Once in a Lifetime Chance

Today I finally got to use one of the more obscure parts of my university education. At least as much of it as I could remember.

When I was at university, partly because of my background in a fundamentalist Baptist church, I maintained an interest in religion and the history of religion. This led me to a couple classes on religion, history of religion, civil religion, and politics and religion. The only use this ever got me was discussions like this:

Them: I can’t believe they are removing Christ from Christmas by calling it Xmas.
Me: Well, the X is actually a historical abbreviation for Christ.
Them: So f@#king what?

(Irrelevant But Interesting Side Note: in Japanese English textbooks, “Xmas” is offered as an example of a word that begins with “X”. This bothers many foreign teachers, especially if I’m around.)

For reasons I don’t understand, high school English club wanted me to talk about religion in the USA. They asked questions and I tried to answer them (with periodic trips to the internet).

What was fascinating about this was the school where I work is an Xian (er Christian) school–Anglican, to more specific–and students are required to take Bible classes and attend chapel. However, most of the students are not Christians. Therefore the interest in religion is understandably low.

Along the way, I got the chance to talk about my religious beliefs and how they’ve evolved. I also got to explain how I liked Sunday school when I was a kid but hated Sunday church service which was several announcements, one seemingly endless speech, lots of singing, and at least one TURPF.

Somewhere in there we talked about other religions. I’m not sure it was particularly productive, but it was kind of fun, at least for me. The students probably were hoping for Sunday school; I’m afraid they may have gone to church instead.


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