"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." “When I hear people say politics and religion don't mix, I wonder what Bible they are reading.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4.19
"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2.12
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
What is it with teenagers?
What is it with teenagers?
I have decided, rightly, or wrongly, not to explain the whole priest thing to my students. It just seemed an unnecessary complication but I have been receiving a steady stream of enquiries. Some youngsters said they always believed that I was a vicar. Interesting. Is this my innate holiness and spirituality or simply the fact that I teach Religious Studies? Others have asked:
So are you a Christian, then?
Are you religious?
Do you go to church?
Do you believe in God?
They seem to have little concept of the religious. Now that's fair enough as most of them are avowed Atheists (at present) or closet Agnostics. Their religious education up until now hasn't helped I have to confess with sadness: they did the World Tour of religions at their previous school and don't know their Karma from their Kirpan. I am regularly told that Jesus was the founder of Islam. or, more worryingly:
But Jesus wasn't a real person was he? It's all made up.
If I had £5.00 for every time I've said There is no doubt about the historicity of Jesus ....
I have worked with teenagers for twenty-five years. I ask again: what is it with teenagers? How do they know so little?
I blame their Religious Studies teacher.
No. Actually I blame their parents.
I'm just ringing about Karl's behaviour in my lesson.
Oh really. That's dreadful. What subject is it?
Oh well. What do you expect?
Cheers! Thanks for your support
But we're all entitled to our opinions.
Not if they're ill informed. (I didn't say)
No. I'm sorry. I can't support you on that.
So he can do as he pleases then?
...Well ... no. ...I expect him to do as he's told.
And do his work.
Ah, well, we're all entitled to our opinions.
This completely misses the point. I want their bloody opinions. I'm forever saying I don't care what you believe. What you are being judged on is your ability to argue a point. There aren't generally right or wrong answers as such but there are good and bad ways of arguing your point.
Then I mark their work.
But you said we could put our own opinions.
That's true but there is the issue of the factual nature or otherwise of what you have written. You can't expect marks at GCSE for writing: "I don't agree. It's crap." or "All Muslims are terrorists."
But you said we could have our own opinions ....
Only if you argue them well.
But that's my opinion.
YES, I THINK WE'VE ESTABLISHED THAT AND IT'S WRONG.
You said we could put our own opinions.
I survey their little faces, open to accept my wisdom and guidance (Hahahahahahaha) and wonder, not for the first time, how we have have bred such a generation of self-centred, right-wing fascist know-it-alls with no imagination or compassion.
Do you know the Bible Sir?
A bit more than Dan Brown.
Bring on the albino attack monks.