I've had a night to ponder it (and think of about a million brilliant things I could have said), and I'm gaining some perspective. I think I know why it bothered me so much.
You see, that group of people - the intellectuals - is a group I've always been quite comfortable with. I can speak their language. I agree with them on most if not all social and political issues. I respect their learning and intelligence. And yes, I'll admit it, I'm a bit of an academic snob.
(a BIT?? My friends are saying)
The plain truth is that I would rather hang out with those people than Christians most of the time.
The real divide in our country might not be right/left, conserv/liberal, red/blue. I think the real divide is educated vs. uneducated. And both truly disdain the other.
So I usually love to be in the first group, it provides a bit of pride, I'll admit, and I do usually enjoy thinking myself better than the latter, or at least, more "enlightened."
So last night's experience was like finding out your best friend really thinks you're an idiot. Like the in-group starts badmouthing you behind your back (or worse, in front of you). Like you suddenly realize that the people you thought were your friends snicker at who you really are.
And that's why it shook me up so much, and upset me so much.
I don't think I have to be anti-intellectual, although I can be against those kinds of intellectuals. Thank God for all these progressive Christian movements happening, which are bringing together the thinkers of the faith. I hate being represented by shoddy philosophy or science or public policy. I want us to be respected.
But all in all, it was a good lesson for the first day of Lent. A real good shot to my pride. And I've been thinking that's probably my biggest sin to work on this season.
god help me.
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I've spent a lot of time looking down my intellectual nose at others. It's like it's trained into you when you go through school. My latest project is to listen to country music radio, which I was taught was the domain of the dumb hick. What I've found is that some of it isn't so good, but there are some good lessons for life if you learn to listen without prejudice.
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