Thursday, September 15, 2011

BYU Atheists OUTED!

Not truly so, just yet. But the Daily Chronicle just put out an article about the group. Unfortunately some things were wrong. The group meets more than once a month, officially, and basically cliques in the group have events every day. Also at the time of the article it was getting close to 190 ppl, though some have left to avoid being caught, lol. The link can be found here.

BYU officially made their Honor Code less ambiguous about former LDS students. Good for them. Way to bring out the normal Mormon bullshit of making matters worse. I for one am glad this all got put out there, and i even got the honorable inference of my blog being mentioned. Course, now i expect not so many people will be contacting me wishing to join the group.

Seriously, read the article, it's good, and though BYU may be worsening their strides, this is a good stride in the right direction.


  1. It baffles me that an LDS student can't even change their affiliation and stay at BYU to finish their degree. How can they justify that if they allow students of other religious affiliations to attend? Is your sense that this is accurate? Are you aware of any student who tried to change religious affiliation and were expelled?

    I wish there had been a group like The Group when I attended BYU. I probably still would have left after my first year, but that year would have been far less miserable and lonely.

    I am wondering, do you get many people attending who are still just in the questioning stage and have not yet made a conclusion about the church or religion in general?

  2. Amy - BYU actually has updated their Honor Code policy to be very forthright in saying that if you leave the church you will be kicked out of BYU. I didn't leave the church officially but my bishop told me that if I didn't want to come to church and be active he would not renew my ecclesiastical endorsement. He wasn't rude or anything by it, he's just following his beliefs and the policy.

    There are others, and I'm not even referencing Chad.

    Lol, i dislike the word 'attending' cause the meetup for this group is just a meetup to hangout. There's nothing formal. Some people who come who are just interested, or more agnostic or deistic, but being there are so many atheists MOST people like that don't feel comfortable.

  3. Amy - #2 - and by 'don't feel comfortable' that's not because people argue or debate them so much as people mention in conversation why they don't believe, or other views and in my experience if you have 6 atheists and one 'maybe-believer' then the atheists will all have different reasons for not believing and in a debate the believer will be swallowed up in the rhetoric and ultimately demolished. (i.e. one experience left the believer saying "i know it makes no sense, i just believe" over and over again.)

  4. Its a lonely world. I applaud you for doing this. You have courage.

  5. I can't blame believers for doing that. It's like if a bunch of asexuals ganged up on someone who's bi and told her that sex doesn't make any sense. The fact that she's not rhetorically equipped to justify her strong needs doesn't mean that they're any less valid than yours.

    I'm totally cool with atheism, but y'all need to get over yourselves. The One True Church is a myth, and people aren't dumb or confused just for not not believing like you do. That's the one Mormon doctrine I really wish more ex-Mormons would get past.

  6. j-dog - Thanks for your response. Although your bishop would not review your ecclesiastical endorsement, if you were able to get an endoresment from clergy of another faith, would you have been permitted to stay enrolled at BYU? In asking my question, I'm not being incredulous. I completely believe that BYU would have a policy of expelling formerly LDS student regardless of affiliation with another faith. I just don't understand how BYU can justify kicking out former-LDS students who have converted to another faith while other students of that same faith are permitted to attend so long as they have never been LDS. I am also well aware that BYU doesn't feel a need to justify anything. I guess was really just wondering if there were any specifics about how things go down when a BYU student converts from LDS to something else. Obviously, given the requirement for ecclesiastical endorsement, atheists and others who do not attend religious meetings of any sort are not allowed at BYU.

    To clarify, when I used the word "attend" (or "attended") I meant to refer to BYU attendance, not to meetups of The Group. But, my language was ambiguous. I probably should have used the word "enroll" or "enrolled". I think I use attend, when referring to BYU enrollment because I'm so often heard others use it and because when I was there, it didn't really any different from church attendance.

  7. j-dog, I need to visit your blog more often than I do. So, in order to stay in BYU, how often do you attend?

    I'm so glad you have such a thriving group at the Provo Starbucks.

    A Provo Starbucks? As an old BYU alum, the notion makes me smile...

  8. sarah - thank you.

    feathertail - glad to see you are reading some of my newer stuff too, lol.

    donna - i need to write more, but i guess i might start soon. i did write my sad love story post just now.

    amy - it's either not LDS, LDS, or former LDS, that's the actual categories of faith with BYU.

  9. j-dog, thank you so much for this blog.
    I was at BYU my freshman year, Fall '09, even though I had known since 11th grade (when I more or less became atheist) that I wouldn't be able to stand it there. I had a miserable, lonely experience for most of my time there because I felt like I had no one to turn to, and while I knew there must be at least a handful of others who felt as I did, I figured it would be impossible to find them.
    I've since transferred to another school in my home state, where I have thrived. But in many ways I still feel out of place as my parents require that I attend institute and go to church, though I still lack the tangible post-Mormon community of peers that I've been looking for since I was in high school.

    Reading your blog has bolstered my confidence that I am NOT alone, and almost makes me wish I was still at BYU and able to be a part of "The Group." Thank you for your courage, your honesty, and your support. The tide is definitely turning with this generation of internet-connected Mormons, and blogs like this are just the beginning.

  10. Hey, is there a way to message you? If you live in the Utah valley, I would love to meet with you. I am not atheist, but I like discussion with atheists. Maybe I could even interview you?

  11. Hey Liberal Mormon, my email is listed in the upper right actually :)

  12. could somebody please tell me when and where The Group meets? My husband is very interested in attending. Please email me if you don't want to post it here. My email is: