"I'm not a chicken. I'm just really hesitant." -Frasier Crane
Question #37980 posted on 07/27/2007 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it against the Honor code to take part in a tea party as a Zen Buddhist, or drink sacred alcohol of Shinto as a shintoist, etc?
Literally, it looks against the honor code, since we are "required" to abstain such roles, while we are only "encouraged" to participate in services of non-LDS religion....but is BYU such an inflexible institution?

A: Dear There Are All Sorts of Names that Come to Mind~

Is it against the Honor code to take part in a tea party as a Zen Buddhist, or drink sacred alcohol of Shinto as a shintoist, etc?

Yes and yes. Why in the world would it not be against Honor Code?

is BYU such an inflexible institution?

Are you serious? Are those stupid uptight Mormons in Utah so clueless and disconnected that they'd actually enforce their rules?

Look, I don't care if you agree with BYU's rules or not. If you don't like the Honor Code, don't come here. However, to call them an "inflexible institution" because they have the audacity to ask you to obey their rules is just... well, silly.

I guess my main issue with your question is that it completely ignores the purpose of the Word of Wisdom. If the Word of Wisdom were just a set of arbitrary dietary laws made up just to show our authority at BYU, then that would be pretty silly.

But it's not. The Word of Wisdom is a way for us to gain spiritual blessings and become better people. One of the blessings we're promised in the Word of Wisdom is that we'll find great treasures of knowledge. We're a university, so it seems that finding treasures of knowledge might be a good thing.

The point I'm getting to is that the Word of Wisdom is part of the BYU educational experience. To allow students of other faiths not to follow it would be to deny them the full benefits of a BYU education. You could just as reasonably accuse BYU of being an "inflexible institution" because they try to make everyone take finals.

To turn it around, if you were studying in a Buddhist temple, and they required you to eat a vegetarian diet while you were there, would you do it? If the answer is no, then why are you studying at a Buddhist temple?

Think about it.


A: Dear Reader,

As far as I know, Zen Buddhists aren't required to partake in tea ceremonies in order to remain in good standing as a Buddhist, nor are Shintoists required to drink sacred alcohol to participate fully in their religion. Under the circumstances, then, I don't see that it would be a huge problem for any Buddhists or Shintoists at BYU to choose not to participate in those ceremonies during the time they were enrolled.

I'd be much more concerned if BYU's Honor Code forbade wearing headscarves or required its students to eat pork, as that would more seriously affect the religious observance of some students.

- Katya