A few thoughts about the BYU incident, but before I begin, I want to outline what I’m going to covert:
- Why I am supportive and disappointed in BYU
- Why faith have no place in this world
Before you begin reading, I want to admit the following:
- I am not an expert on religion
- I am not criticizing people who practice; I am only referring to the beauracracy
Here we go….
Why I am supportive:
Too many people in college basketball lie, cheat, and abandon morals (see: Bruce Pearl, John Calipari, Renardo Sidney) to win. It’s refreshing to see somebody say, “Rules are rules. Basketball is not the exception.” To that, Bravo.
I would commend a probation and review of university protocol to design the best procedures to help this kid redeem himself. Did he show repentance for wrongs? Yes. Did he do something immoral that directly affects fellow students (i.e. kill, cheat, steal). No. Thus, is he a hazard to the safety of the community to warrant possible expulsion? No.
I understand one thing: BYU has different standards. Rules are rules, and I respect the decision to dismiss him from the team. That is fair; you made a commitment and broke it. You lose the privilege of financial support from the school and more importantly, the chance to represent the school in a respected endeavor.
What I don’t get is: WHY ARE YOU POSSIBLY EXPELLING HIM? Schools have one purpose: to teach, both academic and life lessons. They are supposed to teach the lessons of redemption, forgiveness, and most importantly, how to learn from mistakes. Instead, the community is preaching intolerance, abandonment, and irreversible shame. That is not what institutions are set up to do.
A chance to learn and repent, to improve oneself in society is now gone. A chance for somebody in the community to say, “Brandan, it’s ok. We still love you, and will help you through this” is shooed out. Brandan and everyone could have rallied together as a force that is far stronger. Instead, BYU has become an institution that judges others and only accepts homogeneous people.
That is never a good thing. Never.
Religion, and more importantly, FAITH
Read on, and you’ll clearly see how this ties back to BYU.
I am an agnostic. I do not understand and know the existence of God. This DOES NOT mean he does not exist. I just don’t know.
Now, does anybody else on this planet know? Does anybody have a means of communication that I do not have access to? Does anybody have verifiable proof they should confirm the existence of his/her/its presence?
No. Otherwise there would be no debate on the “best” or “right” religion. There would be a clear winner.
People act like being agnostic and subscription to a belief are mutually exclusive. They are not. There is a difference between “knowing” and “believing.” Here’s an example:
I believe that I am doing the right things to maybe be a venture capitalist one day. Do I know? Of course not, and I will be the first to profess that. But I can still believe, and not be ignorant.
This is the tricky thing about faith. You think you know, when you actually believe. If you have faith in something, you do not consider other alternatives. Entertaining other possibilities eliminates your faith, by definition.
Why is that ever good? Why should you suspend logical reasoning and reconsideration of beliefs? That is not accepted in ANY practice, other than religion.
Here is the main point: I am NOT telling you I know the answer, but most importantly, I’m not telling you what to believe. This is why I think atheists are ignorant as well: YOU DO NOT KNOW THERE IS NO GOD. Everyone has the freedom to think what they want to think. That is encouraged, actually. But, don’t tell me you know. Because you don’t. And the only reason you think you know the answers, is because another human with no divine or superior intellectual capability once told you so.
So believe in your gods. I will believe that I don’t know, so maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. People always act like their mutually exclusive. As in you can’t be unsure, yet subscribe to a belief.
Thus, people get all caught up in their own “knowledge of life”. It’s a crutch people have leaned on for millenniums because it helps them explain the unknown. Rather than finding the guts to admit they don’t know. Then they begin to judge others on these “facts” that were built on more conjecture than empirical data rather than rationalizing viewpoints. They begin to conform to their beliefs, rather than to accept the big picture.
Don’t suspend other alternatives or ideas. We can all get along better that way.
But BYU is so caught up in the letter of the law. I’m not saying the rules should be changed. What they want to administer is their choice, and I have no problem with that. But look at the grand picture. But that’s asking way too much out of a faith-based system.