Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Mon Apr 22 10:42:02 UTC 2002

--On Saturday, April 20, 2002 10:50 am -0400 Michael Newman
<mnewman at QC.EDU> wrote:

> When I was teaching 9th grade in NY, I found that kids generally
> assumed that Christian=Evangelical. One girl, who was Catholic,
> claimed that "Catholics are not Christians, but they come from the
> same origins as Christians." I think she got mixed up with what she
> learned about Christians and Jews.

I don't doubt that she really learned that about Catholics.  In my
cross-cultural linguistics course at Baylor U (Baptist uni in Waco, TX), I
once had this exchange with a student:

Me:  blahblahblahCatholicsblahblah

Student:  But Catholics aren't Christians.

[Polish and French exchange students gasp in horror]

Me:  Yes they are.  They believe in the divinity of Christ just like
Baptists and other Protestants.  In fact, the Protestant faiths were for
the most part born out of Catholicism.

[Polish and French exchange students nod fervently]

Student:  Oh, ok.  I thought you meant the kind of Catholics with the Pope.

[Polish and French exchange students renew their horror.]

I've come to believe that most Protestants don't use the word 'Protestant'.
But this might be biased by the people I've talked to.  My students at
Baylor didn't seem to use the word at all.  The admin did use it in one
context that I recall--reminding us constantly that Baylor's goal was to be
the Protestant Notre Dame (University).

Then there's the meaning of Christian that is equivalent to "born again


Dr M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
Acting Director, MA in Applied Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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