Theater on the ARC

I need to start setting two alarms. My phone didn’t go off again. Fortunately Brennen had set his alarm, so I wasn’t too late on breakfast prep. Though I’m definitely sick. I’m not sure if I caught what everyone else has, or just got sick from lack of sleep, which isn’t unusual for me.

The ARC meeting was a bit odd. It was presented as ARC members are here to “create dialogs” about religion. Mostly it seemed like a waste of time, as it wasn’t very informative of what is expected of ARC members, and was mostly just and introduction of various people on the ARC board, or student services. The introductions were followed by a dramatic presentation meant to raise questions about how we talk about religion. Though it touched a lot on, it made me more keenly aware of somethings I need to take into consideration. First, everyone is interested in raising questions, but not really getting to answers, or even believing there is one answer. Which is kind of funny that this is the mindset on universities, as they are also very fact driven in the sciences, and wouldn’t accept such garbage as people believing in gravity and others not believing in it both being right.

Another skit brought up how there are so many viewpoints being thrown at students. I can definitely see an issue of people being so overwhelmed that they aren’t really sure what they believe, or sure why they should accept anything else thrown their way.

My favorite skit concerned separating religion from the classroom. Apparently it’s common for teachers to ask students to separate their faith from whatever topic they are studying which may conflict with their faith. In it there are three students, one who wants to address their personal faith, another who wants to ignore all faith concerns, and a third who wants to discuss the interplay. From a time standpoint I can understand why a teacher would want to ignore faith and just teach to the material. However, such an approach is rather narrow minded, ignoring a wide set of viewpoints that are held, that students will no doubt encounter in their lives. I wonder if part of the reason teachers don’t want to discuss religion’s relationship to their topics is because they had to give up much of what they believed just to be accepted in their field.

Though I think the most meaningful moment of the reception was when the man who organized the theater group shared a personal experience. For whatever reason, one of his friends shared with him that because of his choices, according to her beliefs, he would be lost. Surely an uncomfortable moment. But instead of letting it cause a break in the friendship, they took the time to talk through things and understand each other better. A goal I think all people who witness should strive for.


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September 2008
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