Turning BYU into Bob Jones

Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon on one reason the Federal Marriage Amendment is necessary:

“Religious freedom, too, is at stake. As much as one may wish to live and let live, the experience in other countries reveals that once these arrangements become law, there will be no live-and-let-live policy for those who differ. Gay-marriage proponents use the language of openness, tolerance and diversity, yet one foreseeable effect of their success will be to usher in an era of intolerance and discrimination the likes of which we have rarely seen before. Every person and every religion that disagrees will be labeled as bigoted and openly discriminated against. The ax will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don’t go along. Religious institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they refuse to compromise their principles.”

Those subscribing to the “homosexual behavior is immoral, but society should treat homosexuality and heterosexuality equally because they are both statuses” school of thought may as well put “I’m a Bigot” signs on their backs now. Why wait?

I’ll reiterate my position: it is not immoral to discriminate on the basis of behaviors, even if some people are genetically predisposed to behave that way. For more on this, see my post Being ‘Born That Way’ is Meaningless.

13 comments for “Turning BYU into Bob Jones

  1. lyle
    February 25, 2004 at 10:59 am

    hear, hear [isn’t there even a scripture or two about this?]

    eery…I always thought that Evangelical fiction (the left behind stories) on the last days was a lil…weird. But…the labelling of Christians as “Haters” seems to be in full swing. All the more reason to follow the Prophet (yes, THE Prophet) and defend/support 1 man/1 woman marriage and also extend fellowship and friendship to those that sin…in 1 way or another (i.e. all of us)[speaking for myself only of course]

  2. BigBillHaywood
    February 25, 2004 at 1:34 pm

    I am troubled by the amendment on pragmatic grounds: just because the constitution is changed doesn’t mean that gays and lesbians will stop having commitment ceremonies or running up to Winnepeg or wherever and getting married. Some of them will still live together for decades, some of them will adopt and/or gain custody of biological children and raise them–with varying degrees of success, of course. In other words, there will still be de facto “gay marriage.” So, what does this amendment do? It creates a permanent second-class citizenship for gays who choose to “marry” and raise children. This all seems a little mean spirited to me…do unto others, anyone?

  3. lyle
    February 25, 2004 at 2:24 pm

    I am troubled by those that aren’t troubled by small vocal minorities, who don’t fit the letter or spirit of the insular minorities test, who are successfully foisting off their lifestyle choices on the rest of society…and committing the historical and civilization ending fallacy that homosexual action doesn’t have any affect on society that government has a legitimate interest in preventing on nearly any rationale basis theory. But don’t take my word on this BBH, check out a church financed and supported law professor. Chances are that he doesn’t have any upper level approval or clearance, right?


  4. Matt Evans
    February 25, 2004 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Big Bill,

    No one’s claiming that gay marriages will stop simply because the government doesn’t recognize them. Private gay marriages have been around for decades; lots of churches marry gays every week.

    Private polygamous marriages, on the other hand, are illegal. Government not only refuses to recognize polygamous marriages, it puts the people in jail.

    I’m sympathetic to the argument that private marriages shouldn’t be criminalized, whichwould mean putting polygamous marriage, and other alternative forms, on the same plane as gay marriage is now: legal but not recognized by the state.

  5. Taylor
    February 25, 2004 at 3:44 pm

    Lyle, if he did have upper-level approval or clearance, then why not say who authorized it, or have someone from the upper-level say the same thing?

  6. February 25, 2004 at 4:35 pm


    I am troubled by those who are troubled by those who are not troubled by small, vocal minorities with a colorable claim. In fact, a colorable claim that courts are increasingly willing to accept and that enjoys considerable public support. Which is merely to say that it is an issue of public policy on which good and honorable people can disagree.

  7. Nate Oman
    February 25, 2004 at 4:51 pm

    Reminds me of Jeremy Waldron and Ronald Dworkin.

    Dworkin: Rights are those fundamental entitlements that should act as trumps in political discourse.

    Waldron: But we don’t really have any agreement about what these things are. It seems to me that this is the reason that we ought to have legislatures hammer these things out with authoritative texts.

    Dworkin: But if we do that then rights will be violated! We will end up with the tyranny of the majority!

    Waldron: But rights are precisely what we don’t agree on. Hence legislation.

    This is not the difference between conservative and liberal. This is the differnece between going to law school in America and going to law school in New Zealand.

  8. lyle
    February 25, 2004 at 5:13 pm

    Nate, so does this mean I’m an honorary aussie?

    Dave, you are right…reasonable people can disagree. Which is why Waldron is right more often than Dworkin; and why Court’s should unilaterally decide such issues. Sometimes when “a” Supreme Court steps in…they get it wrong; greviously. A la Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade, and unless we get a CON Amdt…the gay marriage issue.

    Taylor: Good point. Yet, why would the higher ups let him say such things…and give him funding to have a greater capacity to say such things? I guess we will both just have to wait and see what General Conference brings us.

  9. February 27, 2004 at 12:37 am

    As a BYU professor, I find it distasteful that some would suggest that the opinions of a BYU professor must, somehow, have been vetted by the General Authorities. Richard Wilkins is certainly entitled to his scholarly opinions (which not all other BYU law profs agree with), and he is entitled to publish them as long as his work does not undermine the Church. But publishing them doesn’t give them any more or less authority than they would have if he worked some place else.

  10. lyle
    February 27, 2004 at 12:41 am

    Jim, Sorry to be distasteful. Note, I’m not hinging this on the fact that he is a BYU prof, or that his opinions must have been vetted because he is a BYU prof.

    My hinge is that:
    1. the guy gets calls from the 12 on a regular basis
    2. the guy gets funding direct from SLC to run his pro-family groups.

    so…phone calls + money = ???

  11. February 27, 2004 at 1:26 pm

    I am just curious, what is “good” or “honorable” about promoting sin? A good and honorable person may indeed accept some of the homosexual rights agenda, but he or she must realize that doing so cuts against his or her goodness and honor. My take is that someone who truly values truth, goodness, and honor will have to ultimately conclude that championing sinful behavior is contrary to the values he or she believes in.

  12. Richard Wilkins
    July 28, 2004 at 12:29 am

    I am not sure that the February 27, 2004 comment from “lyle” refers to me, but I can assure you (1) that I have never been called by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve (let alone “on a regular basis”) and (2) that the World Family Policy Center is NOT funded directly by the Church. The operating funds of the World Family Policy Center are provided by donors to Brigham Young University.

    Richard G. Wilkins

  13. Taylor
    July 28, 2004 at 10:27 am

    Brother Wilkins,
    Thank you for your input on this issue!

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