Hello.... Hi there... I'm Cynthia Gee, and I'm creating this as a mirror of my other CommonSense blog at HomeschoolBlogger. I am copying the first several articles from over there, and moving them here in their entirety, complete with reader's comments. So if you see your comment HERE, and remember posting it over THERE, relax. You're sane.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Doug Phillips' Politicization of the Virginia Tech Tragedy

Doug Phillips of VisionForum has posted a blog article about the Virginia Tech school shootings:

Today, the nation mourns the senseless murder of thirty-two men and women who were gunned down in cold blood. The slaughter of students at Virginia Tech constitutes the largest campus killing spree in American history. The murderer was a fellow student, twenty-three-year-old Cho Seung-hui of South Korea. Though little is currently known of his motive behind the murders, it is clear that his plan was calculated and carefully executed. He was premeditated and thorough. Doctors report that not a single victim had less than three bullet wounds.
Thousands will be deeply affected, probably for the rest of their lives. The most serious pains belong to the mothers, fathers, and sisters and brothers of the murdered victims. What shall we say to them? What are we to learn from these events?
First, we must remember the answer to the question “why?”
When people ask: “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” or “How can such a terrible thing happen?”, we must point them to the fundamentals. First, all of us deserve death and all of us will die. The only question is when will we die, and what will be the state of our eternal soul at that time. Every breath is a gift of God. None of us deserve it. We have no rights or demands we can make to our Creator. In fact, apart from Christ, we stand condemned to a fate far worse than physical death — eternal punishment. And there is a reason for all of this. God is God, and we are His creation. Understanding the distinction is everything. He sets the rules. He determines what is just. And His plan is always good, even when we do not understand it. Not only is he a loving and kind God, but He is also infinitely just. This justice has implications for man. It was God who created the world and man “very good.” But man sinned against an infinite and holy God. The penalty for this sin was physical death. Because of man’s sin, all of creation became subject to death. Our bodies and the world around us die and groan as a reminder and a punishment for our rebellion before the Lord. Everything would be supremely hopeless, but for one important truth: Though the wages of our sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. It took an infinite, perfect, and holy sacrifice to atone for our sin against an infinite, perfect, and holy God. Christ was that sacrifice. This means that all whom the Father calls, and who repent and believe in Christ, shall not perish but have eternal life.
Thus, the question is not, why did God allow the tragic death of these students, but why does He allow any of us to live? We deserve death. Every breath of life is a gift. It is only by His grace and mercy that we live and breathe and have our very being. He is our Creator and He is just to determine the beginning and the end of our existence. Beyond this, we must remember that even the tragedy of death is part of the eternal plan of God to bring glory to Himself. The fact that we do not understand the infinite purposes and counsels of the Triune God only means that we are creatures and need to trust Him. That is why He has given us His Holy Word. The Bible is the revealed mind of Christ for man. It reminds us that all things — including the murder of the innocent — work together for good to those that are the called of God. It cautions us to flee to God while we yet have life. It reminds us that the victory of Christ is greater than the grave itself. It warns us that without Christ there is no hope whatsoever. When we see the horror of death, we must be convicted of sin and flee to God. We must be emboldened in our sense of urgency to communicate to others the only source of hope from death. We must treasure the preciousness of life as God’s sacred gift, and we must wisely invest in meaningful Kingdom work this brief whisper of an opportunity called — our life.
Second, we must acknowledge that the rise of community violence is a judgment of the Lord.

Our nation has broken covenant with the God of our fathers. We have forsaken the law of God and have worshipped before false idols. We have sacrificed our children, not only spiritually and intellectually to the high priests of a new secular religion in our government schools, but have quite literally sacrificed baby boys and girls to the gods of convenience in the abortuaries of America. One out of four Americans is not here because they were aborted by their mothers.
The modern trend towards school killings must be considered in terms of the hopelessness and evil which is being communicated to the children of this generation through the music culture, the entertainment culture, the sexual culture, and the intellectual culture of evolution and meaninglessness — all of which converge in the modern schools. Our children are being taught the Gospel of evolution and man. It is a religious faith that ultimately teaches that transcendent truth does not exist; life is meaningless, being the product of chance. Why are we surprised when the present generation acts upon the logical implications of this false gospel? If we do not see the connection between this false faith and the culture of death, we are blind bats, or willingly ignorant. The answer for us as a people is repentance and restitution, which begins by turning from our sins and reclaiming the ancient paths of the Lord wherein there is hope.
Third, the worst response to school murders that our politicians could make would be to further disarm the American citizenry. The heavy death toll may in part be attributed to past legislation making it difficult for citizens to carry sidearms. But, if even one of the students in that university had been armed, Cho Seung-hui could have been stopped. A strong case can be made that in a violent society like our own, it is the duty of every Christian man to be armed such that he is ready, willing, and able to come to the immediate aid of his neighbor in the face of the ruthless behavior of lawless men. We have one of two futures — a police state full of regulation and controls, where only the state and criminals have access to guns, thus leaving most women and children defenseless to evildoers, or an informed, well-armed citizen population, which is, to my mind, the surest safeguard against lawless men.
Fourth, every tragedy is an opportunity God gives to reflect glory and honor to Him. We give glory to Him as we reach out to others and lead them to the great Comforter. Now is the time for Christians to reach out in love to those who are in unimaginable pain, as well as those who are just shell-shocked by the horrible news. There is a time to mourn with those who mourn, and now is it. Let us mourn, love, and encourage, and let us give God the glory in everything — even death.

Now, there is a time to be bluntly honest and a time to be consoling. Though IMO Phillips article is dead right theologically, in that death is the result of human sinfulness, his timing is LOUSY. The theology could have waited a few days — “though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”

Still, I was almost agreeing with him until he went and ruined it by turning it into a political speech. Honestly–” if even one of the students in that university had been armed, Cho Seung-hui could have been stopped”??
Phillips is actually advocating that students carry guns into the classroom????

Now there’s an agenda if ever I saw one. And, 2008 is an election year....

READ BETWEEN THE LINES, FOLKS. Doug’s "sermon" is not just about government schools. Doug is calling secular government itself an idol, and he is calling secularism a religion. In other words, if you are not FOR theocracy, you are necessarily against it, and have “broken the covenant”. Doug is preaching against democracy itself, and calling all who do not support his religion idolaters.

Now, I don’t usually call names, but the time has come to call this spade what it is — a dangerous cult run by dangerous nuts who would like nothing better than to bury democracy and establish their brand of theocracy as the order of the day. The rot going on in our country is bad, but the state-church harlotry that is Doug Phillips and his Constitution Party friends' “vision” for America would be infinitely worse, were it ever to be realized.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Riding the 'Goat

Hey, did you know that WOMEN , evil egalitarian women who refuse to embrace their God-ordained, home-centered mission to marry, have caused the Oregon House of Representatives approved a pair of bills Tuesday that grant marriage-style benefits to same-sex couples and bar discrimination because of sexual orientation?

That's right, we've gone and done it-- it's all our fault -- and we rebellious women are responsible for a whole host of societal ills, not just a couple of pieces of gay-rights legislation.
According to Carmon Friedrich, author of Fall-Out from the Fall, we egalitarian women are responsible for the ongoing fall of western society, and all the ensuing ills thereof, including government supported libraries, and various programs designed to "take other people’s (read, Libertarian people's) money" to give to “the poor":

Carmon writes:
"....I still have some lingering frustrations over yesterday’s issue, compounded by evil legislation passed by the House of Representatives in my former home state of Oregon today. Two “landmark” bills passed the House and are expected to be easily approved by the Senate and signed by the liberal governor. One grants “marriage-style benefits” to sodomites, and the other forces even Christian-owned businesses to hire homosexual employees. Only churches are exempt from the latter legislation, though church-owned businesses (such as schools and bookstores) may be required to comply, regardless of their convictions regarding such immoral lifestyles. You can bet there will be numerous lawsuits, as sodomite activists target these businesses for infiltration, and judges will be the arbiters of what Christian activity comes under government purview.
There are many reasons our society has come to this sad position, not the least of which is Christians don’t speak up when evil is rampant. The theology du jour says that God only cares about “spiritual” things, and this false spiritual/secular dichotomy keeps the church from addressing cultural and political issues, until it’s too late. Jesus lives in our hearts, but He is powerless to speak to anything more than a limited number of topics, confined to pulpits and Bible studies, unless it involves encouraging the government to take other people’s money to give to “the poor,” because we all know that socialism is really WWJD if you read between the lines of the Golden Rule.

But there’s another aspect to Christians jumping the cultural ship. I’ve been reading Ephesians to the children during our morning Bible time, and in chapter 5, Paul admonishes Christians to walk as children of light:
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light."
After that, he gives some very practical instruction for how to begin living out our Christian walk within the home. The very first instructions are given to wives, urging them to “submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” This is how wives are to walk in the light, to repudiate the darkness, yet in the church, women are repudiating this clear teaching in order to embrace egalitarianism.
I believe that the rejection of the God-ordained, home-centered mission of wives and mothers is one of the biggest reasons we see our society crumbling around our feet....."

Tell it to Paul, Carmon, and to Jesus. They were the ones who said things like,

1Cr 7:7 "For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.....Cr 7:24Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God."

1Cr 7:32 "But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please [his] wife. 1Cr 7:34 There is difference [also] between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please [her] husband."

Luk 20:34
And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

As for societal ills, Jesus and Paul tell us all about that too:

Luk 16:10 "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much........No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided Him.

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

The idea that homemaking is the God-ordained mission of all women is clearly contrary to Scripture, and the idea that women who choose to depart from that role are responsible for the crumbling of society is ridiculous. Society has been crumbling ever since mankind first listened to the snake. Uber-complementarians will have to find another scapegoat to blame for homosexuality and all of the ills of society (including "evils" such as public libraries, health clinics for poor kids, Social Security, and other WWJD government programs designed to force Libertarian "Christians" to part with their money, LOL!), because this particular 'goat is taken, and has been for quite some time now :

Gen 3:12 "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

So How DO We Improve Our Public Libraries?

On her blog at Buried Treasure Books, Carmon Friedrich has been posting lately about a subject which is near and dear to my heart -- books and libraries. Not being to the manor born, I have long been a patron of the public library system, while Carmon prefers to buy books and build her own library, a sentiment shared by many of her readers (at least by most of those whose comments are published, LOL.)
Now, that's nice work if you can get it, and Carmon has the perfect right to buy all the books her house can hold -- I would too, were I her -- but Carmon and I disagree over her notion that everyone should do as she does, or do without. Carmon and many of her commenters lament the fact that a portion of their tax dollars goes to fund their communities' public library systems, and she would like to see the end of the public library system and other forms of "welfare" in this country.

Today, Carmon described a growing problem in our public libraries that is a source of concern to me as well: the problem of sexually themed materials being made available to young people.
Carmon goes for maximum shock value, beginning her article with a disclaimer to warn "sensitive readers" that the article contains controversial materials, and goes on to describe how some schools in her area are showing their support for the gay and lesbian community with a "Day of Silence." Then she gets to what is ostensibly her real subject matter: the problem of sexually themed materials being marketed to children, and made available in our public libraries.

Carmon writes,
"These books are rubbing shoulders (bad pun) with such venerable volumes as David Copperfield and Don Quixote. Other more innocuous titles are there, as well, which may not be great literature, but light reading such as Star Wars and Holes. Sprinkled liberally (another bad pun) among these books are some of the most vile things you should never see."

...and, she goes on to describe some of those books. And they are bad.

In the "comments" section, I wrote,
"Carmon, for once you and I are in almost complete agreement. This sort of thing is filth, it is reprehensible, and if parents complain about this sort of thing being presented to children, they will be labeled as bigots, or worse. There is a way around the situation, though. To begin with, kids need to be taught right from wrong, and taught WHY wrong stuff is wrong. I was attracted to the occult section in our library as a young teenager, until our pastor told me about where that stuff comes from. Then I left it alone. And, whatever happened to the idea that presenting material dealing with sexual behavior - ANY sexual behavior, other than nuts-and-bolts-biology-book-type science - to children, is unacceptable? Children under 12 don't need to be exposed to stories dealing with normal sex, let alone the drek you're describing, and communities should be complaining. People can change this situation -- that's how those books got into the library in the first place, somebody who wanted them there complained and got their way -- and we can get them out, in the same way. We pay for libraries with our tax dollars, and we CAN get what we pay for -- democracy DOES work."

Now, Carmon's solution is simple: don't use public libraries, and vote to end this sort of "middle class entitlement" -- never mind the fact that that would leave millions of lower and middle class children and adults with virtually no access to literature at all, other than newspapers and magazines.
I find Carmon's solution to be almost as reprehensible as the problem she claims to want to solve, but, a solution is still needed.

Got any ideas? .......all comments are welcome, I don't do censorship, though I reserve the right to relace any four-letter words with symbols -- I don't allow that kind of $#@!$ here. :)

(I have reposted Carmon's entire article, below, with the comments (minus mine, which would have been Comment #5 - Carmon reserves the right to censor "nasty comments", and I guess my remark about democracy actually working was a little over the line, LOL.)

Don’t Keep Silent

Tuesday, April 17 2007 -- Filed under: Books Culture— Carmon @ 9:29 pm
Note: this is about a topic which is very controversial, and I am discussing things that sensitive readers may prefer to skip. Some of your filters may prevent you from reading it! Please forgive me for even mentioning some of this material, but I want parents to be aware of the dangers to their children in places that have been considered “safe,” but which are actually endangering the innocence of young children. Any nasty comments on this post will be immediately deleted as I have no qualms about censorship on my personal blog :-).

Tomorrow is a red-letter day in some public schools. My sister, who works in the office of a public high school, told me that memos have been sent around to school staff encouraging them to participate in the commemoration of The Day of Silence, which will be noted in schools around the country. It’s the day when the love that dare not speak its name gets a hearing—or not—among junior high and high school students, who are coached by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) on how to get noticed by the passive-agressive behavior of keeping silent all day in school.
There is a concerted effort in the media, in public schools, and in libraries to make what God calls an abomination acceptable and “normal” to the general public, which has had a normal abhorrance for such behavior. But nobody wants to be a “prude,” a “bigot,” or “intolerant.” Such namecalling is used to portray those who rightly perceive such perverse behavior as sinful, in a negative light so that they are forced to remain silent or be branded with epithets.
I recently visited Barnes and Noble alone, and while there decided to check up on a book that Sherry reviewed called Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. She pointed out the blatant perversity in a book that won an award for young adult fiction and which is targeted to teens in 9th grade and above. I sat in a chair in B&N and, hoping nobody who knew me was watching, leafed through a pornographic book. It was laced with the F-word and filled with details of intimate behavior which swung both ways. Disgusted, I returned it to the shelves and took a look at the other books there in the “teen” section. There were dozens of similar inane books which were about “hooking up” in the most literal sense between teenagers with no respect to gender or any morality whatsoever. There was a special end display with the covers facing out (with reprehensible illustrations on many) targeted to this teen audience. This section was just outside the area with the childrens’ picture books.
At least they are reading.
Yesterday, Gracie and I went on a fact-finding mission to a nearby public library. This was in a medium-sized rural town, at the main library in the next county, in a town we frequently visit. As with many libraries, it has a special teen/young adult area, where there were a couple of tables for the teens to congregate. We went in the late afternoon, so some kids were there after school, visiting, and a librarian tried to get us to move because they “want to keep this area available for teens to hang out.” I refrained from pointing out that the teens don’t pay the taxes to keep the place open, but instead told her that Gracie fit the profile and that I was with her. We sat at a vacant table and I went to look at the shelves. I soon found out why adults are not welcome in that area. While I was browsing, small children were nearby, looking at picture books with their mommies. I cannot even describe how angry I was that such filth was accessible to the youngest readers.
It only took me about five minutes to grab a handful of books which, from the jacket descriptions, were filled with material aimed at corrupting young people. These books are rubbing shoulders (bad pun) with such venerable volumes as David Copperfield and Don Quixote. Other more innocuous titles are there, as well, which may not be great literature, but light reading such as Star Wars and Holes. Sprinkled liberally (another bad pun) among these books are some of the most vile things you should never see.
Let me name names and give a little more detail, as repellent as it is, so that you understand just how bad this is. I didn’t have the time or inclination to leaf through many for the lurid details, but some of the worst were:
Two copies of Fly on the Wall, about a young girl who turns into a fly and spies on the boys’ locker room. Filled with expletives and descriptions of male anatomy, one mother in an Amazon review, complains that the attractive pink cover caused her 12-year-old daughter to check it out, and she was embarrassed and shocked by the contents. The mother was right when she said such pornography should not be available to under-18-year-olds.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, another “coming of age” story (watch out for that overused descriptor!), has drug use, suicide, homosexuality and other sexual experimentation, this is required reading in many schools. Anyone who complains is labeled with that nasty name: book banner.
Realm of Possibility by David Levithan, won an American Library Association award. It’s written in a very postmodern free verse kind of artsy style, with vignettes of different teens, including a homosexual couple who are celebrating an anniversary, and a girl who is a lesbian with a crush on a friend. Confusing in more ways than one. Written by the co-author of the Nick and Norah tripe above (shame on them for stealing those names from the wonderful Thin Man!)
Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez, by far the worst of the books I looked at, but I didn’t put more effort into this than I could stand. This filthy book was about—surprise—three high school boys who are dealing with their homosexuality. There was a very graphic scene with one of the boys engaging in an encounter with an adult man. This is also filled with profanity. The author has apparently written other “Rainbow” books.
To be fair, I should mention the Christian books I saw. There was Left Behind Kids, the whole series. And there was also an “issues” series with a “Christian” message, published by Think Books, a division of NavPress, the “Color Me Crushed” series by Melody Carlson. One book, with an endorsement by the defunct The Discerning Reader, was about a high school girl who finds out her friend is a lesbian, and who is shocked by the “unloving” response to homosexuality by the members of her church. The message was that we need to be more loving and tolerant in order to reach those who are involved in this lifestyle. While I agree that all sinners need to be given the gospel and that nobody is outside of God’s ability to save them, this book downplayed the need for repentance on the part of the sinner and portrayed a natural revulsion to perversion in an extreme manner, with stereotypical examples of Christian “pharisees.” In another book in the series, a girl who is upset with her father for leaving his family tries to get back at him by flirting with a boy to get him to sleep with her. When he refuses, she is relieved, but only because it would have “complicated” things, not because it would have been sinful and displeasing to God.
I apologize again for even giving this much detail about what I found, but I want to warn families about the mine fields that the bookstore and the libraries have become. If you don’t believe me, check it out yourself. It only took a few minutes for me to pull some of these books off the shelf. I sadly watched young girls (one looked about 9 years old) browsing the same shelves for something to read. What kid is going to pick a classic when there are much more titillating titles to choose? Do you really think that “as long as they are reading,” it doesn’t really matter what they read? Does it make you feel good that your tax dollars are being used to purchase this stuff for kids so that they aren’t left ignorant about such behavior?
Before you go, take a gander at this young adult booklist from the American Library Association, which includes “GBLTQ” books: “Contemporary fiction and nonfiction for teens of all persuasions.” Such booklists are used by librarians to decide what books to purchase each year. Why don’t you look in your library (many have their catalogs online) to see how many are in your town?
When I said that public libraries are cesspools, I wasn’t kidding. Am I the only person to notice? Where are the outraged parents, complaining about the pornography peddled to children? Why are you keeping silent?

Responses to “Don’t Keep Silent”
Cindy Says: April 18th, 2007 at 4:50 am
I am perusing your titles with my library’s website at the same time. So far so good but that is pretty much what I expected..for now at least. I will do the same thing with the American Library Association list. I understand your arguments about libraries but I still find myself visiting ours occasionally.
I am curious to know if our local highschool grades k-12 is participating in the day. I will be very surprised if they are. Rural Alabama is still one of the most conservative places I have ever lived.

Meredith_in_Aus Says: April 18th, 2007 at 5:02 am
Mrs Friedrich
Hi. I’ve been reading here for some time but I think this is the first time I’ve commented.
As you are aware, it is no accident that these books are deliberately published to drag young people down. I have commented to my husband several times, recently, about the “help” I received as a pre-teen and teen by books I had picked up from the library (in Australia). At the time, the target was turning children against their parents (this was early- to mid-eighties) with such titles as “Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice?” I wrote a very sad essay for my English class about the “emotional abuse” I received at home (read: my parents didn’t give in when I threw a fit about something they wouldn’t give me) after reading it. Fortunately, my English teacher (who’d been around for a long time) said it was poorly written, gave me a B grading (lower than my usual) and didn’t feel the slightest sorry for me!
Other lovely series around at the time were about the occult in the Pan Horizons books, plus other fornication encouragements in that series. Also, there were other books about the oppression of women in the home. The homosexual issue was just starting to be addressed in the teenage magazines in response to the early “coming out” films of the 80’s, with letters written in by confused girls who “weren’t sure” and who were encouraged by the helpful “Dear Dolly” columnist that they “might be wired that way” and the only thing they could do was to “carefully” experiment to find out.
Time after time I have come to realise that a thought or an attitude that I have is directly linked to those books I voraciously read. I am learning to take these thoughts captive to Christ.
Ladies, make sure you don’t let your kids borrow from the library without you having a good look first.
In Him
Meredith in Australia

Myfriendconnie Says: April 18th, 2007 at 5:10 am
Just last week I complained to the children’s librarian about a book, “Street Love” being displayed prominantly in the “New Books” section. She brushed aside my complaints, so I hid the book behind some others. I noticed yesterday that it had been found and put back on display.
Interesting you brought this up, though. Yesterday’s discovery of the found book prompted me to talk to my children, 12 and under, about protecting their minds from filth. I told them about when I was 12 finding a book about real, practicing witches in my public school library and deciding that I wanted to find out all I could about witchcraft. No one was there to protect me or remind me to guard my mind.
Thank you for this, Carmon.
Psalm 101:3 “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes.”

Carmon Says: April 18th, 2007 at 6:24 am
Cindy, the library we visited is in the second-most conservative county in our state. We live in the first most conservative.
It was actually a mother with children in an Alabama public school who first mentioned the problems with such explicit books in an article at WND that made me start looking at the local library listings more carefully. That was a couple of years ago. I am really shocked at how quickly the libraries have been acquiring such horrible books over that time.
Connie, those witchcraft books were very tempteing to me when I was in junior high.

Kim inTN Says: April 18th, 2007 at 6:34 am
We stopped going to the library a long time ago. Some friends use the “click and pull” option at the city library, which is an hour away. That way the kids don’t even look around. The mom just picks what books they want and the library has them all ready on the date they want them.
I prefer to buy, when I can, the books we want. Not everyone can do that.

Sarah Says: April 18th, 2007 at 7:55 am
This is why when I go to the library, I usually stay in the children’s section. People probably think a 20 year old browsing in the children’s section is weird, but that’s where all the Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery, and other decent books are. The “young adult” section is almost all trash…I only go there if there is a certain book that I want and have looked up on the computer. I go grab it really quickly and get out, hoping people won’t see me in there and think I read that junk.

Renee Says: April 18th, 2007 at 8:10 am
Carmon,I checked my local library and we had every title mentioned except Fly On the Wall.I appreciate the research and warning although we rarely use our local library.We prefer our own home library.Thanks,Renee

Kendra Says: April 18th, 2007 at 9:21 am
I remember being in Germany years ago and the filth that was prominently displayed there was amazing to me. There was a “news stand” that had pornography centerfolds placed for all passers-by to see. It has been obvious to me to for a while that we are in the cesspool too. It is sad, though, how many nice people I know that are shocked that these things are happening here. Like it just happened overnight! It hasn’t, but it has happened while we were sleeping.

Aimee Says: April 18th, 2007 at 10:24 am
I checked our library as well. It has every title you mentioned. It is heartbreaking to know that these books are there. Satan is seeking to destroy our children and we must never let down our guard~

Grace Says: April 18th, 2007 at 10:51 am
Re: Why am I keeping silent?
Well, I wish I had a better answer but mostly I am silent because #1 I am afraid, #2 I feel that the pagan’s could care less. I suppose me and Jonah have a lot in common.
But let me also add that all this filth doesn’t slip by unnoticed. I have to censor much of the media messages my kids would normally be exposed to because they are frankly or subtely p*rn*graphic. We try to stay out of the mall, keep our radio is turned off and make guarded trips to the library etc. Serious censorship is what parenting is all about.
Most christian parents would easily see the harm in some of the examples of filth you noted above. What really concerns me are soul destroying messages that our children are being fed subtley via very attractive media. Sort of like swallowing a little bit of poison mixed with jam. I would put almost every disney film I’ve ever seen into this category. I am suprised how many christian parents miss the pagan messages in these films.
The challenge for the modern christian parent is having to constantly guard your child’s soul. I would liken it to trying to protect your kids from flying bullets in a warzone. It takes it’s toll on the parents. Children while they are young often don’t realize or appreciate the sacrifices parents make on their behalf.
It has been obvious to me that very young children are being primed/coached/tutored/trained/prepared for destruction. The attacks on their souls are becoming less and less subtle.
I am not particularly for or against harry potter books but I have read some of them. The media and other predators who feed on a young childs soul bring to mind the “death eaters” in the potter books. Really, really, sickening and evil.
And then everyone wonders what went wrong in Virginia, Columbine etc. Take a guess…it’s not rocket science.

miller_schloss Says: April 18th, 2007 at 11:47 am
Thanks for this post…I forwarded it to my mother-in-law, a librarian ay a Christian school who is pursuing her MLS.

C.S. Says: April 18th, 2007 at 1:12 pm
THANK YOU! I forwarded this info along to my FIL who is a Pastor so he can share this with the parents within his congregation as well. It amazes me how many just sit back with their mouths shut….bu then again look at what they let their children watch on TV

Me Says: April 18th, 2007 at 1:43 pm
Just checked my library in western Oklahoma. None of the books are here, thank goodness! My town is about 10,000.

Anita Says: April 18th, 2007 at 7:27 pm
You know, I never go to the library, that’s because most books I want to read or have my children read are not in the library. I haven’t stepped foot in the library for months. And when I do go to the Library, I usually know what I’m looking for and go straight to get it and leave. I’m not a library browser. But I will forward this information to my homeschool group. Thanks for the info.

Molly with Two Mills Says: April 18th, 2007 at 8:35 pm
You know, the flip side of this Day of Silence is that all the Christians are at liberty to talk all day about Jesus, God’s wrath on sin, what sin is, the forgiveness found in Jesus Christ, the new heart created by the Spirit which longs for what’s right (=wonderful freedom from sin!), and the wiles of Satan, etc. And the godless get to sit silently and listen…
“When Satan comes in like a flood, the Lord raises up a standard against him”. (Isaiah)
Checking on those titles at our local library…

Carmon Says: April 18th, 2007 at 9:50 pm
I’m glad some of you are looking at the library catalog…make sure to say something to the librarians, as well. If you can stomach it, point out the graphic scene in the last book I linked, and ask them if such pornography is legal in your city or county to give to minors, particularly since it involves a man molesting a child.
My sister informs me that the administration at her school advertised this even for a week, and that many students participated, wearing t-shirts, handing out literature, with duct tape on their mouths. Colorful flyers were placed around the school with “statistics,” but some unhappy students removed them all. In our area, a group of Christian students came to school with t-shirts with messages against homosexuality, and when they refused to remove them, they were suspended. So much for “free speech.”

Leigh Says: April 19th, 2007 at 9:11 am
I don’t know why I am always shocked by such things. If I am ever blessed with children, they will certainly not be getting books from the library! Sheeeeesh. My parents were not all that concerned with what I read as a child and I still remember reading really inappropriate books by authors like Judy Bloom. At least I learned what my children will not be reading!
Thank you so much for that information! I had no idea!
Take care,Leigh

Denise Varenhorst Says: April 19th, 2007 at 1:38 pm
The problem that all of you are describing- that of sexually inappropriate materials being pushed on young people in public libraries, is one that our organization, Family Friendly Libraries is also trying to address. We would like more citizens who feel the way you do (and there are many) to become more active in local library policy. You can start by questioning the library’s collection standards, requesting particularly offensive materials be moved to the adult section or removed from the library altogether, and start questioning library board candidates about their views before they are appointed or elected. You can find candidate questionnaires and other helpful information on our website, we are trying to highlight the issues you have addressed above by bestowing awards upon libraries that do uphold high collection standards and common sense policies. If you think your library is a good one, you may want to nominate it for a Family Friendly Libraries Award of Recognition. Please feel free to contact me through our website or at information@fflibraries.orgBest,Denise Varenhorst, PresidentFamily Friendly Libraries

Cynthia Gee Says: April 19th, 2007 at 7:12 pm
Denise, I’d like to learn more about Family Friendly Libraries. If you like, perhaps you can write a guest posting for my blog, Commonsense, and use my site to tell more people about your organization and its mission.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What Godliness Does NOT Look Like, Part II: On the Abolition of Knowledge

Speaking of limiting godliness to the privileged classes, "check out" the latter parts of this discussion, on libraries:

In accordance with blog owner Carmon's gracious request, I am re-posting the article from her blog, "Buried Treasure Books", below, complete with comments:

So, Let’s Have a Little Talk

Friday, April 13 2007 -- Filed under: Books Homeschooling— —
Carmon @ 9:49 pm

When Steve and I were in southern Oregon last week, we just happened to be there on the day the libraries closed. In what is known as “second coming type” (i.e., REALLY BIG PRINT), the headlines blared:


I’m glad nobody knew that I had been interviewed last month on the local talk radio station about alternatives to government funded libraries. I would have probably been run out of town on a rail (or had to leave in the middle of the night on the milk train, like in a Wodehouse tale).

Because the local libraries had depended for a long time on federal timber subsidies to fund them, when the subsidies stopped there wasn’t enough money for the doors to stay open. A bond measure to make up the shortfall was defeated—part of the county is very liberal (think Santa Cruz or Marin County) and part is moderately conservative. This is not exactly a liberal/conservative issue, as plenty of conservatives feel strongly that government funded libraries are in the same league with baseball and apple pie. But apathy is king everywhere, so maybe some fed-up senior citizens on fixed incomes went out in the winter weather to vote “nay,” to try to hang on to more of their small pensions, while the lazy folks didn’t bother to vote that day. Another vote is scheduled for next month. Judging by the “Save Our Libraries” bumper stickers and posters we saw, I think there will be a bigger turnout next time.

The front page stories in the newspaper we picked up were entirely devoted to the “tragedy” of the libraries closing. You would have thought there was no other place to obtain books and that western civilzation was coming to an end as ignorance and illiteracy had won the day. Several homeschoolers were quoted in the paper. One of these homeschoolers said, “China has libraries. Third-world countries have libraries. Prisons have libraries. Now we don’t have libraries.” But we also still have the freedom, not available to most people in those places, to buy our own books. They also mentioned that they are now collecting books and talking to other homeschoolers about swapping books.

I still dream of starting a community private library. I have a library in my home and I have started a library at my church. Someday, maybe it will happen and I will “branch out” (tee hee). What I want to know is: What are the things that would appeal to you in such a library? What draws you to the public library? Do you think a private library could meet those needs? Do you have any ideas for how such a place might be used for Christian outreach in a community?

I’m not asking for everyone to agree with me here. I used to use the public library for many years. I am just trying to think through what the possibilities are for an alternative. This was brought to mind once again as I read a story today in the Christian Science Monitor about membership libraries, and as I recently read Sherry’s review (she was agin’ it) of an award-winning young adult fiction book which is so trashy that it’s shocking, and yes, it’s in my county library system.

I have a new poll in the sidebar to go with this discussion. And before I go, here’s your poetry vitamin for the day. It is a very easy one to swallow:

Books To the Ceiling
by Arnold Lobel

Books to the ceiling
Books to the sky
My piles of books are a mile high
How I love them
How I need them
I’ll have a long beard
by the time I read them.

26 Responses to “So, Let’s Have a Little Talk”
jennifer Says: April 13th, 2007 at 10:32 pm
Wow, the pictures of the Athenaeum are inspiring. I think a beautiful building with books of high quality in good condition would be a real draw… people would feel that they are upgrading by paying.
Going to the public library is sort of like going to the mall for me… you avert your eyes often, and you just find what you came for and leave. But a place that actively promoted thinking and noble thoughts and virtues… where you would look forward to engaging someone in conversation because it would be thoughful and meaningful… that would be something. And how could that *not* be a Christian outreach?

Karen Glass Says: April 13th, 2007 at 10:44 pm
I am not against the idea of paid subscription libraries–I have taken advantage of that idea myself to borrow books from the foreign-language libraries in Krakow where I live. I don’t think I am entirely opposed to the idea of tax-funded libraries, either, and I have taken advantages of them as well.
Few of us can afford to actually buy all the books we care to read, and sometimes, it seems a waste of money to pay for a book you only plan to read once (and not keep) or a book you only want to consult for specific information. However they are funded, centralized libraries serve a purpose that cannot be entirely duplicated by a home library.
If I lived in the US, I would happily pay to use a private library if there were a good reason to do so. Some things I would look for:
1. A generous checkout time.
2. Up-to-date computerized card catalog, with online access and reservations. (I would rather have this than longer hours of operation.)
3. Access to new releases. This is one of the things I appreciate about libraries–they let me look at a new book or read a new author before I spend my own money on it. I would prefer to do my own censoring, rather than have someone else decide for me. I realize no library can buy every single new book, of course, but I probably wouldn’t pay a subscription to a library that didn’t buy new releases.
4. Alternatively, if a library existed for an exclusive purpose–such as offering older books that have been discarded or specifically Christian books (like a church library) and are unavailable in public libraries, I might subscribe. However, such a private library would be no substitute for the public library if it didn’t offer new books and a selection of periodicals.
That’s all I can think of at the moment. It’s hard to make general assertions, but whether or not I pay the library subscription depends entirely on the circumstances at hand. In short, would this library supply the demands I have for a library, or at least enough of them to make it worth the money? My library here in Krakow doesn’t meet all my needs, but it’s still worth my time and money because it is a source of English books, even if they don’t buy new releases.
5. It just occurred to me that a private library, particularly a more focused one, might also incorporate a “recommendations” system. I love the information at Amazon that tells me, “People who bought the same book you bought ALSO bought this book or author.” I enjoy those suggestions, and if a private library, with its more exclusive group of patrons, could incorporate a suggestion system like that, it would be a big draw.
I don’t know how practical the whole idea is, but you can see that I’m intrigued by the possibilities.

Dana Says: April 14th, 2007 at 3:58 am
I thought of you when I read that Christian Science Monitor article yesterday and wish you the best in your entreprenurial endeavor.
Now I’m off to find the closest membership library in my area
Dana in GA Says: April 14th, 2007 at 4:53 am
I have mixed feelings about the two libraries near me (the big “county” library and the one near the University).
My son and I both do volunteer work for the County library and I’ve been asked to help with sorting at the library near the University (sorting through books given to the library, preparing for book sales).
I have to that I “use” the library, I go there for books I may not want to purchase. I use their Interlibrary loan for out of print books I need but can’t locate. I even use them for free DVDs.
But…I don’t depend on them at all for my reading. I’ve spent years (and years) building my own home library, doing my own research as to books, never depending on the government funded libraries. I especially found them to be dismal when it came to reading and programs for my children. The only good recommendation that came out of the County library was for the Hank the Cowdog books (and I already knew about them through a homeschool book).
I actually volunteer at the library to be Salt and Light. As far as I can tell, I’m the only evangelical Christian among all the volunteers I’ve met. They adore my son, which has helped their opinion of homeschoolers, too. That’s why I’m thinking of helping sort at the library near the University. For most of these people have rather unusual ideas about Christians in general and homeschoolers in particular. They need to know us rather than read about us in unflattering publications.
As for depending on libraries…I’d rather depend on the one in my own home!
Okay, now you’ve gone and done it. I’ll be thinking of this all day today.

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) Says: April 14th, 2007 at 10:12 am
I’ve not used our public libraries much at all for the past several years. Several reasons for that - 1) About ten years ago there was a HUGE purging of the juvenile section. Lots of classic children’s books were removed, lots of good non-fiction pulled, and the reference section was reduced to one set of children’s encyclopedias. On our next visit we found shelves and shelves of Goosebumps (they were new and popular then, but still shelves and shelves for one series?). The shelves have since been filled with what is popular and not what is enduring. 2) The juvenile non-fiction books in one of the libraries closest to my home were combined with the adult non-fiction, not the best situation for allowing a child to “browse” for books on any topic. 3) We were increasingly finding that books we brought home had been vandalized, torn, or otherwise damaged and then returned. We faithfullly reported these damages as we returned the books, but it soon began to appear to the librarians that we must be the ones doing the damage since we were the ones reporting it. 4) The libraries in our area were increasingly becoming the “hang out” for the high school kids. Don’t get me wrong! I have nothing against the high schoolers (or anyone for that matter) being at the library. However, these students are loud and use inappropriate language. They overtake not only the adult sections of the library, but pour their young adult frames into the smaller children’s chairs as well. They make out (is that still a working term???) between the stacks. Ugh!! Not a place I want to be, and definitely not a place I want to take my boys. 5) My daughter, Dani, still ventures into one of our public libraries about once a month. However, she quite often comes home empty handed. The shelves are in such disarray that it is impossible to find the book she is looking for despite the system reporting it as being “on shelf”.The only time I use the public library system now is when I (rarely) request a book on line and have it sent to a near-by branch. I can then just head in to the desk, pick it up and be on my way.So, what’s the answer? We have, of course, been building our home library. I buy books with every paycheck. However, as Karen mentioned above, I cannot buy every book that I’d like to have in our library; and it is hard to know what is worthy of purchase in the new releases. I read the on line reviews and do my best, but that can only go so far. My goal, though not as lofty as yours, Carmon, is to continue to build our home library so that I have something to offer my children’s children. I’m building our home library for future generations of my own family.However, I would definitely pay to use a subscription/private library. I think that it would be a lovely change of pace. For one thing, actually paying to use the service would, perhaps, give the subscribers a sense of ownership and the books would be handled more carefully. I like Karen’s idea of an online catalogue and, perhaps, a recommendations area as well; but in the past we have enjoyed just browsing the shelves of books and discovering something new that way. While such a private library might be small, it would be wonderful if there were comfy chairs and areas for sitting comfotably while reading. I think a librarian who was not afraid to “shhh” those who were getting too loud would be a nice touch, too!Yes, I think that a private community library would definitely be able to serve as a Christian outreach. The folks who ran it would, of course, have the most to do with the way this was brought about; but the library itself, simply through what was on the shelves and what was NOT on the shelves, could also reflect Christ.Well, I’ve been very long-winded on a Saturday morning…..this is sort of a hot-button for me, and one I’ve not totally figured out in my own mind. Thanks for keeping me thinking……..I’ll echo Brenda here “Now you’ve gone and done it. I’ll be thinking of this all day today.”!!!!

Renee Says: April 14th, 2007 at 11:31 am
We haven’t used our city’s library very much since Bryce and I graduated from the children’s section, where we did research for homeschool projects. Since then, I couldn’t find any history books from a Christian perspective, and, not being as interested in classics then as I am now, I didn’t like their fiction selection either. Sure, we checked out some other books: geographical books or cookbooks or poetry books, and some others. It didn’t help our impression when the library sold the set of ten Kent Hovind creation videos that we donated to them. In our small town now, I think I have read the three books that I will ever want to read from there, as there are hardly any good books.
While the larger library does have a few useful things, the smaller one does not. Smaller libraries should, rather, have the best they can get, because of their small selection! I’m sure they are catering to what most people want, but it doesn’t offer a very wide variety for those outside that demographic. What are libraries for, to help people read good books that they might not spend the money on buying, or to provide the same paperback novels that are sold cheaply in any number of places?
Thinking about what I would like in a library, well, books on good, profitable subjects! Not so much fiction as is usually displayed, or, at least more classic literature. Classic books on different subjects–and meaty books that are helpful for research. Biographies of significant people (even if they aren’t Christians). I can look on Amazon and find dozens of informative, in-depth books that look interesting, but nothing at our libraries does.

Brandy Says: April 14th, 2007 at 12:53 pm
I think that what I would find most important in a private library would actually be a good librarian. For instance, my four-year-old is an avid reader. I have a difficult time finding books that are challenging for him to read that I think are appropriate in content for his young age. A librarian that understood (and a public librarian typically wouldn’t, for public libraries tend to think that reading something is more important than reading good things, would be a great resource for me.
Also, when I was in my late teens, I was drawn to libraries in general because they contained good resources for research I was doing. I know other commenters already mentioned research capabilities. I agree.

Marza Says: April 14th, 2007 at 4:01 pm
Libraries, libraries, how do I love thee?
When I was a child, there was a terrific public library in the next town over. It was a haul, longer than I can imagine any child walking today (or their parents allowing them to) but I trudged there on a regular basis. When I got a little older, I could take the train - less exercise, but increased the weight of books I could bring home.
I don’t particularly remember taking out childrens’ books, although I’m sure I must have started out there. When I got permission from my mother (and the librarians’ trust), I could take out books from any section I wanted to. I was a child of enthusiasms so I’m sure the list of books I’d borrowed must have seemed rather strange. I remember during my horticulture period taking out a huge, beautifully illustrated book on roses. I’m sure it was rather expensive for the time, so if I’d asked for it for a gift, it would have taken a big chunk out of my birthday money, and of course that enthusiasm waned. Being able to take it out of the library exactly fitted my needs.
Strangely, I don’t belong to a local library now. I want to say it’s because I live in a city, so it’s different, but I have been in several of the libraries here and there’s nothing wrong with them. I just don’t use them.
I’d say I get half of my books on-line and the other half at bricks and mortar stores now. But, I still find public libraries very useful. A couple of years ago I went off to swim camp for a week. I packed several books, but of course none of them turned out to be ones I liked. There wasn’t much to do when we weren’t swimming, but the town had a nice, little library that not only provided free internet access, but also gave out of towners borrowing privileges for a small fee. Same thing when I go visit my nephew.
The other thing I find libraries useful for - they’re a great place to wait. I do volunteer work - much of it in a neighboring city -and to make sure that I’m not late, I usually end up getting to places way too early. Some places I can go in and just set up early, but other times that would be weird or I’m waiting for someone to unlock the door. Sometimes that means I just end up sitting in my car, which is not all that comfortable (I don’t think “comfortable” was high on the design priorties sheet). However, if I’ve planned in advance, I might be able to go to a local library to wait. Some of them have free wifi, so I can check my email and the news. If not, I can pick up a book at random to see if it’s something I’m interested in. Or, I can just spread out my stuff comfortably and review my notes while I wait. Yes, I could do that in an internet cafe or similar, but why buy a tea or a plate of falafel that I don’t really want just to have someplace to sit?
Oh, and public libraries have bathrooms. This can be a very nice thing when you’re in a different town.

Molly with Two Mills Says: April 14th, 2007 at 4:09 pm
I love the idea of a cozy private library with overstuffed chairs and sofas where you can browse the shelves and then sit down to read and possibly get discussing (quietly) the realm of ideas with the patron subscriber next to you, or hear that person’s reading recommendations. Very inviting and stimulating atmosphere!
We still use the public library, and I enjoy its plethora of geography, science, some fiction and Cynthia Rylant books, and biographical books, also the Caldecott and Newbury books sections. My oldest is 10 so we remain down in the extensive children’s floor. That said, this whole concept and new historical awareness of the private library has the wheels turning, grinding against my frequent use of the public library. I am not ready to give up the public library yet for all its resources, yet, logically, the Constitution does not provide for the government using our money for providing reading material. Truly, it is best left lawfully to the private sector, where there is ownership, accountability, and local and vested intimacy with the clientele.
So, how do I go about accumulating enough books to get one going? My first idea is to pool resources with about 3-5 other interest book lovers and open up a room-sized establishment, growing the collection and clientele little by little through diligence. I picture a room with big chairs facing this way and that, centered around various coffee tables (okay-about 2 or 3 in this “room”), with a bookshelf featuring “These books are said to be awesome!” or/and “These books address hot button issues of the day” and “Conservative thought/issues”. I’d have Ansers in Genesis magazine on the magazine rack along with Above Rubies for women. I’d have an ipod corner to reserve an hour to sit and listen to an mp3. I’d have two different kinds of sweets for sale, 50 cents a cookie or brownie, and a beautiful bowl of fruit. I’d have a simple beautiful flower in a vase on each coffee table to bring God’s creation and glory. I’d have National Geographic magazine on the rack for two reasons: 1)It’s a gorgeous magazine covering areas and issues all over the world, and 2)I’d highlight the liberal thoughts/agenda driving much of the viewpoint, pointing it out for (re-)education and to stimulate possible discussion. I’d have a “featured homeschooling family of the week”, or a “how we run our homeschool day” section, kind of like the Starbucks quotes on their cups. I’d have an incredible poem (-because of its thoughts, word choices and meter/crafting) framed at each table, because one always reads what’s framed at a table, don’t you think? Those who want to contribute an extra $5-10 above the monthly subscription can get first viewing of new books in that month. We’d maybe collect names of interested people by a posted list for those who want to buy a certain book for themselves and then be able to buy it wholesale price because of the bulk interest/payments for the book. Once a week, or maybe the last hour or two every night, I’d have it go to candle-lights if the fire code allowed, on each coffee table to make the most of the evenings soul-and-thought-stirring atmostphere and time of day. Now to find those interested few others and figure out where this is going to be done, and actually how and when I am to pull this off with homeschooling 5 children under 11…. Guess it’ll have to be a family affair somehow… But the atmostphere and like-minded

Molly with Two Mills Says: April 14th, 2007 at 4:11 pm
oops-doorbell rang, but I’ve gone one looooong anyway.
I was just going to reiterate what I said at the very first.

Tammy Says: April 16th, 2007 at 7:05 am
When we lived in Ohio the public library was great.I never had a problem getting a Christian book that I read about on line.We moved to North Carolina about 15 months ago and now I mostly have had to buy the books that I want to read.Also the library is very small so it is loud.So one day I may end up with enough books for a private library.Unfortunatly since we move alot and books are heavy I donate them to the library.

Carmon,you would really dislike what is being next to the library here in Wake Forest.A public health building!!Talk about a waste of money !!

Joyce Says: April 16th, 2007 at 1:31 pm
This was so thought provoking. We live on the end of an eighty mile peninsula. The good news is that our County library system has 6 libraries in the county, the bad news is that we are in a very liberal area and the libraries are proud about their willingness to be tolerant etc.. The children’s section is full of the latest and most acclaimed, often not passing for our families standard, even as a read-aloud where I could skip over certain parts or read what is “grey” and use for discussion. It has become not worth it for my time except for research. We have chosen to buy and are blessed with many many books within our own home which I freely loan out oon request. BTW, if you have any insite on how to maintain a personal library and HOW to get loaned out books back home where they belong, I would love to know it.You are a blessing as always.

Cynthia Gee Says: April 17th, 2007 at 6:29 am
Tammy, I agree. The public libraries that I have used over the years have had all kinds of Christian books, and were willing to order anything that they didn’t have through the inter-library loan system.That’s because publically funded libraries can’t discriminate or refuse to shelve a book just because it’s written from a Christian viewpoint. Private libraries, on the other hand, COULD do that. They are nice in theory in that they do not have to give “equal time” to objectionable books, but that’s a two edged sword - they can also refuse to carry CHRISTIAN material with which they happen to disagree.

And then there’s another consideration. The kids who attend the public health clinic in Wake Forest can visit the library after visiting the doctor for their inoculations, etc., even if their parents don’t have money for a “donation.” Of course, they are probably a bit ill-clothed, and their families may be larger than is seemly, and their English may still need some improvement, so, isn’t it nice that we have PUBLIC libraries for them to use?

Carmon Says: April 17th, 2007 at 7:32 am
Cynthia, you are quite mistaken about public libraries not discriminating. Did you read Renee’s comment above, about donating videos only to have them sold? It happens all the time and every excuse under the sun is given for not allowing certain CHRISTIAN books. It all depends on the librarian who has the authority to pick and choose, and most librarians coming out of the MLS programs are not sympathetic to Christianity, though they are taught the religion of political correctness, which, as Jacques Barzun says, “does not legislate tolerance, it only organizes hatred.” PUBLIC libraries are becoming cesspools full of anti-Christian garbage. They are changing from centers of literary refuge to places that cater to the most prurient tastes and abhorrent types of behavior.
BTW, my home library of thousands of volumes (which I paid for myself, and many volumes were purchased for pennies for my larger than seemly family) contains books on every subject imaginable, including some from viewpoints other than my own for the sake of research and comparison (Marx, Darwin, history, literature, other religions). A private library has no obligation, you are correct, to provide books other than what the proprieter wishes, but the patrons also are not forced to pay for anything they don’t want to pay for…or they can withdraw their patronage. That’s FREEDOM. In a Christian private library, of course, there could also be scholarships for those who wish to use it but don’t have the means.
Your comment on this is very timely as I am writing more on this topic tonight.

Cynthia Gee Says: April 17th, 2007 at 9:10 am
I agree that libraries are *in danger* of becoming cesspools, but maybe I’ve been lucky — I haven’t seen that happening anywhere that I have lived, and I’ve lived in all sorts of places and have been using public libraries for the last 40 years.I have NEVER seen libraries discriminate against Christians or Christian materials — that’s illegal, and if that is happening where you live, you can file a complaint and the problem will be taken care of. That’s how some of the objectionable material gets included in the library, after all– non-Christians who want to see that sort of thing file a complaint if the library discriminates against them. What works for them, will work for Christians.
Of course, if Christians don’t USE public libraries, public libraries will grow more and more secularly minded, until they truly become the cesspools you are describing; and as that happens, the folks who can’t afford to patronize privately owned Christian libraries will have no choice but to make do with those anti-Christian public facilities…

… unless those facilities are abolished, in which case the poor will have to make do with no books at all, other than those given them by private arbiters and conservators of knowledge. In the Middle Ages, that role was filled by the Catholic Church, but Catholics today are no longer much “into” exercising temporal power.
Who is like the medieval Church today, who could take their place?

Carmon Says: April 17th, 2007 at 9:21 am
Cynthia, it is not illegal for them to discriminate when they pick and choose which items to put on the shelves. They make those decisions daily, and if a Christian book doesn’t make the cut, then it’s because of “circulation issues,” or “patron preferences,” or “shelf space.” They are not usually going to cite their bias as the reason for excluding certain books.
As for the “poor” (a loose term…a news story today trumpets the fact that half of all Americans receive some for of welfare payment) patronizing libraries, I’m sure there are some who fit that technical definition who are borrowing books from the public library (as for whether it’s the government’s job to provide free books to anyone, I’ve discussed that before), but the main demographic for library patrons is middle class people who want access to free books, videos, etc. It’s a middle-class entitlement program. There are so many place books are available to anyone who wants them for very little money. Many thrift stores have more books than they can handle, and they sell them for very little money. That’s where I find some of my best books.
What is clear from the scare stories in the paper I cite in this post is that some of those who were upset about the libraries closing were also thinking about alternatives to obtain books and make them avalable to others. If we stop being dependent on the government to provide our reading material (which, if you read your history, does not lead to greater access to knowledge, but less), then people are surprisingly creative at finding other avenues for what they need. But if they don’t need to do this, then they become unsurprisingly dependent on others to give them what they want.

Cynthia Gee Says: April 17th, 2007 at 9:55 am
Carmon, can you back up those claims with verifiable data? Newspapers trumpet all sorts of nonsense, and I see many lower income and elderly patrons at our library.

Personally, I want my government to provide the poor with a means of educating themselves. Otherwise, anyone can come along and tell them anything, and our freedom could be jeopardized. That’s partially how the Communists took power in China and Russia: they killed off the educated folks, including the mainstream Christians, and then brainwashed the uneducated masses with propaganda.
I’d hate to see that happen in America.

Srl Says: April 17th, 2007 at 10:15 am
isn’t it nice that we have PUBLIC libraries for them to use? … Personally, I want my government to provide the poor with a means of educating themselves.

Translation: “Isn’t it nice that the monies to pay for these libraries the kids use are extracted involuntarily from other citizens at gunpoint? I want my government to seize and confiscate property, if it must, in order to provide others with a means of educating themselves with materials chosen by government employees.”

Cynthia Gee Says: April 17th, 2007 at 10:37 am
Confiscated at gunpoint? Where do you live?In this country, communities vote whether or not to allocate funds for libraries, as Carmon’s article, above, points out. Those who don’t like the outcome of such a vote are free to drum up support for their point of view and turn things around if they can, or go live somewhere else.

Really though, it’s a shame and a reproach that non-Christians and atheists are doing better than some Christians when it comes to looking after the poor. Look how some folks resent spending a couple of dollars of their tax money to help provide library books for poor kids, and yet those same folks say that it’s the job of the church and not the government to provide aid to the underprivileged. Perhaps it is, but can we really trust such people to do the job?

I think not, and Jesus Himself had a thing or two to say about that, in Matthew Mat 25:
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me.And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Carmon Says: April 17th, 2007 at 10:46 am
Over half of all Americans “now receive significant income from government programs.” See here.

The way libraries cull materials is very subjective, and tends more toward popular tastes than the idea of being repositories of culture: see here.
The lofty, unrealized goals and purposes of public libraries: see here. “…public libraries finally began to come to terms with their more limited but realistic purpose: to be suppliers of books to the middle class and a symbol of culture in the community” and “‘As long as public libraries regard circulation counts as the primary indicator of their value to the community,’ says Elinor Jo Rodger, President of the Urban Libraries Council, ‘the reality is that we are serving a “reading for pleasure and information” middle class.’”
I must reiterate, however, that even if the libraries solely existed to make books available to “poor” people, from each according to his ability for each according to his need is a very bad idea. I wholeheartedly support all sorts of charitable (i.e., freely and cheerfully given) works, including providing books and education to those who truly need it, but the idea that providing such things apart from Christianity has any value is specious reasoning. The problem is not that people are uneducated. Education is not a cure-all for communism or any other evil. Only Christ and thinking Christianly will give people the ability to fight against any kind of darkness. The poor and undeducated masses can read all the books they want, but that won’t enable them to combat communism or any other “ism,” apart from the truth, which is only found in Christ.

Srl Says: April 17th, 2007 at 10:55 am
I live somewhere where police officers are typically armed, where do you live? If you don’t pay your taxes, said ministers of justice will come and enforce the law. I’m not suggesting that you try it, even if they aren’t armed there, because we of course do have a biblical responsibility to pay tribute to whom tribute is due.
Tax money doesn’t come out of nowhere. So, if you are saying that you want the government to do something, you are saying that you want it to enforce, by all means necessary, the collection of funds to do that something. There are no two ways about it. ( Well, one is always able to make a voluntary contribution if one wants. )

Carmon Says: April 17th, 2007 at 10:59 am
Cynthia, that last quote from the Bible was way out of line and out of context. Jesus was speaking to believing Christians and the church about how they are to minister to others, not advocating a kind of socialism where the government fills needs by confiscating private property. You are making a straw man argument by implying that I advocate keeping certain sectors of society in ignorance and want to withhold education from anyone. I am actually encouraging the church and believers to take responsibility rather than abdicate it to the government, which has no purview for providing free books and internet access with tax dollars.
As for doing it by gunpoint, try opting out of the system. Property taxes are often used to provide for public libraries. If you withhold any of those taxes in protest (do NOT try this at home), the sherriff will be on your doorstep to take away your home. This has actually happened to some people on fixed incomes (such as widows) who were not able to bear the burden of the taxes which go to support some very expensive government-run (with curricula and materials chosen by government employees using very politically correct criteria…and you think we have freedom of information here?) bureaucratic institutions such as libraries and schools. What about caring for widows and orphans?
What I am doing here is drumming up support for my point of view; thank you for permission to do so. I urge everyone to vote no on any future bond measures/property tax levies, and take responsibility in their own communities and homes for acquiring books and providing them for others. I started a library at my church as one way to do this, and I hope someday to do it on a larger scale. I don’t know why that is so threatening. I would think such efforts would be fulfilling doing something for the least of my brethren far more than granting the government the right to pick people’s pockets for entitlement programs which have been proven time and again to be corrupt and ineffective.

Cynthia Gee Says: April 17th, 2007 at 11:08 am
Ah… now I see.
After reading the CSM article, I see that when you said that “a news story today trumpets the fact that half of all Americans receive some for of welfare payment”, you were numbering as welfare recipients all of those people cited in Mr. Schilling’s statistics as “recieving significant income from government programs” and that those numbers include both people on Social Security AND those people earning income WORKING in government jobs!.

That is an interesting take on “welfare”…. and it proves what Twain had to say about statistics.

I’m glad I asked for those sources.

Carmon Says: April 17th, 2007 at 11:11 am
Cynthia, I see that you have been busy trying to drum up controversy elsewhere regarding this, falsely portraying my position as anti-education. Our discussion is at an end here, as I won’t give you a platform for twisting words and false witnessing. One of the good things about the freedom that comes with private ownership is that one does not have to give a platform to everyone’s false ideas. You have my blessing to say whatever you want on your own blog and wherever others are willing to give you a hearing. I think we’ve covered it all.

Cynthia Gee Says: April 17th, 2007 at 11:15 am
Okey dokey Carmon… will do.

Carmon Says: April 17th, 2007 at 11:19 am
By the way, I’m very grateful for the many practical suggestions for what would make a library appealing. I will be saving those (Molly, you outdid yourself!) for future reference if my dream ever becomes a reality.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What Godliness Does NOT Look Like

On True Womanhood in the New Millenium, Karen posted an excerpt from an article by Scott Brown, who articulates his idea of what godly womanhood ought to look like in the 21st century.

Scott says,
"There is a most unusual generation of godly young ladies in the church
today. I believe there have been few marriageable young women like this in the
last one hundred years. At least three generations of Americans has never seen
anything like this. What has happened to create this situation?

Here are some of their distinctives:
1. They saw the bitter fruit of feminism and began to understand it’s bankruptcy and destructiveness.
2. They “kissed dating goodbye” and decided in their youth that they would abstain from the
modern dating debacle.
3. They trusted their fathers encouragement toward them to fulfill the biblical and normative pattern of scripture regarding the roles of women and began to prepare themselves to be wives, helpers and homemakers as a life strategy – in contrast to the feminist vision of independent workers outside the home.
4. They rejected the immodest, worldly but common clothing options of their culture and the Lord put it in their hearts to be faithful to God’s commands regarding feminine dress and modesty.
5. They are striving to preserve themselves sexually for their future husbands, instead of
test driving numerous partners before marriage.
6. They are spending their time serving the enterprise of the home as assistants in their fathers businesses and assisting their mothers in the teaching and raising of the
children in the home.
7. They were told by their parents that if they were faithful and obeyed, they would be blessed.
8. One of the blessings they are anticipating is godly husbands."

Karen asks her readers, "What do you think is missing from his list?"

What’s missing from Scott's list?

The poor, and most of the lower middle class.
It may come as a surprise to people like Scott Brown, but most girls’ fathers do not own businesses. Many girls live in homes where the father is absent altogether, and many more live in homes with two parents who must both work fulltime simply to keep food on the table; many of these parents have been forced to use birth control to limit the size of their families because of economic pressures.

Back in Victorian times, girls and women of the lower social classes were often considered to be of questionable virtue, simply because economic circumstances forced them to work outside the home. It comes as no surprise that this is the very period in our history that people such as Scott Brown, Doug Phillips, and the Chanceys are trying to re-create.

Godly womanhood is a fine thing, but godliness which is dependent upon privilege and wealth is merely hypocrisy, all gussied up in a modest, tasteful, expensive Edwardian gown.