Having been critical of this practice on another thread, I’d like to admit to being guilty of it myself. I had a rather chastening experience this past year, when I picked up a book about a period of history I’ve always been intensely interested in and saw in the writer’s biography that she was a devout Mormon and taught at a Mormon university. I rather dismissively said to myself “Well this should be interesting,” but what I found was one of the most scholarly, fair-minded, superbly written books I’d ever read. I’m embarrassed to say that I found this at all surprising, and I had ample opportunity to be reminded of my prejudice during the recent presidential campaign, since I so often got to witness the most despicable and bigoted treatment of Mr. Romney (I mean as regards his faith) by our “liberal” media. Really, why do we do this?
When my wife and I home-schooled our children we were looked at askance, and even laughed at, since the stereotype (over here at least) portrayed us as mouth-breathing Troglodytes. Our children nevertheless ended up attending prestigious schools and excelling at them. At our second-oldest’s commencement we were surprised to see (before the ceremony) that her cap and gown didn’t match the one everyone else was wearing, and we afterward discovered that she had won the highest academic honor conferred by her school, which is one of the great universities of the world. As we saw our beautiful, self-effacing daughter leading in the faculty with its smattering of Nobel laureates, I couldn’t help but recall the ignorant, nasty comments we’d been treated to over the years. I’ve never told anyone about this, and I doubt that anyone here in our little town knows of her accomplishment, since even her siblings don’t (that’s how she wanted it), but I’m mentioning it here because of the topic at hand. One would think that our society might have become more accepting of people like us, if only because we’ve so increased in number, but just a few years ago we were watching Saturday Night Live, a rather smarmy “comedy” show that celebrities (even a lot of British ones) are always dying to host, and were stunned by a skit that treated home-schoolers as hopeless morons. If it had been at all subtle or clever or funny we might have, well, found it so, but it was simply crude and hateful, as most manifestations of prejudice are, and of course the audience loved it.
Anyway, the point is that having been on the receiving end of condescending judgement (in a number of areas) I should be all the more cautious myself, and as usual I’m vowing to open my heart a bit more in the New Year, and hoping that I’m more successful this time around. Best wishes to all you wonderful people on this forum. You're always expanding my vision.