Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Do I fit in?

BYU has a tendency to send around more surveys than are humanely possible to complete. I often get frustrated that my guilt often gets to me and forces me to do them. They often asks the same questions over and over again. One that I have been thinking about lately is this one: how well do you fit in at BYU?

One of my friends from High School recently decided to leave BYU after this semester. His reasoning? Everyone at BYU is too scared of differences. I can see his point to an extent. When I tell people my views on everything, I tend to see a lot of criticism. This is not a complaint, but rather a statement of fact. I have been called out as "apostate" (in "nicer" words) many times. I have been accused of raising my heel against the Lord's anointed. I have also been accused of "spiritually wounding" someone. I have been accused of being ridiculous for supporting legalized abortion and other platforms typically viewed as Democratic. And through all of this, I have felt my friend who decided to leave BYU's pain. BYU students do often desire other BYU students to be homogeneous. This is evident in everything from political beliefs (because everyone knows God is a Republican) and religious beliefs (Church History is exactly as it is presented in Sunday School).

So how well do I fit in at BYU? I would say I actually don't fit in at all most of the time. But then there are moments where I start to sing a hymn or talk about theology where I do fit in at BYU. So I guess the answer is, I fit in until people start to get uncomfortable with my beliefs. (So basically never.) People often assert that they are right (as in the case where I was told I don't have the Spirit of the Lord because I received revelation different from them) and often ignore the other side of the coin. I think this is more spiritually damaging than anything else in the world. To cast your brother in a light that is not correct and then tout yourself as correct is irresponsible.

Granted, I do the same thing, but I like to see myself as an open-minded, dialectical thinker. I will listen to your arguments, but I will point out holes in them and defend my own. When people, however, begin to attack my standing as a Mormon, I dig my heels in big time. I belong to a Church where people can be different. Mormons aren't all carbon-copies. That isn't God's plan and it never will be.

Furthermore, would I want to fit in? Nope. Why? Somehow I doubt that Paul or Thomas ever fit in.


Rachel said...

Aw Jacob. I am sad that BYU is unhappy sometimes, especially because it shouldn't be like that.

I love you! You make a very good Mormon =)

PolarBeccaBear said...

"I belong to a Church where people can be different. Mormons aren't all carbon-copies. That isn't God's plan and it never will be."

Times a thousand.