Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Jersey School Bans "Controversial" Books

Another WTF moment that makes my head hurt.

In their infinite wisdom, the parents and administration at Monroe Township’s high school have together asked that the books “Norwegian Wood” and “Tweak” be removed from the sophomore students reading list.  Reason: “graphic lesbian sex passages, drug use, and a homosexual orgy.”  And according to the same Washington Post article, Peter Spriggs from the Family Research Center (a Christian organization that promotes the traditional family unit) added that it was further proof of “…the homosexual agenda being pushed”  in public schools.  Seriously?

I guess by following that kind of logic I’m supposed to conclude that reading about homosexuals will make me want to engage in that same activity?  The same way that reading about a handgun will make me want to pick up a thirty-eight and take out my neighbor in a moment of random violence?  Or that reading about someone’s tolerance for pain will encourage me to stick a needle in my own eye?  And I love how God gets drawn into these battles by people who cannot come up with a more compelling argument or reason to ban a book/action (like God doesn’t already have enough on his plate).  I believe that God cares more about tolerance, forgiveness, compassion, and helping those in need than he does about mundane little dramas like this….

And don’t get me started on the definition of a traditional family unit…..

Maybe instead of worrying about what books our kids are reading, schools should be promoting honest and open discussions about the content of those books so those same kids can draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions.  Better yet, maybe parents, schools, and administrators should concern themselves with an agenda that educates our kids to compete in today’s global market – learning skills like science, math, reading comprehension, and deductive reasoning abilities.

Friday, August 5, 2011

By The Way

     With another birthday looming in the headlights, it’s time to turn reflective and thoughtful (although only for a little while – it’s impossible to contain the rage too long).  I wrote about this in an earlier post, but one of the benefits of getting older is realizing what a jackass you might have been at earlier stages in your life, especially when you reach that age where juvenile behavior starts to look sad, depressing, and pathetic….I believe that having friends helps you through those kinds of bumps along the road of life.  And I believe that you can never have enough friends – old friends from high school and college (who have lived, died, and cried with you through those formative years, and who know where the bodies are buried yet still won’t tell), as well as the new friends you meet along the way as you get older.  Years ago I was a headstrong individualist who believed he could go it alone, no matter what, and although I still maintain that the choices I make and the paths I take are my responsibility, I couldn’t have gotten where I am without the support of a tight network of friends.  Although I think one of the limits of friendship is sharing stories about medicines, aches and pains, weird growths on unseen body parts, and prostate exams......I wish I had done a better job of maintaining friendships from long ago, and I regret letting some of those friends slip away, but the beauty of modern technology makes it easier to rekindle what was once lost and rebuild things that might have once been broken.   
      I believe I should have paid more attention in school, at least in certain classes, but I’m convinced that no matter hard I studied and how much extra effort I gave, I would never understand chemistry.  Nor calculus for that matter.  And at this point in my life, I can live without that knowledge.  I believe that the phrase, “it’s the economy, stupid” has more relevance now than it did in 1992.  And I believe that all the politicians who cite their “business experience” obviously never learned that a key component in running a business isn’t just controlling expenses, but increasing sales (or in the case of the economy, REVENUE.....maybe that's why they're in Washington and not still running those businesses).  I believe that while a little Creedence Clearwater Revival, Foghat, and Grand Funk on the car radio makes the ride that much better, a James Brown song can have you doing ninety in a thirty-five without even realizing it.  Really.  Thanks for stopping by!