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God and football

Laura Myers | Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I don’t communicate well.

I know what you’re thinking:

“As an avid reader of her inside columns and softball wraps, I’ve concluded that Laura Myers is intelligent, funny and probably very pretty.”

Well, sorry to disappoint.

In person, I am usually none of those things. While my thoughts are both logical and entertaining, I cannot express them to other people in any sort of cohesive manner.

The one person I talk well with is my best friend Michelle. It all started senior year when we played euchre during study hall. We could literally just make eye contact and know what cards the other person had. It was eerie.

I was on the phone with Michelle over Easter break, and I said something about my New Testament class or my theology major.

She said, “Do you feel like the more you learn about Christianity, the more it seems …”

I finished her sentence: “ridiculous?”

We couldn’t talk for very long but we decided that we’d be able to have a good conversation when I got back to Ohio.

When I thought about that, I realized something about Notre Dame, or maybe humans in general.

It is impossible to have a real ebb-and-flow conversation about religion or any other loaded topic.

If you ask any student, he or she came to ND for two reasons: God and football. Sure, academics might be a reason, but we all gave up on that a long time ago.

And we talk about football constantly. But when, other than in your theology classes, have you really talked about God?

I bet not very often, because you can’t. People here each have their own experiences and beliefs. If someone says anything that goes against those beliefs, the other person is immediately too offended to continue the conversation. He or she gets defensive and stops listening to a word the other person has to say.

So, we keep our conversations light. We talk about the weather, “American Idol,” or the Indians creaming the Yankees 22-4.

Here’s a challenge. There are tons of intelligent people here with strong convictions on all sorts of topics. Pick a friend and have a conversation on something real that you disagree about. Listen to them, and if you must disagree, make sure to attack the argument, not the person.

For example, I have e-mailed Christie Pesavento and hope to have a conversation about her enlightened views of torture that were in yesterday’s paper. It will be a challenge for me to attack the argument instead of pushing her against the wall (all in good fun, right Christie?), but I’ll try.

Here’s another challenge. If you know how to play euchre, shoot me an e-mail. I’ll blow off my papers to play the greatest game known to man. While we play, we can discuss the merits and limitations of Christianity.

Or the merits and limitations of the defensive switch back to the 4-3. I’m pretty sure I have some solid thoughts on both.