Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Atheist Underground

(courtesy of a friend and referred to later)
So today was monumental for me and the postmo/atheist community. First my gf invited me to a group she got invited to which has tons of people continuously talking about postmo stuff, and is very open to talking about the church, god, religion, atheism, and most importantly sex. And the main gathering point is being postmo so people are of all beliefs. Makes for some good and fun discussions going on, though I had 67 FB notifications after an hour ....

From this I invited a guy from BYU who I swear I've met somewhere. And then I was hoping a couple people would come who had emailed me at my jdog email. One such person has a quite hilarious blog. Luckily he came and I hope he enjoyed himself. Then some random guy showed up who found the group thanks to SLC atheists, one wonderful lady in particular, I guess, and it was nice having a 'walk-in.' Then the guy I invited showed up and recognized two girls in a booth. Who then joined our group cause they view themselves as agnostic. Then another girl, from USGA recognized a couple people and came inside. Our LessActive atheist crowd even showed up and we ended up having roughly 25-30+ today. We've been a slight annoyance before, even though most of us buy something, but tonight was probably too much, lol. I think it's time we look for a different venue. I was thinking the Provo library may be a good bet, but I'm unsure. And meeting on campus actually is surprisingly safe, but strange and inconvenient for some people.

And now we may be getting some representatives from BYU-I and Hawaii in our group online, and one girl has offered to post things from SHIFT on our page so people can see things going on up in SLC. Our group is actually growing rather quickly and reaching out. I'm beginning to fear for our secrecy, but I had the thought and one very adult guy mentioned it, that our numbers are growing so large that BYU probably wouldn't be able to do anything to us. He mentioned that we need more numbers, and I agree, but I'd say about 40 people are in the group who are currently involved with BYU and a good portion are following the Honor Code except for coffee maybe, some 100%. Succinctly, he said that if we got founded out, or tried to change BYU policy by becoming public, they would have three options:
1 - change, which is unlikely.
2 - expel us, which expelling 70+ kids (once we get there) would be horrible PR for BYU and I think we would find a few 1000 students in our support.
3 - do nothing.

Which the do nothing seems most likely. For the Honor Code we signed the waiver, or wtv, so there's no getting around that. But for people living up to the standards, or darn close, I can't see BYU expelling that amount. Which, beforehand it would be a good idea for people to get a copy of their transcripts though, lol. In all cases though, it would give us publicity, which could force BYU to be more accepting (and we could even give a plug for the LGBT movement and the church's bigotry) and with publicity we would be reaching out to anyone in the area who is just miserable, lonely, or depressed thinking that they are somehow bad for not believing anymore.

Long way to go, but it's becoming a possibility that things may start happening. And honestly I am all for it. I would like to see change, this same guy is setting up a case to bring to BYU in hopes of changing their rules on postmo students. See, if you become LDS you get benefits. If you come to campus as a non-member that's fine, they'll baptize you sooner or later. But if you leave the church, you're out.

Think I'm kidding? Think this is angry postmo propaganda? Just look at this.

Now, it is my belief that if you can find a school with a similarly good department for your major, or that you haven't invested too much in BYU, then you should get out. But for some people leaving BYU because you stopped believing is near too much of a sacrifice. For me it will have cost me roughly 2 semesters and over $4500 to leave due to religious credits and some classes which won't transfer within my major. I wish to get out, but it is a sacrifice.

In a way, I'm a little sad at all the hearts that could be 'hurt' knowing there's so many college-age kids leaving the faith. But in the end, I think some pain is needed to reach a higher level of happiness.


  1. Just the fact that they must know you're "religion status" is appalling.

  2. The issue is it IS a private school so I am unsure where the lines are with their policies. I've been branching out, trying to test the waters with other bloggers and podcasters, and emailed FFRF, and am joining forces with other people doing things. We already have 60 people in the group now, almost, and the way it's growing it will continue to rise quickly. I think it's about time someone upsets the waters.

  3. In some ways I think it would be cool to be kicked out of school for being an atheist. I think in a previous post you called it a "martyrdom complex". Yeah... I want to transfer anyways, so getting kicked out could be like a badge of honor.

  4. Lol, well, we can all do it in style. One big purging! I'd rather wait and see how many more people we can find and then become more public and approach BYU more peacefully to be honest. But the fear of being kicked out wouldn't be that much in those circumstances.

  5. Probably off-topic, but this reminds me of one of my best friends at BYU (back in the '70s) who was an athiest non-member named Tish. I used to love introducing her to people on campus — she'd give them a good Mormon handshake and say "Hi, I'm Tish. That's 'shit' spelled sideways." :-)

    p.s. Love your blog!

  6. Lol, it's honestly very fun being in Mormon culture sometimes.

  7. Does anyone know where the BYU Athiest group meets and when?