I am a BYU student, and a daily reader of the Universe. But the first time I noticed that Steve Benson's political cartoons from the Arizona Republic were being printed in the paper I was shocked, and then disgusted. Since then, I've noticed them in the paper on an almost daily basis, and it's bothered me on an almost daily basis.
I showed them to my parents, who live in Orem, and they were likewise shocked. It was their additional opinion that prompted me to express my feelings in this letter and send it to you.
We in the Church of Jesus Christ are not to judge, and are to befriend the enemy, turning the other cheek. That does not mean, however, that we show support and sympathy towards them! One of the questions in a temple recommend interview asks if we are sympathetic to apostate groups or persons. If we are, we are unworthy of a recommend. Putting Steve Benson's name "in lights" by way of printing his cartoons, is in my opinion showing sympathy.
I realize that Benson's cartoons are humorous to many, especially considering the large number of conservative oriented students on the campus of which I happen to be a part. But Steve Benson has used his popularity, gained by his clever cartoons (some of which have been blatantly anti-Mormon,) to try to destroy the church. My grandparents live in Scottsdale, Arizona. They especially were astounded that the BYU paper was printing his cartoons. They can testify of the destructive power Benson has exerted to try and thwart the work of the Lord and defame the name of the Church. He has publicly denounced the LDS faith time and time again, and glorified in his self-removal of the church before his large Arizona audience. And on a national level, he ridiculed the prophet and the priesthood of God just a few months ago on 60 Minutes.
I love this church with all my heart. I am offended and amazed that the Brigham Young University newspaper would patronize and indirectly support such an apostate. I'm sure Mr. Benson is laughing in the face of the church because of it.
After making this argument, I strongly request that these cartoons be printed no more in the Daily Universe. They have no place in an LDS-sponsored institution!
Printed in the Daily Universe: November 19, 1996