Seldom Seen SmithOrcutt, CAI'm far from a BYU apologist, the
reality is, the stifling hypersensitive political correctness run amok is so
pervasive that BYU is now a place that promotes more diversity of discussion
than the overwhelming majority of American colleges, i.e., allows more tolerance
than the self proclaimed pop culture "people of tolerance". Yes there
are specific topics that can be identified that are off limits at BYU, but
overall, it promotes more freedom of speech and ideas. What a sad state of
affairs.1:02 p.m. May 21, 2014====== Really?Like - Legalized medical marijuana?SSM?Immigration reform?Wars in the Middle East?Utah's horrible
air pollution?Recycling?Universal Healthcare?The Occupy
WallStreet movement?I'd bet my last dollar you mention ONE of
those topics, and Campus Security would walk you out, and call your
Bishop.Face it, NuSkin products and other NetWork marketing
"get rich quick" schemes are about the most controversial topics of
conversation you'll ever hear at BYU.BTW -- Do they still have
an active "spy-ring" ratting out "Liberal" professors down there
at the "Y" like they did back in my day?If they do -
it's a "secret"...
How funny.... It is most amusing that some have tragically cross link a liberal
education with politics. They are hardly the same thing. A conservative can
just as easily challenge the status quo, seeking understanding and further
enlightenment, and still maintain conservative values.The problem is
definition of the word liberal has been hijacked by a select group of people in
the media and warped the meaning into something resembling hard to rationalize.
Joseph Smith was a progressive in that he challenged the common thinking of the
day around religion and the nature of God - even the meaning of life. Many
great theological minds throughout history have been devoutly conservative, and
yet were progressive or even liberal when it came to looking for greater meaning
than the common thought of the day allowed.But to some, all things
are political, and can't see beyond the media frenzied rhetoric.
I'm far from a BYU apologist, the reality is, the stifling hypersensitive
political correctness run amok is so pervasive that BYU is now a place that
promotes more diversity of discussion than the overwhelming majority of American
colleges, i.e., allows more tolerance than the self proclaimed pop culture
"people of tolerance". Yes there are specific topics that can be
identified that are off limits at BYU, but overall, it promotes more freedom of
speech and ideas. What a sad state of affairs.
@Vanceone...Liberals that posses Ivy League Degrees are quite aware of what a
"classic liberal education" entails.
And yet... BYU is still a respected University and attracts top students and
faculty nationally and internationally.Despite all the complaining
from some... they seem to be able to do an adequate job at BYU. Many of their
graduates excel and are very successful academically, socially, and
I taught at BYU, in the business school no less, for 9 years. I was the resident
anti-corporate on the faculty. Never did an administrator set foot in my
classroom. Not once was I told what I could or couldn't teach. It was
understood that you would get in trouble for attacking the Church or its
leaders. But I had a great deal of freedom regarding what I taught, even if it
went against the grain of what was "approved" dogma in the business
curriculum. I'm sure the administrators in the business department reviewed
the student evaluations of my teaching carefully. But they consistently gave me
to Golden EagleA boring speech related to the legal profession? I am
shocked, amazed, & astounded? Not really.
Progressive vs regressive thinking?They'll choose regressive every
re: Understands MathThe curriculum for most Social Science &
Humanities programs at Baylor have a course or two related to the bible. Byu is nowhere near as "structured"; kudos to the school in
Provo. I believe Notre Dame, Boston College, & Georgetown are relatively
open minded as well.
to FlashbackByu is far from a classical liberal (Libertarian)
Environment too.re: wwookieInteresting. A little turmoil
is good. Case in point; Switzerland and Italy in the middle ages. Switzerland
was calm while Italy had all types of chaos. From Italy, we got
DaVinci, Michelangelo, etc... essentially the Renaissance. Whereas
Switzerland is known for banking, chocolate, & clocks.
Well, once you consider the fact that Jesus was himself Liberal, and taught
Liberal ideas and Doctrines....Then BYU SHOULD be a beacon of
One might be shocked that at BYU I was able to take a class on world religions
from a guest professor who was Buddhist. Philosophical ideas ranging from Cleon
Skousen to Karl Marx were discussed. In Biology (gasp people), Evolution was
taught. At the library I could access about any periodical imaginable. I
regularly attended forums that featured speakers from all walks of life who were
on both sides of the political aisle. Again, I expected BYU to be a
conservative environment (which it generally was a let's be realistic) but
I was actually pleasantly surprised at the diversity of ideas our professors
brought and even the administration allowed through guest lecturers, forums etc.
Again, I'm not saying BYU is CU or Cal-Berkley or anything but I think
there is more to the place than meets the eye.
This was my experience as well while a student. BYU offers course in all of the
traditional, major academic disciplines and I never had a sense that any topic
Harry Reid spoke at my BYU law school graduation. But I wish he wouldn't
have. All he did was talk about himself, and how cool his story was coming out
of Searchlight, Nevada, blah blah blah. It was a yawner of a commencement
A couple of months ago someone in this opinion. page speculated that because BYU
was associated with religion that certain viiewpoints would be censored. A
couple of weeks later Stanford ran into problems for censoring someone.At some point in time liberal has been redefined and we did not pick up on it.
BYU is a lot more tolerant than other universities that fall all over
themselves with their more " liberal than thou attitudes".
BYU is a great university for Mormons. They are in a comfortable environment so
that they can listen to other ideas and perspectives without the pressure that
plagues the majority of universities to accept radical or unusual views. They
are not being indoctrinated, but rather exposed to new ideas. My favorite
class at the U of U was a world religions class, and I saw so many Mormons feel
threatened by new ideas and it interrupted the learning that could have taken
place for them and others. If this professor only received a complaint once in a
two year term, It appears that BYU is creating the right environment to get
through to the more religious students. ...of course when it comes
to sports, no kind words... ;-)
"The Y needs to get off the AAUP censure list before even attempting to make
a case that it even allows for liberal THOUGHTs. But a "beacon" of
liberal learning?"BYU wasn't remonstrated because of
limitations on academic freedom, but because in the view of the AAUP the
University's statement on academic freedom didn't adequately delineate
what the restrictions are and what effect they have on hiring and tenure
decisions. The AAUP recognizes that religious institutions have the right to
restrict expression directly contradicting their religious teachings. It's
important to read the report for what it says, not for what notoriously
hyper-partisan BYU haters like Naval Vet claim it says.I'm
genuinely puzzled when self-identified Mormons attack BYU for restricting voices
which directly attack or contradict LDS doctrine. I see no reason for the
university (and the tithing which supports it) to condone academic expressions
which run opposite to its religious mission.
Great posts by Common-Tater, AZKID, Schnee and a few others who understand the
differences in the use of the word liberal, and therefore exemplifying the idea
of liberal educations.It always amuses me to watch reactions to the
word liberal and particularly some of the comments on this story. There are
multiple meanings and uses of the word liberal, and yet too many immediately
jump to the conclusion that it MUST mean politics.If someone were to
say, "Give him a liberal helping of roast beef," I'm almost certain
that someone here would decry the evils of socialist meats.Saying
that BYU offers a true liberal education is, in fact, a compliment- not some
kind of political tag.
I heard that BYU professors find the atmosphere at BYU surprisingly refreshing.
All points of view are welcome, which describes what a classical liberal
education should be.
I found it quite informative, and equally expected, that the knee-jerk reaction
on the part of many would be, "BYU liberal? No way." Those fell
obviously into the category of people who rarely get beyond a headline, and
quite decidedly fail to read the article.Some got it. Thank you
Howard Beal, Vanceone, AZKID, Schnee, etc. As for Naval Vet, ArgoFY, and those
others who never got that far, become a tad more "liberal" as defined by
the author, and take the time to actually read what he wrote rather than
commenting without knowledge!Having graduated from West Point, BYU,
and Harvard, it is ironic that the only one of these three where a dissenting
point of view could be voiced and responded to in a calm, considered manner, was
BYU. While there are decidedly more "conservative" voices at BYU than
"liberal" as defined on the political spectrum, the ability to converse
beyond the dictates of political correctness were decidedly more
"liberal" in the true definition of the word at the Y ... READ THE
When did michael moore speak at the graduation?
I think BYU is more liberal than people think but in reality it was more liberal
20 or so years ago than today. The faculty, especially was much more liberal
than present day and much more liberal than it students. As for BYU being
boycotted by some organization of professors, some might call this a badge of
honor. It seems that our liberal college campuses are anything but liberal
which strictly means to be more open-minded and tolerant. As a former BYU
student, I won't lie, most of the speakers say at your typical forum were
conservative. However, plenty political liberal speakers were invited to these
forums, much more than people think (and I hate people who never attended the
university offering opinions in which they have actual little factual
information). BYU (administrators nor students) didn't ban these speakers.
Unfortunately politically conservative speakers are being banned on many
campuses, being shouted down by intolerant students who in the end persuade
their weak-minded administrators to ban them. If this is what a so-called
"liberal education" is, I have serious issues with these universities
using the term "liberal education."
Please . . . BYU has many unique virtues, but "beacon of liberal
education" is not one of them.
Heh. The leftists here don't have a clue what a "Classical"
liberal education is. They think a liberal eduction is listening to Walter
Mondale? No wonder we are so messed up.A classical liberal
education involves the trivium at the pre college levels, and engaging with some
of the best minds--Plato, locke, Aristotle. Not stuff like "My adventures
as a female transsexual black gendered dwarf amputee" --surely what leftists
want us all to read instead. If you do not even know what a
classical liberal is versus today's leftist claptrap, then no wonder you
are snickering at the idea that BYU is a liberal school. But that speaks more
about you than it does about BYU.
In contrast to the political correctness that rules many so called
"liberal" universities, I find BYU to be quite refreshing. (The only
thing that doesn't fly there--nor should it--is hostility towards the LDS
church.) As a naive freshman at BYU, I was introduced to many
liberal philosophies that stirred some angst in my "good Mormon boy"
soul. I didn't adopt all those ideas as my own, but the internal debates
they produced have made all the difference. Upon reflection, I consider this
experience to be the hallmark of my education. It helped me to be a better
father, husband, church leader (and yes, republican). My liberal BYU education
has strengthened my faith and enabled me to better serve others. So
I applaud the article by Mr. Linker. True liberalism is to hear a wide variety
of viewpoints and carefully consider which to adopt as one's own. This
must be done in the full light of other Higher sources of truth--not just those
that are considered politically correct in the closed thought circles of the
left. This is the remarkable (and liberal) gift that BYU offers to
those who are willing to receive it.
@Naval Vet"Well THAT's an easy question. Absolutely NOT! Just
look at who they bring in for commencement speeches. Dick Cheney? "This isn't arguing about politically "liberal", but the
definition of liberal that involves open-mindedness (I totally worded that
poorly, but for the sake of amusing conservatives, I'm going to leave it
that way rather than fix it). Anyway, I don't think inviting Cheney is an
example against that.
There was a time when BYU was more receptive to liberal ideas than now. Or
really any time since about 1996.
Could this professor teach from David Hume and his discussion on natural
I'm as True BYU Blue as they come, but let's not make the place out to
be something it's not. There are definitely somewhat-left-of center
professors in places like poli sci department (where I majored), and I think
that many stereotypes of the campus are completely overblown. But there's
little doubt that the student body and the administration are overwhelmingly
conservative. As to Dick Cheney, I have from someone I trust that
he essentially invited himself to a "safe" commencement environment, and
while the university knew he'd be a polarizing figure, it respected the
office too much to decline the offer. I'm proud that some students took
the opportunity to disagree publicly with the invitation.And Harry
Reid spoke on campus a few years back. I think that's worth pointing out.
He's right. Classic Liberalism is nothing like what is practiced by the
"BYU: A beacon of liberal learning?"Well THAT's an easy
question. Absolutely NOT! Just look at who they bring in for commencement
speeches. Dick Cheney? And Y officials claimed that their invitation to him to
speak should be viewed as "one extended to someone holding the high office
of vice president of the United States rather than to a partisan political
figure."Right. So any day now, they'll invite Joe Biden,
Al Gore, or Walter Mondale.The Y needs to get off the AAUP censure
list before even attempting to make a case that it even allows for liberal
THOUGHTs. But a "beacon" of liberal learning?No way.
Pretty weak responses. If you don't have an argument, try to laugh at the
other person. That garners support from equally weak-minded thinkers.
'“In some ways, BYU was a profoundly illiberal place,” he says.
“And yet I was perfectly free to teach whatever I wanted in the classroom.
And I did. I taught large introductory lecture courses in ancient, medieval, and
modern political thought, including some of the most radical writings of Plato,
Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Marx.”'The only
universities where you *wouldn't* expect to see something like that would
be Liberty University or Bob Jones University.
BYU: A beacon of liberal learning?Yeah, I don't think so...
They're talking about the same BYU that, from 1998 until this very moment,
is criticized and condemned by the American Association of University Professors
for infringement on academic freedoms. I had a good laugh when I read the
Can't get away from liberals.