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Subject: LGBTQ groups trying to pressure Big 12 Conference to keep BYU out rss

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Junior McSpiffy
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http://www.athleteally.org/big-12-conference-letter/

This letter was sent to the commissioner of the Big 12, who is currently considering expanding from 10 teams to either 12 or 14. BYU is very eager to gain access to the conference and is considered one of the front-runners to get taken for expansion.

Myself, I feel oddly neutral about this. The Big 12 has its own image to worry about. It's their image. If this factors in, then it's in their best interest to keep BYU out. BYU won't change their stance on this issue*. Sex outside marriage is wrong. God ordains marriage to be between a man and a woman. So while being gay isn't a sin... it leaves homosexuals in a really awkward position faith-wise. And that won't change.

But to me, it raises a bigger issue. There are many private universities which hold their own values. Some of these values are not very acronym-friendly. Nobody can dictate policies to these universities, but the governing athletic body of the NCAA does have say in whether or not these schools get to participate. It feels like a really thin line, and it isn't just a BYU thing. In 2013, a tennis player at Notre Dame came out as gay. Other players at other schools have done the same. And the schools have had to react to this according to their own policies... and the NCAA has to react to the reactions of those schools. It feels like they have a tightrope to walk and I don't envy them in the task.











* Or maybe they will change their stance. After all, BYU let blacks hold the priesthood in the 70s so they could get a top basketball recruit. Or a top football cornerback. Or a track star. One of those. The story always changes on that one... but it gets better every time.
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It's all down to business decisions anwyays, that's the beast that is the NCAA. The mighty Dollar trumps such things.
 
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Junior McSpiffy
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Which is why there were twenty-five advocacy groups that all signed that letter. They are trying to put pressure on the universities, making it feel like there may be financial repercussions to the acceptance of BYU. Because you're right, it's all about dollars. They didn't come out and say it; they kept it on a moral argument. But with twenty-five groups signing, the implication is that a lot of people could turn up their nose to the Big 12 and their corporate sponsors.

But again, I think it goes just beyond this one incident. There is a fine line that the NCAA will have to walk with private institutions and their acceptance of athletics. This goes beyond just BYU.

And for the record, there was one part of the argument in that letter that I thought was VERY dishonest. They mentioned that if an athlete goes to BYU just because of their inclusion into a larger, more prestigious conference, then they open themselves up to prejudice. Except... when you sign up for BYU, they make it VERY clear to everyone including athletes what is in the school's honor code. So if you sign up to go there, it's not something you go into not knowing what would come with it. If you are an athlete and choose a school with a very prohibitive moral code simply to get access, you really should look to other schools. Either that or don't act surprised by what comes with the experience. Go in with eyes open knowing full well what you are signing up for. The school isn't there solely to fulfill your dreams. It's a two-way street.
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So a simple if your Black, Irish , Jewish or othe none white and you will be be descriminated against policy would be acceptable for my new college and I could apply to join that conference?

After all if your one of the above then yoi know what your signing up for.

Also how how would BYU be expected to treat other students when they host events. Seems to me this is just BYU annoyed theor os money on the table they cant get access to. Why should the other colleges enable them?
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Junior McSpiffy
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growlley wrote:
So a simple if your Black, Irish , Jewish or othe none white and you will be be descriminated against policy would be acceptable for my new college and I could apply to join that conference?

After all if your one of the above then yoi know what your signing up for.

Alsoo how how would BYU be expected to treat other students when they host events. Seems to me this is just BYU annoyed theor os money on the table they cant get access to. Why should the other colleges enable them?


How would they be expected to treat other students there? Why, we'd run around with cans of spray paint trying to spray big scarlet A's on them... or worse. How the fuck do you think they'd be treated? They'd be treated like people.

As for your other comment... sure. Apply. And let the conference judge whether you are deserving or not by their standards. And sorry... but the standard is money.

And a bit of advice... slow down when you are typing angry.
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Walking on eggshells is not my style
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growlley wrote:
So a simple if your Black, Irish , Jewish or othe none white and you will be be descriminated against policy would be acceptable for my new college and I could apply to join that conference?

After all if your one of the above then yoi know what your signing up for.

Also how how would BYU be expected to treat other students when they host events. Seems to me this is just BYU annoyed theor os money on the table they cant get access to. Why should the other colleges enable them?
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Quote:
And a bit of advice... slow down when you are typing angry.


Don't be so quick judge if someone is angry - you try touch typing with 3 paralysed fingers on your dominant hand.

However that isn't the point - BYU want the services and protection society offers so it can make money, well in return society wants and expects to follow its rules.
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casey r lowe
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GameCrossing wrote:
Except... when you sign up for BYU, they make it VERY clear to everyone including athletes what is in the school's honor code.

they really dont - plenty student athletes get screwed over by the honor code because the school isnt upfront about it during recruiting http://deadspin.com/5791461/the-truth-about-race-religion-an...

Quote:
As for the honor code, they did mention it. Yes, they did. No, they didn't go into great detail. If they had, there's no way in hell I would have gone there. Truly, I forgot all about the honor code. It's not like it's being put in your face every day. After my first meeting with the coaches, the honor code was never mentioned. They want people to come play for them. I went on a couple recruiting trips. That's what you're looking forward to. You go out there. You're getting introduced to college women. That's what makes an athlete sign. The biggest part is that recruiting trip. How is the school? How are the coaches? How did the other athletes treat me? I was recruited in 2002. I went with my grandfather. It was live. It was lovely. It was partying, girls, completely the opposite of what was supposed to be going on. I was exposed to so many women on my recruiting trip to BYU, I couldn't wait to get back. I was going to go to Fresno State but not after that recruiting trip.
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Junior McSpiffy
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growlley wrote:
Quote:
And a bit of advice... slow down when you are typing angry.


Don't be so quick judge if someone is angry - you try touch typing with 3 paralysed fingers on your dominant hand.

However that isn't the point - BYU want the services and protection society offers so it can make money, well in return society wants and expects to follow its rules.


And didn't I say I really had no issue with this? Let the groups petition. I think there's a lot about this that the NCAA and schools will have to figure out, both individually and collectively. I get that the school's honor code and morals don't jibe with yours and those of many others. Well... people have spoken. My guess is it will have little impact unless the conference feels it will affect the bottom line. But this is just one instance.

For instance, Notre Dame. Do people wonder how gay students would be treated at that catholic university? Gonzaga, Boston College, TCU, SMU, these are all high-profile religious-based universities. They have, to varying degrees, different stands on this issue. The NCAA has the unenviable task of figuring out what to do when schools with different moral codes are competing in athletics. Fans who travel to those schools, the athletes themselves, all of it.

Those who oppose the moral stand of BYU have made their voice heard. But truth is... it comes down to the financial bottom line. And if the conference thinks that a school with:

* its own TV network
* the biggest football and basketball arenas of any school they are considering
* the ability and willingness to sign a conference-friendly contract that will make the existing teams in the conference lots of money
* a school that travels well to road games,
* the fifth best win percentage of any football team over the past ten years, and
* the name recognition and athletic history that no other school they are considering can match

don't weigh well enough against:

* their stand on LGBTQ students and issues
* an unwillingness to play on Sundays, and
* no beer sales at games

then the league won't sign them on and will pick other teams.

But again, I am trying to look at this beyond just BYU. I am looking at this in the big picture and how the NCAA has to accommodate this overall going forward.

And I apologize. Didn't know about the hand. Hope the damage isn't lasting and that the prognosis for a full recovery is good.
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Junior McSpiffy
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single sentences wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
Except... when you sign up for BYU, they make it VERY clear to everyone including athletes what is in the school's honor code.

they really dont - plenty student athletes get screwed over by the honor code because the school isnt upfront about it during recruiting http://deadspin.com/5791461/the-truth-about-race-religion-an...

Quote:
As for the honor code, they did mention it. Yes, they did. No, they didn't go into great detail. If they had, there's no way in hell I would have gone there. Truly, I forgot all about the honor code. It's not like it's being put in your face every day. After my first meeting with the coaches, the honor code was never mentioned. They want people to come play for them. I went on a couple recruiting trips. That's what you're looking forward to. You go out there. You're getting introduced to college women. That's what makes an athlete sign. The biggest part is that recruiting trip. How is the school? How are the coaches? How did the other athletes treat me? I was recruited in 2002. I went with my grandfather. It was live. It was lovely. It was partying, girls, completely the opposite of what was supposed to be going on. I was exposed to so many women on my recruiting trip to BYU, I couldn't wait to get back. I was going to go to Fresno State but not after that recruiting trip.


That's a common misconception, one that's fun to spread around because it makes the church and school look hypocritical. Talk to the ones who don't get busted and ask them what is said.

You are talking about 18 year old athletes who get preferential treatment all through high school, who are elevated above the system because they can dunk a basketball or tackle a 240 pound running back. They hear rules shared and think "Yeah, okay, wink wink." Then when they find out the school actually enforces those rules... WHAT?!?!!? Nobody ever said!!! Um, yeah, they did.

The article talked about how things were different during recruiting. But at least two different people in that article said that the school and the coaches didn't know what was going on. Yes, students on campus don't all live by the honor code. And a lot of them get away with it. But that doesn't mean the students weren't told about the expectations when they came on campus.

I can tell you that about three or four times a year, this subject gets major play on the local sports talk stations. And every time, it's the same thing. They get a disgruntled guy who is happy to tear down the university, they get a guy who lived the honor code and said that it was crystal clear to anyone who listened and didn't blow it off, and then callers scream at each other about how what they believed going in was right.

So yes, when a student hears about the honor code but then gets taken to parties that the coaches know nothing about and they get an entirely different message, it's easy to see how they wouldn't think much of what they'd heard. But they're eighteen and coddled. I'm not exactly sure I'd take their word that nobody told them. (Except maybe when Gary Crowton was coach... that was a mess.)

If you want to talk honor code hypocrisy, Jim McMahon is a much better example than anyone in that article.
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Christopher Seguin
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You brought up Notre Dame a few times, so I thought I would throw in my thoughts on this as an alum of The Fighting Irish.

When I was there (a long, long time ago), "Du Lac" (the student honor code book) was quite explicit about what was expected of all students, not just athletes. I was well aware of that going in on my recruiting trip, as pretty much every swimmer on the team told me "no sex, or if you do, don't get caught". But Du Lac was also very specific about "if you have knowledge and don't report it, then you have broken the honor code just as much as the guy who cheated/had sex".

Notre Dame, as a Catholic Institution, was very explicit that sex was for married couples, and that married couples was "man and woman". Of course, that was the early 90's, and "Same Sex Marriage" wasn't as big of an issue back then as it is now (hell, Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, three years after I graduated!). However, it was also a well known fact that there were open homosexuals on campus. No one complained about it, no one (that I knew of) made them feel bad or discriminated against them. The only part that was an issue with GLND-SMC (Gays and Lesbians of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College) was that the University would not recognize them as an "Official" Campus Organization, and many of the homosexuals on campus did not like that treatment, and thought it unfair. It wasn't necessarily "discriminatory" in the sense of "you won't be served at this bakery" type of discrimination - it only prevented them from advertising during Freshman Orientation week (or other times) as a "Campus Group". I supported the University when I was there, and I am kind of "neutral" about it now, because it is a well-known fact that Notre Dame is a Catholic Institution and does not approve of homosexual relations. So it should have been no surprise that GLND-SMC would not be a "recognized" group on a Catholic Campus. But the only overt discrimination by the University was that they weren't permitted to have sex - just like heterosexuals weren't permitted to have sex either!

I think that the Big12 is getting a lot of pushback about BYU because the Mormon church has a proven track record against LGBT rights (See California Prop 8), whereas the Catholic church, while not recognizing homosexual marriage and homosexual sex inside the church (while also condemning heterosexual sex outside of marriage), it has been less vocal on the political level here in the United States. The Catholic church also gets a pass because the Pope (both current and former) has been very liberal in his (and thus, the church's) views towards "Social Justice" issues (such as immigration, taxes, government assistance for the poor, guns, global warming, etc).

I am curious as to why Athlete Ally did not issue a statement requesting that the ACC not allow the admittance of Notre Dame into it's non-football athletic conference a few years ago? As I stated, Notre Dame has a very similar stance against homosexuals as BYU - NO SEX! Or is BYU's stance much more "you must proclaim you are not gay or no soup for you!" type of overt discrimination/maltreatment, whereas Notre Dame's is more along the lines of "homosexual students are fine, but you won't receive recognition as an Official Campus Group"?

(If any more recent Notre Dame alum or students can chime in, that would be great...but I think I am an island unto myself around here...)
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chrisnd;

Interesting. Are you yourself Catholic?
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whac3 wrote:
chrisnd;

Interesting. Are you yourself Catholic?


No, not now, although I did grow up Catholic and attended Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, and obviously a Catholic university.

I left the Catholic church shortly after my 18th birthday, but I did attend an occasional service in our dorm's chapel on Sunday nights while on campus (and once in the Basilica on campus, which is a gorgeous building). And I still go back to my sister's Catholic church on an annual basis for my nephew's "memorial" mass every March. But I don't "do" the Catholic thing any more.
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chrisnd wrote:
whac3 wrote:
chrisnd;

Interesting. Are you yourself Catholic?


No, not now, although I did grow up Catholic and attended Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, and obviously a Catholic university.

I left the Catholic church shortly after my 18th birthday, but I did attend an occasional service in our dorm's chapel on Sunday nights while on campus (and once in the Basilica on campus, which is a gorgeous building). And I still go back to my sister's Catholic church on an annual basis for my nephew's "memorial" mass every March. But I don't "do" the Catholic thing any more.

Since you are obviously still a practicing Christian and therefore I presume a Protestant, how is your family with that?
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Junior McSpiffy
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chrisnd wrote:
You brought up Notre Dame a few times, so I thought I would throw in my thoughts on this as an alum of The Fighting Irish.

When I was there (a long, long time ago), "Du Lac" (the student honor code book) was quite explicit about what was expected of all students, not just athletes. I was well aware of that going in on my recruiting trip, as pretty much every swimmer on the team told me "no sex, or if you do, don't get caught". But Du Lac was also very specific about "if you have knowledge and don't report it, then you have broken the honor code just as much as the guy who cheated/had sex".

Notre Dame, as a Catholic Institution, was very explicit that sex was for married couples, and that married couples was "man and woman". Of course, that was the early 90's, and "Same Sex Marriage" wasn't as big of an issue back then as it is now (hell, Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, three years after I graduated!). However, it was also a well known fact that there were open homosexuals on campus. No one complained about it, no one (that I knew of) made them feel bad or discriminated against them. The only part that was an issue with GLND-SMC (Gays and Lesbians of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College) was that the University would not recognize them as an "Official" Campus Organization, and many of the homosexuals on campus did not like that treatment, and thought it unfair. It wasn't necessarily "discriminatory" in the sense of "you won't be served at this bakery" type of discrimination - it only prevented them from advertising during Freshman Orientation week (or other times) as a "Campus Group". I supported the University when I was there, and I am kind of "neutral" about it now, because it is a well-known fact that Notre Dame is a Catholic Institution and does not approve of homosexual relations. So it should have been no surprise that GLND-SMC would not be a "recognized" group on a Catholic Campus. But the only overt discrimination by the University was that they weren't permitted to have sex - just like heterosexuals weren't permitted to have sex either!

I think that the Big12 is getting a lot of pushback about BYU because the Mormon church has a proven track record against LGBT rights (See California Prop 8), whereas the Catholic church, while not recognizing homosexual marriage and homosexual sex inside the church (while also condemning heterosexual sex outside of marriage), it has been less vocal on the political level here in the United States. The Catholic church also gets a pass because the Pope (both current and former) has been very liberal in his (and thus, the church's) views towards "Social Justice" issues (such as immigration, taxes, government assistance for the poor, guns, global warming, etc).

I am curious as to why Athlete Ally did not issue a statement requesting that the ACC not allow the admittance of Notre Dame into it's non-football athletic conference a few years ago? As I stated, Notre Dame has a very similar stance against homosexuals as BYU - NO SEX! Or is BYU's stance much more "you must proclaim you are not gay or no soup for you!" type of overt discrimination/maltreatment, whereas Notre Dame's is more along the lines of "homosexual students are fine, but you won't receive recognition as an Official Campus Group"?

(If any more recent Notre Dame alum or students can chime in, that would be great...but I think I am an island unto myself around here...)


To cover two points:

1) I am not certain of the particulars of what the honor code says, just the broad strokes that have been brought up on sports radio the last day or two. The overarching premise is the same as ND... no sex outside marriage. And I have heard that there is an explicit statement in the honor code that it is okay to -be- gay. Being gay is not a sin, just sex outside marriage. But there are prohibitions on outward displays of homosexual affection on campus, including kissing or holding hands. Again, this is all third- or fourth-hand knowledge being filtered through meathead jock radio. I am sure you can log onto your local acronym-friendly website that archives every slight and they would have a more thorough cataloguing of specifics than I do.

2) They aren't saying anything about Notre Dame because... they're Notre Dame. They know that if they tried to pick a fight with Notre Dame, they'd get laughed off the internet. So they have picked a more winnable fight. They know sports is about dollars and there is zero chance that people wouldn't want the dollars that come with Notre Dame. So they keep on the down-low about that. But they feel they have a juicier and more winnable target in BYU. My opinion: while they don't have the cachet of Notre Dame, they bring the most financially to the table in Big 12 expansion and there is no chance BYU gets left out of the cold unless things get escalated A LOT. Maybe they get included as football only because of their insistence on not playing sports on Sunday. But other than that.... I just see this as mostly a PR move.

Like I said, though, the issue to me is much more interesting seen from the macro view than this one incident.
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chrisnd wrote:

I am curious as to why Athlete Ally did not issue a statement requesting that the ACC not allow the admittance of Notre Dame into it's non-football athletic conference a few years ago? As I stated, Notre Dame has a very similar stance against homosexuals as BYU - NO SEX! Or is BYU's stance much more "you must proclaim you are not gay or no soup for you!" type of overt discrimination/maltreatment, whereas Notre Dame's is more along the lines of "homosexual students are fine, but you won't receive recognition as an Official Campus Group"?

(If any more recent Notre Dame alum or students can chime in, that would be great...but I think I am an island unto myself around here...)


I don't know about the school code, but in October 2014 Notre Dame extended benefits to same-sex partners of staff and faculty (before the day after gay marriage became legal in Indiana). To my knowledge, gay students are not banned from dating while matriculated, and there are several LGBT student and support groups on campus:

http://www.grc.nd.edu/lgbtq-allies/

It doesn't sound like Notre Dame's LGBT policies are discriminatory at all.
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Christopher Seguin
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whac3 wrote:
chrisnd wrote:
whac3 wrote:
chrisnd;

Interesting. Are you yourself Catholic?


No, not now, although I did grow up Catholic and attended Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, and obviously a Catholic university.

I left the Catholic church shortly after my 18th birthday, but I did attend an occasional service in our dorm's chapel on Sunday nights while on campus (and once in the Basilica on campus, which is a gorgeous building). And I still go back to my sister's Catholic church on an annual basis for my nephew's "memorial" mass every March. But I don't "do" the Catholic thing any more.

Since you are obviously still a practicing Christian and therefore I presume a Protestant, how is your family with that?


My dad is fine, although I think it disappointed him that I did not get married in the Catholic Church. My mom, who is divorced from my dad (my dad got it "annulled" by paying a chunk of money to the church 30 years after the ceremony) doesn't really have an opinion, as she too has kind of "left" the church because she felt abandoned by it due to said "annulment".

My other sister (the non-Catholic one) goes to a PCUSA church, and I give her grief for that at times because the PCUSA church and the Independent Baptist churches are VERY different, from a fundamental and Biblical standpoint. My brother once got in my face over a "Santa" argument because my viewpoint (which is grounded in my faith and church beliefs) is completely different than his, but that was in a bit of a "semi-drunken stupor" kind of thing, and we are both over it (mostly because he broke up with the girl he was dating, and my niece is now 19 years old). And my Catholic sister and I don't talk about my "non-Catholic" status any more.

Being a member of an Independent Baptist congregation sets me apart from my family, but I am okay with that. We still love each other, and church is just something that doesn't come up very often. They understand that my viewpoint is different than theirs, and neither of us think that one is better than the other. The only real issue (other than the "Santa" fight) is that my Presbyterian sister thinks that everyone worships the same God (Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindu's, etc.) and I vehemently disagree - so we don't talk about that at all.
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chrisnd wrote:
The only real issue (other than the "Santa" fight)


The Santa fight? Are there different Santas I didn't know about?
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cbazler wrote:
chrisnd wrote:

I am curious as to why Athlete Ally did not issue a statement requesting that the ACC not allow the admittance of Notre Dame into it's non-football athletic conference a few years ago? As I stated, Notre Dame has a very similar stance against homosexuals as BYU - NO SEX! Or is BYU's stance much more "you must proclaim you are not gay or no soup for you!" type of overt discrimination/maltreatment, whereas Notre Dame's is more along the lines of "homosexual students are fine, but you won't receive recognition as an Official Campus Group"?

(If any more recent Notre Dame alum or students can chime in, that would be great...but I think I am an island unto myself around here...)


I don't know about the school code, but in October 2014 Notre Dame extended benefits to same-sex partners of staff and faculty (before the day after gay marriage became legal in Indiana). To my knowledge, gay students are not banned from dating while matriculated, and there are several LGBT student and support groups on campus:

http://www.grc.nd.edu/lgbtq-allies/

It doesn't sound like Notre Dame's LGBT policies are discriminatory at all.


1 for you for doing research for me! Thanks.

I clicked the link. It pretty much says, and I am paraphrasing, "we value you as a human being created by God regardless of how you identify in terms of LGBT or hetero. However, NO SEX!"

Here is my favorite part on that link at the GRC:

Men Against Sexual Violence wrote:
Men Against Sexual Violence was founded on the idea that men must be role models in society and hold other men accountable for their behavior. For too long, rape and sexual assault have been pigeonholed as “women’s issues” when in fact MEN commit the vast majority of these crimes.

MASV believes that men just hear some things better from other men. We are a group of men committed to spreading our message to average men, from average men. This has gone on too long, gentlemen, and as men, we are in a terrific position to stop rape. It is not enough to say, “Well I don’t rape women, so this isn’t my problem.” It is your problem. Every woman in the world is someone’s daughter, possibly a sister or mother. Think of your own family. It is our responsibility to end violence against women.


Seems like Notre Dame has meshed the "secular" (benefits for same-sex couples in conjunction with Indiana law) with the "spiritual" (strive for chastity) while maintaining it's Catholic heritage. Good for them. I knew there was a reason why I still love my alma mater (and it isn't always because of football!)
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Christopher Seguin
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GameCrossing wrote:
chrisnd wrote:
The only real issue (other than the "Santa" fight)


The Santa fight? Are there different Santas I didn't know about?


Long story. Do you really want to hear about it?
 
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Junior McSpiffy
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chrisnd wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
chrisnd wrote:
The only real issue (other than the "Santa" fight)


The Santa fight? Are there different Santas I didn't know about?


Long story. Do you really want to hear about it?


Since your long story is unlikely to contain six youtube videos, two entire articles cut-and-pasted, and links to suggested readings, I would love to hear a long story.
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J.D. Hall
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While we wait for the 'Santa' story....
I am a YYUUUGGGEEE supporter of LGBT(Q) rights, but on this issue....

They can fuck off. The Big 12 already has a private religious institution (Baylor-Baptist) and a state quasi-religious school (Texas Christian University, which has a fine graduate theology program). TCU conforms to Texas state regulations, Baylor gets a pass because it's a private school, just like -- surprise! -- BYU.

Personally, I think the LGBT(Q) [what does that Q stand for btw?] folks need to chill out. It's college athletics, and MONEY. While Baylor has taken a major PR hit lately, no one is petitioning the conference to kick them out.

I think it's anti-Mormonism or something. Actually, I don't. I don't think it will do any good either. No one is required to attend BYU (well, by the government) and the Mormon Church pretty well funds the damn thing, so it's not like the taxpayers are supporting anything discriminatory. Personally, I dislike, intensely dislike religious educational systems, but it's not illegal to have them, so I can live with that. And the Mormons are no more peculiar in what they accept and what they don't from secular society, just like Notre Dame, Baylor, Liberty University, et. al.
 
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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chrisnd wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
chrisnd wrote:
The only real issue (other than the "Santa" fight)


The Santa fight? Are there different Santas I didn't know about?


Long story. Do you really want to hear about it?

As long as you don't think it too personal to tell.
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Christopher Seguin
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GameCrossing wrote:
chrisnd wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
chrisnd wrote:
The only real issue (other than the "Santa" fight)


The Santa fight? Are there different Santas I didn't know about?


Long story. Do you really want to hear about it?


Since your long story is unlikely to contain six youtube videos, two entire articles cut-and-pasted, and links to suggested readings, I would love to hear a long story.


Well, you asked for it, so here goes:

First, I must present the scenario. This happened about 9 or 10 years ago, so the ages that I present in this story are as they were back then, not now (my oldest is now 17)

The people: The “adults” (and I use that term loosely with respect to this story) include my brother (who is 6’4” and was about 280 at the time – this is important to know later on) and his girlfriend (he is eight years older than me, and I am the youngest), my two sisters and their respective husbands (who are all younger than my brother, but older than me), me (I am 6’2” and was about 220 at the time, but nowhere near my brother in size, as he carries it better) and my wife, and our mom. Our ages are irrelevant, but not so for the kids. And you will see later why I described me and my brother’s respective size.

The children include:
My 7 yo daughter and my 5 yo daughter
My brother’s 10 yo daughter
My brother’s girlfriend’s 6 and 3 year old daughters,
My older sister’s 12 yo daughter (and 14 yo son, but he wasn’t hanging out with the children during “the incident”)
My other sister’s 7 yo daughter, 6 yo son, and 4 yo son

The background: As part of our Biblical teaching and raising of our children, we firmly believe that Christmas is first and foremost a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Put aside the fact that it occurs in December due to the early Church’s co-mingling of pagan holidays into the Church calendar – it is for us a Christian holiday). Santa does not belong, and it not a part of our faith. Santa is a “sideshow” and a distraction, and it nothing more than a tool of commercialism geared towards children at the expense of the parents. Never mind that non-Christians also do the “Santa thing” in December as well. Also forget the fact that my brother-in-law’s mom said to my daughter the month prior to this incident at a Thanksgiving gathering “if you don’t behave, then Santa won’t bring you any presents,” as though the fat, jolly man is some tool of behavioral engineering (that’s the IRS’s job, not Santa’s). I had daggers shooting out of my eyes at that comment, but said nothing, and neither did my daughter. We told our children early on that “there is no Santa”. However, we were also very good about telling them that “not everyone” shares our believe system, and to respect how other people are different than us and enjoy Santa each year. As such, our girls were always respectful, and essentially avoided ever talking about the subject as best as they could. Many of their classmates were still “Santa-ites”, and my daughters remained quiet when it came to the issue.

The setup: We are at my sister’s house in Columbus, Ohio (the Presbyterian sister, not the Catholic, with the three kids) on the Sunday before Christmas, as that was when everyone was able to get together for Christmas as we all live in different areas. Also, with respect to my family, there is always some drinking going on at family gatherings, usually beer and wine, but mostly beer. My mom is an alcoholic, my brother used to drink quite a bit of beer (now he drinks wine, and collect wine like I collect boardgames), and my older sister and her husband are always pounding them at family events. My wife doesn’t drink at all, and I don’t drink on Sundays. So there is a good mix of buzzed and sober people at the event. It also happened to be a very nice day, weather wise, in Columbus (balmy 55 degrees in late December, thank you global warming), so all of the children (other than my oldest nephew) were outside hanging out. The adults were all inside the house in two groups – me and my two brothers-in-law, and the oldest nephew were in the basement watching football, and everyone else was upstairs in the kitchen kibitzing.

The incident: My brother’s girlfriend’s 6 year old runs into the kitchen, crying hysterically. At first, the adults think she is hurt. Her mom says “what’s wrong”, to which she frantically replies “THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUSE!” Shock and awe on the look of all of the adult faces, and my wife told me her first reaction to herself was “what the heck did (our oldest daughter) say?” As it turns out, the 3 yo girl (mind you, the girlfriend and daughters are not members of our family, and the mom is only dating my brother) is in the garage also balling her eyes out. So is my oldest daughter, but my younger daughter is just taking everything in stride. The two young boys that were outside kind of disappear to avoid the situation, but I think they understood what was about to happen and “slipped away”. My oldest niece is trying to “smooth over” the incident by comforting the youngest girl, and then my 7 yo niece is also crying, but not hysterically like the other girls. I have no idea what my 10 yo niece was doing, but I am sure she was part of the entire scene as well.

So what happened: Apparently, my 12 yo niece asked my daughter “what is Santa going to bring you?” A very innocent question, especially considering that my wife and I had never had a conversation about Santa with my nieces and nephews (or my siblings). So my 12 yo niece’s question was innocuous enough. My daughter didn’t want to answer (reference back to our discussion with her about Santa), so she just said “I don’t know.” But my niece pressured her “Come on, what is Santa going to bring you?” My other niece (the other 7 yo) also pressures her, and the kids start to pile on “come on, come on, tell us, tell us”. So, my smart 7 yo daughter whisper into the ear of her 12 yo cousin, “There is no Santa”. My 12 yo niece smiles, and doesn’t say anything – being that age, she understood the issue, and let it drop. But the other niece, the 7 yo, insists on hearing what my daughter whispered. So she begs and begs, continues to bother her to no end, “what did you say, what did you say?” they keep asking. Finally, after not dropping the issue, and the constant pestering, my daughter screams out “THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUSE!”

You could have heard a pin drop!

Crying and wailing (and gnashing of teeth) ensue, and my brother’s girlfriend’s kids are devastated! And of course, my brother’s girlfriend is furious as well, mostly at our daughter. But an adult doesn’t usually yell at OTHER people’s children, so instead she takes it out on my wife, as does my brother. So now my wife is being berated by my brother and his girlfriend, and neither of my sisters or my mom are sticking up for her. I am oblivious (remember, I was in the basement), and when I go upstairs to refill my soda, I see the “disaster” looming. “Why is my wife crying?” I ask myself. My brother, on the undefinable line between sober and drunk (like not enough to get arrested for DUI, but enough that you would know he had been drinking) starts coming at me – like “At Me” ready to go down and take me out! Now, mind you, I have always been “fearful” of my brother in the sense that he could, if he wanted to, utterly and quickly dispatch of me in a matter of a few seconds. I don’t fear him in reality because I know he “wouldn’t” do it, but I did experience fear at that very moment. My older brother-in-law, thank goodness, was right behind me and sensed the impending doom to my face and body and general well-being, and somehow managed to physically restrain my brother mere moments before I experienced his wrath. And of course, I still have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on, I only see crying children and a crying wife and thought “What apocalypse has been wrought upon this family?”

My brother starts yelling at me. “Just because your f*&ked up Bible banger church doesn’t believe in Santa doesn’t mean you have to ruin it for everyone else!” Yes, he actually said that – called my church a “f&^ked up Bible banger church.” (I am actually kind of proud of that moniker, by the way). Anyway, lots of screaming, me not knowing what the heck was actually going on, and lots of heated arguments between family members while my wife tries to console my oldest daughter, and my brother’s girlfriend comforting hers. My wife had to explain everything to me later, because I still didn't understand exactly what was going on.

My only comment to my brother during his alcohol-infused rage against me was when he was done berating me (he was no longer trying to kill me), whereby I said “I am sorry that you feel that way. I think it is time that Julie and I leave now.” I had to walk away. I was not going to get involved in a shouting match with my brother over something as stupid as the existence of Santa and how parent’s lie to their children about who brings them gifts at Christmas time. We gathered our belongings (including the gifts that our children had received when we had exchanged presents earlier – we still do “presents”, just without Santa baggage) and had cleared out of my sisters house in what felt like an hour, but was about five minutes.

The “Aftermath”: It was a quiet ride home, for the most part, but my wife and I were both very pleased with how our daughters handled themselves (especially our oldest). We got more of the specific details from my sister a few days later after she asked my 12 yo niece what happened (as I described it above), and my 12 yo niece pretty much said that my daughter didn’t do anything wrong, and that it wouldn’t have happened if my 7 yo niece hadn’t pestered her so much. My brother's girlfriend broke up with him a few weeks later, and pretty much blamed it on the "Santa Fight" as though that was somehow my brother's fault and not just children being children. Me and my brother didn’t speak to each other at any family gatherings for the next three or four years (thankfully there were no more than 2 or so each year). My brother and I made up a few years later, when he finally came to me and told me “Sorry for being such as ass to you all those years when we were growing up. I never realized that I picked on you so much.” Apparently, my wife had said something to him (something I never had the balls to say) earlier that evening, and he decided to apologize for tormenting me, as older brothers are wont to do. And although he didn’t apologize for the “Santa fight”, I knew in my heart that was really what he was getting at. We have a MUCH better relationship now (as we have more things to agree on than to disagree), and no one ever talks about Santa any more. In fact, this is probably the first time I have retold the “Santa fight” story in probably five years.

I love my family, but being in a “f*&ked up Bible thumping church” can be tough when your siblings don’t always feel the same as you do.

So there is the story - I told you it was long. Which is probably why I don't repeat it very much, as anyone listening to it probably would have fallen asleep before I got to scream "THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUSE!" the same way my daughter did.
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James King
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GameCrossing wrote:
http://www.athleteally.org/big-12-conference-letter/

This letter was sent to the commissioner of the Big 12, who is currently considering expanding from 10 teams to either 12 or 14. BYU is very eager to gain access to the conference and is considered one of the front-runners to get taken for expansion.

Myself, I feel oddly neutral about this. The Big 12 has its own image to worry about. It's their image. If this factors in, then it's in their best interest to keep BYU out. BYU won't change their stance on this issue*. Sex outside marriage is wrong. God ordains marriage to be between a man and a woman. So while being gay isn't a sin... it leaves homosexuals in a really awkward position faith-wise. And that won't change.

Ahhh, but will BYU's stance against masturbation ever change?






GameCrossing wrote:
But to me, it raises a bigger issue. There are many private universities which hold their own values. Some of these values are not very acronym-friendly. Nobody can dictate policies to these universities, but the governing athletic body of the NCAA does have say in whether or not these schools get to participate. It feels like a really thin line, and it isn't just a BYU thing. In 2013, a tennis player at Notre Dame came out as gay. Other players at other schools have done the same. And the schools have had to react to this according to their own policies... and the NCAA has to react to the reactions of those schools. It feels like they have a tightrope to walk and I don't envy them in the task.

Well, I simply can't wait until ESPN reports one day that a BYU athlete has actually come out as an acknowledged masturbator because once one comes forward, then others are sure to follow.


GameCrossing wrote:
* Or maybe they will change their stance. After all, BYU let blacks hold the priesthood in the 70s so they could get a top basketball recruit. Or a top football cornerback. Or a track star. One of those. The story always changes on that one... but it gets better every time.

Well, the Mormon version of God on the planet Kolob has indeed been known to work in mysterious ways, even from all those untold parsecs away.


 
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