Tips for understanding the mind war

muslimFor journalists — or anyone for that matter — looking to understand the conflict in the Middle East between the West and the Islamic fundamentalism, take a look at this book review in Sunday’s Washington Post titled “The War for Muslim Minds,” and then consider picking up one or more of these books.

The review by the RAND Corporation’s Bruce Hoffman encompasses three recent books on the minds of Muslims. The heaviest of the three, Fawaz A. Gerges’s The Far Enemy, moves along the theory on “why Jihad went global.” Khaled Abou El Fadl’s Wrestling Islam From the Extremists deals with the more well-known theory that Islam has been hijacked by highly charismatic characters, while Fred Halliday’s 100 Myths About the Middle East seems to be a quick guide worthy of a Christmast-time airplane ride (it’s also only about $10). I should note that I have not read any of these books, but that is no the point of this post.

While masterfully quoting Sun Tzu, Hoffman underscores the point I’ve been trying to make about journalists, only pointing towards the United States’ counterterrorism strategy:

Today, Washington has no such program in the war on terrorism. America’s counterterrorism strategy appears predominantly weighted toward a “kill or capture” approach targeting individual bad guys. This line of attack assumes that America’s targets — be they al Qaeda or the insurgency in Iraq — have a traditional center of gravity; it also assumes that the target simply needs to be destroyed so that global terrorism or the Iraqi insurgency will end. Accordingly, the attention of the U.S. military and intelligence community is directed almost uniformly toward hunting down militant leaders or protecting U.S. forces — not toward understanding the enemy we now face.

This is a monumental failing because al Qaeda’s ability to continue this struggle is predicated on its capacity to attract new recruits and replenish its resources. The success of U.S. strategy will therefore ultimately depend on Washington’s ability to counter al Qaeda’s ideological appeal — and thereby break the cycle of recruitment and regeneration. To do so, we first need to better understand the origins of the al Qaeda movement, the animosity and arguments that underpin it and indeed the region of the world from which its struggle emanated and upon which its gaze still hungrily rests. Each of the three books reviewed here provides a good start in this essential, though lamentably belated, process.

“In my conversations with former jihadis, one of the critical lessons I have learned is that personalities, not ideas or organizations, are the drivers behind the movement,” writes Gerges in his book, implicitly removing the importance of religion in this international conflict.

Why is this important to the average journalist? Most of us are not in the Middle East covering elections and suicide bombings.

Here’s why: the Post also on Sunday carried an article title “Muslim Leader Forges Interfaith Accord” by Fredrick Kunkle of a “popular Imam,” Yahya Hendi, who is supposedly boosting Islam throughout Maryland and beyond.

It’s a fairly straightforward middle-of-the-local-section religion story except for the fact that he’s a cologne-splashing Imam who is convinced that Islam, Judaism and Christianity are more similar than different. Fair enough character, but any reporter digging past the same-day feature story written by Kunkle must pitch some serious questions at Hendi who believes he is the Arabic version of John the Baptist. And to do that one must have at least a primer in what Muslims today believe and it is about as far away from monolithic as you can get.

Then there is the international story of Muslims flocking to the polls in Iraq and the convening of Afghanistan’s first parliament in more than 30 years. What story is more important these days?

These historical moments will receive their due treatment in lengthy magazine pieces followed by thick books, but for the journalist grinding out daily news stories on these dramatic events — whether for the metro section or from the Green Zone — a background in the minds of the Muslims will be crucial for accurately understanding the story.

Print Friendly

The night before …

narnia4No, not Christmas — Narnia.

Here’s the rundown of some of the journalistic hackery out there right now, most good, others not so good. I am curious as to how many of your loyal readers will be seeing the film tonight or this weekend. I will not be seeing it this weekend, as I will be out of town. Please feel free to leave links to other reviews of the film and let us know whether you think they accurately portray the movie. Actual news features are even better.

So let’s start on the not so good. The Guardian‘s Polly Toynbee doesn’t pull any punches, writing that “Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion,” and that’s in the headline. Everything from Aslan representing “everything an atheist objects to in religion … he is pure, raw, awesome power,” to C.S. Lewis weaving “his dreams to invade children’s minds with Christian iconography that is part fairytale wonder and joy — but heavily laden with guilt, blame, sacrifice and a suffering that is dark with emotional sadism.” Toynbee clearly does not like Lewis, Christianity or The Chronicles of Narnia.

And here’s more:

Of all the elements of Christianity, the most repugnant is the notion of the Christ who took our sins upon himself and sacrificed his body in agony to save our souls. Did we ask him to? Poor child Edmund, to blame for everything, must bear the full weight of a guilt only Christians know how to inflict, with a twisted knife to the heart. Every one of those thorns, the nuns used to tell my mother, is hammered into Jesus’s holy head every day that you don’t eat your greens or say your prayers when you are told. So the resurrected Aslan gives Edmund a long, life-changing talking-to high up on the rocks out of our earshot. When the poor boy comes back down with the sacred lion’s breath upon him he is transformed unrecognisably into a Stepford brother, well and truly purged. …

Over the years, others have had uneasy doubts about the Narnian brand of Christianity. Christ should surely be no lion (let alone with the orotund voice of Liam Neeson). He was the lamb, representing the meek of the earth, weak, poor and refusing to fight. Philip Pullman – he of the marvellously secular trilogy His Dark Materials — has called Narnia “one of the most ugly, poisonous things I have ever read”.

Why? Because here in Narnia is the perfect Republican, muscular Christianity for America — that warped, distorted neo-fascist strain that thinks might is proof of right. I once heard the famous preacher Norman Vincent Peel in New York expound a sermon that reassured his wealthy congregation that they were made rich by God because they deserved it. The godly will reap earthly reward because God is on the side of the strong. This appears to be CS Lewis’s view, too. In the battle at the end of the film, visually a great epic treat, the child crusaders are crowned kings and queens for no particular reason. Intellectually, the poor do not inherit Lewis’s earth.

We have already established that those who say Aslan as a lion does not truly represent Jesus Christ do not truly understand the nature of Jesus. We also know that Lewis was no neo-fascist. Toynbee fails to support most of her allegations with facts, but that said, those who need Toynbee’s I’m Angry at my Dad, Christians are all Evil attitude, social critique mirroring pieces in the New Yorker and The New York Times can have it. The only difference is that Toynbee is not nearly as hard on Lewis as her American counterparts.

On the other side of the pond, The Detroit Free Press‘s religion writer David Crumm found a local angle, profiling the local folks who made short films that helped build Lewis’s legacy. Crumm is much more factually focused in this straight news story and it’s a solid local portrait of individuals who loved Lewis’s writings. has a page devoted to watching the “hate” directed towards the Narnia film, highlighting the Guardian piece mentioned above. Feel free to browse through that long page of comments, but there’s little there worth reading. I say chill out folks, ignore the “hate,” otherwise known as criticism and enjoy the movie.

And onto my favorite Narnia piece of the week, The Washington Post‘s William Booth takes us on a rapid ride through the multitudes of literary criticisms, hypotheticals regarding Lewis’s life and writings. Here’s what I’m talking about:

C.S. Lewis scholarship has long been viewed as kind of fuddy-duddy-retro in academe, populated mostly by enthusiasts toiling away at religious colleges who often come to the massive Lewis output with an appreciation for its Christian message. “There is the feeling that it would be relegated to a corner,” says Christine Mather, a Lewis scholar and a lecturer in gender studies at Vanderbilt University, “that it would be a lesser area of study for a lesser scholar.”

Not now. Narnia Studies, with a minor in Harry Potter, are hot. “My goodness,” says Christopher Mitchell, director of the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College in Illinois, which houses the most comprehensive collection of Lewis material in the world. “There is a ton of stuff coming out right now. It’s a publishing frenzy. Everyone is trying to capitalize on the movie.”

Over the years there have been dozens of Lewis biographies, and they trace the common narrative about the life of Lewis, which was actually odd and troubled. Where they differ is in what it all means. Lewis is often portrayed in split-screen images: the reactionary, red-faced Oxford don who dislikes children but is described by friends as humble and generous to a fault, who spends his evenings answering letters to his 10-year-old fans (and, by some accounts, every letter was answered — can you imagine?).

I liked and enjoyed the Booth piece. It covered the spectrum and quoted everything from Christianity Today to our friend Toynbee from above. It’s an example of a thorough cultural critique of what is likely to be one of the more significant movies of the year.

Print Friendly

‘Jack, get out of my line of fire’

0060634472Just came across this wonderful little anecdote about Mr. and Mrs. C.S. Lewis from an interview by Washington Times reporter Jen Waters with Douglas Gresham. Gresham — the executive producer of the new Narnia movie — is one of the two sons of Joy Davidman Gresham Lewis and, thus, one of the adopted sons of Jack Lewis.

It seems that Lewis had one strong woman on his hands.

A favorite memory of Mr. Gresham’s happened one day while walking behind his mother and stepfather at the Kilns, Lewis’ home. His mother was apt to carry a shotgun and hunt pigeons in the trees.

While enjoying the outdoors, a young man jumped from the bushes carrying a bow and quiver of arrows. When Lewis asked him to leave the property, the man pointed the arrows at him and Mr. Gresham’s mother.

“Immediately, Jack displayed his chivalry, his courage and his sense of duty by stepping in front of my mother to shield her from the arrow,” Mr. Gresham says. “He stood there for a few seconds, until he heard my mother … behind him saying, ‘Jack get out of my line of fire.’ “

I did a little interview with Gresham myself, several weeks ago, about his new biography of Lewis for children.

However, anyone seeking a major biography of Lewis by someone else who knew him inside out should turn to “Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times” by the apologist’s former student and walking companion George Sayer. Click here for a 1998 interview with Sayer, who deals with all of the tough subjects — yes, the sexy ones too — in Lewis’ life, yet does so by interviewing others who knew him and quoting relevant documents.

It’s an old-fashioned kind of biography, in other words, with no pop psychology allowed. Journalists covering the The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe should look it up as a reference book.

Print Friendly

Meet C.S. Lewis, pedantic horndog

AdamGopnikEarlier this week, Daniel touched on some newspapers’ breathless “C.S. Lewis had premarital sex” exposes. Some of the comments on his post have mentioned the critique of Lewis in the Nov. 21 New Yorker.

Adam Gopnik’s essay offers the depth of detail readers would expect from The New Yorker, but dwells at tiresome length on Lewis’ sex life. In describing Lewis’ relationships with Janie King Moore and Joy Davidman, Gopnik leaves the impression that they were both married women still living with their husbands when they took to bed with Lewis. (We know that Davidman did. Contrary to Gopnik, we cannot be certain that Lewis and Moore “had a long affair.”)

Gopnik (pictured) does not mention that Lewis was fulfilling a promise to a World War I buddy to look after his widowed mother. (Whether Lewis and Moore ever engaged in a bit of the old non-marital rumpy pumpy is, as some comments on Daniel’s post indicate, not of great interest to Lewis admirers who understand that Lewis did many things before his conversion that he would not have done after it.)

Joy Davidman, in turn, was separated from her husband when she met Lewis, and Lewis left no impression that he was, in Gopnik’s words, “seduced by a married woman” by the time they were wed in a civil ceremony.

But enough about sex, as some of us are at least descended from the British.

Besides, Gopnik also is annoyed by Lewis’s brand of Christian faith. Gopnik depicts Lewis as a victim of that infamous Catholic soul-stalker, J.R.R. Tolkien:

It was through the intervention of the secretive and personally troubled Tolkien, however, that Lewis finally made the turn toward orthodox Christianity. In company with another friend, they took a long, and now famous, walk, on an autumn night in 1931, pacing and arguing from early evening to early morning. Tolkien was a genuinely eccentric character — in college, the inventor of Lothlorien played the part of the humorless pedant — who had been ready to convert Lewis for several years. Lewis was certainly ripe to be converted. The liberal humanism in which he had been raised as a thinker had come to seem far too narrowly Philistine and materialist to account for the intimations of transcendence that came to him on country walks and in pages of poetry. Tolkien, seizing on this vulnerability, said that the obvious-seeming distinction that Lewis made between myth and fact — between intimations of timeless joy and belief in a historically based religion — was a false one.

And so on. (This exceptionally long rant ends with Lewis on the brink of becoming a churchgoer, as if his conversion consisted primarily of faithful pew-warming at the nearest Anglican chapel.)

For Gopnik, Lewis commits the unpardonable modern sin of insisting that there’s such a thing as objective religious truth (and not merely subjective individual religious preference). On this point, Gopnik manages to make the postwar University of Oxford sound like a center of conformist Anglican piety:

Lewis insists that the Anglican creed isn’t one spiritual path among others but the single cosmic truth that extends from the farthest reach of the universe to the house next door. He is never troubled by the funny coincidence that this one staggering cosmic truth also happens to be the established religion of his own tribe, supported by every institution of the state, and reinforced by the university he works in, the “God-fearing and God-sustaining University of Oxford,” as Gladstone called it. But perhaps his leap from myth to Christian faith wasn’t a leap at all, more of a standing hop in place.

Most tellingly, while criticizing Lewis for his allegories, Gopnik shows a breathtaking literalism:

The trouble was that though he could encompass his obsessions, he could not entirely surrender to his imagination. The emotional power of the book, as every sensitive child has known, diminishes as the religious part intensifies. The most explicitly religious part of his myth is the most strenuously, and the least successfully, allegorized. Aslan the lion, the Christ symbol, who has exasperated generations of freethinking parents and delighted generations of worried Anglicans, is, after all, a very weird symbol for that famous carpenter’s son — not just an un-Christian but in many ways an anti-Christian figure.

So much for the Lion of Judah.

Memo to the legendary fact-checkers of The New Yorker: Lewis wrote A Grief Observed, not A Grief Portrayed.

Print Friendly

Missing Lewis

narnia2In a preemptive strike against Aslan and his fans, The New York Times has launched an attack today against the mind behind the Land of Narnia.

While I enjoyed Charles McGrath’s article for its freshness and willingness to depart from the standard C.S. Lewis script, he doesn’t provide any new information and simply repeats some of the speculation presented by A.N. Wilson, author of C.S. Lewis: A Biography (Norton, 1990).

McGrath devotes six paragraphs of his article to speculation surrounding Lewis’s relationship with a Mrs. Moore, also known as Minto. McGrath goes as far to call Wilson “the best and most persuasive of Lewis’s biographers,” and states that “there’s no reason at all to think they didn’t [sleep together], leaving us with the baffling and disquieting psychological picture of C.S. Lewis, the great scholar and writer and Christian apologist-to-be, pedaling off on his bicycle, his academic gown flapping in the wind, to have a nooner with Mum.” Here’s the crux of the subject:

For more than 40 years, he lived with the mother of a friend named Edward Moore, with whom he had made one of those earnest World War I pacts: if anything happened to either of them, the other would take care of his friend’s family. In the event, it was Moore who died, while Lewis came down with trench fever and was later wounded, not severely but badly enough that he was sent home.

Lewis, then 20, went to Oxford in January 1919, but he kept his word and moved Mrs. Moore and her daughter, Maureen, to lodgings nearby. In those days, for an Oxford undergraduate to spend the night away from his college, let alone spend it with a woman, was a serious offense, and so Lewis embarked upon a double life, spending the week in college and weekends and vacations with Maureen and Mrs. Moore, or Minto, as she was known. The arrangement persisted for the rest of Minto’s life, long after Lewis earned his degree and became a don.

In 1930, he and Minto bought a house together, and Lewis’s brother, Warnie, a career army officer whose excessive drinking had forced him into early retirement, moved in. But during the term, Lewis still slept in his rooms at Magdalen College. Many of his friends didn’t even know about Minto; others had the vague impression that she was his stepmother.

The exact nature of their relationship is something that many of Lewis’s biographers would prefer to tiptoe around. But Lewis was far from a sexual innocent, and the evidence strongly suggests that, at least until he got religion, there was an erotic component to his life with Minto. Did they actually sleep together, this earnest, scholarly young man, conventional in almost every other way, and a woman 26 years his senior? Walter Hooper, the editor of Lewis’s “Collected Letters,” thinks it “not improbable.” A.N. Wilson, the best and most persuasive of Lewis’s biographers, argues that there’s no reason at all to think they didn’t, leaving us with the baffling and disquieting psychological picture of C.S. Lewis, the great scholar and writer and Christian apologist-to-be, pedaling off on his bicycle, his academic gown flapping in the wind, to have a nooner with Mum.

The true authoritative Lewis biographer, George Sayer, in his Jack: A Life of C.S. Lewis (Crossway, 1994), deals with the psychobabble presented by Wilson. Since he knew Lewis closely through this years and talked to others who lived at the house at the time, he is fairly certain that the relationship was innocent.

The NYT piece also fails to even mention when Lewis converted to Christianity. Such a significant event in a person’s life surely deserves at least a mention.

This then leads to a disturbing speculation by McGrath, that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was motivated by some Freudian, drunken, crazy man whose wardrobe symbolizes something a little more disturbing than a place where you put your coats and scarves. Fortunately, McGrath rejects that speculation:

But if in fact there is a psychological explanation for how the books came to be, it is probably a good deal simpler. Lewis was at the time so despondent and worn down, so weary of the world of grown-ups, with their bedpans and whiskey bottles, that he must have longed for a holiday in a land of make-believe.

Lewis later claimed that in writing the Narnia books, he “put in what I would have liked to read when I was a child and what I still like reading now that I am in my 50′s.” Children’s literature — the notion of books written specifically to be read to or by young people — was a Victorian invention, and Lewis as a child was shaped by a typically Victorian reading list. With the indiscrimination that so troubled Tolkien, he cannibalized much of it for “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Here’s the NYT elevating speculation on a man’s life that belongs in the gutter. Can’t it find a more serious angle on the man who is still considered the most prominent Christian writer in the last 100 years? How about the discussion that we could have regarding why Lewis has not been replaced and passed up by another?

Print Friendly

Prison time for Bible printing

bibleThis Reuters story on the sentencing of a Protestant house church minister, wife and brother to prison terms for printing 200,000 copies of the Bible is setting off something of a firestorm as China’s regulation of religion comes under the microscope. This article has already triggered stories in The Washington Post and The Washington Times mentioning that President Bush is paying the country a visit in a few days.

Cai Zhuohua, 34, was arrested in September 2005 and was sentenced to three years in prison. His wife will be in jail for two years and the brother for 18 months. Cai’s sister-in-law cooperated and didn’t receive any prison time. According to the article, the crime was printing Bibles and other religious publications. And here’s why:

In atheist China, printing of Bibles and other religious publications need special approval from the State Bureau of Religious Affairs. Bibles cannot be openly bought at bookshops in a country long criticized overseas for intolerance of religion.

Sounds like a simple case of China cracking down on religious freedom, which is supposedly in China’s constitution, but people are only allowed to worship at official churches. Probably doesn’t sound like much freedom to the majority of us, does it? Through a friend of mine, a Catholic priest in Northeast China said that you can find a Bibles in a few commercial bookstores and at both Protestant and Catholic churches’ bookstores, and that a lot of what happens in China regarding the state’s control of religion depends on the location.

National Review‘s Jason Lee Steorts filed a more thorough report back in April:

Last September, the pastor of Yang’s church, Cai Zhuohua (his real name), was arrested. Police from China’s Security Bureau searched his home and a neighboring building that housed a printing press. The owners of the press had cooperated with Cai to print some 230,000 Bibles and religious tracts. The police confiscated all of these materials and arrested two young women who were working at the press. They were later released, but remain under watch.

Cai’s wife, who was not with her husband at the time of his arrest, fled to a coastal province, but was caught shortly thereafter. Her older brother and his wife were also arrested. They, along with Cai, are still being held incommunicado. The only members of the pastor’s immediate family to avoid arrest were his four-year-old son and his 70-year-old mother, who are currently being cared for with donations from church members.

corner bibleThe day after Cai was arrested, an underground seminary associated with his church was also raided. More than 20 policemen surrounded the seminary and arrested its students. (Yang, who was enrolled at the seminary, happened to be away at the time, and thus escaped.) Beijing’s Public Security Bureau held the students for three days, fined them a hefty amount, and sent them to their home provinces for punishment by local authorities. Yang suspects their punishments have been severe, although he has no way of contacting them.

In deference to fairness and balance, the Post tries to give the state’s reason for persecuting Cai:

Speaking in an interview in July with Ta Kung Pao, a pro-Beijing newspaper in Hong Kong, China’s top religious affairs official said Cai illegally published 40 million Bibles and other Christian books and illegally sold 2 million of them.

“Objectively speaking, religion is a breakthrough point for Western anti-China forces to Westernize and split China,” said Ye Xiaowen, director of the State Bureau of Religious Affairs. But he said that did not mean all religious problems should be considered “infiltration,” adding “there is no so-called persecution of religious people” in China.

Zhang acknowledged his client published Bibles without the government’s permission, but denied Cai sold any of them, saying that he distributed them for free.

“Although he didn’t get permission from the Bureau of Religious Affairs, this was nonprofit, private proselytizing behavior, and it did no harm to society,” Zhang said. “He may have violated regulations, but not criminal law, and I don’t think he should have been convicted.”

Have you ever seen a more tortured explanation from a government official? Why is the Post using this guy’s quotes about there being no “so-called persecution of religious people”? It’s clearly a bunch of nonsense.

Print Friendly

Another Passion fan: Anne Rice

RiceCoverDavid Gates of Newsweek makes a nearly perfect comparison regarding novelist Anne Rice’s late work, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt — “It’s the most startling public turnaround since Bob Dylan’s ‘Slow Train Coming’ announced that he’d been born again.”

Entertainment Weekly gave a preview of the book’s contents in May, drawing largely from Rice’s messages on Now Gates delivers fresh observations from a visit to Rice’s home in La Jolla:

Rice knows “Out of Egypt” and its projected sequels — three, she thinks — could alienate her following; as she writes in the afterword, “I was ready to do violence to my career.” But she sees a continuity with her old books, whose compulsive, conscience-stricken evildoers reflect her long spiritual unease. “I mean, I was in despair.” In that afterword she calls Christ “the ultimate supernatural hero . . . the ultimate immortal of them all.”

To render such a hero and his world believable, she immersed herself not only in Scripture, but in first-century histories and New Testament scholarship — some of which she found disturbingly skeptical. “Even Hitler scholarship usually allows Hitler a certain amount of power and mystery.” She also watched every Biblical movie she could find, from “The Robe” to “The Passion of the Christ” (“I loved it”). And she dipped into previous novels, from “Quo Vadis” to Norman Mailer’s “The Gospel According to the Son” to Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’s apocalyptic Left Behind series. (“I was intrigued. But their vision is not my vision.”)

Include me among those relieved that Rice has not signed on to a pre-trib rapture eschatology. Nothing would send her career to a quicker doom than becoming a featured speaker at National Religious Broadcasters.

Print Friendly

Warning! Children reading classic books!

news30 3aFriends, I ask you to read the following news lead and tell answer this question: Is it from The Onion, or what?

No! It’s from The Palm Beach Post. But before you read on, ask yourself this question: How much money does someone like David Geffen give to progressive political causes? How about other members of the Hollywood elite? And do they have every right to do so? Of course.

Now check this out:

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Jeb Bush is encouraging Florida schoolchildren to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a parable of the New Testament gospels, for a contest timed with the release of the movie version by a company owned by a prominent Republican donor. …

The movie is being co-produced by Disney and Walden Media, which is owned by Philip Anschutz, a Colorado billionaire. Anschutz, his family, his foundation and his company have donated nearly $100,000 to Republican candidates and causes in the past three elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Now we are, of course, talking about a book that has been read for decades by schoolchildren across the nation and in many, many parts of the world. The Narnia books are classics — unless they have been banned in schools and libraries lately and I missed that headline.

Anschutz gave $100,000 in the space of three elections? Shocking! You mean some brand of conservative owns any kind of Hollywood studio? Shocking! And now he is working with that fundamentalist outfit called Disney?

It turns out that the usual suspects are, indeed, afraid that Narnia — book and movie — is an attack on the wall between church and state. You just know who the Post is going to quote, don’t you?

“This whole contest is just totally inappropriate because of the themes of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” said Barry Lynn, director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “It is simply a retelling of the story of Christ.”

I am afraid the conspiracy may go back further than that.

Last night, to test this theory, I got out a DVD of another right-wing flick by this same Walden outfit — a movie called Holes, based on a novel by Louis Sachar that — gasp! — was also read and enjoyed by millions of unprotected school children. In their own classrooms! And libraries! Some children may even have read this book without the permission of their Unitarian parents!

This movie was packed with moral absolutes and even strong religious symbols. The word “sinner” was sung in an appropriate context. There was sacramental symbolism involving water and what could only be seen as an act of God.

Enough is enough. Let’s all thank the Post for raising this crucial issue. Reading books of this kind must be stopped. What’s next? Little House on the Prairie, in the original editions?

Print Friendly