Almost a year ago, my wonderful fiancé (boyfriend at the time) wrote a guest post for me about his journey away from religion through his life. Here, he has further expanded on how the lack of religion has impacted his experience at his secular university.
Warning: What you are about to read is an account of my experience at a secular university, which some may find very disturbing.
After graduating in May, I feel I can finally talk about this. You have no idea what it is like to wake up in your dorm room and be afraid of dying every single day, or to have to add a daily routine of preparing myself for whatever horror I may experience that day.
Heading off to class was far from easy. I was constantly afraid of getting mugged, or even worse, killed. Some days I would have to take the long way to class just to avoid certain groups of barbaric nonbelievers that would mean certain death. I would finally arrive at class and sit down, but never in the back. That’s where all the druggies and whores sat. As everyone shuffled into class minutes late and the professor struggled to get everyone settled down, I would look around and each day it seemed like fewer and fewer people came. Some just went missing, and others died, maybe from drugs or even murdered in cold-blood.
The days I mustered up enough curiosity to glance to the back of the room, with the fear of accidentally gaining eye contact, it was a horrendous sight. There were men sitting there with blank stares on their face from whatever drugs they were on that day and women in ripped and tattered promiscuous clothing. The mascara running down their faces told me that they probably cried for hours after being brutally abused and/or raped by the nonbelievers with no morals.
The professor would eventually start lecturing over the subtle cries from the back of the room and the gunshots from outside. Topics ranging from how the bible is just a lie and every Christian was lying to themselves. Many classes would even go as far as to brain wash us to believe in the big bang theory and even worse… evolution.
Eventually, I would have to eat at the dining hall. I cannot express how disheartening it is to walk in to the dining room and see no one praying before they eat. But the food was even worse: most days there was just slop but on rare occasions we would be treated to a sacrificed virgin or fresh baby.
As I laid down to sleep every night I had existential thoughts: If there is no god, what is my purpose in life? Why don’t I just die without god in my everyday life? As I spiraled further and further down this black hole I was suddenly hit with the realization that I could have picked a Christian college to attend. With this thought in my head, I would cry myself to sleep.
I am sorry to inform you, but none of this account is true. The Closet Atheist’s apologetics teacher, however, believes exactly this. According to my fiancee, this is how he views my alma mater, which is right down the road from hers. He thinks it is a secular university full of atheists that have no morals and resist authority at all cost, and professors that teach anti-Christian topics and speak out against god. I will tell you that none of this is true; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Now my school is nowhere near as Christian as The Closet Atheist’s school, but one study says that almost two thirds of its students are religious.
Once in a required public speaking course, everyone in the class took a short survey so that we can see our demographics, and one question was our religious affiliation. When we went over our responses, I was surprised. Out of around 30 students, only two (one being me) were not religious while the majority were Christian, and most of the Christians were Catholic. This does align with the overall statistic that 59.8% of my school is religious and 30.1% of that is Catholic. I do not know how many of them are practicing their religions, though. I would seldom see people praying before they eat.
The bashing of god or religion in or out of the classroom just did not happen, as my fiancee’s teacher so loved to claim. The closest that a professor came to that was in a lecture about ethics where we were taught a list of ethical frameworks/theories and one was the divine command theory, which falls under deontology. My professor, who I knew wasn’t religious, kind of scoffed at this ethical theory. A summary of this lesson is below:
Deontology – an approach to ethics that judges the morality of an action based on the action’s adherence to a rule or rules. Deontologists look at rules and duties.
Divine Command Theory – based on the idea that good actions are those aligned with the will of God and bad actions are those contrary to the will of God. Divine Command Theory is largely based on the rule of law as outlined in the Bible, the Torah, and the Qur’an. (My teacher gave the example of the Ten Commandments as outlined in Leviticus 19:3-18.)
The case FOR the Divine Command Theory:
- We owe obedience to our Creator
- God is all-good and all-knowing
- God is the ultimate authority
The case AGAINST the Divine Command Theory:
- There are many holy books, and some of their teachings disagree with each other.
- It is unrealistic to assume a multicultural society will adopt a religion-based morality
- Some moral problems are not addressed directly in scripture.
- It is fallacious to equate “the good” with “God”.
- The divine command theory is based on obedience, not reason.
I believe it is worth noting that when taught these ethical frameworks/theories my professor did stay unbiased towards all of them, even though I knew from personal conversations that he was not religious. The only other time I ever talked about religion in a class was in a liberal arts class called Human Diversity in which we had a chapter about the religions of the world. Here we simply talked about the different major religions and their statistics, and we touched on intelligent design.
Outside of the classroom, we would sometimes have a Christian radical that would stand outside talking about god, and I can remember one time when he started yelling that god hates gays, and there was some negative response from the student body, most of whom openly accept homosexuality.
Of course, unlike The Closet Atheist’s apologetics teacher seems to think, at my secular college, students don’t steal from or rape other people every day out in public any more than they would at any other school. My university also had many on-campus religious organizations that held meetings, raised money for charities, advertised on campus, and had a large following similar to the many other organizations on campus.
Overall, the point to this post is to disprove, from a first hand account, that my university is not the terrible and outrageous ways The Closet Atheist’s apologetics professor believes and has the audacity to put in the minds of his students.