Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How About a Heaping Helping of Church with that State?

So, I came across a blurb concerning my old university.  Apparently, they've decided to name the new "Center for Family and Community Education" program after Mr. Boyd K. Packer and his wife, Donna.

I can't begin to tell you how horrified I am.  As a graduate of Weber STATE University, I am sickened that my alma mater would grant this honor to the second-most senior "apostle" in the Mormon Church.

What the HECK?

If you've read through my past entries, you know that I skipped my commencement ceremony because the speaker (offering up the prayers) was the then-President/Prophet of the Mormon Church, and the musical offerings were being performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  No, no issues with church and state in Utah--church IS state.  It's pretty simple.  With that as the background, I shouldn't be surprised by this, but I am.

So Boyd K. Packer and his wife attended Weber State together?  That's sweet--let them donate some money to put up a plaque or erect a bench.  But a FAMILY and EDUCATION center?  From and for the man who gave us such colorful quotes as:

"We've always counseled in the Church for our Mexican members to marry Mexicans, our Japanese members to marry Japanese, our Caucasians to marry Caucasians, our Polynesian members to marry Polynesians. The counsel has been wise." -- speaking at BYU in 1977

"The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals." -- detailing the "greatest threats to the church," when speaking to the All-Church Coordinating Council in 1993

"Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural.  Not so.  Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?  Remember, he is our Father."--speaking about homosexuals at the LDS General Conference, October, 2010.

"The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel."--speaking at the LDS General Conference, October, 1986

"That young man with gender disorientation needs to know that gender was not assigned at mortal birth, that we were sons and daughters of God in the premortal state. The woman pleading for help needs to see the eternal nature of things and to know that her trials -- however hard to bear -- in the eternal scheme of things may be compared to a very, very bad experience in the second semester of the first grade. She will find no enduring peace in the feminist movement. There she will have no hope. If she knows the plan of redemption, she can be filled with hope. The one who supposes that he "understands the mind-set of both groups" needs to understand that the doctrines of the gospel are revealed through the Spirit to prophets, not through the intellect to scholars."--speaking to the All-Church Coordinating Council in 1993

And, perhaps most horrifying when considered in an academic setting:

"Those of us who are extensively engaged in researching the wisdom of man, including those who write and those who teach Church history, are not immune from these dangers. I have walked that road of scholarly research and study and know something of the dangers. If anything, we are more vulnerable than those in some of the other disciplines. Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer. "--speaking at the 5th Annual Church Educational System Religious Educators' Symposium, 1981

Okay, so let's be realistic here.  This guy doesn't support equal rights--not for women, not for homosexuals, not for minorities (look up ol' Boyd and his thoughts on "Lamanites" and "Indians" sometime).  He supports church doctrine over research and believes study of the gospel better solves behavioral problems than does the study of those behavioral problems (remember, this is State University center for EDUCATION, and includes the Children's School, where education students observe and learn).  In fact, it includes all the following (from the press release):

Literacy Project: Prepares children from less privileged backgrounds for success in school and life. This project promotes literacy and positive parenting practices for more than 100 low-income families each year by working with families individually on a monthly basis throughout the year. The program follows the philosophy that parents are a child’s first teacher.

Teachers Assistant Pathway to Teaching (TAPT): Assists volunteers and teacher assistants in public schools who have the desire and commitment to become fully licensed teachers. TAPT targets those working specifically with English as a Second Language (ESL), early childhood, and special education students. The program was created at the request of the superintendents from six school districts who wanted talented individuals in their schools to further their education in order to work more effectively with special populations such as English language learners.

Families Alive Conference: Champions the successes of everyday families by providing creative ways to enhance lives of individuals, gain skills in communication, problem solving, teaching and advocacy, and experience techniques to strengthen relationships.

Teachers of Tomorrow: Helps provide a bridge to college for high school students who are interested in the teaching profession. Students participate in concurrent enrollment courses as well as the Future Educators Association (FEA).

WSU Charter Academy: New this fall, the charter academy will focus on educating the whole child using developmentally appropriate and research-supported curricula and instructional methods. The charter academy will offer a morning and afternoon session of kindergarten with 22 children in each. The center will allow WSU students to observe and practice cutting-edge, research-based educational techniques.

Storytelling Festival: Attracts national, regional and student storytellers who enthrall more than 10,000 people each year with tales that engage listeners while promoting literacy, culture and the arts.

Melba S. Lehner Children’s School: Provides a quality early childhood setting for training WSU students to understand the development of young children and developmentally appropriate practices for working with them.

Child Care Resource and Referral: Assists families to find quality care, while helping caregivers provide the most nurturing environment possible for children. 

I have to say it--nothing about this man's political/moral stance endears (though he's certainly entitled to embrace it, regardless of my feelings).  Nothing about this man's proclamations make me feel he should, in any way, be involved with the education of children or the training of educators at a publicly funded state college.

What's equally troubling is that none of my friends who work/teach on campus were aware of this. More than one friend has children attending the Children's School, and none were aware this was in the works.  My sister is a student at Weber State, and she'd heard nothing about this.  It was all wrapped up and made so with no fanfare.  Whether or not that was by design, I cannot say.

I believe there is a place for Mr. Packer and his wife and their ideas about education.  That place would be BYU.


Just one more thing--today's not going to be too involved.  I'm alone while hubby has our boy in DC for a "bring your kid to work" day.  No, that's not the one more thing, that's the "so I have tons of time to get things done" explanation for why I'm only going to write about one more thing.

THIS thing:

Grrr.  You know?  I'm sure I'm not the only person who's been stuck with a friend or family member (or both) who spouts this stupid crap every time they're asking yet another outrageous, completely unreasonable favor.  "I'd do it for you!"

Yeah, you know, you probably think you would.  But you know what else?  I WOULD NEVER ASK THAT OF YOU.  I keep my requests reasonable and fair and I would never, ever ask something that major of you, and I certainly wouldn't make a HABIT of making such astounding requests.  Whether or not "you'd do it for me" isn't the point.  The point is, are you a scumbag for asking?

And that's all.  Here, have some bad paneling:


  1. If I were still a student at WSU I would be protesting. Boyd Packer is a despicable man and his "teachings" only belong at his church. That is all.
    I have a friend who is always asking for favors. Usually just little things like a ride here or there, but he also has a habit of inviting you out for a drink, but what he really means is, "Hey, you want to buy me a drink?" and he doesn't say that until after he's had a few drinks on your tab. Then one day he'll pay you back by buying you ONE of the cheapest possible drinks and then expecting a pat on the back for it. I also have a brother who is perpetually in need of assistance, big and small, and gets mad if you refuse him, because "we're family." Which means we all avoid him because he always wants something, and is never in a position to return the favor. Well, this past year I've really been in need of help in all sorts of things, from moving to rides to cash assistance, and I haven't wanted to ask anyone, because I hate it when it's asked of me. Then I got all depressed because nobody seemed to understand how badly I needed the help, and then when they DID I wouldn't let anyone help me because I didn't want to be that guy. My solution to my issues is that I will try to help others whenever I can so that I don't feel so shitty when I have to accept help from my friends. I worry that I might be single for the rest of my life and with no children to coerce into helping, I will need my friends and extended family sometimes. But still, there is a limit to what you should expect from people, and you have to be honest about whether you'd do it for them.

  2. Get out of Utah you piece of garbage. You aren't wanted here! Utah is for Mormons and not God hating scum like you.

  3. I feel pretty confident the second comment here is a prank. Though I suppose the safety of cowardly anonymity might inspire a Utah Mormon to behave this way, my face to face encounters have never been anything like that. Dismissive, shuttered, and supremely certain? Yes, at times. Openly ugly and abusive? It's rare. I did want to address the "god hating" part, as it's a common mistake. I don't hate any deity because I don't see any evidence to support the existence of any deity. It's like hating Medusa or Crumple-horned Snorkacks. Or purple unicorns. Insert your magical, mythical beast here. I don't hate things that don't exist. That would be silly. Oh, and the "get out of Utah" garbage? The day Utah secedes from the nation and builds a wall to keep all the Mormons IN is the day the rest of us will keep OUT. Until then, hush. If the best you've got is "if you don't like it, leave," then you've got exactly squat.