Monday, March 07, 2011

Scarlett Jam




I recently read The Scarlett Letter and I couldn't help but compare its fundamental depravity in judging others and outcasting people over the higher law of chastity with what has just happened with BYU basketball player Brandon Davies. Most of you may not know, but one of the key players was kicked off the team mid-season for admittedly having sex with his now pregnant girlfriend. BYU basketball has had an epic year and it was even rumored that they might take the first seed in the NCAA tourney. That is huge, but now they lost one of their most pivotal players.

Apparently BYU is one of the only schools left on the planet that actually makes college students live up to an Honor Code.  Part of me is proud to be part of church with a University that enforces higher personal standards, and the same part of me is ashamed. When reading this article tonight in the BYU newspaper I was taken back by it's reference to justice. I guess I tend to be the kind of person more worried about mercy.

Originally I had written in this post that I wished that the University could have let the kid finish out the season so he would not have had to be living such public shame. I felt like if he does ever come back to play, they may as well iron a big old Atlanta Brave A to his jersey. It's not that I didn't think he should experience the ramifications of his disobedience and that he should repent. I have personally known many others who had to put their education on hold for a bit while working through their worthiness issues. I just don't think that it was to anybody's good to make such a public display of a man's very personal life.

It's such a sad thing for me to think about. It's one of those things where two important principles seem to clash. Yes, let's have a high standard, and yes, let's love others, but how can we do both of these simultaneously? I feel like Brandon Davies has become a Hester Prynne and that just like the uptight community of the Puritan days, BYU sold him out to dry. My husband said that it wasn't BYU that did this to him but his own actions and the media. He knew the standards he had agreed to when he signed on at the school.

When rethinking the option of letting Brandon Davies finish out the season, that would require the school to treat him with preferential treatment. As they kick all Honor Code offenders out immediately, it's not that Brandon Davies should somehow be exempt.

I guess I am gonna be the kind of girl that stands at the Pearly gates and begs God to let in all the sinners. I  think that I need to study it out some more WHY God has standards in the first place and why I resent being controlled and others being controlled. If anything this news-story has been a lesson to me that our actions are never just about us, but they are also about our significant others and the people who observe us. But mostly it's about us and our relationship with our Lord, and I hope that Brandon Davies will remember that while experiencing such severe punishment and horrible scrutiny. I pray that His Lord will carry Him through and allow Brandon to feel an extra dose of God's love to counterattack everyone else talking about him negatively.

And let the record be made known that I would be best friends with Hester Prynne, well at least I would be until her demon child yelped at me. Hester's kid is portrayed really scary in the book and it kind of freaked me out.

And that is my rant to go along with such an enticing church sign that can be found directly down the street from me right now. It's like there are Scarlett Letters screaming at me everywhere. LG and I even watched that movie A+ last week when there was nothing else new at Redbox. It was kind of good. Too much language and sex, but doesn't that make it just like every other movie out there? And if LG and I actually watch these movies, does that make us like Brandon Davies or Hester Prynne? And, aren't we all like them? Isn't that really the point  most necessarily understood by us all...we all fall short of perfection so really we should give each other grace? I'm glad I never went to BYU so I can criticize the way they have thrown a good young man who made a mistake out to the wolves of society. 

Meanwhile, I am going to make jam with fruit, and I have no idea whether or not it is forbidden.

12 comments:

Lori said...

I was Hester Prynne for Halloween in 9th grade. I haven't read the book since then, I need to do that.

Renee said...

Ooooh, this is a good one!

I sort of felt the same way after reading that story in the news, but in the end, I agree with LG. I mean, I know that kid knew the rules before joining the team, but even more than that, I don't believe our standards are here to place judgment or put any of us in a position to be humiliated. This may be an opportunity for him to lean on others and give him some time to figure out where he stands. I also think, as a mom of a teen, that I am grateful for a school that will draw the line. There are so many grey areas in this world that ultimately lead us down a path that could bring years of unhappiness and an eternity worth of consequences! It would be too easy for BYU to make an exception in this case and I applaud them, not only for the sake of my teen, but for the sake of that basketball player as well! This is a much smaller consequence, that hopefully with a good family and a loving bishop, he can come out an even more amazing guy in the end!

Sometimes this is what it takes to snap out of it!!! I speak from experience unfortunately.

That's it, that's all I got.

Renee said...

Oh wait, I just realized how that might sound!

I didn't mean, "more amazing" because of this mistake, I meant if he completes the repentence process he'll learn from this experience, but obviously it's better to choose the right from the beginning. I would never say choosing the wrong path is necessary to becoming a better person, ugh never mind... open mouth insert foot. You know what I mean, so I'll stop talking now.

Renee said...

... and I've never been suspended from a BYU basketball team for having premarital relations with my girlfriend. I just meant "speaking from experience" like as an imperfect human being.

Open mouth, insert whole body.

ShEiLa said...

Tony and I have been having lots of conversations on this whole topic about Brandon Davies and the honor code. It becomes so evident that we tend to believe that the decisions we make only affect us... however that is not true is it. In Brandon's case his choice has touched people all over the country starting with his team.

I can choose to speed... drive carelessly or drive drunk... but if I don't have my wits about me and make a mistake involving another car... my choice now involves someone else.

WE are human and WE all make choices thinking... nobody will ever know... what can it hurt...

the full realization doesn't hit us until it's too late sometimes. Since you can't take back your actions... WE all need to think about before acting on our selfish whims.

Thanks for the post!!!

I love YOU header photos!!! Reminds me of my days as a kid growing up with 6 sisters and playing in the irrigation ditch behind our house.

ToOdLeS.

ps. enjoy the jam
commenting from Logan, Utah
loving the snow!

ShEiLa said...

pss.

I need to add...
when my son had pre-marital sex that resulted in a pregnancy... it didn't just affect him and his girlfriend... the impact was bigger than any of us imagined and are still learning to deal with.
It's not easy being an imperfect Mother... with imperfect kids. WE need to remember that we all make mistakes and a little understanding goes a long way... I believe that is what Christ would do.

A Busy Nest said...

What good timing of the book you read and this article to make your comparisons! When I was at BYU I had a good friend kicked out for the same reason. She came back a year later. I think she showed great maturity and they showed mercy by allowing her back. That's how repentance works!

At the time, I struggled with her departure but now as an adult I completely agree with the decision of BYU to stick to the rules. Knowing there is no preferential treatment is a great message to send their students as we see the opposite at other universities, in Hollywood or with political figures. Knowing how difficult it is to get into the university and that many are disappointed when they cannot attend BYU, I think BYU expects you to appreciate the privilege as well as uphold the honor code.
Thanks for the link to the Daily Universe article. Jennifer

Nicole said...

Very bold Alice. Good for you. It is a hard path living somewhere between grace and discipline. Some people look at one and forget the other. Thankfully our God doesnt. He disciplines those he loves and then offers grace unabounded. In this case I think the school did what it had to do. It set the standard and must abide by that, but your right we are all fallen & as such should be treated with the same mercy that God shows each of us. We also have to be careful to not have double standards.

Logan said...

I read in the paper today how BYU crushed Wyoming (which may have to do more with Wyoming being one of the worst teams this year), but all the while the students still cheared for Brandon as he sat on the bench for the entire game. It kind of made me upset that he would be given so much positive attention for making a fairly big mistake. I realize now that it is kind of like the Prodigal Son. Even though he made a mistake and pretty much blew his chance at using his talents for a relatively good thing at this university and now has to watch as the news is publicy displayed for everybody in the country, nay - perhaps even around the world, to see, he still could use that extra love the father gave his son on the son's return in order for us to appreciate the happiness that comes from repentance. Eh, what do I know? I still don't know what a "Jimmer" is.

Sharlene, Mom, Grammy said...

I love that Lori went right to her selection of a Hester Prynne Hallowwen costume. :) It still makes me smile.

I've enjoyed reading all the "comments." It certainly has been a topic of discussion everywhere I go, and I guess it will continue.

I couldn't get the Daily Universe article to open, but I did enjoy reading another article in the Salt Lake Tribune that told Davies’ remarkable adoption story.

Holly said...

Alice--

In answer to your comment :) (Don't you wish that blogger comments were like facebook and if you make a comment, it will send you all the other comments that people write without having to go BACK to their blog and checking all the time . . .) Anyhow, I digress. I had been wanting to write for a few days, especially after reading a blog called giraffes make me laugh (which I loved the humanity of, even if I struggled with some things she said--but I LOVE that--reading others opinions help me work out the WHYS of what I feel). Then, I got ready to write, and looked and saw you had a new post, and read it and laughed that we were on the same wave length, and then got to work (because i can become highly distracted in the reading of blogs and therefore never write a thing!:) Thanks for your thoughts. You rock!

Logan said...

I read in the paper today how BYU crushed Wyoming (which may have to do more with Wyoming being one of the worst teams this year), but all the while the students still cheared for Brandon as he sat on the bench for the entire game. It kind of made me upset that he would be given so much positive attention for making a fairly big mistake. I realize now that it is kind of like the Prodigal Son. Even though he made a mistake and pretty much blew his chance at using his talents for a relatively good thing at this university and now has to watch as the news is publicy displayed for everybody in the country, nay - perhaps even around the world, to see, he still could use that extra love the father gave his son on the son's return in order for us to appreciate the happiness that comes from repentance. Eh, what do I know? I still don't know what a "Jimmer" is.