Last week I mentioned that I have a friend from high school who is a very conservative Tea Party leader here in California, and that she teaches a class about God and politics at a Christian high school in Temecula. Because we often argue with each other on the Facebook machine and because she has rolled her eyes a couple times at the things I write here on the blog, she asked me to come speak to her class so that they can hear an opposing viewpoint.
So I did. It was a really great experience, at least for me. The kids, a mix of juniors and seniors, were incredibly polite and respectful, and I didn’t hear any actual snoring, which I count as a major victory. I started by talking for about 15 minutes (5 minutes too long, I think) about my life, my experiences, and why I consider myself a liberal. And then I took questions, and I’m happy to say that no one asked why I hate America.
There were a few particular moments of note. When I was discussing casting my first vote in an election back in 1988, I asked the class if they could remember who George H. W. Bush ran against in 1988. No one could answer. So I replied, “well, just think: in 20 years, none of your kids will know who Mitt Romney was.” Boom went the dynamite.
At one point I asked the kids to raise their hands if they thought Barack Obama was a Christian, and not a single hand went up. I was a little surprised, and reminded them that he explicitly claims to be a Christian, but they were unmoved. A few of them later told me that they were unaware that he had ever said that.
At the end of the hour the class informed me that they had decided that I am not actually a liberal, but a moderate, which I think they felt was a compliment. I had to inform them that no, I’m not a moderate, I really am a liberal, but they remained skeptical. This happens to me occasionally; many of my conservative friends are convinced that I’m not that liberal, but this has less to do with me and more to do with the cartoon version of liberalism that they hold.
After the class, my friend contacted me and told me they want to have me back, so that might happen. I hope so; it was fun.