"it was a pederastic relationship...in the ancient Greek cultural tradition of older men raising young boys into manhood, like what the Catholic Church is doing with altar boys."
Now, he did give a quick "Sorry." to my incredulous "Excuse me?", but this was just beyond the pale. The class was ending, and I know my own temper, so I packed up and left quickly. Prayed about it, talked to my wife, and sent off a calm(er) email of protest at this insult to the head of the Religious Studies department. No response yet, and I'm back in that class tomorrow.
We'll see how things go.
Sadly, this doesn't surprise me. The professor has been using the whole 'sacred vs. monstrous' theme to play 'bait the Christians/chip away at the faith'. It's the usual, the monstrous is only depicted as monstrous because the ruling types needed a way to keep people on the reservation.
Other telling quotes from the same professor:
"I don't really understand Job, it doesn't make any sense."
"The only people who read the books of the prophets do so because they're trying to prove they're devout by reading the whole Bible, or looking for a way to criticize other people."
"There's an argument that says that Cain didn't really know what he was doing, that he couldn't have known he would kill Abel."
Really, the first clue should have been that he takes Freud seriously.
At least I have my Semantics class to fall back on this semester.
UPDATE: Got an email back from the department head - expressing concern and apology, and promising to talk to the professor. Followup may not be until next week. I'm working on my forgiveness. I need to be better at this.
UPDATE PART THE SECOND: Nothing direct from the prof today, but boy howdy did we focus on the rampant homoeroticism in Canto 15 of Inferno, and started on Paradise Lost. Did you know that Lucifer did not rebel out of pride? He refused to kneel to Adam because God had told him to love and worship only God, and that bowing to Adam was idolatry, so the poor angel was caught in a Catch-22, and was punished for following orders. Also, the Bible condemns sodomy, but is silent on homosexuality.
Also, we're not allowed to bring up any cultural context or interpretations outside of the text...except his.
I will be so glad when this class is over.