Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stand up. Speak out.

Taking classes from a secular college with some extremely secularly-minded teachers has led me to some interesting conversations, at many times frustrated me to distraction, and more often spurred me to say and write my opinion and beliefs in my assignments. It's led me to find creative ways to find out how to make them a necessary part my of speech or paper and the fact that my teacher must read it is always fun. I don't mean it in a bad way and I don't do it without purpose. But after sitting day after day in class being stuffed with not information, but crappy opinion, my piston occasionally busts.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Our lives begin to end on the day that we become silent about things that matter.” I believe that this is true. But I also know how very easy it is to be smothered by secularism. To think that your voice doesn't matter. It really is so easy to go to class, take a few notes, and like a machine, produce information and papers made up of your teacher's opinions or the social norm. But in this, you will become a puppet, void of life.

As Christians we are commanded to live out our faith. I'm not saying the solution is always speaking aloud. Sometimes it's an action - a demonstration or prayer. It certainly is not always something in our comfort zone. But if we refuse to stand up for what we believe, for truth, for Mr King stated...our lives begin to end.

I have this English teacher who is obsessed with feminism. Give her any story and she will point out the most obsolete sentence as an indication that the male in the story is a raving or creeping misogynist. It gets old. I would like to say, "No matter how much you stomp on that overflowing garbage - no more will fit, lady." I have challenged a lot of her opinions in class especially when they seem to drift entirely off the story's course. We rarely come to an agreement.

My speech teacher, who would actually be a perfect definition for my English teacher of a misogynist, grates on me in an entirely different manner. But Monday's class was something different - I was actually incensed with anger.

My speech teacher was sorting out different kinds of speech outlines we can use and told two stories which I found absolutely false. The first story was about bible-boy and non-bible-boy and his summing point was that the bible says ALL killing is wrong. He was basing his claim off of the 10 Commandments and God commanding us not to murder - God ordered his chosen people to "kill" numerous times throughout scripture. The speech teacher also has a hard time with absolutes, like, one concept being right and one concept being wrong. He usually finds a way for them both to be right. Stupid. Then Mr Speech Teacher went into a story about Doctor Kevorkian and pitying the fact that he was imprisoned merely for helping terminal patients to die a noble death. Now, this is completely inaccurate information. Doctor Kevorkian is a creep who was dubbed "Dr. Death" because he didn't "help" terminally ill patients but people who were very much alive. In need of psychological help? Most assuredly. About to die? Certainly not from natural causes.

So as I sat in the front of class watching these words spill out from Mr Speech Teacher's mouth I felt a feeling of such absolute anger sweep over me. I told myself, I am not hearing what I think I am hearing. I turned around, which is rather awkward to stare at everyone else in the room for no apparent reason, to see what effect this information was doing to them. No one raised a hand. No one said anything. I was flabbergasted. I felt I had to say something to refute. I found myself speechless...and feeling very hot and red all over. Class was instantly dismissed. I felt like a description from a book.

For the next two hours, every time I thought about that class, I flushed again. I knew I had to say something.

Today I had my moment. I went to class and frantically tried to think and pray about how to really approach this. God placed the opportunity right in my hand. My teacher actually mentioned the bible-boy/non-bible-boy story and so I raised my hand..."actually," I said a bit shyly, "the bible isn't actually..." and I simply pointed out the error. Mr Teacher brushed it off that it wasn't material to his point. Oh well. At least the earth didn't open up and swallow me for saying so. Then he brought up the other story - Again, I raised and said, "Um, well, I have something to say about this one too." Mr Teacher sighed and allowed me to go on. I pointed out a brief fact about Doctor Kevorkian - the class chuckled - we had a short disagreement and Mr Teacher ended with, "well I supposed we could check the facts later." Like facts don't matter or something. Weird.

Stand up for what you believe. Sometimes it may not feel like you're making a difference but you never know whose heart or mind you might impress. Do I always speak up when I should? Definitely not. But each time you do so, it will become easier. Speaking in public terrifies me. I build it up in my head. With my imagination, you'd think we have persecution and executions occurring for speaking up. We don't. You can do it.