Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Eldest Gel is home from college again this weekend, and I just spent about an hour getting an earful from her over the latest doings in her history class.
I b’lieve I had mentioned here some time before that the gel is taking a class surveying various famous historickal figures and comparing the myths that have grown up around them to the actual facts? Well, this week they got on to Saladin. Apparently, the prof – whom the Gel actually likes – started off the section with a brief discussion of the history and beliefs of Islam. And in that discussion, the prof said something to the effect that Christians and Moslems worship the same god.
And that, as they say, is when the fight broke out.
The Gel, from what she tells me, started laying into the prof, beginning with arguments about the mystery of the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and the utterly antithetical nature of Allah (which arguments actually echoed those of C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton, even though I know she hasn’t read either one), and then proceeded to a detailed, unvarnished description of the position of Christians (and Jews) as set out in the Koran. I gather the prof pushed back somewhat, although she didn’t try to shut the Gel down. As for the rest of the class, the Gel tells me that a few of them looked uncomfortable about the prof’s position, while some of the noisier ones tried to back the prof up with arguments the Gel found utterly contemptuous. (One example: The girl sitting next to the Gel, who professed to be Catholic herself, pointed out that there are some Christian sects that don’t believe in Jesus’s divinity. The Gel’s response? ” Well, they’re not really Christians then, are they?”)
Smoke was still coming out of her ears as she relayed all this to me this evening, and even as I blog, she’s upstairs studying up on talking points to argue that the Crusades were defensive wars, rather than offensive ones, in anticipation of the narrative that is going to be served up.
About all I could do was to point out that people who believe the Christian God and Allah are the same thing (and I’ve seen this elsewhere, including among members of my Former Episcopal Church), don’t really believe in either one.
Yeesh. At least teh Gel goes to a school where she can still take a stand against P.C.ism in relative safety. Also, from what I gather, she is fast developing a reputation for her plain-spokenness, and not a bad one by any means.
By the bye, she’s already signed up for another course with the same prof next semester. It’s a study of Tudor and Stuart England but begins with Richard III and the end of the Plantagenets. From what the Gel tells me, the prof is very interested in the modern movement to reestablish Richard’s reputation. That ought to make our Maximum Leader very happy.
UPDATE: Since the comments seem to have steered in the direction of my last tack-on thought above, an obligatory oldie but goody: