Spending 11 hours in the company of a "strategic planning consultant" who differentiates between "driving" and "inspiring" and uses the acronym BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) without shame doesn't sound like fun to this corporate-averse, jargon-allergic academic. But you know what? It's been great. We've learned stuff about ourselves as an organization, and we've thought together about where we want to go. And to my delight, it's got a lot to do with that complexity hangup I have. (Turns out I'm not the only one.) So I couldn't be happier.
Plus, as Sonny noted in the comments to the last post, this is a beautiful weekend to be in Atlanta, and a gorgeous place in Atlanta to land -- the Emory Conference Center and Hotel. Our meeting room even has a window-wall that opens onto a balcony; we kept the doors open most of the afternoon and enjoyed the fresh air. You can't ask for more from a committee meeting.
One rather facetious idea that bubbled up from our discussion of public understanding of religion, a part of the AAR mission that is so contentious and yet so tenaciously advocated by some leaders that it has its own acronym (PUR), is the creation of a religion-in-media list that could be widely disseminated, like Blackwell's worst dressed or the Darwin Awards. The list would be "______ Most Clueless Statements About Religion Made in the Public Media."
Two came up right away.
1. "The Bible teaches that marriage is a permanent relationship between one man and one woman."
2. "The Bible was the foundation and blueprint for our Constitution, Declaration of Independence, our educational system, and our entire history until the last 20 to 30 years."
I love the idea of this list, and I decided then and there that even if the Academy didn't compile it, I would. What would you add to the list?