Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blissful Ignorance

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised given my cynical nature. The egregious ignorance on display, though, was enough to shock me a bit.

In my Intro to the Study of Religion class (which I had to retake because the credits in this class didn't transfer *grumble*) last week, the assigned reading dealt with religious splits, sects, and cults. During the course of discussions on the message boards, two students demonstrated their incredible lack of comprehension. In their first posts, both indicated their firm Christian convictions right off the bat and then basically condemned all other religions and those Christian denominations which are not the right ones. One equated Buddhists and Jehovah's Witnesses with the KKK. The other called both Catholicism and Hinduism cults, and not in the sense that all religions can be called cults but in the sense of something bad-nasty.

I probably would not have been so shocked to hear this from a "man on the street." This was in a class, though, a non-denominational class about studying all religions. I can't understand why someone so zealous in their faith would even bother taking a class like this that doesn't take sides or condemn any religion, but rather neutrally examines them. Wouldn't someone like that be happier going to Sunday school where their narrow beliefs won't be challenged and rigorous thinking won't be on the schedule?

"Why, yes, Johnnie. God did make the world in just six days and everyone who doesn't believe that is going to burn in Hell. Okay class, let's sing 'Jesus Loves Me.'"

I rather harshly excoriated both of them and the professor stepped in to tell us (well, me) to cool down. I have a hard time letting stupidity like that slide, though. The older I get, the more likely I am to call people on their bullshit. Somebody needs to.

No comments: