The commentary on the Brandon Davies dismissal has included frequent polite nods to the idea that Brigham Young University is a private institution and can make whatever rules it wants. But the undercurrent in the secular press has been unmistakeably What a ridiculously strict rule for 20-year old kids. Isn't college supposed to be the time that you have fun, drink too much, and have sex? Isn't it (snigger) unrealistic for BYU to be having such rules in this day and age? There seems to be an idea that BYU is depriving young adults of some natural right.
We had kids go to schools that were near that strict, so I have some secondhand sense of the thinking of such schools.
Let me ask the question another way: Let us imagine a person in his fifties going into a therapist's office for some general unhappiness or claim of trauma from a hard life. Or similarly, a grandchild asking an 80-year-old...
So, what was the hardest thing you faced in your life?
How does the answer "I went to a very strict college, where you could get kicked out for drinking or having sexual relations" sound in that context? It would be comic if it weren't pathetic. There are, however, many answers to the therapist's or grandchild's question that began "Well, I got (/got a girl) pregnant in college and..." that would be entirely plausible Hard Times. This is the sort of obvious life information we shouldn't need a village idiot to point out for us.
So I conclude that there is a different meaning to the undercurrent: "I did some of those things and I don't think it was wrong, and I resent even hearing about people who do think it's wrong." The guilty flee where none pursue.
Remember that when you hear all that yap about Christians being so judgmental. Sometimes it's true, of course. We've got lots of folks willing to do that. But a lot of times, no accusation has been made but people defensively act as if one has. Or they try to bait Christians into making statements that they can then turn and called judgmental.
Which when you look at it that way, is a very judgmental thing for them to do.