So of the four classes I teach every week, one of them is particularly fun. Of course I love them all, but this class is extra-enjoyable. Most of the students in the class are preparing for vocational ministry. They are enthusiastic and fun. They are also young, and a little bit naive about the ways of the world. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But sometimes I worry about their response to what I say. My approach to controversial issues (of which there are many when one is teaching about politics) is to present both sides of the argument with as little bias as possible, to explain the resasoning behind a court decision, and to be very explicit about the fact that I am not endorsing a decision, but rather just explaining it.
This week I taught about civil liberties, civil rights, free speech, and privacy rights, aka, the Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll lecture. I'm pleased to report that I successfully managed to explain the history of legislation and court decisions about flag burning, cross burning, birth control, abortion, and sodomy to a classroom full of future pastors and youth and children's ministers without offending their sensibilities. Here's hoping this week's lessons don't make it into their course evaluations. :)