What I’m Reading: Articles on Atheists; CP, Comedy, and Oprah; and Teaching Kids to Play

My husband, a Christian, volunteered to be the faculty sponsor of the atheist club on his school campus. Although he believes that Christianity is true (not just true-for-me but true with a capital T), he also believes that everyone has the right to express ideas and to think through their implications. The atheist club didn’t get very far, whether due to his leadership or something else, I don’t know. But I was reminded of it when I read in the New York Times, Atheists Speak Up at Bible Belt School. I was particularly drawn to the detail that leaders of the Christian club and the atheist club regularly got together as friends to talk about their respective beliefs. I’d much rather teenagers (for that matter, adults too) respectfully argue about what they believe than not believe anything with enough passion to talk about it.

According to the New York Times, a man with cerebral palsy has just won a comedy TV show on Oprah’s new network: A Comedic TV Talent Turns the Tables on Oprah. That he has CP is rather beside the point as it seems he’s really funny. And yet the fact that CP is not the emphasis of the show or the reason he was hired speaks to the need for people with disabilities to be in the public eye not as “people with disabilities” but as people. In this case, a funny, talented person.

The New York Times called it Hard Times for Recess, and the Atlantic Leave Those Kids Alone. But the bottom line is that schools have less time for recess, partially due to budget cuts but also because kids are so over-programmed by the adults in their lives that they don’t know how to play anymore. Yikes. Makes me nostalgic for my own childhood of running around the block with friends, largely unsupervised by our parents. And makes me question how to let my kids be kids and figure out how to play all by themselves.

About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).


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