Sunday, March 27, 2011

Do Mormons Truly Have Compasion [sic] at BYU Towards Atheists?

And I ask that sincerely. I believe some do, that some don't, and that most believe they do but do not act in such a way as to show compassion, but merely to uphold their religious views and beliefs and then force it on others.

I say this because lately people in the group are getting scared. There's always a 'scare phase' every couple months or so, but being that the group is a lot bigger and with recent events, I think it is getting worse for some.

See, the Facebook group is pretty secure. People feel safe enough to at least make fake profiles if necessary, but some are still afraid of bringing in a 'Judas' so to say. And I think I can agree. I receive emails from people and I assume everyone to be a person out on a mission to turn me in. Having been on a mission, working with bishoprics at home and abroad, and studying creationism in general, I have a deep understanding of what it means to ''lie for Jesus,'' and for every person who emails me I assume that you would lie to my face because 1.) I'm an agnostic atheist so I deserve it, 2.) I'm ex-Mormon so I'm evil, and 3.) you would do anything for your God, even if it meant lying. A simple quote of Paul wouldn't even change your mind, maybe most Mormons don't know which one I'm talking about.

I bring this up because a couple members recently spammed Reddit and it drew a lot of attention. Possibly reached out to some lonely atheists or ex-mormons, but it also drew attention from our faithful opposition. I get several emails a week from new people, who generally stop replying before I'm ready to actually give them any true information. Being an evil atheist I have no qualms about lying to protect who I really am when possible snitches are threatening me with thousands of dollars lost, being kicked out ahead of schedule, and then causing shame on my parents, one of which is dying. Members of our group grow suspicious of random people we can't vouch for who want in, of students on campus speaking about some ''underground atheist group" and of the general attention that has been coming up from comedy sketches to letters to the editor.

So my question is, for my lurkers, does BYU actually care about us, as an institution and as a body of fellow students? Cause many in the group go to BYU, and many of them follow the Honor Code except on one level - they don't believe in Mormonism anymore. Which is the norm, mind you, most people don't believe in Mormonism, not even all of BYU.

(yes, these cute cats are supposed to make everybody feel sorry for us, enemy or not)
I think there is a genuine fear that BYU will screw us over. I'm dismayed when I hear new people in the group say that they don't want to lie about God anymore to their bishops and will tell them they don't believe. This means that those of us in the 'know' have to inform them that it will mean they will be kicked out. I'm dismayed when I go back to the online Honor Code and see the phrasing that if you stop believing you do get kicked out. I'm dismayed when I hear students on campus speaking in hushed tones about an atheist group and that they should be gotten rid of. No thought on the unnecessary trouble and pain it would cause on so many more people than the one 'non-believer.'

So, does BYU have compassion? My guess is no. So far BYU and the related LDS church have been very cold and intolerant to those who differ in 'doctrines' and those who leave the fold. Homosexuals is an all-to-clear example of this, and I'm not merely talking about Prop 8, but it's still continuing use of deadly psychological ''help'' that has damaged the church's and even BYU's psychology department's image in front of the APA. It seems that the LDS religion is one of the last strongholds for reorientation therapies for homosexuals in hetero marriages who still aren't cured. 70% of these patients attempt suicide during the therapies because they don't work. They don't, and the patient is told it is their fault.

Point is, with a history like the LDS church I would've expected them to have more compassion. But it seems that a rough historical life has made the church less tolerant, more bigoted, more hateful, and ambivalent in damaging people's lives, such as kicking out students who's only 'flaw' by their standards, is that they stopped believing in the religion and then had the gall to be honest about it. The church was bullied and in response it has become a bully itself.


  1. Punishing someone for misbelief seems like an intolerable violation of freedom of conscience (and it is), but you have to remember that in doing so, BYU is merely following the example of their god, who appears to have no qualms about throwing someone in solitary, isolated from family for eternity, just for not believing in him. On earth as it is in heaven, uniformity of belief must be enforced.

    I wonder why the testimonies of the policy-makers are so flimsy that they don't feel their faith can compete in an open marketplace of ideas. It betrays a clear lack of faith.

    There's not much I can do to help you from outside Happy Valley, but I am hoping for the best for all of you, from the delay of your eventual outing to the change of BYU policy. And down the road, to the establishment and official recognition of the BYU Atheists. Well, we have to dream.

  2. I have been somewhat open with several friends at BYU, who are pretty accepting of me. A couple expressed surprise that I was worried they would reject me when they found out. That being said, I have tended to befriend unusually liberal people at BYU.

    I think it's pretty cool that you've become the face of the atheists at BYU. It may be frightening that people are starting to know a little more about us, but it has to happen for anything to change.

  3. Thanks for the comments. I have to point out that compassion has two 's's' compared to my 1 in the title, lol. 4am post.

  4. "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

    Somebody has neglected their studies of Official Church Publications®.

  5. It isn't just 'someone,' Carla. It is a huge percentage of the LDS church. Or, at the very least, the BYU chapters of that population. You'd think they'd be reading Official Church Publications(R) more...but apparently they're not. Because as soon as anyone realizes that their conscience tells them the church is false, at BYU, if that person lets their bishop know, they could easily be kicked out. "According to the dictates of their own conscience"? I don't think so. Or only if that conscience 'leads' them in the direction of the church.

  6. It occurs to me now (after having followed your name link) that you may not have been suggesting that j-dog was the individual 'neglecting the Official Church Publications®'. If that wasn't what you were implying, than it is a most correct statement. Namely, somebody, in fact many bodies, have been neglecting their studies of those texts.

  7. Yeah, I'm pretty sure Carla is on our side :)

  8. The most grating part of the "honor" code for me was always the little gem that stated, "To everyone it is required to snitch on his neighbor." I think I might have slightly misquoted that. Anyway, the snitch clause, was in force and rampant in the enclave a few years ago when I attended. I agree that you should do anything you need to to protect yourselves from unjust expulsion.

  9. While there will be some students with the capacity to accept people who think and act differently than they do, those open-minded souls will always be outnumbered by the scary "turn in your neighbor" types. But even scarier than the students are the administrators and middle-management types who are the ones collecting and acting on the information. These men and women open their days with prayer and work under the assumption that they are doing god's work. That assumption empowers them with the mental tools required to sweep aside any doubts as to the value or validity of the causes they crusade, leaving them free to do really dumbass, even malicious, things without even engaging their consciences. So be afraid of "Brother Smith" in the honor code office. Be very afraid.

  10. Yes, but not towards glaring typos.

  11. Lol, yes Anonymous, and in my comments i mentioned the typo, while also explaining this was a 4am post. So long as people comment but refuse to read other comments I am keeping that typo in the title proudly!

  12. Banned Utah Humor !

    (1) Three levels of LDS heaven: celestial, terrestrial, cholesterol !
    (2) LDS houses are painted by Ladder-Day Saints.
    (3) Brigham Young, when looking down on the Salt Lake Valley, said "This is the place." How come so many folks settled in that valley if he looked down on it?
    (4) Did Adam Swapp get his wives at a Swapp meet?
    (5) New Mormon cat food: 9 Wives !
    (6) What's a plastic covered Indian? A laminated Lamanite. Of course I've known this since I was Nephite to a grasshopper.
    (7) Mormon: Someone who is more man than woman. Is "Mormon" short for "More Money"?
    (8) Mormonism teaches that we can know truth if there is a "burning in the bosom." Joseph Smith was the first Mormon who had a bosom below his belt !
    (9) Brigham lived in the Lion House which helped him to keep on Lion.
    (10) Utah is the only state where you can spell "Moron" with two m's. And it's the only state where the sheep take care of the cattle !

    (Glenn Beck, Jon Huntsman Jr., Warren Jeffs, Thomas Monson, and Mitt Romney did not approve of the above humor.)

    [noted the foregoing on the web! Jared]