Monday, November 14, 2005

Now they're suing schools for reading Narnia

Here is a news release about the separation of church and state lawsuit concerning state sponsorship for reading Narnia in school.


Anonymous said...

Ok now that is just stupid!! What are those fools at AU thinking.

Anonymous said...

Lynn appears to be an idiot.
But have any lawsuits actually been filed?
If not, it would seem the other side is overreacting just a tad.
Kinda like saying Pat Robertson is suing the citizens of Dover because he made similiarly idiotic comments about their election.

Dennis Monokroussos said...

Generally speaking, intellectuals on the secular/liberal (not the same thing, I know) end of the spectrum tend to reject the idea that a text can have particular, correct meaning - especially when it comes to the Bible and the Constitution (a "living", "breathing", "evolving" document). How ironic that in this case, where one has at best an allegory of the Christian story, Lynn is sure he knows the text's true meaning!

Anonymous said...

Really? So that explains why there are gadzillions of conservative, non-secular christian denominations, each with their own different interpretation of the Bible's correct meaning.

Mike Darus said...

I think they should ban the movie E.T. too. Even though it has a Jewish writer, the main character comes to earth, heals miraculously, dies, comes back to life, and then ascends into the heavens.

Mike said...

Court tv has more complete coverage of this story.

Apparently, all the AU wanted was the inclusion of additional books in the reading contest. The story in the Agape Press did not actually say any lawsuits have been filed.

Court tv did quote somebody as saying the book is clearly Christian. However, C. S. Lewis' stepson said in an interview on NPR this a.m. that it is not.

Mike Darus said...

What is the criteria for determining whether a book is "Christian?"

It seems that the person meant that if TLW&TW was Christian, then it would not be appropriate for the state of Florida hold a reading contest featuring the book because the state would be favoring the Christian religion.

The term "Christian book" could be used in the sense that it was written by a Christian writer and expressed a Christian world-view, philosophy, or outlook. Clearly, the stepson would not deny that the book reflects Christian values and world view. But if the term "Christian book" was used this sense, too many books could fall into the category and the AU could not be justified in its objection. Neither side seemed to be using this definition.

However, if the term "Christian book" was used to describe a book that promoted Christianity, then the AU could be justified. The stepson's denial could also be understood because the book can be appreciated without the Christian appreciation of the allegories. The debate is whether the book is an apologetic for Christianity.

There are books sold in Christian book stores and known as Christian books that should not be promoted in public school. Lee Stroble and Josh McDowell should not be required reading (but neither should they be banned). Vegie Tales videos are clearly promoting Christianity and could not be appreciated apart from their religious intentions.

It could become an interesting discussion in the culture wars where TLW&TW fits. I have not heard this discussion with The Lord of the Rings. Nor have I heard it in regard to Les Miserables.

Dennis Monokroussos said...

Re the anonymous smart-aleck who mentioned the "gadzillions" of conservative Christian denominations, I have three comments.

First, it's only a kajillion different denominations, okay? Let's not exaggerate things.

Second, while that excessive diversity isn't anything for the church to be proud of, it is a different problem than the one I was referring to. These denominations arise in part because the different groups think they've gotten it right while others haven't. And that, in turn, presumes there's something to be got at in the first place! Conservatives don't break off to new groups because Scripture needs to get more hip, more with it, more sensitive to the latest trends.

Third, it's one thing if liberals/secularists want to claim that there either isn't any truth in a text, or that we can't discern it, fine. I disagree, but that's an argument for another day. It's just that this instance looks like a convenient (and rather extreme) "holiday" from the usual stance.

Victor Reppert said...

Just acknowledging the fact that no lawsuits have actually been filed here, so my title was a bad one.

Anonymous said...

Just to clear up: by "Christian book" I meant "an allegorical re-telling of the story of Jesus, with the Lion in the starring role."

Incidentally,as a "liberal" I would like to point out there are at least as many flavors of liberals as there are of Christians. Sweeping generalizations about what I think are a poor substitute for actual thought, serious argument or genuine dialog.