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Books

31. Best Friends for Frances by Russell Hoban
The Frances books were among my favorites as a small child. So I am massively enjoying reading them to the kids. One of the things I love are the illustrations, very simple pencil drawings done by Garth Williams (who also did all the Little House books). Classic kids book.

32. Cloudy with a chance of meatballs by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett
We picked up the movie at Costco, so Joe picked up the book today at the library. Cute! Old too. Its about a fantasy land where it rains food 3 times a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

33.Lessons learned from years of Homeschooling by Andrea Schwartz
I try to read a wide variety of books from various both annoying and pleasant people. I get a wider world view this way. Now I knew when I picked this book up that it was coming from a Christian writer (i.e. Subtitle: A christian mother shares her insights from a quarter century of teaching her children) I figured that, even though the God message might be somewhat annoying, I still might be able to mine a nugget of wisdom or two. Wisdom is wisdom, no mater where it comes from. And I have to admit I did get one. (The idea that schooling is a priviledge not a right, and to suspend students from school if their attitude isn't up to scratch. Chores, lots of them, replace school. This is a good thought.)  But the rabidness of writer was painful to get through. I'm glad it was short and I'm not bothering to read the second.

One interesting thing I got out of it...a view from the inside of how these evangelical right-wing Christians feel about our secular culture. And how hostile they find it to be. And how hostile we are to them. One of the things I struggle with as a left leaning person, is that I espouse the belief that your belief is okay, whatever it is. (pedophilia, beastality, and a few other similar activities are exceptions I list) But most left leaning people I know make an exception for "right-wing nut-jobs".  Its the "I'm okay with what people do, except for them, 'cause they don't like me."

In her book she relayed a few incidents her son went through at a local college (author is local to San Jose) and how he was written off as an ignorant schmuck who's words, thoughts, and feelings are dismissed by classmates and instructors alike, all because of his Christian beliefs. I feel that we (the left) are just as guilty of pushing our agenda and ignoring them as they are of us. We are stuck in a negative feedback system. They pull away from culture and society and isolate themselves to only similar thinkers, the more we reject them, the more they pull away and the more they feel attacked, dismissed and unheard. (is this reminding anybody of conservative muslims anyone?)

Not that I'm feeling sympathetic mind you. (Well okay, maybe a bit), but it was an eye opening view of how another group of people, who's beliefs are fairly diametrically opposed to the things I believe, feel. And I'm not saying this excuses their behavior in certain civil rights campaigns, but it does point out to me, at least, this tit for tat crap, isn't getting us anywhere. I don't know if there is a solution...or even if there needs to be one. Contrast makes for an interesting life experience

I'm still not reading the second book mind you, I can only stomach so much.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
allanh
Mar. 13th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)

I have an odd attitude about free speech. I believe it should be available to everyone.

While I detest Westboro Baptist Church with almost every bone in my body, I believe that the court should NOT silence them. As odious as their beliefs are to me, the second we start censoring any part of free speech...it ceases to become free.

This is why I was so enraged at Dubya's refusal to allow military coffins or funerals to be photographed. He violated the most basic principles of free speech and censored the mainstream media.

aelfie
Mar. 14th, 2010 12:26 am (UTC)
I agree with you. As a librarian I am a rabid defender of free speech. I will fight just as hard to keep the bible on the shelf as I will playboy (and no I don't feel like capitalizing today.) You don't have to like what I say, you don't even have to listen, but you MUST let me say it (as long as its not fire in a crowded theatre)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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