Two stories about school, here and there and in between.
Story One, Here: JT Eberhard of WWJTD, who is badass and much better at this blogging thingie than I, has a guest post up from author Katherine Stewart wherein she “interviews” herself regarding her book “The Good News Club” . All about the insidious attempt by a really spooky group of Christian Nationalists to advance their authoritarian biblical bullshit through our public schools in the form of “nondenominational” bible study groups. Which probably sound quite innocent to the average parent. It’s not. For instance…
Here’s an example: A six-year-old I know named Zoe was playing in the schoolyard when her classmate Ashley, who had just started attending a Good News Club, said to her, “You are going to hell because you don’t believe in Jesus.”
Zoe objected, saying, “That’s not true.” When the teacher, overhearing the exchange, started explaining that different people believe different things, Ashley was devastated. “How can that be?” she started sobbing. “I know it must be true because I learned it in school, and they don’t teach things in school that aren’t true. How can they lie to us in school?
Read the whole thing and buy the book if you can. Once again I count my blessings that the SCPA doesn’t appear to have time to waste on such nonsense and my Hellions will most likely be spared such a patently horrid intrusion into their school lives. But I plan on being extra vigilant.
Story Two, There: I first read about this story at Butterflies and Wheels where Ophelia Benson spins her web of truth and reason. It is not a happy story. It may still be a hopeful story. The ending is not yet writ.
A 14-year-old schoolgirl in the Swat valley in Pakistan has been shot in the head. The Taliban says it did it. Malala Yousafzai is also a campaigner for girls’ education. She was attacked on her way home from school in Mingora. She’s reported to be out of danger.
Ehsanullah Ehsan told BBC Urdu that they attacked her because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared.
Malala Yousafzai, according to the BBC first came to international attention in 2009 while writing a diary for BBC Urdu about life as a young woman in a Taliban controlled area. She was struck in the head on her way home from school, but is in stable condition as of lunchtime today (10/10/2012). There is hopeful news coming from the troubled Islamic nation of Pakistan however. The attack on Malala has sparked protests in several Pakistani cities and a reward has been posted by the government has offered a reward for the capture of the perpetrator.
Ophelia talks more about the story here, here, and here. Follow her blog, she’s better at keeping up with news than I am.
In Between: I juxtapose these stories for a few reasons. For one, I sincerely believe that the fools in the first story are trying to drag us into the foolishness of the next story. The current election cycle has certainly brought to light how close the Christian Dominionist movement is to mainstream Republican politics. This dangerous fool for instance would seem to fit right in with the Taliban. And I certainly feel that if there were more people like Katherine Stewart and Malala Yousafzai in the world then perhaps we would not have need of the second story.
What’s more, I think these two stories resonate because they are about how we treat our children. The “Good News Club” assholes see our children as empty vessels to be filled with their message. Not people to be taught to learn and grow and make new things, but merely little “pod people” put here only to carry the useless myths of the past. The same with the Taliban, people so afraid of their little girls that they aren’t even allowed to be seen, and if they dare speak out then… well around here we call that a “rebellious child”.