BRYAN — In a lodge at Messiah’s Ranch, a Christian retreat a few miles outside of town, about 20 teenagers sat cross-legged in a circle, talking about what it means to be a good listener.
The air conditioning struggled to keep up on the muggy, 95-degree day, but that did not dull the energy in the room as Laurie Stevens, a speech and debate coach, asked the group whom they sometimes found it difficult to listen to.
“Obama,” deadpanned one girl, setting off a round of giggles.
Stevens waited for another response.
“My parents, when they tell me something ...