No dark sarcasm in the classroom

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.

Author: Wiesman

Husband, father, video game developer, liberal, and perpetual Underdog.

10 thoughts on “No dark sarcasm in the classroom”

  1. I thought I was the only one who called it “the Facebook machine”!!

    It’s always interesting to hear other people’s evaluations of oneself. I got into some friendly conversations with a pentacostal guy. When I demonstrated that I actually know something about scripture he concluded: “I don’t think you’re really an atheist, because you bothered to seek out this knowledge. I think the fact that you’ve read the bible proves that there is a part of you that wants to believe.”

    He’s completely wrong, but… how can I argue with him? I mean, beyond saying, “Nuh uh!” LOL

    People will believe what they want to believe.

    1. Yes, I have found that people are very attached to the straw men they have created for the people who disagree with them. When confronted with a reasonable person who disagrees but doesn’t fit that caricature, they have one of two options: either admit that their preconceived notions might be wrong, or conclude that you are not really what you say you are. It’s really funny how often they choose the latter.

  2. Just curious…does this Christian school teach that Mormonism is a cult or merely creative denomination that either likes or doesn’t like caffeine, depending on which corporations they happen to own at a given time?

  3. I find the same to be true for my liberal friends. I consider myself to be a liberal, but depending on the degree of liberalism of the person, their demographic, the topic discussed, etc. I am accusssed of being everything from moderate to a full-blown conservative.
    An example: I disagree with the tone of this post for various reasons, and for some, that alone makes me not-liberal, which is absurd. People of all beliefs are guilty of groupthink behavior.

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