July 25, Friday – Ariel

 
BYU, BYU…  Oh, ye fair ones…
 
You’re no different…
 
Today, BYU police gave me a parking ticket for thirty dollars.  Thirty pieces of silver.
 
For what cause?  Because I was going to sign up and pay for a test, and because I bought a book at their bookstore — because I legitimatised their academics and contributed to their coffers.
 
Because I stopped at the booth to get the free sticker, but was obstructed from the window by a woman on foot who was asking questions to the booth guard.  Because I didn’t want to sit there forever and wait to get a free parking sticker for the free parking.
 
Because the booth guard, unaccountable to man but not to God, got angry, and decided to overextend their authority and "punish" me for my "crime".
 
Oh, BYU… you hive of devils.  You towering pine infested by pine weevils.  I’ve been robbed, but not by highwaymen — by my alma mater, my nourishing mother.  It’s a freak accident, a lightning bolt — but hurled at me from behind, by my friend.
 
I would have continued to fight for you… but I’m not your friend anymore, BYU.  You have betrayed me, molested me.
 
BYU, my value to you is thirty dollars.
 
So let it remain.
 
So I also will pay no more into the Church’s BYU fund, lest I be found guilty of self-abuse.  My one tenth must be given anotherwise.
 
Am I then a Ray Canning minus the apostasy?
 
Well, take that away… his dooming, self-deceiving apostasy… and he reverts to the champion of honesty he might have become.
 
And I, though it always comes at my own expense, will be an honest witness of the hatefulness of man’s authority over man.  The tiniest made-up rule seems to be broken… and the whole fist of man’s fury SLAMS down on the head of his unwary brother.  Never does man act in his brother’s interest; only in his own.  Only God is selfless, and those his servants who portray him.
 
Give me authority, God, I beg thee…  Give me the power to show my brother mercy for his unintentioned error.
 
…What’s that?  …I have authority already, enough to show mercy?
 
Good, then.
 
BYU, my mother told me to forgive you.  My real mother.
 
Oh, please learn mercy.  Man is not your livestock, that you should corral him.  Sell no more of your brethren’s hearts for thirty pieces.  The amount is meaningless, easily paid; the fatality of it is that the money is forcibly taken for no just cause.  No daylight muggery would be any more blatant.
 
It may turn against me, depending on their surveillance… but I won’t regret my merciful act.  Ere I drove away, I took it on me to save four other hearts from being broken.  You see, BYU?  Even in my offense and injury, I have tried to save you from yourself.
 
Oh, disband that parking system…  The U can keep theirs — a school whose light has already dimmed.  But you, BYU… let me love you again someday…
 
…Or continue down your slow path to total, unfeeling mechanism… your path to hell.
 
-Steve
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