Politics in the Hospice

My mother is recovering from a broken hip in a rehabilitation center in American Fork, Utah. I visited her late yesterday afternoon before going to a Utah Valley party for the ACLU of Utah.

Do you like the ACLU? I asked her.

No, she said.

Why not? I asked.

Because they’re always going after BYU, she answered.

I don’t remember them ever going after BYU, I said.

They’re always so negative, she added. They’re against everything.

Like the Jim Crow laws in the South? I asked. Like segregation?

So I left for the party where I had a good time with other negative people, one of whom, Steve Goates, a BYU chemist, told me this story about his neighbor, a lifelong Democrat:

About to die, the neighbor asked for a form to file a change in political affiliation. He wanted to file as a Republican.

How can you possibly even consider that? his family asked.

Better for one of them to die than one of us, was his answer.

A little later Fred Geddicks, from the BYU Law School, heard me say that my mother thought the ACLU always went after BYU.

Tell her, he said, that in West Virginia a Mormon student with a state scholarship was denied a 2-year leave to go on an LDS mission. The ACLU stepped in and won the case for him.

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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