today at UC Berkeley
At 2.30 this morning I realized that the Spring Semester started at 9.30. I did not get the sleep I had anticipated. I made it to class though, only a few minutes late. Well, some minutes late.
The first teacher spent literally 3/4 of the class sneering at bizarre Christian concepts like the Trinity and heaven and hell, concepts which cannot withstand basic common sense. The class she is teaching? "The Spread of Early Christianity."
The second teacher spent the first quarter of his class (which he shares with an esteemed translator) warning people away. He said his class should not be used for discussion with grandma or with roommates. He said, "Do not take this class if you believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. Do not take this class if you are an evangelical Christian." He is teaching "Jewish Civilization during the Biblical Period."
My third teacher lectured on Babylonian Religion. He's a nice enough professor, for a Dutch guy. He closed his lecture by saying--and I believe him--"My goal in this class is to confuse all of you about religion, really confuse you more than you ever were."
My forth teacher didn't bother to show up. His course reader plugged his classes and his books. If he wasn't a world-famous anthropologist, I would probably drop the class.
After this, I shall depart for my final class of the day, "The Sociology of Religion." Here I have some hope, for the texts (which I retrieved early and read during break) have a pro-religious streak. We'll see.
In any case, it so far promises to be a better semester than the last... the only thing that is as aggravating as dogmatic religious people is dogmatic secular people who have confused elitist condescension with methodological competence...
have a good one.