Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"The Horror! The Horror!"

[This picture is from Urban Koda, check out his blog. I thought it was appropriate to use for this post as I talk about BYU, as a whole, for a little bit.]
Some observations:
BYU is fuc*** weird.
The statement just given is true.
It is true because of Mormonism.

Classes start soon and so there is an influx of Mormons to campus, and a lot of them are fresh new ... freshmen. Having been on and around campus a few times in the last couple days, and having visited a couple men's dorms, I noticed something interesting.

But let me interject, I do not profess to be a genius, or to be smarter than the average religious person. I am into psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and other things, I even like photography. Because of this I sometimes will notice something, and then get caught up on it, watching for it or thinking about it rather intently for an extended amount of time.

And as I was on campus I noticed something interesting about the literal fresh-men. Over 90%, literally, of the young guys arriving to BYU came with their mothers. Now, maybe this is normal with society, mothers are usually clingy to their children, sometimes creepily so (from my point of view). But it's really strange to walk into a lobby and see a dozen teenage boys, a dozen moms, and maybe only one dad who came along with his son and wife. I actually stopped for a moment to look at the crowd, and then kept a mental toll of the other people I would see, and sure enough, more teenage boys with their moms.

Is this normal? For moms to go to college with their boys, to travel across country for some of them, or to travel 50 miles from Ogden? Do moms do this in all other cultures and religions? Cause when I say over 90% I'm not just pulling a statistic out of my ass, I saw this! I counted!

Anyways. I'm not saying it's doctrine or anything, just a cultural aspect that I never noticed (my mom didn't come to college with me when I first came out here).

So, I got my transcript sent out to a rival college. I'm hoping I will make it in. See, I didn't do too great in a couple semesters from my first 2 years, and I still need/want to retake a couple classes to boost my GPA. But my first semester, and 2 other semesters average about 3.35, while these other two are a little, or a lot, lower. But the college says I should make it in if my GPA is over 2.6, which it is, but not by too much, I'd feel safer if it was at a 3.0 or better. The other thing is I have like 75 credits or something, so I'm worried if they won't like me for having so many. However, I hear religious class credits don't usually carry over to anything for other colleges, so I'll lose 14 credits most likely, which drops my overall credits down. Of course, that's the equivalent of 4 months and $2500 wasted in the sense of my college career. Maybe I can apply for a Mormonism Minor?

But I had a sickening epiphany as I was on campus. Not that I hadn't thought about the impact of the Church not being true, or there being no gods, and what that means for society and the human race, but I had an 'impactual' moment.

I read The Heart of Darkness in high school for fun. I also read Lolita, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and other books that normal high schoolers don't read for fun. In HofD the character, Marlow I believe, goes deep into the jungle to find Kurtz, a relatively evil man. The adventure isn't about 'the adventure' so much about the mind of man, as in human kind. There are interesting but disturbing things that happen along the way, such as the ship coming across another ship full of dying seamen, sick to the brain, who are firing cannons into the jungle, all day, for no reason. I believe Marlow and the crew leave them to suffer their feverish deaths, and later find Kurtz and his tyranny. But this is getting long so let me skip a lot here (plus I don't want to look up things to make sure I have it all right). So Kurtz is found, but he is old and dying, and on his deathbed he says the infamous words "The horror! The horror!" I believe Marlow is confused as to why Kurtz says that, but gives his different thoughts on what Kurtz may have meant. One of the reasons it is a famous line from literature, I'm guessing.

So I stepped outside onto central campus and stopped to look at the buildings, the atrium at the library, the trees and flowers, and the hundreds of people walking around, and then it hit me - it was all a lie! The millions spent on the buildings, the view of the campus being blessed, those hundreds of people wasting large portions of their lives away following an evil religion, it was a lie. All that money, all that time, wasted! And I thought about Kurtz, right at that moment, the horror of BYU, the horror of the lives wasted, the horror of the tyranny the church has over its followers.

I also thought that this would be my post for my blog for the day. Lol.

I will only scrap a little off the topic, I plan on writing about it someday, but I am not afraid to state that I think the church is evil. Not entirely evil, but a good portion. Its intolerance of opposing views, the sexist and homophobic agendas, and the doctrinal racism are just a part of that. But mainly the amount of money and, most importantly, the time that members put into the church. I am an atheist, and this time is all we have. The LDS church wastes so much of its members time doing things they do not need to do to be happy people. Rather, it has them miserable and guilt-ridden in a lot of ways (hometeaching and temple attendance). And the more I learn about the 'public relations' of the church, their cover-ups, etc ... the more I think that the higher ups may know that something isn't right. I daresay that some apostles or prophets in the past may have thought that the church wasn't true but had to keep it going or else the people would run amok.

Knowing that Boyd K. Packer never asks his fellow brethren if they have seen Christ, which entails that they do NOT see Christ regularly, tells me that the brethren haven't received any special revelations and possibly wonder why they haven't if the Church is true.

But that is for another time. Wish me luck on my transfer. Unfortunately, if I transfer, then this blog may be short-lived, or maybe I'll try to find a reasonable way to keep it going. Bye.


  1. As much as I enjoy this blog, transferring is so much in your favor that I won't mind losing this particular train of thought to another. I hope you get in without any hassle!

  2. Aww, thank you Anonymous. Did I ever mention that you seem to be a different person every once in a while?
    I'll probably keep the blog going for a while after I transfer. I may change the title, and not post as regularly, but as long as I'm an atheist at BYU I wish to record my experience and thoughts on here!

  3. j-dog. Thanks for this blog... it gives me a bit of hope that I'll find people at BYU I can relate to. Where does a person like me go to meet people like me?? :/

    I don't quite consider myself an atheist (yet) but I was raised LDS in Salt Lake City and don't believe in the Church anymore. I'm attending at the Y for their animation program because the alternatives are either terrible schools, or are wildly expensive...

    Aaanyways, keep on keeping it real.

  4. Well, I have friends all across the religious spectrum, so being an atheist isn't a requirement. And really, I haven't met any true atheists yet, everyone I meet will admit that you need a level of agnosticism to be reasonable. I don't mind meeting up with you, but I may bring a friend.

  5. Good luck J-Dog!!

    I think the problem that Anonymous #2 faces is a very real one. I've thought about trying to organize meet-ups so that people who feel trapped in the Church can find an outlet, if only just to blow off some steam. I have this fear though, that Church Security will send a spy along to take down names and such, and I think those fears would only be amplified multiple times over at a place like BYU.

    Oh... And if you happen to get a transfer to the school I think you're applying to... We'll have to hook up and do lunch sometime!

  6. Oh... And thanks for the shout-out!

  7. Yeah, the fear is real, but I don't know of anyone who was 'tricked' so I'm a little open. Especially since I've sent out my transcripts and my application papers to the I feel pretty safe.
    Lunch would be great sometime.

  8. I wouldn't expect the Mormon religion class credit to transfer. (Really, if you were running a university, would you accept them, even for a Mormonism minor?) I'd say it's better to lose $2500 worth of credits than to risk the Chad Hardy treatment...

  9. Best of luck with your transfer ... and your journey!

    The horror you express at Mormonism is a lot like the horror I feel toward fundamentalism of any stripe. Self-efficacy, truth, reason, human potential -- all casualties when someone adopts a fundamentalist worldview.

  10. Well said Ahab. Yeah, Hanson, I understand that do to my loss of faith now I have to lose out on thousands of dollars spent, does that seem fair to you?

  11. Fair? Absolutely not. It's a simple question of "cut your losses."

  12. My religion credits transferred to one university, and didn't to another. If you transfer to another Utah university, don't count on it. Good luck!