Fans Cheer Benched Brandon Davies & I Do Too

Janelle Harris

brandon daviesReligion, for the sake of religion, is a waste of time. If you can’t apply it to the daily ins-and-outs, ups-and-downs of real life, religion is nothing more than quoted tradition hollered down from a pulpit, podium, or altar by some robed representative of a mystifying higher power.

So if the business of Christianity is about love and forgiveness and grace, why in the name of all that’s holy are so many stones being cast at Brandon Davies by a Mormon institution? Application of the faith, which is the very heartbeat of Brigham Young’s chaste and virtuous campus, necessitates some flexibility. That the boy — and he is just that — signed an honor code and violated it is his bad. That they can’t extend leniency and flexibility is theirs.

Are we really throwing him under the bus? For having sex? At 19?

Davies was suspended from play last week for breaking the university's honor code not to have premarital sex. But he was allowed to sit with his team on the bench on Saturday and watch a No. 3 BYU clinch a conference title.

It’s so very, very easy to blog our blogs and wield our opinions to chastise Brandon and demonize his season-wrecking Mary Magdalene of a girlfriend, Arizona State student Danica Mendivil. It’s a cinch to browbeat him for violating the honor code he willfully signed in order to play ball at the school and scandalize her for enticing him into wrongdoing using those chastity-derailing feminine wiles of hers.

We, as a society, are so full of contradictions and quick to whip out some highfalutin judgment-tossing. It’s OK to give a pass to the gang on Teen Mom and let that sex tape slide from [insert celebrity name here because everybody and their mama have had a doggone sex tape], but a pair of regular ol’ hormonal college students get the business? Oh, I guess it’s because he let his team down. Or is it because this mishap inconveniently trainwrecked on the brink of March Madness? Or is all of the upheaval honestly because he failed to uphold the pristine standards expected by the school and, apparently, the general public?

To those who are drop-kicking Davies and his girlfriend, I implore: What were you doing when you were 19 years old? Posing as a poster child for angelic purity, no doubt. I’ll tell you what I was doing — no shame in my game. At 19, I never got wasted, never smoked anything, never celebrated my newfound independence as a college sophomore by having random rolls in the hay with guys around campus. But I did fall in love and I did lose my virginity and I did enjoy sex (after the first couple of times) and in no time flat, I did find myself waddling around the campus of my now-alma mater unmarried and pregnant.

I was born and raised in the church. I knew what the Good Book says about fornication and lust and showing off my naughty bits to a boy before I got married. But I did it anyway. Thank God I wasn’t born a Mormon.

Funny how we can hold Davies and Mendivil to a standard of responsibility to make very adult-like, infallible decisions when, sure as I’m sitting here praying for spring, some college coed at some state institution or non-religious affiliated school will get totally wasted this weekend. They might end up getting in trouble by the administration. They might end up getting in trouble with the cops since, after all, anyone who consumes alcohol before they turn 21 is in violation of law. They might need their parents to bail them out of jail. They might need their community to rally around them and attest to their character and give the whole “good kid who made a bad decision” schpeel.

They didn’t sign an honor code not to do it. But they live under the laws of America that say it’s wrong and illegal for them to take shots or drain kegs or toss back a few. Still, we don’t mount a high horse to look down on those students because they’re just college students doing what college students do.

Guess none of that forgiveness and excuse-making applies when it comes to love and basketball. Except when you consider the 5,000 BYU fans that agree with me. They chanted, "We Love Brandon, We Love Brandon" in a wild display of affection for Davies before Saturday's game against Wyoming and during the time-outs.

What makes what Brandon Davies did so wrong?

Image via BYU Cougars

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