I haven't had much time, but I think it's important to talk a bit about my interview in the OKC Gazette (it's at the bottom of the web page, last article).
Before I left town for CONA, Greg and I did a quick phone interview about the resolution recently passed by the SBC asking that parents examine the curriculum of their child's school for morally objectionable material. I was out of town when the issue came out, but have talked quite a bit about it since returning home. I have been asked why I sounded so angry and my mother tells me she was given a hard time at Church.
So let's talk....
Am I angry? Yeah, a little bit. I am a bit angry that the people who raised me and educated me are are hinting that I might not be fit to teach their children. It hurts a bit that parents have to be told by a Church body to take part in their child's education.
Another question that has arisen is did Greg portray me fairly. Yeah, he did. Greg is a friend and I trusted him to present the story without making me look like a loon (any looniness I exhibit is unrelated to my thoughts on the SBC and Public Education). I think he did. I take issue with the photographer for portraying me with multiple chins, but his job is not to take glamour shots.
But you know what? So much good has come from the article. I had a call while I was gone from a friend of a friend who thanked me for representing my view so well and how grateful she was for my willingness to speak. I had an email from a former student that was very kind, and today one of my fellow mentors at this institute saidto me "you know, I am pretty conservative, but after I read what you said I couldn't argue with you. We are commanded to love." But that wasn't even the best story.
Our first event of this week's institute was a mentor brunch at a local, Gazette-carrying establishment. The first thing my favorite mentor (an incredibly well read, gentle man who happens to be a church of Christ elder and is still usually up for a beer) said to me was "I can't wait to show this to John, he will be so proud!"
John is the father of some college friends of mine who pastors a Baptist church in a small, Eastern Oklahoma town. John loves to talk Theology. He also loves to salt slugs (I am fully aware of how irrelevant this is, but it's the funniest thing to see him head out to the garden with a salt shaker and an evil grin). He asks my friend about me even these twelve years since I have been in his family's life. He is also the only pastor in town who would bury a man with AIDS when he passed a few years ago. If I lived in John's tiny town, I wonder if I might still be Baptist, at least his kind.
I think that sums it up for me, the people I am proud to know are proud of me. For me, that's mighty good stuff.