Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Respect the office

BYU's decision to invite the then Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney to give the commencement speech in April 2007 really came as a blow. It had since been proven that Cheney had fed the US and the UK bad intelligence with regards to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. His deception and war mongering has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths (reporting about a good portion of the casualties has been suppressed) and long term resentment across the globe. The man once known mainly for accidentally shooting his friend in the face in a hunting accident became one of the most despicable men in the world and probably should have been tried for war crimes.

Why would the largest and most well known Mormon campus endorse such a disgusting and controversial person? People did complain. Students, faculty, and community protested (you can read and hear about the protesting here and here), but BYU kept Cheney.

Why? What were the justifications for inviting such a controversial figure? The height and nobility of his office. At least that's the most common justification flying around campus. It's an honor to have someone - anyone - holding the office of Vice President of the USA visiting the campus and we should all respect that office even if we cannot respect the man!

It's the vilest, most nonsensical horseshit I've heard. What if Cheney had been caught having sex with men in airports, would the Church have continued to endorse him? What if Cheney had been convicted of molesting a couple of nieces, would we still ask him over? What if we had discovered that Cheney was secretly a Neo-Nazi? What if he had caused the killings of thousands of innocent people and sent many of our friends and family overseas to fight, kill, and be killed? Oh, wait.

Would Jesus have invited Cheney to give the commencement speech? Doubtful. Would Jesus have shrugged off all the deaths caused by Cheney's lies? Doubtful. Would Jesus respect Cheney merely on the basis of his office? No fucking way. Why was my church doing this? What was I a part of?

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