Thursday, September 13, 2007

Depends On Who You Are

What an interesting query I had today. My alma mater: Park University in Parkville, MO has retained Harris Publishing (p.o. box 41065, Norfolk, VA 23541-1065; Julie Carr, Harris Connect Directory Office for Park University) to put together the newest alumni directory. I got a card in the mail asking me to call an 800 number to verify my personal information and, of course, get hit on for an order of a copy.

The interview went well: we verified the name, class year, address, phone number, work name and address and phone number, position, etc.

Then, we got to the personal stuff:
What is your Spouse's name?: I said: Douglas Ninow.
Any children?: I said: Well, that would be kind of a miracle, wouldn't it? (laughter from me)
"Well, unfortunately, there are children in such homes . . .", she said.

Then she hit me up for an order and, at 100+ clams for the directory, I declined. I didn't call her on her indiscretion but merely said that I thought it was too much money for the item.

I gotta say: I'm really offended by this and I'm going to write to the company AND to my college to let them know that this offensive religious snobbery is unacceptable.

It's pretty amazing to me that my personal life, to this woman, is the sole identifying aspect of my persona. What a sad comment; what a sad comment on what an institution of higher learning has deemed proper in an interview for a school publication. I'm sure that Park University had no idea that such a comment would happen, but there you are.

The hysterical irony of the situation is that I was one of the last theology majors at that school . . . the very major that the school was founded upon. The department is now defunct. Somehow, in light of this recent affair, it seems fitting. The charity of what Christianity espouses doesn't fit with current social theology - better to be well rid of it then to have to answer hard questions of courtesy and decency.

Doug and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary this October 15th.