Friday, March 13, 2009

More on Classism and confession

Thanks for all the comments.

Reponding to Kerry and Kristina, I think some of it depends on the church. If you walked into my church, you wouldn't get much of that, simply because our congregation is made up of ... oh, what would I call us? Well, not college professors. School teachers, nursery workers, bus drivers, blue and pink collars, stay-at-home moms ... you get the idea. Not as many blue collars as I would like ... by the same token, not as many PhD's as I'd like.

I like diversity. We're very middle-of-the-road. I'd like some growing edges.

Still and all, I know that I, personally, have made the assumption before that everyone is like me, everyone has a college degree. This is less a crime of judgment and more a crime of "everyone is like me" -itis. Everyone has kids, is married, has a college degree, and an understanding of 50 different kinds of chemo, right? Um, right?

What prompted the recent post on classism was a fairly innocuous statement on a UU discussion group ... one that I realized, I could have said.

The context was a conversation about a website and whether it reflected a bias. One writer wrote (and I'm paraphrasing) that any college-educated adult could discern a bias.

Didn't make me pause a second. Until someone else posted a response that said, I find no way to read this where I'm not offended. (Again, paraphrasing, I didn't save the emails.) The responder pointed out that plenty of youth can ascertain bias, nor does it take a college degree.

(I believe the responder was a DRE. Pay attention to the Directors of Religious Education in your church, even if you don't have kids. They are often one of the best living examples of Applied Unitarian Universalism.)

The response made me go, "Woah!" Because I knew I could have been just as guilty for unthinkingly phrasing something such as that.

Still thinking about that Right Relationship team ...


Anonymous said...

I still think class issues is something that we as UU's should study. I often think the things we study are even classist... like we have the time and energy to study food because we are of a certain class. I feel we are elitist, we work on an academic calendar (for the most part) and we have very little acceptance of those that don't have the same background. Sorry - I should take this to my own blog... I just wish this was an issue that we could finally really address.

Ms. Theologian said...

It seems to me that part of the problem this particular brand of classism is that education has been equated to intellect.

Kari said...

Thank you kind woman. Often Religious Educators get "called out" by children and youth on our biases and have had to closely examine them. If you really want to learn where our big growing edges are in Unitarian Universalism then lead a youth group, chaperone a con or teach OWL. Our UU youth see all our communal warts. (OK, ewww!)

jules said...

As I've read the posts and comments on this subject, I couldn't quite figure out how to say what I was thinking but Ms. T got it for me: "... that education has been equated to intellect."

I think she's right... education doesn't necessarily indicate intellect.

I heard a guy deliver a sermon at my church recently and it was stated in his introduction that he has six degrees."

Had I been someone who came in after that statement I would have thought, (just based on his ability to read) "this guy is dumber than a bucket of hair."

But hey... I know I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer. So take above statements with a grain of salt as I have no degree either. :)