Sunday, July 27, 2014


My comment on a facebook thread for this essay, posted by a former student of mine:

Personally, I don't think it's "making waves" as much as it's being rocks upon which those waves crash. That is, no, you're not going to change anybody's mind in a single conversation. But you do let them know that the universe isn't as pat as they go through life thinking it is. You make it a bit more difficult to maintain attitudes and ideas which are only sustainable within the bubble echo chamber of the conservative Christian world. Ideally, such spanners in the works add up over the years, and open up the path to reconsidering ideas which seem impossible at first glance.

How have your views evolved over the years in terms of multiple conversations with multiple people? I've really come to believe that the Saul-to-Paul style of ideological conversion is pretty rare, and, really, not to be trusted generally. I mean, who just drops the ideas in which we invest our identities so suddenly? You know, excluding Paul. For me, it has to be a long game. I'm not going to change people quickly or by myself. I have to hope that my efforts are in tandem with others' efforts, people I don't even know. So my sense is that I'm just trying to contribute to an ongoing process aimed at moving society in a better direction.

That takes off a lot of the pressure, a lot of the feeling that so much is on the line with any particular discussion. It's just some conversations I'm having. No big deal. No need for anyone to get hot under the collar or anything like that. And that's a really good thing because we're talking about ideas that people take really personally, that are a part of people's very sense of self. It's much better to be casual.

But I hear you. Discussing the great and important ideas with people who passionately disagree can be exhausting.
'Nuff said.