Well, Tallahassee isn’t known for its Nobel Laureates, so it’s not surprising that an ignorant, hypersensitive Baptist woman would try to make choices for an entire school district based on her own deeply-ingrained religious phobias.
The Democrat story calls Mrs. Gee a “teacher.” That’s stretching it a bit. A quick look on LinkedIn shows her to be the Minister of Preschoolers & Children (preschoolers aren’t children?) at Immanuel Baptist Church, a tidy little enclave of roughly 2,000 deeply troubled souls — and oddly enough, one of ten such Baptist churches clustered within a 1-mile radius, just northeast of the town center. This is Ground Zero for corn-pone credulity and feeble-mindedness, hiding beneath a mask of “faith.”
Before we descend into the maelstrom, it is worth noting that Mark Haddon’s book has won the 2004 Boeke Prize, the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year award, the 2004 Alex Awards, which “honor the 10 top adult books with appeal for adolescents,” the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Book Trust teenage fiction award, and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. To-date, it has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
A quote sums up the situation in all its piteous ignorance:
“The foul language and the religious skepticism alarmed Sue Gee, former teacher and a mother of an incoming Lincoln eleventh-grader.
‘I am not interested in having books banned,’ Gee said. ‘But to have that language and to take the name of Christ in vain – I don’t go for that. As a Christian, and as a female, I was offended. Kids don’t have to be reading that type of thing!’ “
I don’t care that Sue Gee is a stupefied, obtuse bint. I care very much that she and others like her are able to make public policy of any kind.
This is too good to not share. In this bright, catchy, calypso piece (with a full orchestra!), Tim Minchin brilliantly destroys the idea of faith healing:
“… Now I understand how prayer can work:
A particular prayer in a particular church
In a particular style with a particular stuff
And for particular problems that aren’t particularly tough,
And for particular people, preferably white
And for particular senses, preferably sight
A particular prayer in a particular spot
To a particular version of a particular god
And if you get that right, he just might
Take a break from giving babies malaria
And pop down to your local area
And fix the cataracts of your mum!
In this wonderful song Tim Minchin combines two bible verses to prove a point:
“If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.”
“If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice;
And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”
Delightful, no? No.
I really enjoy Penn Jillette’s very polite, very straightforward examination of the Bible’s contribution to his own atheism:
Why would reading the Bible make you an atheist?
1:54-3:26 : “I think because what we get told about the Bible is such a lot of picking and choosing. When you see, you know, Lot’s daughter gang raped and beaten and the Lord being OK with that; when you actually read about Abraham being willing to kill his son, when you actually read that, when you read the insanity of the talking snake, when you read the hostility toward homosexuals, towards women, the celebration of slavery; when you read in context that “thou shall not kill” means only in your own tribe.
I mean, there’s no hint that it means humanity in general. That there’s no sense of a shared humanity, it’s all tribal, when you see a god that is jealous and insecure, when you see that there are contradictions that show that it was clearly written hundreds of years after the supposed facts … read what the Bible says. Going back to the source material is always the best. When someone’s trying to interpret something for you they always have an agenda. So read the Bible.”
“Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release. The problem of recidivism ought to have shown young men like John Greenaway1 just what sort of a notion security is, but there is no indication that he would understand it.
Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can happen to you; security is the denial of life. Human beings are better equipped to cope with disaster and hardship than they are with unvarying security, but as long as security is the highest value in a community they can have little opportunity to decide this for themselves.”
― Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch
1. [School of Economic and Social Studies, University of East Anglia, UK; author of Drink and British Politics Since 1830: A Study in Policy-making]↩