UCTAA churchlight

Site Search via Google

Discussion 1 on Meditation 32
Teaching English - A response to Meditation 32

by Reverend Andy Green

To add to this discussion (or any other,) please use the Contact form. This discussion has been continued.

I have only recently read this website and become ordained, so I don't know how old this posting is.

You challenged English lit teachers to assess Deuteronomy 5 and "god is love."

In our school, and in many schools in America, the bible is reviewed (for the purpose of understanding allusions to it) for the American Lit course in the 11th grade. The depth of the discussion varies with the open-mindedness and interest of the teacher, but our teacher led fairly in-depth discussions of topics of the bible and religion in America.

Until the Romanticism and Transcendentalism of the 18th century, virtually all literature in America was based on religion, and of that, virtually all was based on the bible. This past year, we studied the writings of the early settlers of America, who came primarily for religious reasons. The Spanish came to convert the inhabitants of America and the English came to escape persecution. These writings invarriably take a condescending tone towards the native population of America (calling them savages, etc), but more interesting were the sermons recovered from this time period.

One minister, whose name I am at a loss for at the present time (I can find out if it is important), wrote a sermon called "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." The title alone was frightening. The sermon, which was read to non-Christians, takes the typical assumption that all non-Christians are sinners by default. In the sermon, the minister describes that the audience is held in the hand of god over a fiery pit, in danger of being dropped. He also states that they may be at any time swatted like bugs by the wrath of god. My teacher was a self-proclaimed born-again agnostic, and as such an open-minded individual, prompted our class to discuss the difference between this and "god is love." Obviously, the two represented opposite poles.

I just wanted to say that we actually got to discuss this, though by the will of the teacher. Our community is strange in that the parents are very conservative on the majority, though not extremely religious (two thirds of the population are recent immigrants from Asia), and our students are mostly moderate or liberal, but with a portion (about 15%) that are extremely religious (there are several christian clubs on campus that send students around at lunch with signs that say "You need jesus, ask me about him"). Most of the student population (the school has 3800 students) is fine with this or does not voice their opinions about it. I find it remarkable that this teacher (and the other AP english teacher) were able have this discussion in such a "terrible right-winger" town (as my father put it).

Just a report that we discussed your suggestion.