We read in the
View of the Hebrews Book of Mormon that God blesses those who are righteous. Telestial State must have done something really fucking righteous, because “BYU-Idaho Bans Skinny Jeans” is nothing short of a comedy blessing.
Yesterday a cute little story popped up on the independent BYU publication Student Review* that read “BYU-Idaho Bans Skinny Jeans.” Apparently the BYU testing center refused entry to a female student because her jeans were too tight, and now skinny jeans are banned, and women are now required to wear a burka, and I say these things and in the name of Jesus Christ, amen, case closed.
Yes, it’s a ridiculous story — but it doesn’t affect me (because I don’t attend BYU) and it doesn’t affect you (because Telestial State readers don’t attend BYU). I bet this will blow over and everyone will forget about it. Well, except for the Houston Chronicle. And Gawker. And the Daily Mail. And Twitter.
As I read the comments on the Student Review story (while wearing a pair of skinny jeans**), a theme appeared over and over again from BYU apologists:
“BYU-Idaho is a private school; they can make whatever rules they want and students are free to leave.”
And you know what? I agree with them. They’re absolutely right. Religions and universities and businesses reserve the right to make whatever (legal) restrictions they choose — because worshippers, students and customers reserve the right to patronize these organizations or not. The free market goes two ways; if you make your religion too restrictive, it’s likely that worshippers will flee faster than Jesus can say “I hate skinny jeans.”
…a Mormon also happens to be running for President of the United States. Republicans and Conservatives are so weirded out by the idea of a Mormon president that they would rather nominate Serial Adulterer Newt Gingrich over Mormon Robot Mitt Romney. In an attempt at deflecting the common ‘Mormons are weird’ belief, the LDS Church recently launched the successful “I’m a Mormon” ad campaign, which Rosanna Fisk, CEO of the Public Relations Society of America in New York called “very savvy branding.”
For the most part, Mormons genuinely are normal people. True, they don’t drink coffee or watch Schindler’s List or vote for Democrats or like gay people or wear skinny jeans at BYU-Idaho, but they doesn’t make them any stranger than Evangelicals or Pagans or Catholics or Jehovah’s Witnesses or Scientologists. Mormons desperately want to be viewed as ‘normal.’ And they desperately want to be liked. After all, a Mormon is running for office, for Pete’s sake.
So if you want the public to view your religion as ‘normal,’ then perhaps — strictly from a PR standpoint — banning skinny jeans at your religious institution isn’t the way to do it.
Then again, Republican Nominee Newt Gingrich does have a nice ring to it. Talk about a perfect comedy blessing.
*Full disclosure: I happen to know some of the guys who run the independent Student Review, and I sincerely applaud them for providing an alternative BYU voice. Please check them out: http://thestudentreview.org
**Full disclosure: I was also drinking a cup of coffee. And watching gay porn. With my home teachers.