Thursday, October 30, 1997

In Defense of BYU

I am very troubled by all the criticism of BYU officials for refusing to display art depicting nudity at the BYU Museum of Art. What is wrong with a private, religious institution deciding to display only artwork which is in harmony with the teachings of the religion that sponsors it? The LDS Church teaches that any form of nudity is improper, and common sense tells us that such displays promote indecent and erotic thoughts in many of those who view them.
    The justification for such criticism, quoting New York City art curator Clare Vincent (Tribune, Oct. 28), is, ``There are a great many things that are more shocking on television.'' What Vincent is obviously unaware of is that LDS Church leaders have encouraged Church members to turn off their televisions and look for more wholesome forms of entertainment for years. The LDS Church never has and never will base its doctrine and teachings on what is popular.
    The public display of nudity is not essential to teaching or learning about art. Why can't we leave such displays in their proper places, such as classes on human anatomy? Why does The Tribune find it so surprising that BYU would reflect the teachings of the religion that sponsors it? The only controversy surrounding this incident has been created by the media and will be quickly forgotten when the media moves on to create the next ``flavor of the day'' controversy.
    KIMBALL BALL
    Kaysville


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