On Religion Teachers at BYU (or, Why they Called Him a Gad-fly)

[Interview, 1983]

In my office at BYU they had these openings under the doors, because we had no air conditioning in those days, and in the summertime we would leave all the doors open. I always could hear across the hall exactly what was being taught in those classes because religion teachers, being of that type, usually speak in a loud voice. They are very loud and obnoxious. And they were all teaching the same sort of thing: the Book of Mormon is nothing more on earth but a tract against socialism. That’s what it is. And this was the theme they aimed at all the way through, as if that made all the difference in the world. So that was very discouraging at times, because they wouldn’t let up on that. Let it be that, as far as that goes, but you have something else to talk about, don’t you? “Oh no!”

This is very interesting. Here we are, unemployable by any academic standards, living on the welfare of the church, which has been set aside by revelation for the support of the widows, poor and so forth, and to justify ourselves we spend our days fulminating against the evils of socialism and the wickedness of the idle poor. That’s what these teachers are doing, they are living purely on the welfare of the church.


About Hugh Nibley

Hugh Nibley, 1910-2005, was simultaneously the LDS Church's greatest intellectual defender from attack from the outside and Mormon culture's strongest critic from the inside. This blog is composed mainly from Nibley's unpublished writings, letters, interviews and conversations, with occasional posts from associates who had personal interactions with him.
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7 Responses to On Religion Teachers at BYU (or, Why they Called Him a Gad-fly)

  1. Pingback: Gender Roles and the Need for Acceptance - The Lunch Is Free

  2. Pingback: Letting the Nibley Family defend Nibley

  3. h_nu says:

    I had no idea Nibley was such an idiotic liberal. Only a liberal would call working as living off of welfare. Nibley’s also inconsistent, the “so forth” can be understood as anything the Brethren feel is necessary to roll forth the kingdom of God. If he didn’t share the vision he could have left. Total dishonesty here. I don’t consider being a professor “idlenss”. I also see nothing wrong with decrying the idle poor. Nibley was far more judgmental than I thought. Thank you for warning me about his liberal tendencies.

  4. Joy Bischoff says:

    Speaking of those open doors, in the nineties, I heard two religion teachers at BYU discussing an honor Brother Nibley was receiving and lamenting that he shouldn’t get so much attention…what about the rest of them. Their jealousy was intense.

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