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prisonchaplain

No Sectarian Books in Public School Libraries???

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Looks like the secular fundamentalists have begun a new attack on religion in the public square.  The argument is that public schools are prohibited by law from acquiring books with a sectarian message.  The book of interest in this story is The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom.  It's about a Dutch Christian family that helped hide Jews during WWII.

 

See:  http://www.christianpost.com/news/california-school-accused-of-purging-christian-books-126916/#!

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I'm as much of a secularist as you're likely to find.  But secularism isn't supposed to be about removing religion from public existence.  It's supposed to be about preventing public authority from giving favorable treatment to one brand of religion.  If you want to dilute the influence of Christianity in your school libraries, add books that illustrate the religious experience of other religions to the shelves.  As a friend said in Sacrament meeting a few weeks ago, the solution is always more knowledge.  it is never less knowledge.

 

This action is  just plain stupid.

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The U.S. government hired Navajos for military communications during wars.  They would translate messages into a very slangy form of Navajo that utterly baffled the Japanese.  During World War II, if I recall correctly, government agents quietly went around to a large number of U.S. libraries and secretly removed all books on Navajo grammar and language from the shelves to keep the Navajo messages incomprehensible to the enemy.

 

I think this is the only case of removing books from libraries that ever made any sense to me.

 

If you don't know much about Corrie ten Boom, you might want to read the Wikipedia article on her:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrie_ten_Boom

 

It's quite moving.  To argue that The Hiding Place should be banned as religious propaganda because part of it describes the author's opinion of Christianity is pretty monstrous to me.  Liberals famously deride religion because it supposedly makes people check their brains at the door when they enter church.  I'm tired of a public school system that makes everyone check their religion at the door when they enter school.

 

In fairness, I bet there were other books in that library that might have crossed the line, but The Hiding Place is not one of them.  Corrie ten Boom was knighted by the Dutch queen for her work, and she was later honored by the State of Israel.  One can approach and appreciate her work from a purely secular perspective. 

 

By the way, this wouldn't happen if we used vouchers and parents could send their kids to any accredited school of their choosing... funny how so many of our fights today originate from the spending of tax money.  But that's just my inner libertarian speaking.

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My high school's library had at least one copy of the BoM. Also a Wiccan bible. I wonder if it still does.

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My high school's library had at least one copy of the BoM. Also a Wiccan bible. I wonder if it still does.

 

I'd like to see a high school library that also included the Quran and the Torah as well.  :)

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I wonder whether this is one of the same libraries that refuse to install porn filters on their computers due to "censorship" concerns.

I like PolarVortex's point about vouchers; but does this school's status as a charter school have any bearing on that discussion?

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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In general, public charter schools are supposed to follow the rules of their district.  However, they operate streamline.  This makes them more nimble, but can also mean less oversight.  So, perhaps the superintendant has an anti-Christian worldview, and is using a hostile interpretation of the Constitution to justify her purge.  Then, when called on it, she offers her foolish interpretation as cover.  Ultimately, she may lose, but will suffer no personal penalty, since her error would be viewed as a "reasonable judgment." 

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I'd like to see a high school library that also included the Quran and the Torah as well.  :)

 

It may have, but I wouldn't have known what they were at that point to recognize them.

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My high school's library had at least one copy of the BoM. Also a Wiccan bible. I wonder if it still does.

 

One year in jr. high, I was a library aid. Lots of fun. I would check books in, then play on the computers or do homework or whatever. And the librarian was this sweet old man who would give me candy and pop.

 

Anywho... I became very familiar with the school library that year. We had quite a collection of different religious books--including a few neopagan and Wiccan ones and a Toran and Quoran. It being Utah, there was a couple of copies of the Book of Mormon.

 

I was on an academic competition team, and at one meeting religious books in public libraries came up. The coach (who I later learned was in the bishopric) brought up why public libraries never have religious text. I mentioned the books, including the two Books of Mormon, in the school library right around the corner.

 

Coach. Freaked. Out. Pretty much called me a liar.

 

I went and got the books.

Edited by Backroads

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Okay...I am angry about this incident.  Perhaps it's my belonging to the majority religion of our culture.  I grew up understanding that America was religiously tolerant, but the Judeo-Christian ethic reigned supreme.  Other people came here because they could practice their minority religions freely, in our tolerant Christian society.

 

How did we lose it?  Well, LDS was one of those minority religious groups...and one that didn't always receive that much praised tolerance.  Still...our ethics are the same, and we revere the same Bible heroes. 

 

So...how did lose our country?

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I think vouchers should be allowed for any school, even religious schools, as long as the school meets sensible standards.  Some people scream that no tax dollars may be spent to advance religion, but I think that's a hollow argument.  I just went to BYU's web page on financial aid, and it looks like students can get federal Pell grants to attend BYU.  I don't find that a use of tax dollars to advance religion, because the student picks the school, not the government.  If we can do this at the college level, I see no reason to forbid it for other levels of education.

 

In any case, this story about The Hiding Place hit RealClearReligion this morning:

 

http://blogs.ancientfaith.com/twocities/banning-hiding-place-future-society/

 

Backroads: Nothing stings like being called a liar, does it?  A few years ago (when I lived in California) some conservative group bought ads for buses that simply quoted extremist Muslims' comments about Jews and the non-Muslim world.  People freaked out and demanded that the ads be taken down immediately.  (Directly quoting a person constitutes an attack against that person in California.) 

 

A lot of my friends stated that no atheist group would ever put up advertising that denigrates religion.  Then I reminded them that I had seen many ads from American Atheists that quoted John Lennon's lyrics ("Imagine... no religion") and Richard Dawkins ("The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character is all of fiction...").  My anti-religious friends were shocked speechless and finally coped with it by calling me a liar to my face.  How I wish I had had an iPhone then to take a photo of those ads...

 

I think we have solid proof that no extraterrestrial civilizations are monitoring human activity.  If there were, they would have vaporized us long ago because of our foolishness.

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