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Author Topic: Concern widens over 'anti-religion' book
Snuckles
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Babbler # 2764

posted 23 November 2007 07:35 AM      Profile for Snuckles   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Dufferin-Peel Catholic board to review fantasy after neighbouring board pulled it from libraries

Nov 23, 2007 04:30 AM
Kristin Rushowy
Education Reporter

The Dufferin-Peel Catholic board is conducting an informal review of The Golden Compass because concerns have been raised about the children's fantasy book in the neighbouring Halton board.

"It warrants us having a look at it," said community relations manager Bruce Campbell, adding staff members have been assigned to read the book and basically provide a plot synopsis "so we understand what it's about."

The Halton Catholic District School Board has pulled The Golden Compass – an award-winning book set to be released as a major motion picture next month – from library shelves after a complaint.

The other two books in the trilogy by British author Philip Pullman, which have been compared to the Harry Potter series, are also off the shelves for now, but available if students ask for them.

The Halton board is convening a committee to review the book and recommend whether it should be available to children.

Halton Catholic elementary principals were directed not to distribute the December Scholastic flyer because The Golden Compass is available to order.

A board-issued memo says the books are "apparently written by an atheist where the characters and text are anti-God, anti-Catholic and anti-religion."


Read it here.


From: Hell | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Snuckles
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posted 23 November 2007 07:47 AM      Profile for Snuckles   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Also see School board pulls ‘anti-God’ book:

quote:
Halton's Catholic trustees and staff to review fantasy that is `apparently written by an atheist'
Nov 22, 2007 04:30 AM
Kristin Rushowy
Education Reporter

Halton's Catholic board has pulled The Golden Compass fantasy book – soon to be a Hollywood blockbuster starring Nicole Kidman – off school library shelves because of a complaint.

Two other books in the trilogy by British author Philip Pullman have also been removed as a precaution, and principals have been ordered not to distribute December Scholastic book flyers because The Golden Compass is available to order.

"(The complaint) came out of interviews that Philip Pullman had done, where he stated that he is an atheist and that he supports that," said Scott Millard, the board's manager of library services.

"Since we are an educational institution, we want to be able to evaluate the material; we want to make sure we have the best material for students."

Following a recent Star story about the series, an internal memo was sent to elementary principals that said "the book is apparently written by an atheist where the characters and text are anti-God, anti-Catholic and anti-religion."

Millard said if students want the books, they can ask librarians for them but the series won't be on display until a committee review is complete.



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M. Spector
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posted 23 November 2007 09:18 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's what kills me, from today's Globe:
quote:
Queen's University English literature professor Shelley King said the issue of whether the board should take Mr. Pullman's books from the shelf came up yesterday with her third-year class, and she and her students agreed it is a difficult question.

"It depends whether you are more interested in doctrine or in literary excellence. If your choice of reading matter is doctrinally driven, and you are not interested in challenges to received doctrine, then by all means, Pullman is not the man you want kids reading," Dr. King said.

Gordon Davies, head of languages, arts and sciences at the school of continuing education at the University of Toronto, said the school board's action has to be put into context.

It is not asking that the book not be read, sold or lent by a public library, said Dr. Davies, an expert on Catholic education.

"All the school board is saying is that it has a responsibility to provide education within the Catholic faith," Dr. Davies said.


Oh, the agony of difficult choices! These poor academics have to wrestle with such complicated issues! Should a book be banned because the author is an atheist? Well, you see, it all depends!


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 23 November 2007 09:46 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I enjoyed Pullman's trilogy (and there's a 4th book out now I believe), as did my children.

But I agree they should be pulled from Catholic school libraries.

I actually believe all books should be pulled from Catholic school libraries.

They just confuse the kids.


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Catchfire
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posted 23 November 2007 09:59 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Exactly. What's "difficult" about such questions? Just pull the damn books.
From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
SRB
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posted 23 November 2007 10:09 AM      Profile for SRB        Edit/Delete Post
"Oh, the agony of difficult choices! These poor academics have to wrestle with such complicated issues! Should a book be banned because the author is an atheist? Well, you see, it all depends!"

I think you're being a little bit unfair to that academic if you're including her in your statement. I happen to know that she's written several excellent articles on Pullman's trilogy, and even won an award for one (in fact, that's probably why a reporter talked to her), so I don't think she was saying at all that the book should be banned or not read. In fact, reading between the lines of her comment, I think she was suggesting that they are unquestionably books of "literary excellence" and that "literary excellence" should trump doctrine. Of course, thinking people of whatever belief system, whether atheist or religious) should welcome them as an opportunity to explore both literary excellence and doctrine with children.

But I haven't read the trilogy. Maybe someone who has would like to comment in more detail on the books.


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Albireo
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posted 23 November 2007 10:22 AM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
babble thread on His Dark Materials trilogy.
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Albireo
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posted 23 November 2007 10:49 AM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Suddenly these books are all atheistic and anti-god, now that a movie is coming out. I guess these book-banning heathens don't even read.

Anyway, if the problem is not only work that attacks or undermines religion, but the very fact that the author is an atheist, then these people had better get off their asses and start lobbying to ban all sorts of stuff.

Excerpting about 100 names from this long list of atheists and sorting by first name... includes over 2 dozen Nobel laureates:


* A. J. Ayer (1910–1989): Philosopher and advocate of logical positivism. Ayer was not an atheist in the sense of asserting that God does not exist, since he viewed such a claim as meaningless. However, he has been classified as a "practical atheist," who finds no reason to worship a deity whose existence cannot be verified.[125][126]
* Alan Turing (1912–1954): English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer. Turing is often considered to be the father of modern computer science. The Turing Award, often recognized as the "Nobel Prize of computing", is named after him.[211][212]
* Albert Camus (1913–1960): French philosopher and novelist, a luminary of existentialism. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957.[128][21]
* Alfred Kinsey (1894–1956): American biologist, sexologist and professor of entomology and zoology.[187]
* Amartya Kumar Sen (1933—): 1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics.[201][202][203][204]
* Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914?): American writer, author of The Devil's Dictionary.[30]
* Ayn Rand (1905–1982): Russian-born American author and founder of Objectivism.[56]
* Baron d'Holbach (1723–89): French philosopher and encyclopedist, most famous as being one of the first outspoken atheists in Europe.[135]
* Bertrand Russell, (1872–1970): British philosopher and mathematician. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950. Though he considered himself an agnostic in a purely philosophical context, he said that the label atheist conveyed a more accurate understanding of his views in a popular context.[144]
* Billy Joel (1949—): American singer, songwriter, and pianist.[117]
* Björk (1965—): Icelandic Singer/Song writer, Composer and Producer.[111]
* Brannon Braga (1965–): American TV producer and writer, creator of Star Trek: Enterprise.[86]
* Camille Paglia (1947—): American post-feminist literary and cultural critic.[52]
* China Miéville (1972—): British Science Fiction author.[50]
* Christer Fuglesang (1957—), Swedish astronaut and physicist.[181]
* Christopher Hitchens (1949—): Author, journalist and essayist.[38]
* Claude Adrien Helvétius (1715–71): French philosopher whose ethical and social views helped shape the school of utilitarianism later made famous by Jeremy Bentham.[133]
* Claude Shannon (1916–2001): American electrical engineer and mathematician, has been called "the father of information theory", and was the founder of practical digital circuit design theory.[205]
* Daniel Dennett (1942—): American philosopher, author of Breaking the Spell.[131]
* Dave Barry (1947–): American humor columnist and author of Big Trouble, among others.[29]
* David Gilmour (1946—): English guitarist and vocalist with Pink Floyd.[114]
* David Sloan Wilson (1949—): American evolutionary biologist, son of Sloan Wilson, proponent of multilevel selection theory and author of several popular books on evolution.[217]
* David Suzuki (1936—): Canadian university professor, science broadcaster and environmental activist.[25]
* Denis Diderot (1713–84): editor-in-chief of the Encyclopédie, who succeeded in bringing about "a revolution in men's minds."[133]
* Diagoras (5th century BCE): Ancient Greek poet and sophist known as the Atheist of Milos, who declared that there were no Gods.[132]
* Douglas Adams (1952–2001): British radio and television writer, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[27]
* Ernst Mayr (1904–2005): a renowned taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, historian of science, and naturalist. He was one of the 20th century's leading evolutionary biologists.[189]
* Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900): German Existentialist philosopher and known as the founder of Nihilism whose Beyond Good and Evil sought to refute traditional notions of morality. Nietzsche penned a memorable secular statement of the Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence in Thus Spake Zarathustra and is forever associated with the phrase, "God is dead" (first seen in his book, The Gay Science).[142]
* Frédéric Joliot-Curie (1900–1958): French physicist and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1935.[185]
* G. H. Hardy (1877–1947): a prominent English mathematician, known for his achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis.[183][184]
* Gao Xingjian (1940—): Chinese émigré novelist, dramatist, critic, translator, stage director and painter. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000.[67]
* Gene Wilder (1933—): American actor best known for his role as Willy Wonka.[109]
* George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950): Irish playwright, only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize (Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925) and an Oscar (Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1939 for Pygmalion).[62][63]
* George Meyer (1956—): Producer and writer for The Simpsons.[102]
* Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837): Italian poet, linguist, essayist and philosopher. Leopardi is legendary as an out-and-out nihilist.[45]
* Greg Graffin (1964—): Lead singer of the punk rock band Bad Religion. Received his zoology PhD with the thesis Monism, Atheism and the Naturalist Worldview: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology.[115][116]
* Harold Kroto (1939—): 1996 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.[186]
* Harold Pinter (1930—): British playwright, screenwriter, poet, actor, director, author, and political activist, best known for his plays The Birthday Party (1957), The Caretaker (1959), The Homecoming (1964), and Betrayal (1978). Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005.[53]
* Hermann Joseph Muller (1890–1967): American geneticist and educator, best known for his work on the physiological and genetic effects of radiation (X-ray mutagenesis). He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1946.[194]
* Ibn Warraq (1946—): Best-selling author and secularist scholar of Islam currently living in the United States. He is a Muslim apostate and an outspoken critic of Islam who has written extensively on what he views as the oppressive nature of Islam.[66]
* Isaac Asimov (1920–1992): Russian-born American author of science fiction and popular science books.[28]
* J. Michael Straczynski (1954—): American writer and producer, creator of Babylon 5.[107]
* Jacques Monod (1910–1976): French biologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965 for discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis.[192]
* James D. Watson (1928—): 1962-Nobel-laureate co-discover of the structure of DNA.[213][214]
* Janeane Garofalo (1964—): American actor and comedian.[78]
* Jean Meslier (1678–1733): French village Catholic priest who was found, on his death, to have written a book-length philosophical essay, entitled Common Sense but commonly referred to as Meslier's Testament, promoting atheism.[139][140]
* Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980): French existentialist philosopher, dramatist and novelist who declared that he had been an atheist from age twelve.[145] Although he regarded God as a self-contradictory concept, he still thought of it as an ideal toward which people strive.[146] He rejected the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964. According to Sartre, his most-repeated summary of his existentialist philosophy, "Existence precedes essence," implies that humans must abandon traditional notions of having been designed by a divine creator.[147]
* Jonathan Miller (1934—): British physician, actor, theatre and opera director, and television presenter. Wrote and presented the 2004 television series, Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief, exploring the roots of his own atheism and investigating the history of atheism in the world.[190]
* José Saramago (1922—): Portuguese writer, playwright and journalist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998.[59]
* Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709–51): French physician and philosopher, earliest materialist writer of the Enlightenment, claimed as a founder of cognitive science.[141]
* Karl Marx (1818–83): German author of Das Kapital, known for his assertion that "Religion is... the opium of the people."[138]
* Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003): American actress who appeared in 53 films from 1932 to 1994; winner of four Academy Awards for Best Actress.[92]
* Kurt Vonnegut (1922–2007): American author, writer of Cat's Cradle, among other books. Vonnegut said "I am an atheist (or at best a Unitarian who winds up in churches quite a lot)."[21]
* Leonard Susskind (1940—): American theoretical physicist; a founding father of superstring theory and professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University.[209]
* Linus Pauling (1901–1994): Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1954) and Peace (1962); considered by many to be the greatest chemist of the 20th century.[178]
* Linus Torvalds (1969—): Finnish software engineer, creator of the Linux kernel.[210]
* Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach (1804–1872): German philosopher whose major work, The Essence of Christianity, maintains that religion and divinity are projections of human nature.[134]
* Luis Buñuel (1900–1983): Spanish-born Mexican film-maker, activist of the surrealist movement. Known for his one-liner, "Thank God I'm still an atheist."[87]
* Michael Kinsley (1951—): American political journalist, commentator, and television host.[96]
* Michael Smith (1932–2000): British-born Canadian biochemist and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1993.[206]
* Michel Houellebecq (1958—): French novelist.[39]
* Mikhail Bakunin (1814–1876): Russian philosopher, writer and anarchist.[127]
* Mikhail Gorbachev (1931—): Former Soviet president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.[157][158][159]
* Nadine Gordimer (1923—): South African writer and political activist. Her writing has long dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. She won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991.[33][34]
* Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908): Russian Nationalist composer, member of "The Five", best-known for the tone poem Scheherazade.[121]
* Paul D. Boyer (1918—): American biochemist and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1997.[173]
* Paul Dirac (1902–1984): British theoretical physicist, founder of quantum mechanics, predicted the existence of antimatter; won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933.[177][178]
* Paul Nurse (1949—): 2001 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.[196]
* Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822): British Romantic poet, contemporary and associate of John Keats and Lord Byron, and author of The Necessity of Atheism.[64]
* Peter Atkins (1940—): Professor of chemistry at Lincoln College, Oxford in the University of Oxford, England. Also a prolific writer of popular chemistry textbooks. [172]
* Peter D. Mitchell (1920–1992): 1978-Nobel-laureate British biochemist. Atheist mother, and himself atheist from age 15.[191]
* Philip Pullman (1946—): CBE, British author of His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy for young adults, which have atheism as a major theme.[55]
* Phillip Adams (1939—): Australian broadcaster, writer, film-maker, left-wing radical thinker and iconoclast. He was the Australian Humanist of the Year in 1987.[85]
* Pierre Loti (1850–1923): French novelist and travel writer.[48]
* Primo Levi (1919–1987): Italian novelist and chemist, survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp.[46]
* Pär Lagerkvist (1891–1974): Swedish author who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1951. He used religious motifs and figures from the Christian tradition without following the doctrines of the church.[42]
* Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872—1958): British composer. Despite the variety of his works with religious connections, Vaughan Williams was decidedly not a believer.[123] He once said that "there is no reason why an atheist could not write a good mass," then proved it by writing a superb one. He later became an agnostic.[124]
* Richard Dawkins (1941—): British zoologist, biologist, creator of the concepts of the selfish gene and the meme; outspoken atheist and popularizer of science, author of The God Delusion and founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.[176]
* Richard Feynman (1918–1988): American theoretical physicist, best known for his work in renormalizing Quantum electrodynamics and his path integral formulation of Quantum Mechanics . He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.[179]
* Richard J. Roberts (1943—): British biochemist and molecular biologist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing.[198][199][200]
* Richard Leakey (1944—): Kenyan paleontologist, archaeologist and conservationist.[188]
* Ron Reagan (1958—): American magazine journalist, board member of the politically activist Creative Coalition, son of former U. S. President Ronald Reagan.[57]
* Rutka Laskier (1929–1943): Polish Jew who was killed at Auschwitz concentration camp at the age of 14. Because of her diary, on display at Israel's Holocaust museum, she has been dubbed the "Polish Anne Frank." [43]
* Salman Rushdie (1947—): Indian-born British essayist and author of fiction.[58]
* Sarah Polley (1979—): Canadian actress and director.[104]
* Sean M. Carroll (1956—): Theoretical cosmologist specializing in dark energy and general relativity.[174]
* Sigmund Freud (1856–1939): Father of psychoanalysis.[180]
* Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917—): British scientist and science-fiction author.[31]
* Sir Ian McKellen (1939—): English Stage and Screen Actor.[99]
* Stanislaw Lem (1921–2006): Polish science fiction novelist and essayist.[44]
* Steve Wozniak (1950—): Co. founder of Apple Computer and inventor of the Apple I and Apple II.[218]
* Steven Pinker (1954—): American psychologist.[197]
* Steven Soderbergh (1963—): American filmmaker, Academy Award-winning director of such films as Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Ocean's Eleven, and Sex, Lies and Videotape.[105]
* Steven Weinberg (1933—): American theoretical physicist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 for combining electromagnetism and the weak force into the electroweak force.[215][216]
* Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910–1995): Indian American astrophysicist known for his theoretical work on the structure and evolution of stars. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983.[175]
* Terry Pratchett (1948—): English Fantasy author known for his satirical Discworld series.[54]
* Vitaly Ginzburg (1916—): Russian theoretical physicist and astrophysicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003. He was also awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1994/95.[182]
* Woody Allen (1935—): American film director, actor and comedian. Allen said that "To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition."[72]

[ 23 November 2007: Message edited by: Albireo ]


From: --> . <-- | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 23 November 2007 10:52 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's an excellent argument for pulling public funding from these schools. How about a new rule: if your school is run by a bunch of book-burning religious nutjobs, you DON'T get public funding. Period.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 23 November 2007 11:28 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Here's an excellent argument for pulling public funding from these schools. How about a new rule: if your school is run by a bunch of book-burning religious nutjobs, you DON'T get public funding. Period.

Works for me!


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Draco
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posted 23 November 2007 01:54 PM      Profile for Draco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Here's an excellent argument for pulling public funding from these schools. How about a new rule: if your school is run by a bunch of book-burning religious nutjobs, you DON'T get public funding. Period.

It's certainly a great issue to frame the debate, since it makes it rather clear that the Catholic schools aren't simply about educating about the Catholic faith (not something that should be publicly funded anyway), but actively indoctrinating the students, to the exclusion of all other ideas.


From: Wild Rose Country | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
gbacque
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posted 23 November 2007 02:43 PM      Profile for gbacque        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Snuckles:

Read it here.


I wonder what they're gonna do when the movie version is released in a couple of weeks.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Trevormkidd
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posted 23 November 2007 02:45 PM      Profile for Trevormkidd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I can't believe that wikipedia didn't include Ian McEwan in their list of atheist authors. Outspoken atheist and winner of many literary prizes.
From: SL | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Noah_Scape
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posted 24 November 2007 03:44 PM      Profile for Noah_Scape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am allways quoting the unionist:
quote:
I actually believe all books should be pulled from Catholic school libraries.

With a twinge of regret for taking the low road of 'tossing insults', I offer this:

We have come this far:
"Separation of Government and Religion"

Maybe someday:
"Separation of Schools and Religion"

But it has allways been:
"Separation of Thinking and Religion"

... and ya, separate public funding from religious schools for sure!!


From: B.C. | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 November 2007 06:41 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Somehow this attempt to develop an Ontario version of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum has ended up being discussed on another thread, but I think it's important to reiterate here that not one, but three (3) Catholic boards are now "reviewing" the trilogy:

CBC news


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
TemporalHominid
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posted 25 November 2007 08:46 AM      Profile for TemporalHominid   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Here's an excellent argument for pulling public funding from these schools. How about a new rule: if your school is run by a bunch of book-burning religious nutjobs, you DON'T get public funding. Period.

I 2nd that motion, if it's already been 2nd 'ed, then never mind

expect more of this as more people vocalize a return to traditional- family - Christian values.

The religious zealots have been setting themselves up to set the agendas in our public spaces.

Look for key words like "intolerance" and "bigotry" being thrown around when censorship of books is challenged by librarians, teachers, GLBT advocacy groups, secularists etc .

[ 25 November 2007: Message edited by: TemporalHominid ]


From: Under a bridge, in Foot Muck | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
janfromthebruce
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posted 26 November 2007 06:16 AM      Profile for janfromthebruce     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Draco:

It's certainly a great issue to frame the debate, since it makes it rather clear that the Catholic schools aren't simply about educating about the Catholic faith (not something that should be publicly funded anyway), but actively indoctrinating the students, to the exclusion of all other ideas.


No kidding. Read it at

On page 2 it says, "And the mission of the Catholic school is to evangelize youthso that they will become not only well-developed persons and good citizens but also faithful disciples of Christ and "witnesses to the faith!"

And there it is in the written word. CATHOLIC TRUSTEES Advocates, Stewarts & Guardians

[ 26 November 2007: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]


From: cow country | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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Babbler # 11323

posted 26 November 2007 06:34 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Looks as if the movie has already been "sanitized" to mollify religious fanatics...

quote:
Days after an Ontario school board temporarily pulled copies of Philip Pullman's popular fantasy novel The Golden Compass from their shelves, the people bringing it to the big screen, including actor Daniel Craig, have come to its defence.

"These books are not anti-religious. I think that mainly they're anti-misuse of power - whether it's religious or political," Mr. Craig, best known for his portrayal of James Bond, said after being asked about the controversy dogging the novel. [...]

Interestingly, some Pullman fan sites have complained that the studio behind the film, New Line, has diluted the books' criticism of religious authority.

The film's director, Chris Weitz, who hopes to film Mr. Pullman's entire trilogy, echoed Mr. Craig's sentiments. "I don't happen to believe that His Dark Materials is an anti-religious or anti-Catholic series of books. I think that Philip Pullman is against the abuse of religion, the abuse of God for political power." [...]

Neil MacCarthy, communications director for the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, said yesterday his organization "expects our school boards, their leadership and our Catholic trustees to ensure responsible decisions are made about the books they offer in their schools' libraries. It is our understanding that several boards are taking a look at this particular book."


I suppose the Catholic Archdiocese has a point. If a popular well-written series of books got children thinking about religion in a critical way, it could affect the Archdiocese's future revenues. Best to burn take a look at such books right now.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 02:17 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Has anybody fully understood what is offensive in these books ? My understanding from the thread is that there is anti-Catholic sentiment therein ?

If so, I can't see what would be objectionable in monitoring those books more closely.

This phrase -

quote:
religious nutjobs
- is intolerant and shouldn't be used on a progressive site, in my opinion....

From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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Babbler # 11323

posted 26 November 2007 02:28 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
My understanding from the thread is that there is anti-Catholic sentiment therein ?

If so, I can't see what would be objectionable in monitoring those books more closely.


You haven't even read the books - and you are concluding from this thread that it would be unobjectionable to "monitor" them more closely?

Because they may contain "anti-Catholic sentiment"?

I thought political views like yours were overthrown by the French and American revolutions.

That was over 200 years ago. I wouldn't want to rush you, though.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 02:32 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U,

quote:
You haven't even read the books - and you are concluding from this thread that it would be unobjectionable to "monitor" them more closely?

Because they may contain "anti-Catholic sentiment"?


There's that little phrase "if so" in there...

I don't know why they would be banned if there wasn't something explicitly anti-Catholic or anti-God in there. I mean, they're not banning 'Inherit the Wind'...

quote:

I thought political views like yours were overthrown by the French and American revolutions.

That was over 200 years ago. I wouldn't want to
rush you, though.


I believe that religious freedom should be protected as per the constitution. That means that some objectionable, and false things will be allowed to be taught to children...

If you can find me an example of a progressive government that successfully banned incorrect thinking, then perhaps I could be convinced otherwise.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 26 November 2007 02:43 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
I don't know why they would be banned if there wasn't something explicitly anti-Catholic or anti-God in there.

So (and I don't want to presume here, or rush you, or miss any two-letter words...):

Catholic school boards would be justified in banning books that had explicitly anti-Catholic or anti-God sentiment?

If that is true, they should not simply be de-funded. They should have their certificate-granting powers removed, even if operated as private schools.

Parents still insistent on such a high level of thought control can try to force their kids into convents or monasteries. Although I'm afraid that even there, the Devil's ideas have been known to reach.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 26 November 2007 03:02 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, the Halton Catholic School Board really let the cat out of the bag, didn't they?


They are afraid of a single book that may have atheistic overtones. It shows a serious lack of confidence in their beliefs.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Draco
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posted 26 November 2007 03:13 PM      Profile for Draco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
Has anybody fully understood what is offensive in these books ? My understanding from the thread is that there is anti-Catholic sentiment therein ?
...


Here's a quote from the second book of the trilogy, The Subtle Knife, which should answer your question.

quote:
Ruta Skadi stood. Her white arms gleamed in the firelight; her eyes glittered so brightly that even the farthest witch could see the play of expression on her vivid face.

"Sisters," she began, "let me tell you what is happening, and who it is that we must fight. For there is a war coming. I don't know who will join with us, but I know whom we must fight. It is the Magisterium, the Church. For all its history - and that's not long by our lives, but it's many, many of theirs--it's tried to suppress and control every natural impulse. And when it can't control them, it cuts them out. Some of you have seen what they did at Bolvangar. And that was horrible, but it is not the only such place, not the only such practice. Sisters, you know only the north; I have traveled in the south lands. There are churches there, believe me, that cut their children too, as the people of Bolvangar did--not in the same way, but just as horribly. They cut their sexual organs, yes, both boys and girls; they cut them with knives so that they shan't feel. That is what the Church does, and every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling. So if a war comes, and the Church is on one side of it, we must be on the other, no matter what strange allies we find ourselves bound to."


My jaw dropped when I read that, with a response mixing "That was awesome!" and "I can't believe this book isn't more controversial!" Naturally the coming movie has changed the controversy bit (as was pointed out by Albireo, those interested in banning books don't seem to read them otherwise).

Yes, the books are quite clearly and strongly critical of organized religion and of Christianity in particular, which is referred to as a "very convincing mistake." The question for religious schools then becomes to behave exactly like the fictional Magisterium and try to suppress critical thought.


From: Wild Rose Country | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 03:18 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ok, well that explains the reaction I suppose.

quote:
Catholic school boards would be justified in banning books that had explicitly anti-Catholic or anti-God sentiment?

Justified ? In whose eyes ?

I understand why they would ban the book, though.

quote:


If that is true, they should not simply be de-funded. They should have their certificate-granting powers removed, even if operated as private schools.

Parents still insistent on such a high level of thought control can try to force their kids into convents or monasteries. Although I'm afraid that even there, the Devil's ideas have been known to reach.


Hmmm....

Well, I don't think religious schools should be publicly funded. Removing the funding, though, could cause more damage than it's worth. As long as they have funding, then they should be able to dictate what is in their libraries, within reasonable limits.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Draco
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posted 26 November 2007 03:24 PM      Profile for Draco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
As long as they have funding, then they should be able to dictate what is in their libraries, within reasonable limits.

The implementation of intellectual freedom in our libraries is far from perfect. But when you throw that principle out the window completely and start dictating which ideas get to be included and which must be censored, then you don't have a library in any meaningful sense of the word, just a collection of books.


From: Wild Rose Country | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 26 November 2007 03:34 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
As long as they have [public] funding, then they should be able to dictate what is in their libraries, within reasonable limits.
Wha--? Why does the presence of public funding endow them with the right to dictate what's in their libraries? If public funding were removed, would that remove their right to "dictate"?

Surely the shoe is on the other foot - the presence of public funding should if anything tend to restrain their ability to exclude the ideas of a significant sector of the taxpaying public from their libraries?

[ 26 November 2007: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 03:36 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The implementation of intellectual freedom in our libraries is far from perfect. But when you throw that principle out the window completely and start dictating which ideas get to be included and which must be censored, then you don't have a library in any meaningful sense of the word, just a collection of books.

Draco,

You're using the term 'our libraries' which must mean you are a Catholic school supporter.

Are you planning to take this up with your separate board representative then ?


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 03:39 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Spectro,

quote:
Wha--? Why does the presence of public funding endow them with the right to dictate what's in their libraries? If public funding were removed, would that remove their right to "dictate"?

Sorry - maybe I didn't make this clear.

They're endowed with the right to dictate what's in their libraries in the constitution. Funding has nothing to do with it.

quote:

Surely the shoe is on the other foot - the presence of public funding should if anything tend to restrain their ability to exclude the ideas of a significant sector of the taxpaying public from their libraries?

No, the religious minority is protected no matter who pays the freight.

Imagine what could happen, constitutionally speaking, if that were the case.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Draco
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posted 26 November 2007 03:40 PM      Profile for Draco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:

Draco,

You're using the term 'our libraries' which must mean you are a Catholic school supporter.

Are you planning to take this up with your separate board representative then ?


I meant all Canadian libraries. I have no ties to nor support for religious school boards, though I suppose enquiring locally regarding this issue wouldn't hurt.


From: Wild Rose Country | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 03:44 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Draco,

quote:
I meant all Canadian libraries. I have no ties to nor support for religious school boards, though I suppose enquiring locally regarding this issue wouldn't hurt.

Well, I don't know why you would consider a Catholic library 'yours' then...


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Draco
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posted 26 November 2007 03:59 PM      Profile for Draco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:

They're endowed with the right to dictate what's in their libraries in the constitution.

Well, I don't know why you would consider a Catholic library 'yours' then...


The children attending Catholic schools, as citizens or residents of Canada, are constitutionally guaranteed freedom of a) conscience and religion and b) expression, which includes as a necessary corollary the freedom to access the expressions of others. I don't think mere criticism of dogma justifies the school board in violating the rights of its students by censoring ideas from the library.

As the students are unlikely to have been fully educated in their right to read, it falls on others to act on their behalf.

[ 26 November 2007: Message edited by: Draco ]


From: Wild Rose Country | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 04:02 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The children attending Catholic schools, as citizens or residents of Canada, are constitutionally guaranteed freedom of a) conscience and religion and b) expression, which includes as a necessary corollary the freedom to access the expressions of others. I don't think mere criticism of dogma justifies the school board has the proper authority to violate the rights of its students by censoring ideas from the library.

As the students are unlikely to have been fully educated in their right to read, it falls on others to act on their behalf.


D,

The necessary corollary part is untrue. Certainly, the board would win this right if it were tested.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 26 November 2007 04:05 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
No, the religious minority is protected no matter who pays the freight.
Which religious minority are you referring to? Surely not the Catholic Church, which is the largest religious denomination in Canada?

And protecting religious minorities does not mean guaranteeing them the right to deny their children the freedom to read. If it did, moreover, why on earth would we want to spend public funds to support such child abuse?


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Draco
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posted 26 November 2007 04:16 PM      Profile for Draco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:

D,

The necessary corollary part is untrue. Certainly, the board would win this right if it were tested.


Well, I can't imagine how freedom of expression could be considered meaningful if that expression can be stopped before it gets to anyone else.

The board might win a legal challenge, or they might not. That doesn't change the fact that children have rights and that libraries have a duty to: "guarantee and facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity, including those which some elements of society may consider to be unconventional, unpopular, or unacceptable." (Link) This duty is somewhat muted in school libraries, but not to the extent that it could possibly justify removing books merely because they criticize religion.


From: Wild Rose Country | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 26 November 2007 04:24 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is not just about funding. It's about whether a school should even have certificate-granting privileges.

In Québec, schools which teach creationism instead of evolution are not recognized. Children who attend them and not real schools are considered as truants.

Perhaps Halton will ban "Origin of Species" next?

If a school bans reading material on the grounds that it criticizes organized religion, I would suggest that its credentials should be seriously scrutinized - whether it is public or private, state-funded or not.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 04:27 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
M Spector,

quote:
Which religious minority are you referring to? Surely not the Catholic Church, which is the largest religious denomination in Canada?

I thought they were a minority of Canadians, but point taken it doesn't matter if they're a minority or majority.

quote:

And protecting religious minorities does not mean guaranteeing them the right to deny their children the freedom to read. If it did, moreover, why on earth would we want to spend public funds to support such child abuse?

It doesn't sound like you do want to spend 'your money'. It's okay, I spend lots of time arguing with right-wingers who don't agree with 'their' taxpayer dollars going to welfare, schools, hospitals and so forth. I'm not offended.

A cultural mosaic means that all cultures are tolerated, whether their individual beliefs are found to be distasteful or not...


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 04:29 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Draco,

There are many problems with what you're saying.

quote:
Well, I can't imagine how freedom of expression could be considered meaningful if that expression can be stopped before it gets to anyone else.

Parents can stop children from watching all sorts of things that are permitted under the constitution. I wouldn't let my child watch a John Wayne war movie, nor an episode of Sex in the City and God forbid... Dick Cavett.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 04:36 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U,

quote:
This is not just about funding. It's about whether a school should even have certificate-granting privileges.

In Québec, schools which teach creationism instead of evolution are not recognized. Children who attend them and not real schools are considered as truants.

Perhaps Halton will ban "Origin of Species" next?


You're comparing apples and oranges there.

quote:

If a school bans reading material on the grounds that it criticizes organized religion, I would suggest that its credentials should be seriously scrutinized - whether it is public or private, state-funded or not.

Let's call a spade a spade.

a) They haven't even banned the book, although it would be understandable if they did.
b) These aren't essays on religion, written by philosophers, but children's books with an anti-religious message written into the plot.
c) There is no 'criticism' of religion here, but rather a demonizing of 'The Church'. I can see that there are references to circumcision but no mentions of synagogues.

It's all underhanded and negative. I'm not religious but I think that these books are dirty business.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 26 November 2007 04:37 PM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Actually, the problem is with what you are saying. Here you go. This is your quote:

quote:
A cultural mosaic means that all cultures are tolerated, whether their individual beliefs are found to be distasteful or not...

Can you see where your problem lies??? If you can claim that all cultures are tolerated (and I had no ideas Catholics were considered a "culture") then you cannot possibly be okay with the banning of a book based upon the criteria it is atheist. If you think this book is anti-Catholic, than how do you defend the fact kids in catholic schools are denied the right to read a particular book? Should the Catholic schools be allowed to ban "Are You There God, It's me, Margaret?" because it deals with sexuality? Where do you think they should draw the line in their quest to ban books? What books do you think they have no right to ban?

Since when is it progressive to side with book banning? *sigh*


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 04:48 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Starg,

quote:
Can you see where your problem lies??? If you can claim that all cultures are tolerated (and I had no ideas Catholics were considered a "culture") then you cannot possibly be okay with the banning of a book based upon the criteria it is atheist. If you think this book is anti-Catholic, than how do you defend the fact kids in catholic schools are denied the right to read a particular book? Should the Catholic schools be allowed to ban "Are You There God, It's me, Margaret?" because it deals with sexuality? Where do you think they should draw the line in their quest to ban books? What books do you think they have no right to ban?

Since when is it progressive to side with book banning? *sigh*


Tolerance means tolerating intolerance.

Many religions prohibit marrying outside the faith, which itself is prejudice so...


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 26 November 2007 04:52 PM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, I guess we have a vastly different meaning of tolerance. I'll stick with mine thanks. I don't have to tolerate bigots, racists or sexist fools. No more than I need to "respect" religious beliefs.

Oh and I'd love for you to answer my questions. All of them.

[ 26 November 2007: Message edited by: Stargazer ]


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Draco
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posted 26 November 2007 05:09 PM      Profile for Draco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
Draco,

There are many problems with what you're saying.

Parents can stop children from watching all sorts of things that are permitted under the constitution. I wouldn't let my child watch a John Wayne war movie, nor an episode of Sex in the City and God forbid... Dick Cavett.


We aren't talking about parents, but a school board making that decision for every child in the district. And was pointed out by unionist, there are limits on even a parent's right to deny their child access to ideas. Surely a school board would have a much more limited ability to censor.

quote:
These aren't essays on religion, written by philosophers, but children's books with an anti-religious message written into the plot.
There is no 'criticism' of religion here, but rather a demonizing of 'The Church'. I can see that there are references to circumcision but no mentions of synagogues.

It's all underhanded and negative. I'm not religious but I think that these books are dirty business.


I thought you hadn't read them?


From: Wild Rose Country | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 26 November 2007 05:18 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
I enjoyed Pullman's trilogy (and there's a 4th book out now I believe), as did my children.

But I agree they should be pulled from Catholic school libraries.

I actually believe all books should be pulled from Catholic school libraries.

They just confuse the kids.


I believe all funding should be pulled from Catholic schools.


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 06:39 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Starg,

Answers:

quote:

Can you see where your problem lies??? If you can claim that all cultures are tolerated (and I had no ideas Catholics were considered a "culture") then you cannot possibly be okay with the banning of a book based upon the criteria it is atheist. If you think this book is anti-Catholic, than how do you defend the fact kids in catholic schools are denied the right to read a particular book?

Hmmm. Because it mocks and denigrates the values of Catholics ?

quote:

Should the Catholic schools be allowed to ban "Are You There God, It's me, Margaret?" because it deals with sexuality?

I don't know that book, so start a new thread.

quote:

Where do you think they should draw the line in their quest to ban books? What books do you think they have no right to ban?


I don't want to talk about "rights" because that's more of a legal question. On second thought, let's leave it on "rights" because it's easier for me to answer.

I'd say that they have the legal "right" to ban books that denigrate their faith, its values, and its practices.

Maybe someone else with more of a legal background can add their two cents.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 06:43 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dracul,

quote:

We aren't talking about parents, but a school board making that decision for every child in the district.

Actually, I was responding to your point:

"Well, I can't imagine how freedom of expression could be considered meaningful if that expression can be stopped before it gets to anyone else."

The fact that we're dealing with children throws your 'freedom of expression' angle out the window.

quote:

And was pointed out by unionist, there are limits on even a parent's right to deny their child access to ideas. Surely a school board would have a much more limited ability to censor.

Of course, there are limits. But some ideas can be denied, as you imply. In other words, freedom of expression can be stopped.

quote:


I thought you hadn't read them?

I hadn't. I read the excerpt posted above after it was posted.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 26 November 2007 06:44 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
SP,

quote:
I believe all funding should be pulled from Catholic schools.

I agree, but I think that the pulling of funding would cause a lot of strife right now. In 20, 30 years, it won't be such a big deal to pull religious funding.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 26 November 2007 07:38 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
I agree, but I think that the pulling of funding would cause a lot of strife right now.

Dumping Catholic public schools in Québec and N&L caused no strife - only relief.

What makes you so pessimistic about Ontarians? More importantly, if you understand the need to cut the Catholics off, what makes you so much smarter than everyone else?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
janfromthebruce
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posted 26 November 2007 07:39 PM      Profile for janfromthebruce     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There is a great read and link about this books at LA REVUE GAUCHE - Left Analysis And Comment called "More Silly Censorship." Hat trick to Eugene Plawiuk for a great post.
This is not anti-christ or anti-christian but threatens power structures of the church.
There is a link to another page here:The Boston Globe called God in the Dust.

Everyone on this board should read this author's whole article.
To quote "It is a beautiful story, and a Christian story. It is a story that could prompt believers to reflect on their faith. It is just not a story that everyone may want you to read."

Donna Freitas is a visiting assistant professor of religion at Boston University. She is the coauthor of "Killing the Imposter God: Philip Pullman's Spiritual Imagination in His Dark Materials," and author of the forthcoming "Sex and the Soul" from Oxford University Press.

"But this is a sad misreading of the trilogy. These books are deeply theological, and deeply Christian in their theology. The universe of "His Dark Materials" is permeated by a God in love with creation, who watches out for the meekest of all beings - the poor, the marginalized, and the lost. It is a God who yearns to be loved through our respect for the body, the earth, and through our lives in the here and now. This is a rejection of the more classical notion of a detached, transcendent God, but I am a Catholic theologian, and reading this fantasy trilogy enhanced my sense of the divine, of virtue, of the soul, of my faith in God.

The book's concept of God, in fact, is what makes Pullman's work so threatening. His trilogy is not filled with attacks on Christianity, but with attacks on authorities who claim access to one true interpretation of a religion. Pullman's work is filled with the feminist and liberation strands of Catholic theology that have sustained my own faith, and which threaten the power structure of the church. Pullman's work is not anti-Christian, but anti-orthodox."

So, a book is being pulled that is not atheist, and not anti-religion because why??? Because powers to be feel threatened and where the Catholic League, a conservative religious organization, along with evangelical nonprofit Focus on the Family, in the states started this boycott.

This brings new meaning to oppression and human rights of children.

[ 26 November 2007: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]


From: cow country | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 26 November 2007 07:42 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by janfromthebruce:
"I am a Catholic theologian, and reading this fantasy trilogy enhanced my sense of the divine, of virtue, of the soul, of my faith in God."

All right, ok, I agree - the books should be pulled. Thanks for pointing out their insidious pro-Catholic nature! And here I thought they were benign Satanic volumes...

Burn 'em!


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 26 November 2007 07:44 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
This phrase - religious nutjobs - is intolerant and shouldn't be used on a progressive site, in my opinion....

Oh, I'm sorry. From now on, I'll call religious book censors "religious fuckwads".

Does that make you feel better? And here, I'll type really, really slowly so that hopefully the point will be understood. Not all religious people are religious nutjobs or religious fuckwads. Only the ones who ban books because of their religion. And teach children that people from other religions are going to hell. And lobby against birth control and condoms because of their religion. And try to control women's bodies because of their religion. And are homophobic because they think God hates fags.

Do you do those things because of your religion? No? Then I didn't mean you. I meant the other ones. The fuckwads. And the nutjobs.

quote:
Tolerance means tolerating intolerance.

What a pile of horseshit. I don't tolerate any religious fuckwad trying to tell me what I can do with my body, or using public funds to ban books or teach kids to hate gays and discriminate against women. That's not tolerance, that's being a doormat.

[ 26 November 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 26 November 2007 07:52 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
This phrase - religious nutjobs - is intolerant and shouldn't be used on a progressive site, in my opinion....

Oh really? Wasn't this also your opinion:

quote:
Also originally posted by Michael Hardner, on the very same day:
Tolerance means tolerating intolerance.

I think I get it. We have to tolerate fanatical religious attacks on basic human freedoms. We have to respect not only people's right to their own beliefs, but their efforts to impose those beliefs on others.

But we must under no circumstances call some self-styled "religious" person anti-human, neo-fascist, anti-freedom, homophobic, anti-woman, anti-Aboriginal - because that would be impolite.

I'll write all that down and try to govern myself accordingly.

[ 26 November 2007: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 26 November 2007 07:53 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 27 November 2007 08:32 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U,

quote:
Dumping Catholic public schools in Québec and N&L caused no strife - only relief.

What makes you so pessimistic about Ontarians? More importantly, if you understand the need to cut the Catholics off, what makes you so much smarter than everyone else?


I wouldn't say that I'm smarter, only calmer.

Why am I pessimistic ? I wouldn't say that I am. I'm probably more cautious though.

I think it would help if a group of Catholics formed to advance some positive way in which this goal could be achieved.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 27 November 2007 08:39 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Jan,

quote:
Everyone on this board should read this author's whole article.
To quote "It is a beautiful story, and a Christian story. It is a story that could prompt believers to reflect on their faith. It is just not a story that everyone may want you to read."

Thanks for posting that. It makes me feel better about the work as a whole. However, I still think that there are problems conveying the subtlety of these ideas to children.

By the time they're able to see the difference between the Church, its customs and culture, its problems then they're probably too old to read such a book anyway.

Does anyone know what age range is targeted for these books ? It seems like under 10 to me, but I'm not a parent...


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 27 November 2007 08:42 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U,
quote:
I think I get it. We have to tolerate fanatical religious attacks on basic human freedoms.

No.

quote:
We have to respect not only people's right to their own beliefs, but their efforts to impose those beliefs on others.

No.

quote:

But we must under no circumstances call some self-styled "religious" person anti-human, neo-fascist, anti-freedom, homophobic, anti-woman, anti-Aboriginal - because that would be impolite.

YOu can call an individual person whatever you like, but when you label a group based on your prejudices then that's not fair, in my opinion.

There are many progressives who came from a religious background, including relatives of mine who used their faith to help people around the world, and I don't like to let it pass when all religious people are slandered for a stereotype, or for the crimes of a handful.

I don't think I have much more to add than that.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 27 November 2007 08:47 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michelle,

quote:
Oh, I'm sorry. From now on, I'll call religious book censors "religious fuckwads".

Does that make you feel better? And here, I'll type really, really slowly so that hopefully the point will be understood. Not all religious people are religious nutjobs or religious fuckwads. Only the ones who ban books because of their religion. And teach children that people from other religions are going to hell. And lobby against birth control and condoms because of their religion. And try to control women's bodies because of their religion. And are homophobic because they think God hates fags.


Ok, so I can use the term Islamic nutjob, idiot woman, or black idiot or similarly hyphenated hate term to get away with saying whatever I like then ?

You can set the rules, but I don't have to say that it's ok with me, and it's not.

quote:

Do you do those things because of your religion? No? Then I didn't mean you. I meant the other ones. The fuckwads. And the nutjobs.

Hyphenate away, then, and if you rationalization makes you feel better than I suppose that works for you.

I know a lot of religious people, and members of any group that make the world a better place and I don't like to let these kind of smears go uncommented.

quote:

What a pile of horseshit. I don't tolerate any religious fuckwad trying to tell me what I can do with my body, or using public funds to ban books or teach kids to hate gays and discriminate against women. That's not tolerance, that's being a doormat.

The 'public funds' argument was a great one that Mike Harris liked to use to rationalize whatever he wanted to do. By calling people 'taxpayers' we turn society into a set of cash transaction relationships, rather than a community of peoples that strive do to better individually and as a group.

As I said to Unionist, these are my feelings on the issue and I don't have much to add, nor do I want to get into a long thread of rationalizing why it's ok to use the term 'religious nutjobs' but not make fun of someone's race or nationality.

I've been there before, though it's usually with right-wing types. Arguing these types of things with progressives tends to depress me.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 27 November 2007 08:53 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
There are many progressives who came from a religious background, including relatives of mine who used their faith to help people around the world...
If it's possible to use faith to help people around the world, then I'm definitely interested, because I want to help people around the world.

Please tell us what faith we may adopt for this purpose, and explain how exactly such faith on our part will help such people.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 27 November 2007 08:54 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's not progressive to let religious flakes use public funds to push hateful beliefs on children. It's just stupid. Sorry, but there's a big old progressive movement out there that has been fighting religious fascism for centuries. It's why we no longer have heretics burned at the stake, and other religious persecution, at least not here, thank dog.

As for "Islamic nutjob", there's really no need, as "religious nutjobs" pretty much cover anyone, whether it's the occasional Muslim who believes in stoning women who have sex outside of marriage, or the occasional fundamentalist Christian who believes in book banning.

I didn't target one religion, and I didn't even target everyone who is religious.

You're starting to remind me of those homophobic trolls who used to come to babble and whine because we refused to "tolerate" their hate posts against gays and lesbians on babble. That argument may be fun when you're wanking around in a first year philosophy seminar, but in real life, progressives are not required to "tolerate" people who spread hate because God Told Them To.

[ 27 November 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 27 November 2007 08:55 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michael might have a point except that it seems that most of the people who are considering (considering? Why is this a "problem" to be mulled over?) pulling the book aren't "nutjobs" at all. Well, not really. They're principals, administrators and employees of a public institution. There should be no discussion. If you want to start talking about banning books (banning books? Christ!) you don't get to play.

I'm sorry, Michael. I know you might feel targeted by the criticism here, but I think it's a mugs' game. And you aren't helping yourself by doorjamming Christians in the same oppressed category as women, Muslims and blacks.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 27 November 2007 09:08 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
M Spector

quote:
If it's possible to use faith to help people around the world, then I'm definitely interested, because I want to help people around the world.

Please tell us what faith we may adopt for this purpose, and explain how exactly such faith on our part will help such people.


Yes, it is possible. Many faiths may assist you in helping people. I advise you to peruse a few and pick a good one.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 27 November 2007 09:09 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree, Catchfire. Besides, it's a dumb analogy. I've often thought of certain women as "idiots" and even said so. But no, I wouldn't say "idiot woman" because generally when women do something idiotic, they're not doing it in the name of being female. But when I call someone a religious nutjob, it's because they've done something stupid or hateful in the name of their religion.

In that case, why not call a Muslim who does something awful in the name of Islam an "Islamic nutjob"? Well, I guess because first of all, in our society, Muslims are discriminated against, and Christians aren't, at least not in any meaningful way. I mean, yeah, to hear some Christians whine, you'd think they were the most put-upon people in society - all those mean people who won't tolerate us hating people! - I remember the whining well from my church days - but Christianity is in fact the dominant religion in our society. So, yeah, "Islamic nutjobs" or "Jewish nutjobs" sound worse than "religious nutjobs" because first of all you're singling out one particular religion, and secondly, they're minority religions with a history of persecution in our society.

You'll notice I didn't say "Catholic nutjobs". That's because I knew people would think I was singling out Catholics, when in fact, I think no one of any religion should be given public funds to spread hate and ban books in publicly funded schools.

[ 27 November 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 27 November 2007 09:10 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michelle,

quote:
You're starting to remind me of those homophobic trolls who used to come to babble and whine because we refused to "tolerate" their hate posts against gays and lesbians on babble. That argument may be fun when you're wanking around in a first year philosophy seminar, but in real life, progressives are not required to "tolerate" people who spread hate because God Told Them To.

I'm sorry, but I would label people who are able to rationalize away their prejudices as more philosophical than me.

I'm not a troll, nor am I homophobic. I have marched for gay rights, and even been persecuted as being gay, although I am straight.

I guess we both have learned that not all progressives are in lock step with each other...


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 27 November 2007 09:11 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
CF,

quote:
I'm sorry, Michael. I know you might feel targeted by the criticism here, but I think it's a mugs' game. And you aren't helping yourself by doorjamming Christians in the same oppressed category as women, Muslims and blacks.

No problem... I'm not religious myself so I don't feel targeted. I just feel the need to speak up on such things.

Thanks for the good word.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 27 November 2007 09:14 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
I'm not a troll, nor am I homophobic. I have marched for gay rights, and even been persecuted as being gay, although I am straight.

I didn't say you were either. I said you remind me of them, because they kept posting over and over again that people on babble have to be "tolerant" of people who hate gays, etc.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Draco
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posted 27 November 2007 10:13 AM      Profile for Draco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:

Thanks for posting that. It makes me feel better about the work as a whole. However, I still think that there are problems conveying the subtlety of these ideas to children.

By the time they're able to see the difference between the Church, its customs and culture, its problems then they're probably too old to read such a book anyway.

Does anyone know what age range is targeted for these books ? It seems like under 10 to me, but I'm not a parent...


They are good books, which is to say, they are for all ages. The fantasy adventure, romance, and tragic aspects work on all levels. I'm not sure how old a child would have to be in order to have the reading level required; I'd guess 10-12 for most kids. Personally I had to do a bit of research to really get the reference to Pope John Calvin and understand why the Magisterium was centred in Geneva.

As for the subtlety of ideas, there is no way to avoid that other than banning all books. There are no neutral ones. They all either intentionally or unintentionally say a lot about the world (and if they didn't what good would they be?).

Why would it be okay to teach children that the church is an entirely good thing, either explicitly or through "subversive" methods like the Narnia series, but not allow them access to criticisms of that view? If they are ready for one, they should be ready for the other. Unless the goal is to wait until indoctrination has taken sufficiently deep root that the children lack the capacity or desire to contemplate any ideas that challenge it.


From: Wild Rose Country | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 27 November 2007 01:24 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
Yes, it is possible. Many faiths may assist you in helping people. I advise you to peruse a few and pick a good one.
Okay, you're keeping the Good News to yourself.

Not very Christian of you.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 27 November 2007 01:48 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
M Spec,

quote:
Okay, you're keeping the Good News to yourself.

Not very Christian of you.


Not sure what you're getting at, but I'm not in a position to evangelize, really, since I'm not religious myself.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sineed
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posted 27 November 2007 02:41 PM      Profile for Sineed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I read the books last year, and 10-12 is a little young; my 12 year old picked up The Golden Compass recently, and she's finding it a bit challenging. Teens and older, I'd say.

And I'm all in favour of the book ban. Look what it did for Catcher in the Rye. What with all the fuss, kids will be reading the trilogy in larger numbers than ever.


From: # 668 - neighbour of the beast | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 27 November 2007 05:11 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
...but I'm not in a position to evangelize, really, since I'm not religious myself.
And yet, you don't hesitate to advise others to embrace religion in order to assist them in "helping people around the world."

Pardon me if I doubt your sincerity.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 27 November 2007 07:35 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was answering your request:
quote:
Please tell us what faith we may adopt for this purpose...

From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 27 November 2007 09:20 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Except that you didn't answer it at all.

In response to my very specific question you made some general suggestion about "perusing" a few faiths and picking one.

And the only reason I asked is that you had been touting the benefits of a "religious background" for helping people around the world.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
CharlotteAshley
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posted 28 November 2007 03:59 AM      Profile for CharlotteAshley   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Trevormkidd:
I can't believe that wikipedia didn't include Ian McEwan in their list of atheist authors. Outspoken atheist and winner of many literary prizes.

Or Umberto Eco!

Charlotte


From: Toronto | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 28 November 2007 04:29 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I trust everyone is aware that you can edit Wikipedia and add these authors' names?

Wikipedia is us.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 28 November 2007 04:58 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
MS,

quote:
Except that you didn't answer it at all.

In response to my very specific question you made some general suggestion about "perusing" a few faiths and picking one.

And the only reason I asked is that you had been touting the benefits of a "religious background" for helping people around the world.


That's a slight rewording of what I said, but what exactly are you looking for here ?

Yes, faith can be an excellent motivator to encourage good works. I know people who have experienced this. No, I don't have a specific faith to 'push' as I'm not religious myself.

I'm not sure what else I can give you.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 01 December 2007 06:50 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks to Heph for posting on EM this fresh example of Ontario Catholic school board book-banning:

Waterloo Catholic Board pulls teachers' resource book at demand of anti-gay group

quote:
A teacher’s resource book has been removed from staff rooms in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board after an anti-gay group, Defend Traditional Marriage and Family, lobbied to have it pulled.

The book, entitled Open Minds to Equality, advises on how to deal with ageism, sexism, and homophobia in schools. While the resource was available for teachers to consult, it was not required reading, nor accessible by students directly.

Jack Fonseca, a spokesperson for Defend Traditional Marriage and Family, was thrilled by his lobbying victory:

"[The removal] will make it more difficult for the book to get into the hands of teachers who might’ve been misled by the flawed lessons within."



From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Nenonen
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posted 01 December 2007 07:56 AM      Profile for Michael Nenonen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So, Michelle, would you agree that your argument--that religious people who do cruel and oppressive things because of their religion can appropriately be called "religious nutjobs" or "religious fuckwads"--might apply to atheists who do cruel and oppressive things because of their atheism? I'm thinking here of Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, who argue that the West should use torture and the most grotesque imperial means to impose their will upon "islamofascists", who do their best to cultivate intolerance against all devout Muslims, and who explicitly ground their arguments in their own atheism? Is it appopriate to refer to such people, and to those like them, as "atheist fuckwads" and "atheist nutjobs"? Do you agree that, by your criteria, they are "atheist fuckwads" and "atheist nutjobs"?

[ 01 December 2007: Message edited by: Michael Nenonen ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 01 December 2007 08:31 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ooh, an argument! Can I jump in???

If Mr. Hitchens, or anyone else, said we should use torture, ban books, or whatever, because atheism supported or demanded it, and furthermore if such a belief had any kind of constituency, then I would think "atheist fuckwads" would apply. Maybe I've missed it, but I'm not seeing this. I do see torture and repression of thought put through the lens of religion and justified that way though.

So in the case you described, I think fascistic fuckwads may be more appropriate, but the speakers atheism is not relevant. In the case of Hitchens, fuckwad with personal issues, maybe.


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Nenonen
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posted 01 December 2007 08:44 AM      Profile for Michael Nenonen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oldgoat: So, you don't see a constituency for Hitchens and Harris? Have you noted the popularity of their books lately? Or checked out the posts made by their supporters on various discussion boards? Or noticed how often they're invited as commentators in major media? There is certainly an enthusiastic audience for their views among atheists who are looking for a supposedly non-religious reason to demonize religious people in general, and Muslims in particular. Their supporters vote and are politically active, which makes them a constituency. Their brand of atheism is an ideological buttress for neo-conservatism, just like fundamentalist versions of Christianity and Judaism are ideological buttresses for neo-conservatism.

As for book-burning, no, they have not advocated that. They have, however, advocated torture and Western imperialism, they have dismissed the most wrenching cries for justice from Muslim countries as expressions of barbaric irrationality, and they have explicitly...and I have to stress this, explicitly...justified this advocacy with atheist rhetoric. Hitchens has gone so far to use atheist rhetoric to justify genocide, as you can find here:

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=11768

Given this, while they may qualify in general as "fascist fuckwads" and "fascist nutjobs," they qualify in particular as "atheist fuckwads" and "atheist nutjobs."

[ 01 December 2007: Message edited by: Michael Nenonen ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 01 December 2007 08:53 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What utter demagogy and sophistry.

When we point to the bigoted reactionary anti-democratic actions of some Catholic school boards in Ontario, it shows the bigoted reactionary anti-democratic nature of those Catholic school boards.

It says nothing about "catholicism" - still less about people of Catholic faith, most of whom I would venture to say are far more openminded and tolerant than the institutions which purport to speak in their name.

You, however, attribute the disgusting Islamophobia of Harris and Hitchens to "atheism", and you smear atheists with their bigotry, their pro-U.S. imperialist raving.

You have inherited the methodology of the blood libel. If that's the only way you can defend the Catholic superstition in 2007, then perhaps it does say something about Catholicism after all. But I'm not prepared to jump to that conclusion just on the basis of the behaviour of one of its practitioners.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 01 December 2007 08:56 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michael, you missed my point entirely! Of course they have a constituency, or they wouldn't sell books or get on TV.

They are not advocating torture because it is demanded or supported by atheism. I'm an atheist, and have never felt that they in any way spoke for me. There are people in many religions who support all sorts of horrid things using their religion as a justification. The fact that a close and scholarly reading of their basic religios texts would reveal them to be wrong notwithstanding. Close and scholarly readings never worked up a good mob or got the vote out.

[ 01 December 2007: Message edited by: oldgoat ]


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 01 December 2007 08:58 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
By the way, in case it's not already clear, I would humbly request that the moderators not allow this important thread to be derailed by one person's desire to discredit atheism. Let him open another thread and try his damnedst. This thread is about censorship in Ontario Catholic schools.
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Nenonen
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posted 01 December 2007 09:01 AM      Profile for Michael Nenonen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Unionist: Please take the time to understand my argument. It's shouldn't be hard, I'm not using big words.

I'm not advocating calling anyone "atheist fuckwads" or "atheist nutjobs." I'm saying that the logic Michelle was using to justify the use of the terms "religious fuckwads" and "religious nutjobs" was equally applicable to people like Hitchens and Harris and their followers. If Michelle doesn't think that the terms "atheist fuckwads" and "atheist nutjobs" should be used to describe Harris, Hitchens, etc, then it seems to me that she should retract her use of the term "religious fuckwads" and "religious nutjobs".

In this case, what's good for the theist goose is good for the atheist gander.

Oldgoat and Unionist, if you think that to use the terms "atheist fuckwad" and "atheist nutjob" to describe Hitchens and Harris slanders ALL atheists, then do you similarly think that Michelle's use of the terms "religious fuckwad" and "religious nutjob" slanders ALL religious people?

[ 01 December 2007: Message edited by: Michael Nenonen ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 01 December 2007 09:10 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah, you're right. Michael, take it to Rabble Reactions if you think that this particular deceased equine requires further flogging.

I read the books last spring, and quite enjoyed them. I was actually a bit surprised to see them as childrens books, and thought the literacy level was at least into the teen range, but if I underestimate young readers then good for them.

I also thought, especially toward the end, that they were actually a bit dark. My son, wisely IMO, pointed out that there is lots of very dark childrens literature out there which is very good, such as a lot of Roald Dahl's work, and of course Where The Wild Things Are. Children already know there are dragons, what good books do is assure them they can be slain.


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Nenonen
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posted 01 December 2007 09:23 AM      Profile for Michael Nenonen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, you heard the grand Poo-Bah, Michael Hardner.

For future reference, it's okay in threads like this to use the terms "religious fuckwads" and "religious nutjobs" in response to the actions of a subset of Catholics, but it's not okay to question this use within the thread in which these terms are used, and it's not okay to use the terms "atheist nutjobs" or "atheist fuckwads" in response to the actions of a subset of atheists. Whereas the use of the terms "religious fuckwads" and "religious nutjobs" does not imply that all religious people are "fuckwads" and "nutjobs", the use of the terms "atheist fuckwads" and "atheist nutjobs" DOES imply that all atheists are "fuckwads" and "nutjobs."

Furthermore, if you come anywhere close to making
your point through the use of logic, rest assured that you will be accused of derailing the thread and directed to "rabble reactions" so that serious atheists can continue to launch half-baked, unchallenged, and sarcastic attacks on religion and the religiously-minded at their leisure.

[ 01 December 2007: Message edited by: Michael Nenonen ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
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posted 01 December 2007 09:29 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Nenonen:
Unionist: Please take the time to understand my argument.

Ok, I understand your argument. In condemning (for example) a torturer or a bookburner, it is not advisable to refer to them as "religious torturer" or "religious bookburner", as that may cast aspersions on all religious people and indeed it may attribute their bad behaviour to their religious beliefs.

I agree with you on that point.

Did you have an opinion on publicly-funded assholes banning books in schools, or did you just take a wrong turn and happen into this thread?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
Moderator
Babbler # 1130

posted 01 December 2007 09:34 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Grand Poo-Bah? Ok, I can live with that. I confess in this thread to have perhaps lost track of which Michael I was talking to. Would one of you be a dear and change your name to Larry or Walter or something? Ta very much.

I'm glad this little matter is closed as far as this thread goes, except that any part of Michelle's post upthread which could be interpreted as an admonition about what flies on a progressive board still stands.


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 01 December 2007 09:36 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Can I be the Lesser Poo-Bah please?
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
Moderator
Babbler # 1130

posted 01 December 2007 09:43 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You can be my Li'l poo-pah any time. All this poo-bah talk will have Makwa in here.
From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Nenonen
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6680

posted 01 December 2007 09:45 AM      Profile for Michael Nenonen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
Can I be the Lesser Poo-Bah please?

Yeah, you just keep dreaming, Rubble.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 01 December 2007 09:53 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How about an answer, M. Nenonen? Do you support the removal of Pullman's books from these public schools? What about the removal of the teachers' resource guide?

My reading of Jesus indicates that he would have been merciless in his critique of such anti-human activities. He would forgive them, of course, but he would at least have a comment to make. How about you?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Nenonen
rabble-rouser
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posted 01 December 2007 03:25 PM      Profile for Michael Nenonen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was away for a while, so I didn't realize I'd been asked a question. My apologies for taking so long to reply.

I think the decisions to pull the book and the resource guide are expressions of anti-atheist and homophobic bigotry and are therefore deplorable. Frankly, we're seeing quite a bit of this sort of thing coming out of the Catholic Church and related institutions lately, as evidenced by Ratzinger's recent tirade.

[ 01 December 2007: Message edited by: Michael Nenonen ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 02 December 2007 11:44 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Philip Pullman is on CBC Radio One right now (Eastern time), being interviewed by Eleanor Wachtel. And here is the audio of last week's part one.

[ 02 December 2007: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
viigan
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14131

posted 03 December 2007 12:01 AM      Profile for viigan     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's fitting that the French Revolution was mentioned above. It's a good example of how a movement can easily be usurped by rabid fanatics who mirror the ugliness of those they overthrow in the name of their own cause.
I don't believe in censorship of any kind, but I find generalizing terms such as "religious fuckwad" no different than the demeaning terms of previous decades levelled at other members of society.
Somebody throw the dogs a bone to gnaw on, or let them start their own progressive church where they can beat everyone else with their own particular stick of superior enlightenment.

From: here | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 03 December 2007 06:08 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by viigan:
It's fitting that the French Revolution was mentioned above. It's a good example of how a movement can easily be usurped by rabid fanatics who mirror the ugliness of those they overthrow in the name of their own cause.

Umm, sorry, it's too late to reverse that one. Keep trying with Bill 101, though, it's only been 30 years.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
viigan
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14131

posted 03 December 2007 10:51 AM      Profile for viigan     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
sit...
maybe you should consider reading a little more about the French Revolution than what can be found in a high-school textbook.
Though I do suspect you know better, but are convinced that those you converse with don't
(which would explain your stance on 101 incidentally).

[ 03 December 2007: Message edited by: viigan ]


From: here | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
Pearson's Fan
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14764

posted 03 December 2007 04:55 PM      Profile for Pearson's Fan     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As someone who was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school, and knows the beauty of christianity and tyranny of catholicism, I'm going to read me that book.

edited for spelling.

[ 03 December 2007: Message edited by: Pearson's Fan ]


From: Ontario | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged
Yibpl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14791

posted 05 December 2007 05:51 AM      Profile for Yibpl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What comedian was it who said "As long as there are exams there will be prayer in public schools!"?
From: Urban Alberta, wishing I was in Kananaskis | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7791

posted 05 December 2007 06:26 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The same person who, during WWI or WWII said, "there are no atheists in the trenches"?
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8312

posted 05 December 2007 06:36 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That was because atheists knew better.
From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7791

posted 05 December 2007 07:09 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
good one!
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
M.Gregus
babble intern
Babbler # 13402

posted 05 December 2007 08:22 AM      Profile for M.Gregus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Closing for length.
From: capital region | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged

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