Sep 30, 2008

If You Haven't Already...


Read a banned book this week. Preferably in church. Or if that's too confrontational for you, consult this list of Banned Books Week events to find one near you.

9 comments:

The Silver Seagull said...

You are just as much of an antagonizer. But there are two sides to every story and you reveal your bias by you ignoRANTS.
Actually when you do the research you will discover that the BIBLE is one of the most if the THE MOST banned book in history. So little comment about reading a banned book in church kind of back fires. Most of these banned books were given their status because of their inclusion in a curriculum in a public school. Let me ask you something Mr. Irvine. You have children. Would you blame another parent for wanting to protect their child from something that you believe would be harmful to them? What if your children had to read a book that portrayed Jewish people as oppressive criminals and that book justified using violence against them? Would you ask the school why this was required reading? Would you feel that there might be a bias or an agenda other than teaching children how to read?
Would you want to make sure that your children understood that the author might be biased or a liar? Would you worry about the way the book was being taught? Most of these banned books were banned from the curriculum. Parents have a right to protect their children from what they think might be harmful to them. If a parent say that they don't want their child reading a certain book, but then that book is a part of the curriculum then that parent has that right. Now back to the bible. Let's see, did you know that C.S. Lewis is on that List of Banned books for his Narnia stories? Did you hear about the child that was suspended for putting a tract on his teachers desk? Or the mother who could not read psalms at a school functtion, or the six children who were suspended for handing out candy canes with bible verses on them, or the child who was suspended for inviting another child to an after school bible study during school?
Pat DeRoch gave a ten minute talk about Jesus Christ and God's love during lunch time so that he could get more kids to attend his bible study. He was suspended for a day an a half and asked to have a psychiatric evaluation.
Yet Margaret Atwood's garbage is okay?

The Silver Seagull said...

Or maybe people can go to a church and do THIS

Alex Irvine said...

Simmer down, Seagull. I don't think any books should be banned. That's kind of the point. And you can get all fired up about the church comment, but it's a plain fact that the clear majority of efforts to ban books originate with religious groups. The 'protect the children' canard is a transparent excuse; if you really want to protect your children, teach them how to think and how to assess whether or not a certain text contains biases you find objectionable. Banning books just teaches anti-intellectualism and lockstep adherence to authority.

The Silver Seagull said...

I'm sorry. Please for give my rash responses. Also, the thing about geeks is that they are a very welcoming group of people, and I am sure by know that you have been accepted as an honorary geek if not a true geek. Who am I to judge you anyway. I'm not perfect in fact I can be an asshole. But yes you make a good point. As an aspiring apologist, well not anymore, I realise that as an apologist I have to apologize for the acts of so many people and I wonder why. So I won't anymore. Every one is responsible for their own actions, why should I apologize for them. I will apologize for my own fuck ups when I am able to recognize them and that's why I apologize now. So I yield to your point. You are right about churches trying to control thinking. I will get a lot of crap for saying that but it is true. As a Christian I can say that I believe in the truth and I have heard that atheists also believe in this so in that we can find a common ground. What else I might go to your talk if I can. But I wonder about all of the crisis in the publishing industry. I heard a lot of bad crap about print on demand but that's the best option for indies. Anyway knowledge is power.HEREis another artifact from the eighties.
Trust me, I'm no conservative.

Alex Irvine said...

But I am a geek! Or at least a nerd.

ODDVANISH said...

You're definitely a dork.

The Silver Seagull said...

EH, Sorry Odd but your wrong, Alex would not qualify as a dork, a dweeb maybe and that's pushing it really, definitely a nerd though and I've consulted credentialed experts on this.
Also I just have to add that yes I do agree religious groups and churches do try and influence political policy. But I believe in the 1st amendment and I take seriously Jesus' words when he said that his kingdom was not of this world. I live am lucky to live in a democratic country where I can enjoy the liberty of some self-governance and vote for leaders who may share my views. I have been in churches where if you were not in agreement with their proffered politics then they wrote you off as having accepted the mark of the beast! I have some stories, but I don't want to bring unwanted attention to this blog. But I have some stories. But not all churches are like that. The church I go to now is more focused on healing and forgiveness, a lot of people have had crazy lives, you know and what we want is just some peace and we want to believe what we believe with out anyone taking our faith away with their standards and then trying to shove some counterfeit Christianity down our throats. You know the meek shall inherit the earth. But I have seen Christianity misrepresented on so many fronts. And so what people get is just this ugly picture because all they see is this bullshit, but they don't see the other stuff that's done in secret. And that's the way he wants it. Hypocrites will stand in the open protesting soldiers funerals with their hateful signs and rants. You know I try not to be a hypocryte but sometimes I can be, but I say God forgive this poor sinner when I pray, I know what I am. But when Jesus had his ministry on earth there were roman soldiers going to and coming home from war. I don't remember the apostles going to any of their funerals and protesting them. When Jesus went to a funeral he brang people back to life. He never had people killed or burned any witches, his first sermon was on a mountain. A Mountain. Anyway, you know it's like reading an author's bad books and never reading anything good by him.
Oh and as for canards, don't get me wrong I still yeild to your point but I just want to point out that you used the "intellectual" canard. There are certain words that have a lot of sway in debates, intellectual, and closed minded I hear alot, and these work on begginners because they don't want to be presented as ant-intellectual or close minded and ll of that. BUT... The people who brought us Nazi Germany, and Stalinist Russia were the most intellectual men of their day. Jesus say that we are to be like little children.
Also I remember learning about the holocaust in elementary school. I am very sympathetic to this event. I hope nothing like that ever happens again.
Okay, now, don't misunderstand me because we are going into the realm of fiction here. I'm not trying to make comparisons or to take a victims role just making a point.
In elementary school we learned a term called scapegoat. The Jewish people in Europe were blamed for the economic political etc. circumstances. This was done trough literature or propaganda which ever you prefer. Now, lets look at Margaret Atwood's story The Handmaid's Tale. Do you see any scapegoats in her future dystopia? Anyone we can blame for the state of the U.S. anyone we can fear and try and rationally justify usng violence against to prevent this horror story she tells? Yes use your mind, think about it. Peace out nerd.

ODDVANISH said...

I've known Alex for a pretty long time now and I can say for sure that he is a dork.

Of course, I mean that in the nicest possible way.

The Silver Seagull said...

I can settle this right now if you want Odd. You say you've known Alex for a pretty long time. So you must have seen him in shorts.
Now I'm going to ask you a question:
When Alex Irvine wears shorts, does he pull his socks up to his knees?
Again:
When Alex Irvine wears shorts, DOES HE PULL HIS SOCKS UP TO HIS KNEES?

You see those who are born with dorkism have poor blood circulation in their shins and calves and so they have to wear long socks to keep them warm, even in the middle of summer when they are wearing shorts.

So if you answered no to this question then I am afraid that Alex Irvine is not a dork.