I’m Just Like a Hollywood Actor!

Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute can’t believe that the Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 school board voted 6-1 to overturn the ban on The Perks of Being a Wallflower earlier this week, so she’s griping about how kids reading things she finds indecent is bad for society and how teachers who encourage students to read these challenging books are political activists “masquerading as ‘educators'” and how the sky is falling.

She doesn’t like the “stronger” parental notification compromise, either, where the note that goes home to parents each year will explain that students may choose to read books with “mature content” but parents have a right to say no to those selections:

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School Board Overturns Ban on ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’

Last week, I posted about how the school board representing Hadley Junior High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois voted to ban The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

So what happened at tonight’s board meeting?

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How I Lost My Christian Faith While Writing a Book on Evolution

This is a guest post by Ed Suominen.

As an engineer who spent forty years as a fundamentalist Christian, I pretty much ignored the problem of human origins and evolution.

The science of radio waves and electronics was very real for me, but so was Genesis: My wife and I had eleven children as a result of following God’s command to be fruitful and multiply. So whenever I came across some article about a million-year-old fossil or the dreaded word “evolution,” I would hastily skip over it.

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A School District Bans ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ After Parents Complain… but the Fight’s Not Over Yet

If you’re a middle school student — or any student, really — you probably prefer reading a book that you chose instead of one your teacher chose for you. So, at Hadley Junior High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois (not far from where I live), the English teachers include in their curriculum the opportunity for students to choose their own books to read, discuss, and analyze.

This past December, one group of students chose to read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, a book (and popular movie) about a teenager named Charlie who has to deal with issues that are pretty heavy (and all too relatable) for any adolescent. It covers sex, suicide, drugs, crushes, and so much more — which is a large part of why so many students are drawn to it:

The district has a policy when it comes to books chosen by students, and the teachers let the parents know about it early in the school year. In essence, it says that parents have final say when it comes to their child’s independent reading: If parents feel a book is inappropriate, their child doesn’t have to read it. The teacher will then help the child find a different book. There’s no penalty for that, of course.

Sounds simple enough.

Because this particular book has some mature themes, the teacher told the students that they should get permission from their parents before tackling it, reinforcing the policy already in place.

That’s when one of the student’s parents flipped out.

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Stephen King: If You Don’t Believe in God, You’re Missing Out on Sunrises, Sunsets, and the Stars

Author Stephen King was recently interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air and the conversation at one point turned to his views on God. While King referred to organized religion as “a theological insurance scam,” he wasn’t quite so dismissive of God in general.

Here’s what he said to host Terry Gross (around the 15:45 mark):

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