Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Apparently we're cowards.

I found an interesting comment made by an anonymous source here.

I'm going to make a huge leap and assume this anonymous comment was made by a BYU-Idaho student. I'm going to make an even bigger leap and say it was made by a College Republican. If those two leaps are true, my assertion is this: it is this sentiment that causes needless friction and unkindness in society — and it can be seen everywhere.

On a different, yet related note: debates.

No, the BYU-Idaho College Democrats have not debated the BYU-Idaho College Republicans. We've received one invitation from the CR's more than a year ago for a debate which we refused and have not received one since. The Scroll attempted to host a debate, but was unable to put together the logistics of one in time.

I have mixed feelings about having a debate. More than anything, I do not want to deter from the stated mission of BYU-Idaho. I feel an obviously partisan debate at an unofficially partisan university has a higher possibility of deterring from its' mission. Of course, under ideal circumstances, this would not happen, ideally it would be an educational discussion worthy of an audience seeking an academic experience. However, and correct me if I'm wrong, I believe the more likely outcome is that it could become a contentious argument. I don't like that.

Nearly a year ago, I would have been completely against a debate. Today, under certain circumstances, I would be completely for a debate. But then again, it's not really up to me anymore.

To me, BYU-Idaho, with it's moral atmosphere and friendly spirit, has always been an ideal testing ground — to see if two fundamentally different political ideals can work together to produce something great. I'm not certain a debate could move us in this direction.

18 comments:

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

BYU Idaho is a noble institution, and it benefits with meaningful debate, if parties on both sides have Goodwill.

We have an Info Weblog, and our intent is to Inform & Alert citizens in a time of War.

Read 'History' post.

Our Comment Section is an open forum, all are welcome. reb

www,lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

Joe Strickland said...

Maybe the College Democrats should invite the College Republicans to hold a debate or a discussion forum or something. I know that they are holding elections tomorrow and should have new leadership. This time, if the debate does not happen, it is on their shoulders. Then who is the coward?

Jessica said...

The problem with a debate is I believe the CR's would want to focus on highly emotional issues like gay marriage and abortion. It won't matter what the Dems say, as long as the CR's bring up these issues, they will win according to the students...

Peter Nguyen said...

The honest truth about the BYU-I College Democrats specifically, is that many of us are centrists.

As unfortunate as it might be to some Democrats, the majority of the BYU-I College Dems are against elective abortion and same-sex marriage.

I have actually been in contact with the national leaders of the College Democrats, keeping in mind that the College Democrats of America are a wing of the Democratic National Committee, and they have said that our stance would not be a problem and we could remain members in good standing.

So, I have no problem talking about abortion or same-sex marriage. I would be annoyed if our stance on these issues was manipulated on an emotional level, but we can always respond I guess.

Joe, you're right, the CD's can definitely invite the CR's to participate in something, however, that's up to Adam Kunz now. I'm out of town, unfortunately, I hope they'll wait for me... I put on a good show LOL!

Joe Strickland said...

I would like to think that I can put on a good show as well! Lol! Just imagine it Peter! The battle to end all battles! Joe Strickland vs Peter Nguyen! The Angry Republican vs The Angry Asian! I think people would PAY MONEY to see that! Let's wait until next fall... Lol

Peter Nguyen said...

You're too funny man! I have one condition though, we both have to be wearing WWF wrestling outfits... you know... to make it official.

Jessica said...

Doesn't matter if your members are opposed to gay marriage and abortion, you are still Democrats and the Democratic Party isn't about restricting one's right to marry and not allowing a woman to have the choice whether to abort or not. Yes, there are moderate Dems, but gay marriage and abortion are two big issues that differentiate the two parties.

As far as anonymous's comment, it is as credible as they are and since they choose to remain anonymous, that means no credibility in my book. It was a cheap shot and cowardly.

Joe Strickland said...

Peter,

Jessica just doesn't understand how we do things here at the Lord's University (lol just kidding.) I think it is just fine that the college democrats here at BYUI are against gay marriage and abortion. I was at a CD meeting this summer where the members were invited to sign letters to their senators voicing their support of the sanctity of marriage. Wahoo for the BYUI College Democrats! Wahoo I say! Lol

Peter Nguyen said...

Jessica,

I'm not sure what you mean when you say, "Doesn't matter if your members are opposed to gay marriage and abortion..." Isn't a political party a sum of its parts? Aren't we contributing members of the party? The majority of us Dems at BYU-I are left of center but we're not communists (I'm not calling you or the DNC communists by the way). It puzzles me why those two red-herring issues should always be the defining values. Why can't it be our stance on national security or perhaps our obligation to society through welfare programs?

It should be no surprise to you than that I respectfully disagree with you.

The 2004 DNC platform says little about pursuing the legalization of same-sex marriage. It DOES say:

"We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal
responsibilities, benefits, and protections for these families." Read what you will into that.

As for abortion, the DNC platform says that abortion should be "legal, safe and rare." It's this rare part that I believe the BYU-I Dems will pursue.

Like I said, I've been in contact with the College Dems National leaders, they have no problem with our moderate stance, why should anybody else?

Jessica said...

Uh Peter, I'm not emphasizing those two issues as THE issues of the Democratic Party. I think it is ridiculous that many Mormons are Republicans solely based on two issues.

I am also not disagreeing that BYUI Dems are Democrats. I am saying that BYUI Dems don't make up a substantial part of the party and the views of many BYUI Dems aren't shared by the Democratic Party. See the Party platform to see why I would say that.

Chad Reiser said...

So let's focus on non-emotional issues like affirmative action, democrats flip-flopping on Iraq in record time (a couple of weeks) or democrats "taking your profits" and stealing from the people to give themselves lavish planes for them and their family. . . . Oh yeah, that's right, it's the DEMOCRATS that focus on emotion! They pull people in by saying what horrible guy Bush is and cry that our economy is booming! "Good God! Something must be done to suppress and deter America away from the path of freedom! We must regulate, steal, and suppress these people so that we can control them and give them real freedom!"

Here's something for all you pig-headed commies: Pres. Kim Clark hates government regulation. He's moving this school in a path to be free from all hippy-type individuals that may take over the Whitehouse soon and their communist regulations (i.e. Al "green" Gore, "Hitler" Hillary, Osama Obama). He just hired a new secretary to move the school away from all government regulation and funding. (Maybe this is a good enough topic of debate for all you communists! I can just see your reaction, “Pres. Clark is trying to take away our fair share of the middle-class’s food money! Boo! Hoo!”)

So Peter, what really is the "mission" of this university? Let me instruct you to a fact you may have missed (or like the democrat you are, skipped out on) during your freshmen orientation: We are to become leaders by being a shining city set on a hill, not by hiding our heads in the sand! This is what Elder Eyring spoke about in that infamous clip they show every semester. In order to EXERCISE faith, we must ACT! God's gift of agency is a principle of ACTION! Don't sit like a coward with your face in the sand and claim that you are the standard bearer of the Church! You are NOT! You just sit cry that OTHER people have the banner! Yet you have the balls to put the school, the Church, and LORD Himself up as your defense? Your defense for not doing anything? I think NOT! You should be ashamed for even proposing that you are the moral authority of all things! Pull up your skirt and ACT!

Chad Reiser

Proud American, Proud Republican, Proud supporter of George Bush, Proud supporter of Freedom everywhere!

Blake Roberts said...

Chad,

First of all, you need to take a breath and calm down.

Second, we would all appreciate it if you would clean up your language a bit. Crude euphemisms for sacred and private parts of the body, and taking the Lord's name in vain have no place here.

Third, having reread Peter's posts, I cannot find where he claimed to be "the moral authority of all things". Please elaborate.

Fourth, since President Bush is really not very conservative, let's talk about his liberal programs.

No Child Left Behind is an insult to conservatives. It blatantly strives to strong arm states into ceding power to the national government by using monetary threats to force compliance. Last time I checked, that falls into the "government regulation" category, and is an affront to the conservative ideal of state's rights.

In his recent State of the Union, Pres. Bush said he wanted a national health care system. Granted, he wants a national health insurance program (better then Hillary Care), but it flies in the face of conservative ideals of small government, and reeks of socialistic pandering.

Let's not forget the Patriot Act, which grants wide power to the Federal Government to strip citizens of their rights. I realize that there is a war on, but it is a war on terror, and last time I checked, terror is something that really cannot be defeated. We can delay it, we can minimize it, but as the young man in Salt Lake City proved, it can happen from the least expected places at virtually anytime. Since terrorists come in hundreds of varieties, with just as many methods, perhaps making an Orwellian state is not the best approach. I personally feel that IF rights are to EVER be given up in the name of security, we should at least be fighting an enemy that we can declare victory over, that way we know when the war is over. Bush himself has said that the war on terror could last decades, and any true conservative would fight tooth and nail against the concession of rights for such an extended period.

Next, I'm all for either a flat tax of a national sales tax. I don't like the "progressive" tax that exists now; I don't think it is fair to punish the successful. But what ever happened to fiscal conservatism? Cutting taxes (and thus revenue) while increasing government spending is not being fiscally conservative. The notion of getting out of debt and staying out of debt comes to mind.

All this being said, I remain a Bush supporter (he’s not my favorite President, but I think that out side of his liberal tendencies, he is an alright guy). If I had been able to vote in either the 2000, or 2004 election, while knowing or feeling what I do now, I would vote for Bush without a second thought. I support the war in Iraq, the surge, and hope that Republicans can retain the Whitehouse in '08. I am a Republican (and more importantly, a paleo-conservative), and will remain such until a better choice comes along.

But before you go insulting others and making accusations about what group does what, take a good look at what is going on in Republican leadership. The Neo-Cons (more properly termed a "Nota-Con") are not a box of unspoiled roses, and can easily be called socialistic/communistic by the more conservative elements of the party.

Peter Nguyen said...

Chad,

Your rhetoric reads as though I care what you think. Let's clarify:

I do not, in fact, care what you think.

Politics aside, I agree with Blake in his disappointment with your choice in phraseology. Please note that this site is visited by a significant number of people who are not members of our faith and that your tone of writing, rhetoric and hate for the Democratic Party may become a roadblock for those investigating our politically neutral church.

Lastly, let me attempt to put some things in perspective. I have NEVER been "anti-Bush". Keeping that in mind, here are some recent quotes. I use these quotes, not to characterize the man, but to show that elements of progressivism can be found in the Republican Party, just as elements of conservatism can be found in the Democratic Party.

"I believe the role of the federal government is to help the poor, the disabled, and the elderly, and we will work with you to make sure that's happened." -President George W. Bush (Feb. 2007)

"We share a common goal, and that is to keep America safe. You know, I welcome debate in a time of war, and I hope you know that. Nor do I consider anybody's -- nor do I consider a belief that if you don't happen to agree with me you don't share the same sense of patriotism I do. You can get that thought out of your mind, if that's what some believe. (Applause.)

These are tough times, and yet there's no doubt in my mind that you want to secure this homeland just as much as I do. You remember the lessons of September the 11th just like I do. And you understand a fundamental obligation of government is to do everything in our power to protect people here." -President George W. Bush (Feb. 2007)

Thanks for visiting this blog and I hope the next time you visit you can have a more amiable tone. If you ever see me, please introduce yourself, it would be great to meet you.

Chad Reiser said...

Peter,

You forget that we have met on several occasions. Unfortunately for you, you are as absent minded as your entire party when “I did have sexual relations . . .” and now you all seem to be moral authorities. My remark about that came not only from your blog, but from a conversation that you and I had in the MC.

You say that there are people looking at this blog to discern whether or not the Church has any political agenda, well my goodness! (sorry Blake I know that using the word goodness, or good graciousness, or anything that could refer to Lord offends you. I will try to abstain from any references to deity but you must agree that it is a little hard as the English langue is historically a Christian language. I will from now on use the name of Vishnu to piss off the more than 1 billion Hindu’s in the world, but of course that’s more acceptable than saying the word “god”.) Frankly, I don’t think that the school or the church will find its tax-exemption status in jeopardy because of a debate. You are simply using the church as a shield again to not do anything.

We really do have the right to speak our mind. Free speech is a god (crap!) VISHNU-given right! I believe in Joseph Smith when he said that Constitution is an inspired document. I believe the many prophets since him that have nobly defended the constitution. And I again believe Br. Joseph when he prophesied that one day the Constitution will hang from a thread and then the nation will look our boys in the west to uphold it!

Peter, you may know more about this than I do, but the last time I checked the first amendment still applies even within the Church. Maybe I’ve missed something, I would appreciate you instructing me from your wells of knowledge. Because I really do care about what you say. That doesn’t mean that I agree, but I appreciate all peoples right to a voice and I have no intention of denying that Vishnu-given right to anyone, but apparently that is not the case in commie-town.

All the best!

Chad

Peter Nguyen said...

Chad,

Perhaps you didn't understand me, or, perhaps you weren't trying.

Let me clarify. There are many that I know who visit this blog who are not members of the Church.

Many of these people are Democrats.

When they read your hateful rhetoric, they may associate it with the Church as a whole. As a result, they may feel unwelcome to investigate what we know is God's truth here on Earth.

Now, as I have said in many posts and comments, we do not censor on this blog. We have an expectation that visitors and contributers can censor themselves.

Also, this is a political blog, so, it's inherent that there will be disagreement and debate. However, debate does not require hateful rhetoric -- towards conservatives or liberals.

This is something we can ALL improve on. Perhaps the following quote can provide us all with the inspiration to change:

"Hate is born of Satan; love is the offspring of God. We must drive out hate from our hearts, every one of us, and permit it not again to enter." -First Presidency Message, in Conference Report, Apr. 1942

Chad Reiser said...

yay! Let's all go and hug a tree now!

Chad

Blake Roberts said...

The problem with hugging trees is that it makes your clothes all sappy. It is both softer and cleaner if the tree is converted into paper towel form before any attempts to hug it.

dbfcaye482 said...

I am not a BYU Idaho student or grad. My son is a BYU grad, Class of 1987, so that makes me an old man.
I am a former precinct chair in Pleasant Grove,UT and Lafayette, IN. I also voted for JFK and then made the mistake of voting for Jimmy Carter.
I have watched the world of politics morph into a monster. I noticed that you had contacted the National HQ of the CD's and were told that your stand against abortion and same-sex marriage would not have an effect on your standing in the CDs.
You want to watch that. If you look at the pro-life Democrats of national stature, you will notice that when they wanted to speak at the national convention, they were not allowed to do so. You saw what the party did to Senator Lieberman of CT. Too often, I see the Democrats eating their own that dare to disagree.

You are all correct that good debate is good. An example of a non-contentious debate was one between Newt Gingrich and Mario Cuomo last Thursday from a college out east. Having a senior brain cramp right now & don't remember the name of it. I'm sure you can Google it. While the format has to be imporved, more back and forth on an issue, it did show how a debate can be held without blood running in the streets at the end.

Keep up the good work - I'm still a Reagan Republican - less government, lower taxes, property rights in the hands of the owners as long as it is legal, 2nd Amendment sort of guy, but I like debate with facts not statements that if repeated often enough, even though false, begin to take on a life of their own.

Being a retired U.S. Naval Submarine sailor and currently serviing with my eternal companion on our second full time mission, I will just caution you on one principle. If it is contrary to the teachings of the Lord's Prophets and Apostles, then it is not something worthy of consideration to make it seem good. We are so fortunate to have the love of our Savior guiding us that we should never forget the eternal principles that can make life so good.

Living the good life, I am your brother in the Gospel. Elder Ken Caye, serving in the Family and Church History Mission in Salt Lake City.