Just recently, I saw on FaceBook that two biblical/theological scholars were to be visiting an area where I knew a "friend". I was amazed that these internationally known scholars would be visiting this small town. I decided to inform my "friend", so she might see them. I thought that the information that she would be exposed to might break the "wall" that hindered her from considering "real life".
This friend is a fundamentalist and she teaches numerous bible studies and holds authority over many minds in this town. I thought that being educated by those who have made their life's commitment to her value of "text" would be interesting for her and her "hobby".
When I told her about the event. She said she didn't want to consider it. Why, I asked? She stated that another friend had attended events supported by this particular lay group and she viewed these scholars as "liberals, besides the fact that those in this lay movement were the elite in this town"! When I tried to defend them, and suggest that maybe it would be of interest for her to just listen and consider what these people were saying, she refused!!!
I am not surprised since she had already been biased by her other friend. And this both friends do not value "open minded" discussion, education, intellectual challenges. In fact, in the past, when I have off-handedly offered "information" that I had learned, she would just state that she wasn't called to teach the "educated", or those that needed such information. (i.e., everyone was comfortable in their "imaginations" and their understandings of "truth". Why bother them?). Just as well, it confirmed to me that some people think that learning something that might challenge their assumptions, which would undermine their "self" or "ego". Their very identificaton is in how they understand the text.
Yes, why bother people with information that might make them uncomfortable? Would it change their life commmitments or decisions? I think so, as many of them have based their lives on what they deemed as "truth". And it might have limited them in thier choices and their understanding of values. But, will such as these change? I don't think so, not unless they themselves see value in learning, understanding or education, itself. But, then, I probably won't change my commitment to learn think,, challenge and provoke.