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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Do We Want Ignoramuses Influencing the Education of our Children?

Barry Lynn, Director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and a Unitarian minister, is raising a stink in Florida because Gov. Jeb Bush is encouraging children to read C.S. Lewis's classic masterpiece The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Here's the article for a vomit-inducing read.

Lynn's objection is that Lewis's excellent children's book is an allegory of the story of Christ. Those Christian themes, he believes, make it innappropriate for the governor to endorse. By the same reasoning, we'd have to omit:

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
The Divine Comedy by Dante
Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Pilgrim's Progress by Paul Bunyan
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle
The poetry of John Dunne
And hundreds, even thousands, of other great workds of Western literature.

And if the concern is that the governor is promoting one religion over others, then we can't promote the reading of:

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse for promoting Buddhism
His Dark Materials (trilogy) by Philip Pullman for promoting atheism
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown for promoting pop-gnosticism
And just about anything recommended by Oprah Winfrey for New Agey-ness

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7 comments:

Carl said...

Well said, Scott. Maybe you could get Lynn's e-mail address and sent him "your" argument?

Carl

Bob Waters said...

Ah. So that's how Lynn got the "Reverend" in front of his name.

John said...

In addition to The Burr's argument which I agree with, the "separation of church and state" argument (which is a weak argument, this is not what the Constitution actually says) would only apply to federal involvement, not state. This is a state program.

Anonymous said...

I guess that leaves out the studies of the world's greatest paintings and sculpture too; Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the Pieta; Del Greco's Pieta; Rembrandt's Descent from the Cross; etc., etc., etc.!!!!
Good grief.
Oh for goodness sake - there goes Handel's Messiah too!
What a cultural desert it would be without the inspiration of a Holy God in the heart's of artist, writers, musicians and the like.

Anonymous said...

I guess that leaves out the studies of the world's greatest paintings and sculpture too; Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the Pieta; Del Greco's Pieta; Rembrandt's Descent from the Cross; etc., etc., etc.!!!!
Good grief.
Oh for goodness sake - there goes Handel's Messiah too!
What a cultural desert it would be without the inspiration of a Holy God in the heart's of artist, writers, musicians and the like.

Pastor Fickel said...

John said the separation of church and state only applies to federal government action. John would be right based on reading the first amendment. However, the Supreme Court's jurisprudence has precedent that applies the establishment clause to the states and even local governments.

I disagree with the court's decesion and judgments on this score. That is why it is essential to understand a federal judge's position on stare dececis. Is he willing to overturn precedent and what are the necessary tests for such overturning of previous court decisions.

Barry Lynn is a not very intelligent person masquerading in the media as a deep thinking intellectual.

-Fickel

The Cubicle Reverend said...

I love the list of books you listed. Each in their own right are brilliant pieces of literature regardless of their ideology. It's just brilliant writng.

New Curriculum at Concordia Theological Seminary