Wednesday, April 18, 2007

one last post on this, I promise

Bob and I have been blogging the back and forthin a polite yet spirited debate about BYU's new and improved honor code.

He also makes a good point: "Yes, the Bible contains no references by Jesus to homosexuality. However, Mormons don't rely on the Bible as our only source of scripture [they rely on inter alia the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price and the Articles of Faith]"

True enough, but my point was that BYU claimed that the honor code is necessary for members of the BYU community (faculty, staff, and students) "to live the 'moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.'" Now again, correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is limited to the gospels according to Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. Does the BoM contain any more stories of what Jesus said and taught? My understanding is that the BoM is about the time prior to Jesus and other attesting to/forseeing the Son of Man.

Ergo, if the gospel of Jesus is limited to the Bible, and in said Bible Jesus himself makes no mention of homosexuality [or as Bob suggested, the Mormon additions to the Bible also leave little mention of homosexuality], then BYU has no basis for its discriminatory honor code.

I don't get how Bob's referenced citations have anything to do with a) Jesus' teachings or b) homosexuality as being inherantly sinful. The only thing I can think of is that there is a loophole for future prophets to learn from God that homosexuality is a sin. But again, since it didn't come from Jesus during his ministry, such revelation has no bearing on BYU's purported justification for despirate treatmnet of same-sex couples.

Bob also makes the good point that while Jesus hung out with sinners, he admonished them to sin no longer. But my point is, is it a center for academic learning's place to say what is a sin and punish accordingly?

OK moving correction of the day goes to the Utah Republican Party Morning News: " The U.S. Constitution was signed in 1787. An incorrect year was listed in Tuesday's Education section." Oh the irony!


Alisa said...

Mormons generally regard all their scriptures (the standard works) to encompass the Gospel of Christ. While the BOM starts at the time of Jeramiah in Jerusalem (600 BCE), it goes through to 400 CE. Jesus makes an appearance to his disciples in America after his resurrection and appearance to his disciples in Jerusalem.

That being said, I just did a quick search from of the standard works and couldn't find any non-biblical references to homosexuality. I could be wrong, but feel pretty safe in saying that the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price don't go into detail that would explicitly address the "homosexual issue." Instead,. this issue has been mainly addressed by LDS Church leaders over the last 177 years with increasing attention.

Reach Upward said...

OK, let me correct you. Mormons do not limit the gospel of Jesus Christ to certain ancient scriptures. In the Mormon view, the First Presidency and the apostles are prophets that are authorized to communicate with and speak for Jesus Christ. Thus, they can at any time declare an extended understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You don't have to agree with that view. Many have derided it as giving too much power to too few. People have had the same gripes about prophet-leaders throughout the ages. I'm not trying to argue about the merits of the system; I am merely describing the system.

Thus, it appears that the disagreements have been more about semantics than about substance.