SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Brigham Young University has yanked the diploma of a man who created a calendar featuring shirtless Mormon missionaries and was later excommunicated from the church.
Chad Hardy of Las Vegas attended graduation ceremonies Aug. 15 after finishing up his last four units of study online in June. But on July 13, in between completing his studies and the graduation ceremony, he was excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
There is a lesson here for all those who want to understand what Mormonism is all about. Some have argued that BYU is a Mormon Church-owned school and, therefore, since Hardy knew and signed up to the rules of conduct, he only has himself to blame. Problem is he hasn't been "active" as a Mormon for six years, according to some reports. His lack of any meaningful involvement in the Mormon Church seemed to be no bar to his gaining entry on a BYU course so we have to conclude that faithfulness to the code, or lack of it, is not the real issue. The issue is publicity. It always seems to be with these things. Its not that he broke the code, he had already done that, but that he broke the code so publicly and the Mormon Church values its squeaky clean image more than anything.
Being that he paid for his course, worked for and gained a commendable pass it seems outrageously small-minded and spiteful to deny him what he paid and worked for. But image is more important than your diploma, more important than your future career, indeed more important than the truth judging by the increasingly strange and disingenuous nature of Mormon apologetics these days. You can't fight such paranoia it seems, although he seems determined to do just that and I, for one, wish him well of it. Someone has to knock sense into these blind zealots.