOK BANNED FROM OUR SCHOOLS, BUT WITH FUNDING FROM 3 LEVELS OF GOV?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢T THEIR CHANCES ARE SLIM.

This is some of their comment regarding this book:

“The Little Black Book” is being promoted across Canada as a guide to healthy sexuality for teenage girls. In reality, it is a dangerous, unscientific and offensive piece ideological propaganda.

Among the books more egregious assertions:

  • “A lot of parents are homophobic, and so are their children – until they get minds of their own.”
  • “If you need a figure to represent God The Holiness then for me she?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s a fat, black dyke.”
  • Only 10% of the population are heterosexual while 10% are homosexual, the remaining 80% are bi-sexual.

It gets worse.

What are your thoughts on this? Does this reflect a further intrusion on the sanctity of the family by those who only wanted ?¢‚ǨÀúequal rights?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ in marriage? When they say that this book has been vetted by health professionals and doctors, who are they, and what is their agenda?