Pop Quiz: Surprise Jesus
This is going to be a quick Pop Quiz since I’m off on school hike into the rainy Scottish wilderness shortly. If I don’t post anything else after today, then I’m probably at the bottom of a ravine somewhere. You guys can have my stuff.
Today I wanted to ask whether any of you have ever been surprised to find out that a colleague or student is religious. This morning I overheard two of our older (seventeen year old) students discussing some event that was going to happen at their church this weekend. I’ve known these students for five and half years and I had never realised that they were in any way religious. I admit that I felt surprise and, yes, the tiniest fleeting moment of disappointment. That feeling made way for guilt very quickly – why was it such a surprise? Should all religious people feature huge big overt flashing indicators of their faith? Did the fact that these two students go to church in any way change the amazing things they’ve achieved throughout their time at school? Of course not. It’s just that my rational, atheist, sceptical worldview makes it very easy to look at religious folk (or at least at their specific beliefs) with a fair bit of disdain and I felt a flash of that when I overheard these two pupils. I’m not necessarily proud of it.
I should point out that there seem to be far, far fewer openly religious young people kicking around in Scotland than (in my own experience at least) there are in the USA. I only really met openly, devoutly Christian people of my own age when I moved to Pennsylvania at the age of 19. Maybe some of you would flip this scenario on its head and feel more surprise if you heard two students discussing their atheist ways.
Have you ever been surprised to find out that a colleague or student held religious beliefs?
Did it change the way you viewed them? If so, did you feel guilty about that?
The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2pm ET.
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