BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
Post Reply
User avatar
Not Buying It
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:29 pm

BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by Not Buying It » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:26 am

The Trump Administration is currently proposing some fairly extensive rule changes that will have a major impact on higher education. Among these changes are new additional protections for religious institutions from accreditation requirements that conflict with their religious mission, such that an accrediting organization can't "deny preaccreditation or accreditation, or take action against an institution or program, due to a compliance gap that is the result of an institution's adherence to its religious mission in any of its policies and practices" (see https://www.politico.com/newsletters/mo ... les-470996).

These proposed changes are currently under review by the "2019 Committee on Accreditation and Innovation - Department of Education Negotiated Rulemaking Session". It is composed of representatives of various stakeholder groups, I am acquainted with someone who serves on that committee. That person shared with me the list of other representatives, and the representative for faith-based higher education institutions is from BYU.

That made my blood run cold. Look at the proposed new language - BYU (and other faith based institutions like it) wants to be able to limit the academic freedom of professors who "sow doubt", and wants to be able to discriminate against the LGBT community without any repercussions from accrediting agencies. That is what the proposed language is all about.

Faculty and students at BYU have precious little protection from the religious zealots who run the place. Those protections are about to get a lot smaller.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

User avatar
alas
Posts: 1143
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by alas » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:05 am

Sounds like they will no longer be required to teach evolution in order to be accredited to teach science. Yikes for the whole country.

User avatar
hiding in plain sight
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:38 am

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by hiding in plain sight » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:48 pm

Not Buying It wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:26 am


Faculty and students at BYU have precious little protection from the religious zealots who run the place. Those protections are about to get a lot smaller.
This.

Even now there is no/limited religious freedom protections at BYU. If you choose to be mormon one day or even baptist, you are good to go and attend BYU. But if you change your mind and exercise your religious freedom to believe how you want to believe and convert from mormonism to being a baptist you get kicked out. Even if you are willing to live the rules like a baptist would. It is just you no longer believe in mormonism.

How is that fair again?

How is that moral again?

How is that a defender of religious freedom again?

Reuben
Posts: 939
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by Reuben » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:53 pm

alas wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:05 am
Sounds like they will no longer be required to teach evolution in order to be accredited to teach science. Yikes for the whole country.
Accrediting insitutions for biological sciences (and many others) will fight this tooth and nail, as they should. You can't be any kind of biologist without studying evolution, period.

The thing that worries me most is losing an avenue to push for LGBT rights.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

User avatar
Not Buying It
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:29 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by Not Buying It » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:10 pm

Reuben wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:53 pm
alas wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:05 am
Sounds like they will no longer be required to teach evolution in order to be accredited to teach science. Yikes for the whole country.
Accrediting insitutions for biological sciences (and many others) will fight this tooth and nail, as they should. You can't be any kind of biologist without studying evolution, period.

The thing that worries me most is losing an avenue to push for LGBT rights.
BYU administration can very easily say they don't care about program accreditation for Biological sciences, or any other department they find troublesome. They could still offer Biology degrees, nothing would stop them, they just wouldn't have an accredited Biology program, which might be a disadvantage in the marketplace for students earning those degrees. Accreditation for the entire institution controls access to federal financial aid dollars, and is a much bigger deal to them than whether a lack of Biology program accreditation affects how employers and transfer institutions look at their graduates' Biology degrees. Honestly, I have no idea whether their Biology department currently has any kind of program accreditation or not, maybe they already don't, or maybe they do, I don't know.

I don't really know if BYU would go after the teaching of evolution, but under the proposed rules that wouldn't impact their institutional accreditation if they did. I think the bigger goal in their minds is being able to persecute the LGBT community without having to answer for it.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

User avatar
alas
Posts: 1143
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by alas » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:06 pm

Not Buying It wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:10 pm
Reuben wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:53 pm
alas wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:05 am
Sounds like they will no longer be required to teach evolution in order to be accredited to teach science. Yikes for the whole country.
Accrediting insitutions for biological sciences (and many others) will fight this tooth and nail, as they should. You can't be any kind of biologist without studying evolution, period.

The thing that worries me most is losing an avenue to push for LGBT rights.
BYU administration can very easily say they don't care about program accreditation for Biological sciences, or any other department they find troublesome. They could still offer Biology degrees, nothing would stop them, they just wouldn't have an accredited Biology program, which might be a disadvantage in the marketplace for students earning those degrees. Accreditation for the entire institution controls access to federal financial aid dollars, and is a much bigger deal to them than whether a lack of Biology program accreditation affects how employers and transfer institutions look at their graduates' Biology degrees. Honestly, I have no idea whether their Biology department currently has any kind of program accreditation or not, maybe they already don't, or maybe they do, I don't know.

I don't really know if BYU would go after the teaching of evolution, but under the proposed rules that wouldn't impact their institutional accreditation if they did. I think the bigger goal in their minds is being able to persecute the LGBT community without having to answer for it.
I don’t know that they need new “protections” for their right to discriminate. Already, any one who is gay and married, or gay and sexually active can be kicked out under honor code violation. And they don’t care about celibate gays. Maybe they just want extra protection for their right to be bigots and homophobes. I just worry about the attack on science that this will be used for by other religious institutions.

User avatar
Linked
Posts: 880
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by Linked » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:38 pm

alas wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:06 pm
I don’t know that they need new “protections” for their right to discriminate. Already, any one who is gay and married, or gay and sexually active can be kicked out under honor code violation. And they don’t care about celibate gays. Maybe they just want extra protection for their right to be bigots and homophobes. I just worry about the attack on science that this will be used for by other religious institutions.
I agree, this probably a move to protect their current levels of homophobia and bigotry. BYU has been hurt by their positions with regard to its LGBTQ+ stance and campus rape issues in the media recently. I suspect this is a move to keep the law on their side so they have more options to run things how they want to.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

User avatar
Not Buying It
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:29 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by Not Buying It » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:42 pm

Here’s an update from my source at the negotiated rulemaking discussion today, with an interesting note about the rep from BYU:
lots of swipes at accreditors, who Ed doesn't want to be able deny accreditation to any organization based on religious principles. The burden is now switched to accreditors to justify any actions against religious entities.
BYU rep admitted they believe this should apply broadly, both to academics and also being able to regulate things like faculty behavior and beliefs. They also believe requirements for diversity are cumbersome and unfair to their religious mission.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

User avatar
Raylan Givens
Posts: 252
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:09 am

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by Raylan Givens » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:15 pm

hiding in plain sight wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:48 pm
Not Buying It wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:26 am


Faculty and students at BYU have precious little protection from the religious zealots who run the place. Those protections are about to get a lot smaller.
This.

Even now there is no/limited religious freedom protections at BYU. If you choose to be mormon one day or even baptist, you are good to go and attend BYU. But if you change your mind and exercise your religious freedom to believe how you want to believe and convert from mormonism to being a baptist you get kicked out. Even if you are willing to live the rules like a baptist would. It is just you no longer believe in mormonism.

How is that fair again?

How is that moral again?

How is that a defender of religious freedom again?
I am not as familiar about the rules. Do they kick you out for leaving the church? Or just change your status and make you pay more money as a non-member?
"Ah, you know, I think you use the Bible to do whatever the hell you like" - Raylan Givens

User avatar
Not Buying It
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:29 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:31 am

Raylan Givens wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:15 pm
hiding in plain sight wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:48 pm
Not Buying It wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:26 am


Faculty and students at BYU have precious little protection from the religious zealots who run the place. Those protections are about to get a lot smaller.
This.

Even now there is no/limited religious freedom protections at BYU. If you choose to be mormon one day or even baptist, you are good to go and attend BYU. But if you change your mind and exercise your religious freedom to believe how you want to believe and convert from mormonism to being a baptist you get kicked out. Even if you are willing to live the rules like a baptist would. It is just you no longer believe in mormonism.

How is that fair again?

How is that moral again?

How is that a defender of religious freedom again?
I am not as familiar about the rules. Do they kick you out for leaving the church? Or just change your status and make you pay more money as a non-member?
The Honor Code is used in a fairly Draconian way. Every student has to get an ecclesiastical endorsement from their bishop to continue attending, depending on your bishop you might lose your ability to attend BYU for simply failing to attend your Sunday meetings. I personally know of a trans individual at BYU-I who was dismissed for dressing like a woman, they very kindly and lovingly kicked her out of the institution when she came out on Facebook. President Wilkenson is no longer running his spy network, but students rat other students out to the Honor Code office all the time, and major transgressions are grounds for dismissal. The whole reason that BYU had to start granting Honor Code amnesty to victims of rape and sexual assault after the negative publicity was because clever predators had figured out that if they could get their victims to violate the Honor Code, they could victimize them and the victim would be too afraid of being booted out of BYU to report it. And yes, public opposition to the Church is against the Honor Code and can get students kicked out. It's not just students, pity the poor faculty member who ever speaks publicly against the Church.

The Honor Code enforcement at BYU is an unholy mess. Are you LGBT at BYU? BYU and the Church want the freedom to boot you out without recrimination. Have you discovered the Church is a farce while attending BYU? Don't talk about it publicly or you can kiss your ecclesiastical endorsement goodbye and find somewhere else to finish your degree. Here is an example of an article talking about how closeted non-believing students at BYU complained to BYU's accreditor - this is what BYU wants to be able to quash: http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?i ... type=CMSID. Read this article if you want to understand how serious the problem is for non-believing students. This was the BYU rep's response in the article:
At the time of the letter, Jenkins acknowledged that Mormons who change faiths are treated differently than those who start classes as non-LDS students.

"Nonmembers have not made promises and commitments that a member of the church has," she said in November. "A former Mormon who decides to leave the church distances themselves from those promises and commitments. The result is that they are not eligible to attend BYU."
And note this quote in the report I received: "They also believe requirements for diversity are cumbersome and unfair to their religious mission." Their accreditor, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, doesn't even mention diversity in its accreditation standards, and BYU is still whining about how they think it's burdensome. It does require the following, which BYU doesn't like:
Academic Freedom
2.A.27 The institution publishes and adheres to policies, approved by its governing board, regarding academic freedom and responsibility that protect its constituencies from inappropriate internal and external influences, pressures, and harassment.
2.A.28 Within the context of its mission, core themes, and values, the institution defines and actively promotes an environment that supports independent thought in the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. It affirms the freedom of faculty, staff, administrators, and students to share their scholarship and reasoned conclusions with others. While the institution and individuals within the institution may hold to a particular personal, social, or religious philosophy, its constituencies are intellectually free to examine thought, reason, and perspectives of truth. Moreover, they allow others the freedom to do the same.
So short answer - no, they don't just let you stay and pay a higher non-tithed rate. They'll boot you.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

lostinmiddlemormonism
Posts: 210
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:40 am

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by lostinmiddlemormonism » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:45 am

Raylan Givens wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:15 pm


I am not as familiar about the rules. Do they kick you out for leaving the church? Or just change your status and make you pay more money as a non-member?
You are kicked out. Of course it doesn't work in reverse. If you are attending BYU and leave the religion of your parents FOR Mormonism then you are celebrated.

-Lost

User avatar
Not Buying It
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:29 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:36 am

P.S. To you COB lurkers who are thinking that the Church owns the school and BYU should be able to discriminate if it wants to, I’d point out that the reason universities care so much about accreditation is that accreditation is required to get federal financial aid dollars - dollars from taxes that are paid by non-believing members, LGBT individuals, non-Mormons, everybody. BYU wants to be able to accept the money without any strings on it about how they deal with non-believing faculty and students, LGBT students, etc.

Sure the Church owns the university. But it shouldn’t think it can just take taxpayer dollars and still do whatever it wants to students it disagrees with who are bringing in that money. If you truly want freedom to do as you please, don’t accept federal financial aid money. This is why BYU fears accreditation problems, and why it wants to make sure accreditation doesn’t interfere with them being as discriminatory as they want to be.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 3055
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by Hagoth » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:01 pm

Not Buying It wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:36 am
P.S. To you COB lurkers who are thinking that the Church owns the school and BYU should be able to discriminate if it wants to, I’d point out that the reason universities care so much about accreditation is that accreditation is required to get federal financial aid dollars - dollars from taxes that are paid by non-believing members, LGBT individuals, non-Mormons, everybody.
And don't forget that this applies to other religious truth claims also. You might wake up one day and realize that your kid just graduated from some accredited university that taught them flat earth, 6000 year old universe and biology based on breathing into lumps of clay and them sent them out to try and find a job in a scientific field.
It affirms the freedom of faculty, staff, administrators, and students to share their scholarship and reasoned conclusions with others. While the institution and individuals within the institution may hold to a particular personal, social, or religious philosophy, its constituencies are intellectually free to examine thought, reason, and perspectives of truth. Moreover, they allow others the freedom to do the same.
This language also allows the publishing of things like the undergraduate research that revealed Joseph Smith's plagiarism of Clarke's commentary. Its removal could mean that no such information could ever be "leaked" again.

Surely BYU can see how far this line of thinking can potentially be carried by their Evangelical counterparts, who far outnumber Mormons in the US.

So how long after the new Dark Age begins can we expect the return of The Crusades and inquisitions? :evil:
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

User avatar
glass shelf
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:27 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by glass shelf » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:11 pm

lostinmiddlemormonism wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:45 am
Raylan Givens wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:15 pm


I am not as familiar about the rules. Do they kick you out for leaving the church? Or just change your status and make you pay more money as a non-member?
You are kicked out. Of course it doesn't work in reverse. If you are attending BYU and leave the religion of your parents FOR Mormonism then you are celebrated.

-Lost
So true. I remember one of my strongest feelings of cog diss in testimony meeting--a mom got up and cried over her wayward kid and their terrible choices at the pupit. Next testimony? A young adult talking about how even though her parents disapproved, joining the church was the best decision ever.

User avatar
moksha
Posts: 2389
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:22 am

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by moksha » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:06 pm

Even with the Trump rules change allowing the basest instincts of religion to apply to their educational systems, there is no real indication that BYU would let its religion teachers control what is taught in the biology department.

What it might indicate is a renewed demand that all BYU faculty and students adhere to a non-deviating checklist of religious beliefs. So like President Nelson, they can be fully versed in the theory of evolution, but just not believe it. Or they could understand the impossibility of a worldwide flood, but still, believe in it. Or they could acknowledge that leechcraft is not a means to prevent pandemics, but still avoid their vaccinating children on the grounds that it might make them Democrats.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

User avatar
MoPag
Posts: 1707
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:05 pm

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by MoPag » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:30 pm

moksha wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:06 pm
Even with the Trump rules change allowing the basest instincts of religion to apply to their educational systems, there is no real indication that BYU would let its religion teachers control what is taught in the biology department.

What it might indicate is a renewed demand that all BYU faculty and students adhere to a non-deviating checklist of religious beliefs. So like President Nelson, they can be fully versed in the theory of evolution, but just not believe it. Or they could understand the impossibility of a worldwide flood, but still, believe in it. Or they could acknowledge that leechcraft is not a means to prevent pandemics, but still avoid their vaccinating children on the grounds that it might make them Democrats.
:lol:
I remember taking historical geology at BYU-I. It's basically evolution. The teacher spent a whole day explaining that it was alright. There is some JS quote that the earth is 6 billion years old, and as long as we give HF the credit for creating the world it shouldn't matter if we try to discover how. He said he thinks HF is a scientist, not a magician. But he also said that he would get angry emails from the religions department every now and again whenever one of his students would try to share what they learned in his class with their religion classes. So the fight has always been there.

Do we have any NOMs or Lurker NOMs who are faculty at any of the church schools? We would love to hear your feelings about this.
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

User avatar
moksha
Posts: 2389
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:22 am

Re: BYU and Higher Education Rule Changes - Freedom to Discriminate?

Post by moksha » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:52 am

MoPag wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:30 pm
Do we have any NOMs or Lurker NOMs who are faculty at any of the church schools? We would love to hear your feelings about this.
Especially if these faculty members could weigh in on the theory that BYU religion professors are just like their physical science counterparts, except that they had a lot of heavy metals in their diet as children.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests