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We Don’t Read Much, Do We?

March 6th, 2008 · 6 Comments

The latest chapter in the hilarious misadventures of Concerned Woman for America Matt Barber involves blowing a fuse over an Illinois high school’s addition of the Tony- and Pulitzer-award winning play Angels in America to their curriculum.  Though Barber avers that it “takes a lot” to shock him, he writes (emphasis mine):

The book is replete with profanity, overt racism through multiple uses of the N-word, an  explicit description of a sex act involving Mother Theresa and some of the most graphic, vile and vivid depictions of homosexual anal sodomy every put in print.

Oh girlfriend, not even close.  Let me send you some Marquis de Sade, for starters.  We also get this claim:

NSSA complained to the State Attorney’s office of Lake County, Illinois, and they agreed that the book violated Illinois’ obscenity statute prohibiting adults from “distributing harmful materials to minors.” But, amazingly, Hauser was told by the State’s Attorney’s office that state and federal obscenity laws exempt school officials from prosecution.

I believe the legal term for this is “humoring you.”

Tags: Academia · Language and Literature · Law · Stupid Shit



6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 x // Mar 6, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    So whats your point? As long as there is more hardcore stuff out there parents have no need to worry?
    I suppose you won’t care what sort of garbage your kids are exposed to in school, but the vast majority of parents do care, and have been made to tolerate a lot pro-gay, pro-feminist propaganda that permeates modern education.
    So, just curious, what would be over-the-line for your kids? You’d become irate if your kids learned something resembling Christian values, I imagine.

  • 2 asg // Mar 6, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Speaking for myself, values unique to Christianity would be over the line, since they follow only from falsehoods. I’m definitely okay with most of the stuff that Christianity shares with other value systems (e.g. the Golden Rule).

  • 3 John Goes // Mar 6, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    I liked it better when you wrote fewer, higher quality posts, Julian. I haven’t read the book and you didn’t refute his description of it. Based on your post, do you really not understand why someone would be upset by such content being taught in a h.s.? Some people can handle it, some can’t, at that age, but surely it’s not unreasonable to teach the uncontroversial books in highschool, leaving parents responsible for these other “aspects” of their education, if you chose to interpret this book as educational.

  • 4 Julian Sanchez // Mar 7, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Sorry, I was taking for granted that people would be familiar with Angels in America and understand the full hilarity of someone suggesting it would violate an obscenity statute.

  • 5 John Goes // Mar 7, 2008 at 8:24 am

    I’m of the opinion that so-called “novels of ideas” as Vladimir Nabokov called them, have little to know place in highschool education, or anyone’s for that matter. I think you’re focusing too much on the invocation of the obscenity statute, at the expense of understanding a legitimate point (i.e. books with “social” themes do not belong in a public school, assuming one must have public schools). With many subjects you examine fairly dispassionately the half truths in what you perceive is the error, but you rarely do so when the subject of your posts are “social conservatives”. For this you reserve (apparently) unexamined disdain.

  • 6 John Goes // Mar 7, 2008 at 8:24 am

    “little to no”, that should read. I’m on no sleep.

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