Richard Wade here.
Let me take a moment of indulgence to boast about my daughter. She’s 24 and studying Sociology in college. Yesterday morning she texted me from class, and I got into a phone text conversation with her. Her entries are in italics and mine are in regular font, just as we typed them in textese:
I’m really annoyed and upset right now cuz my english teacher is discussing god and how the philosopher nichee is wrong and all this other bullshit
Deep slow breaths. Most people have this lunacy to some degree. Fight only the important battles. Patience, time is on our side.
He’s pretty much saying right now that people who don’t believe in god are why our world has gotten bad and fearful.
People killing for their loving gods is a big source of that fear lately. 911 was not caused by atheists.
I know I’m just upset cuz this is an english class not a philosophy or religious studies class or debate class and I find his antics to push his beliefs or reasoning on us is unprofessional
Other students may secretly agree but they are the minority. They want the good grade. I am proud of you.
I know! I lose complete respect for people like him! I feel that he bashes atheism because of his own personal fear of not really knowing or the possibility of being WRONG!
I spoke out it was really uncomfortable because of the reason of being the minority I said that some of the reasonings he had mentioned were a copout because people didn’t just want to deal with it and didn’t’ have a real answer and like two other people agreed with me
Good for you! I’m impressed. Ur braver than me. So proud of you!
According to the terms of our society I guess I was behaving deviantly! LOL!!!
lololol!!! Go deviants! Every well accepted idea was originally a dangerous, deviant, minority opinion.
Very true! Okay well I love you and send mom and grandma my love too! Have a good day!
Her English class is studying Hamlet and also Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. How the teacher can get from there to a trashing of Nietzsche and atheists for all the ills of the world is anybody’s guess, but I suppose that’s the magic of irrationality. You can link anything to anything.
The joke we shared about “behaving deviantly” was referring to the other day when she described another class she’s taking, “Sociology of Deviance.” She explained that “deviance” does not automatically mean something that is bad, it is any opinion or behavior that doesn’t fit cultural norms in a given society at a given time.
As you can hear in my first response to her, my immediate reaction was to want her to be cautious, and “fight only the important battles.” In my own fiery college days, long, long ago, I was outspoken and would most likely have objected to an English teacher standing on his porta-pulpit and inappropriately turning what is supposed to be a secular class into his private church.
But as a dad, my first impulse was to be protective of her, and to imply that she should patiently sit there and let it go. For once, I’m glad that she didn’t listen.
So I’m swelling with pride at my daughter’s courage to stand up and speak “deviance” to power, knowing she might not have any allies in the room, and only a couple if she’s lucky. She later told me that the teacher had conceded partially to one of her arguments, and he acknowledged that he probably should not have “gone off topic” in class.
She has just taught me that “the important battles” aren’t only the ones with big social consequences. Sometimes they’re the battles that have big inner consequences for how we’re going to see ourselves. This battle was not about protesting her teacher’s improper classroom sermon. This battle was about becoming a person who stands up to say the truth as she sees it, and who objects to objectionable behavior.
Thank you, Sweetheart. This time you have been the teacher, and I have been the student.