Sunday, October 16, 2016

Take-Home Baby


Audio

For us, it happened on a Monday.

I got the text from Michal at work. I fumbled some words to my manager; she stopped me at baby. "Go. Run!" she said. Week 39: exactly seven days before the due date.

I picked her up and we rushed to the delivery wing, emotions high. First thing they did was an ultrasound, to confirm everything was okay. The intense contractions began a few hours later.

We had prepared for this part of labor: attended a class with a seasoned Coach. I remember well what she told us: "If you leave with nothing else, remember two things. It won't go as planned, and it'll be okay in the end- you'll take home a baby!"

The contractions continued, intensified. There's a certain reverence in being so close to life's two great milestones, Birth and Death. Despite all the understanding of science, all the progress of mankind: still they mystify us, defy our control.

Suddenly Birth decided it was time. The delivery doctor took station at the foot of the bed. "Push push pause. Push push pause," a cadence, and eventually, the head of our long anticipated Daughter, emerging. Michal cried; I squeezed her hand.

They placed her on mommy's chest right away. I marveled at her size and proportions, her curly black hair like her mother's, matted against her head, her skin flushed red with the heat of delivery. After a time it was my turn, and she felt right in my arms, like they had been waiting for her all along, like it was there she belonged.

We spent several hours with her, holding her, caressing her cheek and stroking her tiny fingers. I cradled her head delicately, supporting her, and felt pride in her heft, her fully developed form, this tiny human we had created together. “Is this what being a father feels like?” Then I placed her tenderly in the hospital cart, and watched as the nurse dutifully rolled her away.

Later came the perfunctory filling-out of forms, and eventually they released us to go home. I carried the car seat up the steps to our second-story apartment. I had envisioned this moment so many times over the last couple months: that first trip up the stairs to start our new life as a family! Halfway to our door, I was struck with a powerful feeling that something was terribly wrong. I paused, and looked down in the seat.

But the seat was empty.

For a few moments I just stared: then I closed my eyes and crumbled, sobbing. The knowledge from my head breached the last defenses and gushed into my heart, filling every crevice, and in that moment my whole soul finally knew: we would never take home our baby.

For us, it happened on a Monday.

I got the text from Michal at work. "I didn't feel the baby move as usual this morning, let’s go to the hospital now." I fumbled some words to my manager; she stopped me at baby. "Go. Run!" she said. Week 39: exactly seven days before the due date.

I picked her up, and we rushed to the delivery wing, emotions high. First thing they did was an ultrasound, to confirm everything was okay. I'll never forget holding my breath, motionless, as the screen panned to the four-chambered heart. In the next moment the four chambered-heart filled the screen— and joined my motionless vigil. As the silent seconds ticked on, my mind reached an unexpected yet inescapable conclusion: our baby would never have a breath to hold.

The intense contractions began a few hours later. We had prepared for this part of labor: attended a class with a seasoned Coach. I remember well what she told us: "If you leave with nothing else, remember two things. It won't go as planned, and it'll be okay in the end- you'll take home a baby!"

The contractions continued, intensified. There's a certain reverence in being so close to life's two great milestones, Birth and Death. Despite all the understanding of science, all the progress of mankind: still they mystify us, defy our control.

Suddenly Birth decided it was time. The delivery doctor took station at the foot of the bed. "Push push pause. Push push pause," a cadence, and eventually, the head of our long anticipated Daughter, emerging. Michal cried; I squeezed her hand.

They placed her on mommy's chest right away. I marveled at her size and proportions, her curly black hair like her mother's, matted against her head, her skin flushed red with the heat of delivery. After a time it was my turn, and she felt right in my arms, like they had been waiting for her all along, like it was there she belonged.

We spent several hours with her, holding her, caressing her cheek and stroking her tiny fingers.  I cradled her head delicately, supporting her, and felt pride in her heft, her fully developed form, this tiny human we had created together. “Is this what being a father feels like?” Then I placed her tenderly in the hospital cart, and watched as the nurse dutifully rolled her away.

Later came the perfunctory filling-out of forms, and eventually they released us to go home. I carried the car seat up the steps to our second-story apartment. I had envisioned this moment so many times over the last couple months: that first trip up the stairs to start our new life as a family! Halfway to our door, I was struck with a powerful feeling that something was terribly wrong. I paused, and looked down in the seat.

But the seat was empty.

Monday, June 27, 2016

"Deeper and deeper into homosexuality ideas": My BYU Honor Code File Revealed



I wrote and published a book entitled during my last six months at BYU Law (between October 2010 and April 2011) entitled Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student's Perspective. Without my knowledge, a friend of mine reported me to BYU's Honor Code Office (HCO) for "getting deeper and deeper into homosexuality ideas." As a consequence, the HCO investigated me.


The HCO assigned a staff member to review my personal blog and YouTube channel. This staff member scrutinized my blog posts and YouTube videos, as well as my book, and made comments about whether my religious beliefs and my writings sufficiently complied with LDS teachings. Comments included "notice he did not say he believed in latter day prophets" (a recognized indicator of religious fitness for a Mormon) and "Much of the book contradicts teachings from the First Presidency of the LDS Church."

In all its glory, here is my honor code file.

Update 28 June: Many people have commented on my file, and asked how they can get their own HCO files. Luckily for you, FreeBYU has a resource for that very purpose! ATHCOE: Accountability and Transparency in Honor Code Office Enforcement

 Gdoc version here


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hi, I'm Brad Levin- director of FreeBYU, because I REALLY REALLY want religious and academic freedom at CES universities. AMA!

I did an AMA on Reddit earlier this month. Here was the dialogue:


bwv549♫ 𐐹𐑉𐐮𐑌𐑅 ♫ 9 points  
I read through your honor code file, and it was interesting the kinds of comments and notations in there.
Have you had a chance to see any other HC files? Any sense how deep a typical HC file goes?
[–]sarahemaier 7 points  
Is there a possibility that I could have a file without knowing anything had been submitted? Or do you know when you have a record?
[–]broofjay889 6 points  
I requested mine back in late April and this was the Honor Code Response (via email)....Thank you for your email. The form is referred to as the Record Review Request form. The request form is in the Honor Code Office located at 4450 WSC and you may come in to obtain the form. The Honor Code Office has 45 days to prepare the file. We can assist you with this request. ....still waiting
[–]BroBrotherton 9 points  
Why don't BYU students have the right to convert to another religion? I know the standard answer but isn't there a freedom of religion argument to be made? I feel like the supreme court would be on my side.
[–]heartinthepnw 4 points  
I actually know a student at BYU who is a member, raised in the church, BIC, etc. BUT enrolled in one of the BYU schools (purposely vague here) as a Non-member, even though still technically a member (never ex'd, never resigned). He/she was totally upfront. Got an ecclesiastical endorsement from the local bishop and the school after explaining the situation: non-believer since 18, would have problems with never-mo spouse, etc. I should be clear, this student did not change their listed religion from MO to Non-Mo after enlisting in BYU, he/she enrolled as a non-member from the start even though he/she is in the church computer as a member as was totally upfront about that. This really surprised me. I had never heard of it being done. But I am 100% sure of the facts of this case.
[–]heartinthepnw 2 points  
You're welcome. I was amazed this was even possible. Knowing this person I knew he/she would not be able/willing to attend nor pay tithing to name just two requirements. I believe a couple things were crucial. 1: Coming in as a non-member. 2:Being upfront about being member. I know these seem contradictory. That's the church for you. Also, never having been either ex'd or resigned. This person had been through all of the programs as a youth from seminary on. But only held a temple recommend as a youth for baptisms. Nothing else. I think having had temple ordinances would have been a problem. I was still surprised that he/she gets away with belonging to no church at all. Attending no church. Essentially having no religious belief. Didn't even know that was possible at BYU. Still, I highly doubt the church would allow it if the person were a younger unmarried adult. This person is not dating. But maybe it's a sign of opening up. I don't think he/she will be discussing their religious beliefs in class though.
[–]N620JH 10 points  
Any updates to the ABA's review of the law school's accreditation? And if not, any other updates that you hinted at in the lead up to this AMA that you care to share at this time?
[–]Slc10000 5 points  
Will BYU be able to continue its discrimination against the LGBT community in employment?
[–]JerryManilow 6 points  
Do you envision pressure from other schools via athletic event boycotts:
  1. Likely to happen?
  2. Likely to have any influence (if they do happen?)
[–]TotesMessenger 7 points  
I'm a bot, bleepbloop. Someone has linked to this thread from another place on reddit:
If you follow any of the above links, please respect the rules of reddit and don't vote in the other threads. (Info / Contact)
[–]KingJosephSmithApostate 7 points  
Come on over Cougars! We know you've already consumed enough porn and can handle a little more darkside here.

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