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The Power Of The LGBT Seal Of Approval

This is extraordinary. The Society of Biblical Literature [1] describes itself like this:

Mission, Visions, and Values
The following Mission Statement and Strategic Vision Statements were adopted by the SBL Council May 16, 2004, and revised October 23, 2011.

Mission Statement:
Foster Biblical Scholarship

Strategic Vision Statement:
Founded in 1880, the Society of Biblical Literature is the oldest and largest learned society devoted to the critical investigation of the Bible from a variety of academic disciplines.* As an international organization, the Society offers its members opportunities for mutual support, intellectual growth, and professional development through the following:

  • Advancing academic study of biblical texts and their contexts as well as of the traditions and contexts of biblical interpretation
  • Collaborating with educational institutions and other appropriate organizations to support biblical scholarship and teaching
  • Developing resources for diverse audiences, including students, religious communities, and the general public
  • Facilitating broad and open discussion from a variety of critical perspectives
  • Organizing congresses for scholarly exchange
  • Publishing biblical scholarship
  • Promoting cooperation across global boundaries

Here are what the SBL says are its “core values,” in a statement revised in 2011:

Accountability

Openness to Change

Collaboration

Professionalism

Collegiality

Respect for Diversity

Critical Inquiry

Scholarly Integrity

Inclusivity

Tolerance

You might wonder why an academic organization devoted to Biblical scholarship holds as its core values “respect for diversity,” “openness to change,” “inclusivity,” and “tolerance”? Isn’t this just one of those typically euphemistic liberal ways of saying, “No Biblical scholars who don’t accept progressive views on LGBT issues allowed”?

Why yes, apparently, it is. SBL has reportedly banned InterVarsity Press [2] from having a booth at the 2017 SBL convention in Boston because of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s recent decision to hold firmly to orthodox Christian teaching on homosexuality, and to ask employees who dissent to resign. [3]

Rev. Dr. Michael F. Bird, an Australian academic, writes that he saw the letter that SBL president John Kutsko sent to IVP informing them of the society’s decision. Dr. Bird responded with an open letter to Kutsko [2] asking him to reconsider. Excerpt:

Fifth, and somewhat baffling, is what you wrote to IVP. You said that SBL was committed to: “a variety of critical perspectives … diversity of participation and unhindered critical discourse … free inquiry and expression.” John, mate, I don’t want to be confrontational, but can you explain to me how does banning a publisher from the annual conference increase the diversity, free inquiry and expression of SBL? It does the opposite, it cabines diversity, it censures certain elements of belief, and inhibits free expression. Let me be clear, to ban IVP from the annual convention does not safeguard the academic freedom of SBL members, it amounts to censorship, which many of us are very, very sensitive about.

Sixth, I think it is worth remembering that some publishing houses are confessional, whether that is IVP, Prometheus, Liturgical Press, or Jewish Publishing Society, and they are within their rights to publish books in accordance with their beliefs and guidelines. I’ve been turned down by publishers for being too conservative and by others for being too liberal. What you are proposing creates a very dangerous precedent for confessional publishers who’s views do not accord with the ideology and predilections of the executive committee. I joined SBL to be part of a professional society where a variety of perspectives are exhibited in seminars and at the bookstalls. I’m not interested in being part of a professional society that is a shill for social progressives or a proxy for conservatives. SBL is a society that deals with the study of religious texts by people of all faiths and none, where there is no doctrinal Taliban at the door checking which publishers I’ve bought books from. I think I speak for many when I say that I rather we kept it that way.

This is, of course, an outrage, for exactly the reasons Dr. Bird mentions. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is going to pay a heavy price for its fidelity, and so, as we see in this latest development, is InterVarsity Press.

In a related development, the Big 12 college football conference has decided not to invite Brigham Young University to join in the event of an expansion. [4] More:

Months ago, BYU was viewed as the frontrunner in any Big 12 expansion scenario. With a passionate national fan base, strong football tradition, top-35 TV market in Salt Lake City and solid academic credentials, BYU checked every box of the criteria the Big 12 said it would be analyzing.

But the LGBT community’s opposition to BYU because of its honor code has turned BYU’s candidacy “toxic,” as one Big 12 insider characterized it.

“Their appeal doesn’t outweigh the baggage, even though the appeal is great,” another said.

Earlier this month, Iowa State’s student government passed a resolution opposing a BYU Big 12 invite, noting that “BYU’s discriminatory policies and practices are inconsistent with the values of the Big 12.”

BYU, as you know, is a Mormon university, and administers itself according to Mormon belief. But now, No Mormons Need Apply to the Big 12, because the Big 12 is bigoted against religious institutions who are conservative on sexuality.

Christian colleges and universities are very soon going to be facing a question: Are your athletic programs more important to you than your Christian identity? They won’t be allowed to have both.

As for the SBL situation, it’s a harbinger of further blacklisting to come in academia around the LGBT issue. If the Society of Biblical Literature is beginning to shun Christians for upholding Christian orthodoxy regarding homosexuality, it is an unmistakable sign that we are heading towards banning traditional Christians from academia. SBL is saying that the nation’s largest Christian publisher cannot conduct commerce in its marketplace without having an LGBT seal of approval. Let those with eyes to see, see.

 

43 Comments (Open | Close)

43 Comments To "The Power Of The LGBT Seal Of Approval"

#1 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On October 19, 2016 @ 10:22 am

Looks like “Intellectual freedom” didn’t make to SBL’s value list

#2 Comment By El Skippito Friskito On October 19, 2016 @ 10:40 am

The Big 12’s failure to expand is every bit as much, if not more, about the conference’s stupidity than it is about BYU’s code. There was no strong push from the two power schools, Texas and OU, to expand, and a lot of pushback from the sports networks who carry the conference’s games not to expand. If they had decided to expand they might well have looked past BYU for Houston and Cincinnati, but not taking anyone is more about their own failings than anyone else’s.

#3 Comment By Franklin Evans On October 19, 2016 @ 10:54 am

Rod, you report on a very important issue in academia, and the SBL scenario is indeed reasonably cited as a harbinger. However, you need to examine collegiate sports under a very different light. In short, it’s as much a business as the professional leagues.

If there is going to be even a semblance of parity in our society, given that such parity is overseen by secular law, then discrimination must be a front-and-center issue and it must be discussed rationally. The harsh reality is that secular law gives neither respect nor credence to faith-based justifications for commercial discrimination.

As I reject your using the Big 12 as a comparison point, I also must state that it is also a very poor example of my secular law objection. College sports is a hybrid (stipulating that many colleges are private, and some have a clear profit structure), their primary “business” is rewarding credentials (earned? ahem) in exchange for tuition money. The lines blur, cheating does happen (and is caught and punished), but college athletics in sports that have a clear track to professional teams is as much about the money it generates (football for sure, the other sports not so much) as it is about enhancing their academic reputations.

The general point is very clear, and I have no objection to it: Political Correctness is the troll in the room, and there’s neither avoiding it nor getting any traction with rational arguments against it.

#4 Comment By anonymousdr On October 19, 2016 @ 10:54 am

One of the things that this discussion, and other similar ones, reveal are people’s real priorities. I’m always amazed (although I no longer should be) that it is differences in this peripheral issue, but not core fundamental theology, that gets put at the center of these debates. It is almost as if these people don’t take God seriously. (I get that this is a proxy fight about authority, but still…)

#5 Comment By DS On October 19, 2016 @ 10:59 am

To be clear, the Big 12 decided not to add any schools to the conference. 20 schools made the cut for video interviews. Eleven schools were finalists, including the ever-politically-correct Tulane Green Wave. Alas, it was not to be for Tulane, BYU … or anyone at all.

[NFR: I get that, but it’s beside the point. The point was BYU was sidelined because of its sexuality policy. — RD]

#6 Comment By Howard On October 19, 2016 @ 11:00 am

OK, so the SBL exists. It is less obvious that it should be regarded as important. It should come as no surprise to anyone that [5], but as long as good translations and good books continue to be available to those who seek them out, the lunatic fringe is a danger mostly only to itself.

As for the Big 12, they didn’t invite anyone. In the end, the decision was more about ducking competition and refusing to share revenues than about anything remotely related to the sexual culture wars. It was also quite possibly a mistake, because they Big 12, which lost Colorado and Nebraska to the Pac-12 and Big 10, respectively, and Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC, is only a marginally stable conference, and it is likely to be on the outside of this year’s football playoff looking in.

#7 Comment By The Vulnerable Bede On October 19, 2016 @ 11:06 am

Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned liberals? These so called liberals are just fundamentalists with a different orthodoxy.

#8 Comment By CK On October 19, 2016 @ 11:07 am

The Big XII decided not to expand at all. It also turned down schools that are SJWs in good standing. The people who run college athletics are only motivated by greed, I seriously doubt BYU’s stance on LGBT issues impacted the expansion decision in the slightest way even if ESPN wants to spin it that way.

#9 Comment By IsaacH On October 19, 2016 @ 11:14 am

As a BYU alum, I predicted months ago that BYU would be excluded based on its orthodox stance on sexuality. I know the Big 12 didn’t expand for a variety of reasons, but I doubt if/when they do expand that BYU will get an invite. It just isn’t worth having your SJW students scream down your throat every time the football team comes to visit.

I would not be surprised if BYU someday significantly downgrades its athletic department. The church has done this before — they completely eliminated athletics at BYU-Idaho, though for different reasons — and the rumor mill always talks about how many high up in the church see the football program as much a liability as an asset.

BYU has a simple mission: provide quality education to church members at a low cost (to the student). To accomplish this the church heavily subsidizes tuition for LDS students (and even for non-LDS students, though their tuition is slightly higher). The moment the football program prevents the school for accomplishing that, I have no doubt they’ll drop it (or downsize it).

[NFR: If BYU does let its athletic programs decline out of fidelity to its moral principles, its leaders will set a spectacular example for the rest of American Christian higher education. I fear that BYU will end up standing virtually alone, though. But if so, we will know which Christian colleges and their donors worship Christ, and which worship football. — RD]

#10 Comment By Aaron C. On October 19, 2016 @ 11:17 am

Two more reasons to develop a healthy measure of Jake Meador’s joy of indifference ( [6]).

#11 Comment By CSFord On October 19, 2016 @ 11:28 am

The ESPN article literally only talks about BYU in the context of LGBT resistance to its honor code. Just because no schools were accepted doesn’t mean that this wasn’t the reason for not accepting BYU.

Rod, maybe you should step aside and let some of the “But actually” folks write your columns for you. Clearly their reading comprehension is superior.

#12 Comment By bob On October 19, 2016 @ 11:30 am

I have noticed how the parasitic NCAA has polluted formerly amateur sports for years. It is as lousy an influence as the “scholarly” world of academic associations. Follow our social dogma or OUT. They try to blackmail whole states to conform to their tyranny. I wish universities (inveterate invertebrates) would tell the college sport industrial complex to fly a kite but it’s unlikely, and the frightened academics who cower in them are terrified to not “belong” to ruling associations of writers like themselves. How delightful not to be in school now.

#13 Comment By kgasmart On October 19, 2016 @ 11:30 am

Back in the day, I argued in favor of gay marriage, believing that it was wrong to deny two adults the right to marry solely on the basis of their sexuality/sexual preferences.

But while I believed gay marriage should have been allowed, even accepted, never for one moment did I think that those who opposed it should be required to change their views, and that any refusal to do so should result in sanctions.

But now here we are. Bakers aren’t permitted to beg off gay weddings; BYU’s “hate” would be punished in the event of a Big 12 expansion.

Gay marriage turned out to be one hell of a Pandora’s box.

[NFR: As people like me warned it would. Law of Merited Impossibility. — RD]

#14 Comment By RBH On October 19, 2016 @ 11:33 am

Sounds like their notion of biblical scholarship is going the way of academic philosophy, completely disconnected from the questions people deal with, esoteric articles written for and read by a few people that only talk to each other.

#15 Comment By BCaldwell On October 19, 2016 @ 11:33 am

Rod, The Big 12 did not want BYU probably because generally whenever a Big 12 team like….Texas plays BYU, they get their rear ends kicked in. If they want to use the whole …inclusion/ diversity, then religiously themed schools like Baylor( Baptist) and TCU would be asked to denounce themselves as well. Iowa State was probably against it because….Iowa State is not very good at football and only marginal in basketball.

I, however am looking forward to the depotic rule from our new corporate/ LGBT overlords. I for one have grown tired for thinking for myself and calling B.S. on most things in society. It will be a relief when I can finally say and convince myself that male and female are only words and don’t necessarily connote things like….what constitutes a boy or girl. I want them telling me that what I know to be objectively true is not necessarily true even if there is 4000 years of evidence to the contrary . I want to think like everyone at Oberlin College…..can they join the Big 12?

#16 Comment By Johan On October 19, 2016 @ 11:56 am

It is appropriate for an organization devoted to critical biblical scholarship to exclude a fundamentalist group like IVP. Just as the American Physical Society would exclude a creation science (sic) literature group. Diversity in these areas is good only within the bounds of honest scholarship.

[NFR: “Fundamentalist”? That word is doing a lot of work for you here. Besides, nobody is questioning the scholarship of IVP authors. This is because the council that runs SBL rejects InterVarsity Christian Fellowships orthodox Christian views on sexuality. Scholarship has not a damn thing to do with it. — RD]

#17 Comment By Aaron On October 19, 2016 @ 12:36 pm

I wonder if anyone from the SBL has actually, you know, read the Bible?

#18 Comment By JonF On October 19, 2016 @ 1:02 pm

Maybe this is a blessing in disguise? College athletics has become seriously parasitic on colleges, and a distraction from the main mission of a college. Is it really so awful if something like this forces these colleges to reevaluate that?

#19 Comment By Ken’ichi On October 19, 2016 @ 1:04 pm

>>The Vulnerable Bede

“Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned liberals?”

Their “good, old-fashioned” liberalism proved unsustainable, being, like most of (Western) Modernity, contrary to human nature and to the maintaining of social stability.

#20 Comment By Fran Macadam On October 19, 2016 @ 1:04 pm

No wonder Orthodox Christian Russia’s our new enemy, by ourchoice We were once taught to fear and loathe Godless Communism; now they are locked in a death embrace with Godless Americanism.

#21 Comment By Adam Kolasinski On October 19, 2016 @ 1:35 pm

BYU is probably better off not getting into a conference like the big 12.

College football is a huge waste of money. Even for the tiny minority of schools that supposedly “make money” on their football program, the supposed profits quickly turn into losses once you properly account for the opportunity cost of capital needed to fund the stadiums and other required fixed assets.

#22 Comment By David J. White On October 19, 2016 @ 1:58 pm

But the LGBT community’s opposition to BYU because of its honor code has turned BYU’s candidacy “toxic,” as one Big 12 insider characterized it.

If that’s true, it makes me want to give money to BYU, even though I have no connection to it.

***

I’m always amazed (although I no longer should be) that it is differences in this peripheral issue, but not core fundamental theology, that gets put at the center of these debates. It is almost as if these people don’t take God seriously.

The question, of course, is, which people are the “these people” who “don’t take God seriously”?

***

I fear that BYU will end up standing virtually alone, though. But if so, we will know which Christian colleges and their donors worship Christ, and which worship football.

Yeah, I can definitely think of one ostensibly Christian university in particular which, when push comes to shove, will probably decide that, after all, football is more important.

#23 Comment By Thomas Aquinas On October 19, 2016 @ 2:11 pm

It’s only a matter of time before SBL explicitly forbids certain prestige publishers–Cambridge, Oxford, Blackwell, etc.–from displaying books by social conservatives who have written works that include criticisms of homosexual conduct, e.g., Richard Swinbure, Robert P. George, John Finnis, etc.

SBL was founded as an academic group in which different voices on biblical scholarship could be heard. (The same is true of AAR, the sister group that meets with SBL). It was meant to be a place in which creedal constraints were lifted so that there could be frank and open discussion of contested issues in biblical scholarship. Now, ironically, we are seeing SBL morph into the very confessional communion its founding was meant to resist.

#24 Comment By Howard On October 19, 2016 @ 2:17 pm

[NFR: I get that, but it’s beside the point. The point was BYU was sidelined because of its sexuality policy. — RD]

Yes, that is “the point”. Whether it is a truthful account of what happened yesterday is highly doubtful, your preferred story notwithstanding. There are certainly people who are not interested in whether a story is true or not, only whether or not it promotes “the point” they want to make. I’m hoping you’re not yet another of those.

#25 Comment By creekmama On October 19, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

“a fundamentalist group like IVP”

If you think IVP is a fundamentalist group, my hunch is that you don’t know much about either fundamentalists or IVP.

#26 Comment By Fr John On October 19, 2016 @ 3:04 pm

Not shocking in the least about SBL. I used to be a proud member, regularly attending annual and local regional conferences until a few years back when, at one reception on the penultimate evening I was explicitly propositioned by two gay men and one female scholar colleague flirtatiously attempted to lure me back to her hotel room when I simply offered to see her safely to her hotel at night. I decided it was not worth going back after that.

#27 Comment By Joe the Plutocrat On October 19, 2016 @ 3:30 pm

Not sure about the numbers, but my guess is, the majority of NCAA universities are public. At the very least, the majority of Big XII schools are public. Like it or not, the “public” (aka ‘secular’) world is changing. If BYU (or Notre Dame, or Texas Christian, or Baylor, or Liberty University) cannot reconcile its core values with the “core values” of the Constitution, or the NCAA it should drop athletics. The University of San Francisco did it (Football), as did the University of Chicago.
What (orthodox) Christians need to accept is, the world is not orthodox. It is an organic, evolving entity that is not beholden to ANY creed or dogma.

#28 Comment By anonymousdr On October 19, 2016 @ 4:40 pm

@ Ken’ichi

yup. Pretty much.

#29 Comment By Arthur Sido On October 19, 2016 @ 5:35 pm

At the risk of being hissed at for my lack of cultural warrior team spirit, it bears mentioning that the mormon religion’s adherence to “traditional sexuality” is a fairy recent phenomena and the doctrine of polygamy, while not currently actively practiced, is still part of mormon teachings as part of the “prophet” Joseph Smith’s “revelation” regarding what he coyly called plural marriage. It is still in their “scriptures” as part of their canon, you can easily find it on their webpage. The mormons did not abandon polygamy out of some new found orthodox understanding of Christian marriage but because of societal pressure (sort of like letting black men hold the mormon “priesthood” suddenly in the 70’s as God apparently changed his mind to coincide with the change of American attitudes toward race) More broadly speaking mormonism is not on “our team”, our team being defined broadly as historic streams of Christianity, in any sense. I get the outrage over the IVP/SBL kerfuffle but defending fundamental Christian doctrines is actually more important than the state of religious liberty in America.

#30 Comment By Brian J. On October 19, 2016 @ 6:01 pm

The Big 12’s decision not to invite BYU appears to be a simple matter of travel distance. The conference already has one school 800+ miles away from any conference opponent in the University of West Virginia; why aggravate the problem by adding another school nearly a thousand miles from its nearest neighbor (and almost 2,000 miles from UWV)?

#31 Comment By bt On October 19, 2016 @ 6:03 pm

“No wonder Orthodox Christian Russia’s our new enemy, by our choice We were once taught to fear and loathe Godless Communism; now they are locked in a death embrace with Godless Americanism.”

I think Fran McAdam just clarified why it is that more than a few conservatives relate more to Vladimir Putin’s Russia than to America.

Sorry to say, things won’t end well in Putin’s Russia, and the Russian Church will not end up being strengthened by allying itself with a dictator who has a habit or murdering journalists and political opponents. Just as the Religious Right finds itself in disarray as a result of it’s alliance with the Republican Party and it’s crass political maneuvering.

#32 Comment By Stephen Hall On October 19, 2016 @ 6:45 pm

“It is an organic, evolving entity that is not beholden to ANY creed or dogma.”

Up until the hard times get rolling, then it desperately needs those creeds and dogmas to give it focus and a grounding.

#33 Comment By Donoso Cortes On October 19, 2016 @ 10:01 pm

I’m constantly amazed at the proportion of progressive commentators on this site who simply contest and deny Rod’s premises, rather than engaging his point. Fine, of course, to have different premises, but a bit odd that they seemingly spend all day at “The American Conservative.”

#34 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 19, 2016 @ 10:40 pm

Michael F. Byrd is a rare gem.

Brigham Young U should spurn the Big Ten and continue to go its own way. Who needs to be invited to a mess like that anyway?

#35 Comment By garymar On October 19, 2016 @ 11:09 pm

“… it cabines diversity,…”

I like that word “cabines”, but I’ll be darned if I can find it in any dictionary. A typo?

Looking at my keyboard and neighboring keys, I find
cavines
canines…no, that’s not going to work.

“demeans diversity” makes sense in context. Thoughts anyone?

#36 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On October 20, 2016 @ 12:19 am

BT,

Why do you think the Russian Church won’t be strengthened by its tactical alliance with the Putin regime?

Russians actually seem to *like* authoritarianism, so I’m not seeing how the Russian Orthodox Church embracing it hurts the church. For that matter, it wasn’t until the last century or two that any major Christian body thought that Christianity was even compatible with liberal democracy, much less required it.

#37 Comment By Evan On October 20, 2016 @ 1:51 am

“orthodox views on Christian sexuality”

Since when does Christianity necessitate firing people simply for being LGBT allies? If it fired people for engaging in gay sex, I’d understand that. But it’s hard to see how purging the organization of its LGBT allies is necessitated by Scripture. After all, if we take Scripture at face value, it only forbids relationships in which men take on a submissive sexual role. It is silent concerning female-female sexuality, and silent concerning male-male sexuality when no one is taking a submissive role in sex. Thus, IV’s position seems to have more to do with homophobia than with fidelity to Scripture.

#38 Comment By Brosso On October 20, 2016 @ 2:51 am

@Donoso Cortes

It’s because they’re mostly trolls. I remember doing exactly what JonF does when I was in the Labor Party.

#39 Comment By Liam On October 20, 2016 @ 7:49 am

“Fine, of course, to have different premises, but a bit odd that they seemingly spend all day at “The American Conservative.” ”

Actually, I would argue we need more awareness of different premises. Premises are hard; arguments are easy.

#40 Comment By The The On October 20, 2016 @ 8:30 am

If you said you were an Islamic group then they would support you. Ironic ain’t it? You could support throwing gays off of buildings and these SJW idiots would welcome you if and only if you are an Islamist.

#41 Comment By Chris On October 20, 2016 @ 11:48 am

Rod, you bring up an interesting point regarding BYU and Big 12 expansion. While I do think there are other more important reasons they were not added (Texas has no desire for expansion, Texas politicians influence in desiring Houston, etc), this is the first time I’ve heard BYU’s LDS affiliation and honor code brought up as a detractor. Usually the main detractor was another religious reason, their unwillingness to engage in competitions on Sunday (which is only a minor issue).

BYU chose to join the WCC for most sports and remain an independent in football, in part, because most of the WCC schools are private, Catholic/Christian schools, so in a way, it’s a natural fit. Do expect the main corporate alignment with the left and the LGBT agenda to continue to force everyone into full acceptance of the LGBT agenda regardless of their personal believes and convictions.

#42 Comment By Mary White On October 23, 2016 @ 3:46 pm

I don’t identify as a conservative or liberal, but Rod Dreher’s post on the “LGBT seal of approval” is a good example of why I find so much of the conservative discourse regarding accommodation laws/norms and LGBT issues both hysterical and hypocritical.

People like Rod Dreher want to preserve the right for BYU to associate as they wish, but have a problem when the Big 12 decides to set its own values? Why is it a burden for BYU if it has to change its honor code to accept homosexuality, but not a burden for the Big 12 if they have to accept a school that they do not believe reflects the collective values of the type of association they wish to have?

Rod Dreher has no good answer to that. Since conservative schools have the right to employ people that fit their own values, as IVCF wishes to do, why can’t liberal schools only hire liberal professors who support liberal causes? I don’t understand why conservatives like Rod Dreher don’t apply the same standards to the “other” side – I suspect that’s why independents like me increasingly find conservatism irrelevant?

#43 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 24, 2016 @ 12:49 pm

Why is it a burden for BYU if it has to change its honor code to accept homosexuality, but not a burden for the Big 12 if they have to accept a school that they do not believe reflects the collective values of the type of association they wish to have?

Because it mixes apples and oranges. The Big 10, or Big 12, or Big Google, or whatever number they choose to admit (google was a number before it was a company) are about sports. Just as there is no evidence that a gay man can’t competently play football, there is no evidence that a college with traditional marital values can’t field a team worth playing.

Football is only one aspect of BYU, or of any state’s premier university system, but it is the point of commonality that a sports league is all about. Irrelevant differences should not be invoked.

Similarly, there is no reason a gay person could not be a competent engineer, or lawyer, or CEO, and should not be excluded from consideration because they are gay, but, a woman might well think twice before choosing a gay man as her husband.

(Please Mary White, abjure such anticipatory pontification as “Rod Dreher has no good answer to that.” You put a proposition out there, and people, including but not limited to Rod, either will, or will not, offer an answer, which, by various lights, may be good, or not.)