Sunday in Outer Blogness: Blaming the victim edition!
The CoCJoL-dS has made another splash in the press — this time with the news that when students report having been sexually assaulted, the victims get sent to the honor code office themselves, to see what infractions they were committing themselves to have gotten into this situation!! Wow!
This is just wrong in so many ways. As Mormon Therapist Natasha Helfer Parker explains:
For those that would say, “well, students sign the Honor Code themselves – and should expect to be held accountable in these types of situations” – I would plainly say, NO! There are situations that trump the legalities or implications of any Honor Code signature – particularly a criminal action. We have to have university policies in place that make it as easy as possible for victims to feel safe to disclose trauma, knowing their confidentiality is going to be protected, where mental health services are readily offered, where all will be done to support their ongoing educational, personal and relational goals, and where there will be no negative repercussion or indirect/direct blame for sexual assault. Plain and simple. Nothing else will do.
Maybe you’d like to be an ally and sign a petition about it.
Meanwhile, it turns out that same-sex parents aren’t inferior to the traditional model.
So, Jeremy Runnells (of the CES Letter fame) had his disciplinary hearing last night! In case it wasn’t obvious who’s the villain here, the CoJCoL-dS decided to make it crystal clear by refusing to allow Runnels (who is deaf) an interpreter. It would appear that Runnells arrived with his resignation letter in hand, hence the breakup was quite mutual. The details have been collected on this thread.
In other church news, it has been confirmed that the growth rate of the CoJCoL-dS is declining, in spite of (or perhaps because of) the change in missionary age — and retention of members of dropping as well.
On the positive side, Thunderchicken has offered ideas for getting involved in helping refugees.
This week we finally got a new installment of “Gospel Doctrine for the Godless,” and it’s a doozy!:
And after all this — a sinful nature, a broken compass, and access to bad influences — our self-efficacy is constantly being undermined and belittled by the gospel itself. We’re reminded that we’re less than the dust of the earth, that we owe God everything, and that there’s nothing we can do to be considered worthy.
Ladies, gentlemen, and everyone: the gospel is a terrible system. It’s a set up. God could have made it any way he wanted, but he chose to put us in a situation with impossible, contradictory, confusing, and demeaning expectations. This contemptible god belittles us, and expects us to praise him in return.
The appropriate response is the same as it should be for any abuser: we must cut him off entirely, and work within a loving and supportive community to build our own lasting self-respect. Our morality isn’t perfect, but we can work to improve it without the petty sniping of a demanding and jealous father figure.
In politics, it looks like Ted Cruz should be a good choice for Mormons, given his stance on masturbation.
In personal stories, Alex broke up with his girlfriend, and Liz Emery recounted her first time getting a Brazilian.
Until next week, everyone — happy reading!
I was thinking about the Honor code Office brouhaha and remembering what the honor code meant 40 or 50 years ago when I was a student. It had to do with taking an exam. The professor distributed the test and left the room, leaving you on your honor not to cheat. That was the honor code. There may have been an Honor Code Office, but I was unaware of it, and I never heard of anyone being sent to it. If there were other problems the person went to their Bishop who handled the problem, at least as far as I knew.
Now it appears that the HCO has become an ecclesiastical unit of the Church. Confessing to your Bishop and going through the repentance process as he directs you isn’t enough at BYU. The HCO has to be part of the process as well, and make certain you are sufficiently punished and embarrassed (the modern day equivalent of sack cloth and ashes). How ever you look at it the HCO at BYU, in particular–perhaps at other Church schools as well–is playing a role that elsewhere in the church is handled exclusively by the judge of Israel, that is, the bishop or stake president. On the positive side so far, at least, the HCO can’t excommunicate.
I wonder when it morphed into the sin police….