Friday, March 4, 2011

Honor Codes -- Leaving Room for the Holy Spirit

I never thought it would come down to this, but here is a sports-meets-religion-meets-honor code-meets-whacked out-meets-scrutiny blog post.

I would like you all to turn to your books--or webpages--to the Brigham Young University honor code.
Here, I even have the link for you: Read and Abide. Just Kidding.

Okay, did we all understand that? I did, but being a Catholic, I thought that was as extreme as being either Quaker or Amish. Anyway, what do you think happens when someone breaks these rules? Well, this is where the whole idea of the post came in.

This is a story of BYU Center Brandon Davies. A good-standing man looking to become a star in his field. Where was he at BYU's last game against New Mexico? Gone. Why? The answer may surprise you. He decided to have premarital sex with his girlfriend, and because of that he was dismissed from the team. Not only that, the team lost their chance to be a top seed in the March Madness tournament because of this incident.
Now, I can go on a full-fledged argument about this by stepping on my soapbox and flooding people with my knowledge of religion and how there's separation of church and state and that there should be a set code of ethics in the world of college sports. I won't be doing this. Instead I'll be delving into this and write about how this is a way of life, and those knee-deep in this stuff have to keep these rules and regulations.

In every school, there's a mission statement and an honor code. Of course, they all vary slightly according to general beliefs and administrative preferences. In that case, whomever chooses to attend that school and be in clubs/athletics pretty much sell their souls into the mission of the school (or religious movement, in this case). Unfortunately, this man stuck his large basketball foot so deep into "no-no behavior" that his whole team is going to suffer from it. Do you think they are complaining? I bet they are. To some, it might be for the strangest of reasons, but something like that has been forbidden in their way of life. At this point, you can't start pointing fingers as to who the person is who initiated this act or who the person is who ratted this out. Who knows? Based on discipline even Davies himself admitted to this act and indirectly asked for a punishment in return [that's what the media does to doesn't give every fact so that you can take a stand on a topic]; however, he might not have wanted the whole team to spiral downward along with him. Could this be a statement of warning from the school's administration? Absolutely, but in a different way. It's like a mental "cracking down." Is it a bit harsh? How could it not be?

However, this is their way. Former students have been grateful for the strict honor code, admitting that it has made them become better people. Even BYU's coach Dave Rose admitted that he handled the situation very well and that he is a great person and meant no wrong. I guess what you can say is that Davies handled his incident "the proper way."

Think about it this way: my school (and just about every other college) has their rules and regulations about the use of illegal substances. If an athlete breaks this law, they're out for the rest of the season. It's just the same thing with BYU--only they can't do about 50 more things on top of that. I don't want to sound like I'm joking about stuff like that, but it's rather true. They need to live very pure and chaste lives, and if this is what they think is going to make them better people, well, more power to them. Being a believer was never meant to be easy. For example, it's hard enough for me not being able to eat meat on Fridays of Lent, but it's a sacrifice we Catholics all have to make. [Speaking of...what should I give up for Lent this year?]
And honestly, compared to what I do in my everyday life, I feel completely lazy compared to these LDS people.

Will Davies be back next year? Hopefully... They would like to see him come back. Maybe he will come back as a better person after this incident. Faith can make you do some crazy stuff, but it's all for the best, right?

In short, you can't really help but support their claims and beliefs. It's their honor code, and you can't really complain to something that they believe will strengthen the student body in mind, body, and faith. Sure, there are the other people out there that think religion is a bunch of malarky and refuse to believe that such rules and codes should even exist. But they're still there. Every mission statement and honor code out there is meant to bring the general public steps further to self-actualization and all of the stuff that Maslow said we needed. Even if God wasn't involved in all of this stuff, wouldn't we want to become better people in life anyway? Exactly. Let BYU do it their way and let's not argue.

(The whole "not drinking tea" thing would drive me bonkers. That is all.)
(Where the idea of the post came from. Geez, Andrew's been my story secretary as of late. I'm so off the ball anymore. We all know why too. Thanks, college. More on that at 11.)