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 A Theme...and Bias...in our Readings 
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I think one theme and bias in our readings this semester has been on Christianity. The idea being that Christians just don't get it and that they are all ignorant, pushy, and uncaring. In additon, I think a theme has been that this is an okay bias to have, unlike a bias against a person because of race, gender, or other politically incorrect things. (I purposely didn't say a bias against religion, because there have been biased statements toward Christians only, not towards Muslims, Buddhists, etc.) As a Christian, this is not surprising to me, because it is very common in our world today. However, I find it annoying. Why is it okay for Ehrenreich to make comments about tent revivals and Christian's not tipping, when she has so little experience with both. That is certainly an incorrect sterotype. Why is it okay for Quinn (through the ape) to say that Christianity and Creationism is "absurd." Why is it okay?? Why is it okay to believe all the little "t" you want, but watch out for the big "T"?? Why is it okay....it's not, it is just politically correct right now to speak of Christians and Christian ideals in biased and untrue ways and to be seen as enlightened for it. Being a Christian is not an ignorant choice. Any thoughts? Have you noticed the bias? Why is it an okay bias in reading?

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Jennifer Wampler


Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:16 am
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I have thought the same thing about our readings! (A few threads ago, I brought up religion with Ricky's thread "House or Boat"). But I think the readings are intended to make us think about various viewpoints whether we agree or disagree. In all the readings it seems a more dominant theme is that of "walking in another's shoes". IF we are to connect with others and genuinely care about people who are different than ourselves, we must "walk in their shoes" (see the world from their point of view)-- we cannot dismiss them because of their misguided perceptions (i.e., missionaries are all like Nathan)? I believe we need to take time to listen deeply to what is being said by others. In doing so, we have more of a chance in connecting and transcending differences; thus, in finding a common Truth (truth). Perhaps this process will strengthen and/or enrich our own faith/our beliefs. For me, I feel as though Truth and truth are intertwined and layered. We all have opportunities to make discoveries about ourselves-- our beliefs/ faith-- through others--and sometimes these discoveries come from unexpected places. It is often a humbling experience. Nevertheless, I am not always aware of these opportunities--I am not always a good listener--I can be very narrow minded until I am put in a situation that demands growth. Most of these situations involve diversity.

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Paige Hoffman


Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:22 pm
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I agree with Paige that sometimes you have to walk in someone else's shoes in order to understand where they are coming from. I think that perhaps the reason we've read all of these readings is not to bash Christians, but to understand the other guy's point-of-view. Let's face it, most of us are white and probably have more experience with Christianity than with any other religion. In regards to the depiction of Christians in The Poisonwood Bible, I can't really say anything to disprove Kingsolver's argument. Her argument is less about Christians, I think, than about colonialism and it's awful consequences. It just so happens that throughout history, the western countries who perpetuated the practice of colonialism tended to be Christian and white and they often used their religious beliefs to gain the trust of the people that they were trying to control. That's not bias, that just an historical fact.

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amy french


Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:12 am
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I see your point Amy about the Poisonwood Bible, but what about our other readings? (Also other religious groups had missionaries, wonder why she chose to focus on Southern Baptist?) Not everything we have read is based in what you call "historical fact." So why bring it up...like with Nickel and Dimed, she was speaking purely from her biased, very biased, opinion of Christianity.

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Jennifer Wampler


Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:49 pm
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Jennifer, I'm not sure what specific passage of Nickel and Dimed you are speaking of, but if it's in reference to the Sunday afternoon tipping section, I'm going to have to agree with Ehrenreich. I waited tables on Sunday afternoons for 12 years and a lot of the church crowd doesn't tip. In fact, a lot of them aren't even pleasant. I won't say that everyone was that way, but it definitely happens.

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amy french


Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:36 pm
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I think that there is a strong focus in religion in this part of the country and it is important for us all to be open to the different point of views and aware of the different experiences. I think that by looking at these readings as an attack on Christianity, focuses too narrowly on that point. There has been much more in the readings that has nothing to do with religion.

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Rachael Dunton


Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:23 pm
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My regret is that we looked at the focus of Christianity primarily through the white perspective. I don't have a problem so much with the aspect of Christanity through our readings, I just wish more diversity on Christianity had been presented.

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Julia Cooley


Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:26 pm
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Julia
I think that you make an interesting point. Have you looked at Christianity in a diverse way in other classes, if so, what have you talked about?

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Rachael Dunton


Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:09 pm
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The closest I've come is my religion class. We have to write a research paper, and mine focuses on the conflict of Black and White Christianity in the South during the Civil Rights Movement. I just get so frustrated with being in the majority, and only learning about that majority. I strive for more diversity in my life, and in my classroom, hence the reason I'm going back to Florida to teach. Diversity is all around us, but I just wish we were better equipped to handle it.

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Julia Cooley


Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:12 am
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