Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"We're Not Ones to Go Around Spreadin' Rumors..."

My senior year history class was taught by a self-proclaimed "good Christian woman."

She was so "good" and so "Christian" that she would spend class time discussing the personal lives of current and former students as a part of her lecture. She didn't come right out and name names, but in a town as small as Powell, TN, there's no such thing as a "blind item." We all knew who she was talking about.

Maybe she thought of her occasional "true life" stories as little morality plays. She would feebly try to tie the story into that day's lesson, but it never quite fit. She simply enjoyed spreading hateful gossip about students. About students who weren't sitting directly in front of her, that is. And the more scandalous and hurtful the gossip, the better.

Any rumor she had heard about a student that involved alcohol or drugs, sex or pregnancy would be passed on to the entire class, detail by detail. The slimier the story, the more she would chuckle. The more her smug, little grin would grow.

The day she passed on the news that one of boys in the previous year's graduating class was (gasp) a homosexual and that he performed late nights (snicker) as a drag queen, her grin became enormous and her chuckle grew into a cackle. She looked so pleased with herself as she outed someone we all knew. I can still remember the smile on her face as she told us all about "the homosexual."

But I didn't say a word. I couldn't. I was far from out but I still was called a fag every single day as I walked down the halls. And I still got knocked around in the bathroom on occasion. Staying silent was the only way to survive.

I made it through that class, but the second I hit the hallway, I started crying. I couldn't hold it back. Because I knew that someday, that teacher would be standing in front of her class telling that same story about me. And smiling that same smile. Full of disgust. And superiority.

Today, when I heard that the California Supreme Court upheld Prop 8, I started thinking about that teacher, that story, and her smile.

I thought about how so many "good Christians" use their faith in God - - a God who only asks us to love each other as we love ourselves - - to gleefully hurt others.

I thought about how out of touch they are with the real world.

One day in class, when we were discussing the Underground Railroad, that same teacher asked us to raise our hands if we would have accepted runaway slaves into our home.

Everyone raised their hand. Everyone, except me.

She gave me a shocked look of disapproval and said, "So, you wouldn't take a runaway slave into your home to help him or her achieve freedom?"

And I said, "No, I probably would have done that. But since I'm not actually living in that day and age, I'm not going to be so pious as to claim that I WOULD do that."

And before she could respond, I asked, "Has anyone here offered to take in a person living with AIDS who was kicked out of his parent's house and has no place to live? No? Then, I think you have your answer for who would have accepted slaves in their home for the Underground Railroad."

I doubt she even understood my point. And the sad thing about that teacher and all of those people so vehemently opposed to gay marriage is that, once it's approved and time passes, they will look back on the issue and honestly believe that they supported gay marriage.

Because they always have to be right. And anything they do is always and forevermore "good."


Prospero said...

Wow. What a bitch that woman was. there's a seat in the flames marked "hyppocrite" waiting for her. As my sister, who is a self-proclaimed "liberal Born-Again Chriatian," loves to say about people who claim to be good Christians just because they go to church every Sunday, "You can sit in a garage all you like, but that doesn't make you a car." It is still shocking tome taht in the
21st Century, this is still an issue. When will people just get over it, already?

Aaron said...

"Good Christians" are the worst. They are the first to break nearly every commandment that matters, because they think they're playing a game where they can score lots of little points to make up for the big points that they miss. Like spiritual Weight Watchers or something.

Did that stupid teacher ever REALLY read the Bible? Because if she did, she would see all sorts of parables about spreading rumors and passing judgement.

She probably looks like Lulu Roman Smith by now.

Xico de Cadoro said...

a moving, intelligent, beautifully written post... thank you Stephen

Anatomicsd said...

As a Recovering Catholic I can appreciate the hypocrisy rampant amongst "Good Christians". Fock 'em all.

The Promiscuous Reader said...

Sorry to be a prick, Stephen, but you must know that loving each other is not all that the god of Judaism and Christianity wants us to do. Even Jesus put loving one's neighbor as second to doing the will of Yahweh, and the will of Yahweh includes smiting the Amalekhites, making offerings of cereal and flesh at the altar ("the sweet smell in which I delight"), and becoming a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven. If "love your neighbor" were all that hypothetical deity wanted us to do, the Bible could be a hell of a lot shorter.

philip said...

This is the best, truest post you've ever written.
What you forgot to include is your teacher's extreme shock when she dies and finds out there is no god.

Also, congrats on the directing gig. High time, I say, High time.

Aaron said...

Very thorough, Promiscuous Reader! You're right, of course, but it does say in the Hypothetical One's good book that of all commandments, "the greatest of these is love."

So...yeah...yeah, it was pretty important.

(I'll leave some pork chops and Cheerios on the altar next time I'm ever in church, though, just to be safe.)

Mark in DE said...

It is SO HYPOCRITICAL to use Christianity to support hatred of anyone. I'm so sick of it I could just spit.

Jusbeth said...

I never knew that was going on. Since I had Bressler, I know it wasn't her. I am guessing it was Yvonne?

You've basically summed up why I am not a churchgoer.

I am really sorry you (and all of the other students) had a teacher like that.

Java said...

Oh yeah. I know her and a few more like her. It breaks my heart to think of all the young emotionally delicate children she and others like her have trampled.