After coming back from California this January, the first time I really realized I was out of the Berkeley bubble (hence the Dorothy-speak in the title of this post) was in church. I was talking to a guy about Obama getting elected. I was in the process of explaining the different electoral system to him, since the American system votes for propositions, school boards, etc etc etc as the same time as it elects its political figures, and the Dutch system only does the latter. I mentioned Prop 8 (the proposition to ban gay marriage by amending the California constituition which ultimately passed and thus took away the rights of LGBT (insert abbreviation here) people to marry), which of course I voted against. And forgetting that I was not in ultra-liberal Berkeley anymore, I assumed he would be against it too. Because, there, even in church, liberal viewpoints were espoused. It was one of the reasons I loved it so much there: I didn’t have to hide my religious viewpoints: there were people there much more liberal than me!
I did see the confusion on that guy’s face but I railroaded on because I didn’t want to get into a discussion about homosexuality. He’d get out his biblical arguments, I’d get out my biblical arguments supplemented with a bunch of cultural-historical contextual arguments, we’d both get heated up and we wouldn’t change each other’s minds. But it did make me more careful of what I said to whom. And it put my feet firmly on the ground in Holland, even though my head was still in America somewhere.