In today’s edition of Crazy People Running for Office, we will discuss Cody Judy.
On Feb. 7, 1993, Cody Judy interrupted a BYU fireside where LDS apostle Howard W. Hunter was speaking. Judy held a briefcase containing what he said was a bomb, and in his other hand he held what he said was a detonator. Those of us in attendance wet what we said was our pants.
We also sang some inspirational hymns of God’s love and mercy, which distracted Judy long enough for a bunch of guys to tackle him and beat him senseless. It was soon discovered that he had neither a bomb nor a detonator nor a weapon of any sort. He served eight years in prison and is now running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, making him different from most politicians, who tend to do their illegal things AFTER being elected.
If you visit www.codyjudy.com [no longer functional] you can read all about Judy and his platform. (He’s anti-gun-control, but he has no problem with polygamy or same-sex marriage.) He speaks openly about what happened in 1993. He does not, however, address the issue of whether we ought to have an elected official named “Cody” or “Mr. Judy.” It would be hard for me to support a government leader with either of those names.
Judy didn’t want to meet for a face-to-face interview, but he did answer a few questions I sent him via e-mail. I have not altered his statements in any way, nor did I make them up.
It all started when he suffered some financial trouble and the LDS Church refused to help him (he says it’s because he was disfellowshipped at the time). He became disenchanted with how the church was not helping its members live “celestial laws.”
He writes: “How many members would say we are NOW LIVING those laws..or even close. We are not. As a member…I protested this first by approaching the leaders through letters…second through my attempt to visit with a general authority where I was rebuffed and rudely treated….thirdly, the marriott center was ‘rude’ of me.”
He had tried to meet with church leaders in Salt Lake City and was rebuffed; his shenanigans at the Marriott Center were his last resort to get someone to listen to him. It makes sense, really. Who among us hasn’t lost patience with The System and threatened a revered religious figure with an imaginary bomb?
Oh, but don’t use the word “threatened” in regards to what Judy did. “Threaten an Apostle…how so?” he writes. “I never threatened Howard W. Hunter in any word…in fact the tape of the innsodent you can hear me telling him there was no threat, no one would be harmed or hurt, and assuring peace.”
Yes, Mr. Judy, but you said you had a bomb. Surely you can understand how that could be taken as a threat.
But Judy says he never claimed to have a bomb. He said he had a B.O.M. (pronounced “bomb”) — a copy of the Book of Mormon, which in fact is what was in the briefcase. “We constantly use metephoric and symbolic meaning to many things in a church meeting,” he writes.
He goes on to ask, “What do we do with all the seminary students who call out they have a b.o.m.; Or are asked by their instuctors if they brought their b.o.m’s? Prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law?”
So you can see how it was all just a big, wacky misunderstanding. He said he had a B.O.M. in his briefcase, but everyone thought he said he had a BOMB in his briefcase! Wasn’t there an “I Love Lucy” episode like this?
Judy is obviously still at least slightly crazy — he’s running as a Democrat in Utah, for heaven’s sake — but he does make a good point about something else: Eight years in prison is a bit excessive for nothing more than interrupting a fireside. In fact, I went to all the firesides that year, and his is the only one I remember anything about. Some prison time for the threat and the bomb scare makes sense, but eight years? I don’t know. I figure the only way we can make it up to him is to elect him to public office. Once he’s a representative, we’ll never hear from him again.
I feel a special bond with Cody Judy. His shenanigans took place during the first semester of the Garrens Comedy Troupe, and we wound up doing seven or eight sketches making fun of him. He was the Dan Quayle of BYU comedy. I've often wondered how successful we would have been if it hadn't been for our Cody Judy-related material, which was some of our most popular stuff, and which sort of demonstrated our usefulness.
Mr. Judy sent me an e-mail the day the column was published:
I just saw this. While maintaining your sense of humor, you have probably made history in printing more of what I said then anyone else!
While it is not easy to be known in a shameful way as a felony pronounces, it is probably a GOOD THING for me to live with as a prominent reminder to me to be humble...because I've made mistakes. And it is a definite asset for me in reminding me to be merciful because I need mercy....to be caring and more considerate...and in many ways my empathetic qualities have grown and my altruistic sense has been polished.
In short I became a better person by going through the trial of fire that I have...and recognized more plainly my weaknesses. Thank you for the good humor of which is a healing agent if I ever heard of one. We all do much better if we can smile a good smile and feel our weaknesses can be made strengths.
As Always...my apologies for those wetting their pants...,smile, and more sincerely, my respect to the leaders of the LDS Church.
Cody Robert Judy
Crazy, but harmless. That's our Cody!