I would like everyone to know that the teachers in the English Dept at Alamogordo HS do not agree with the knee jerk reaction of pulling Neverwhere from the Dept. library. It has been successful as a supplemental novel and since our goal is to get students engaged and encourage their thinking, this novel is a keeper — the students love it. The passage the parent is referring to is not graphic, but it is an adult type situation…a very briefly visited one.
I am sorry our school administrators did not stand up and support the material the way we all would have expected them to do. Also, as much as we hate to expose anyone for not speaking the truth, this parent had publicly stated that the school was “forcing” her student to read the novel (not true), and she also stated that the school never offered her daughter an alternate selection when she objected to Neverwhere. This statement is one that we will vehemently deny. The mother is stating inaccurate comments publicly. I work with the teacher in question – a very capable and intelligent young woman that is an asset to the English Dept.- and she immediately provided an alternate novel to the student as soon as the mother made the first known objection to Gaiman’s novel.
We simply cannot stand for banning a book for hundreds of students this year and in the years to come because a single parent objected over one brief passage on ONE page. Making inaccurate comments about the teacher (whom the parent chose not to even meet, but publicly disrespected her and questioned her credentials in spite of that), saying we forced anyone to read a text she objected to, or stating that no alternative assignment was offered is absolutely false. Teachers are sensitive to the needs of their students.
Our students have enjoyed Gaiman’s novel for almost ten years, and it saddens us to think that our future students will not have the same opportunity.
The teachers in the English Dept are opposed to any form of censorship. This situation is being handled incorrectly, it makes our school and our town appear as if we are fine with suspending the use of a book that is used by middle and high schools across the country and around the globe. We are not fine with it, and we want people to know that.
“Why not a mayfly Doctor, who exists for one show only? I’d often thought about that. Would it be weird in the run of the series to have the 45th Doctor turn up and be played by Johnny Depp or someone? Would that be a cool thing to do? There was also the idea that if you could bring one classic Doctor back, you’d actually, impossibly, want it to be William Hartnell. You wouldn’t want any of the others. You’d want him to come and say ‘What in the name of God have I turned into?’ That’s the confrontation that you most want to see, to celebrate 50 years. Going round and round in circles on it I just thought ‘What about a Doctor that he never talks about?’ And what if it is a Doctor who’s done something terrible, who’s much deadlier and more serious, who represents that thing that is the undertow in both David and Matt. You know there’s a terrible old man inside them. Well, here he is, facing the children he becomes, as it were.”—Steven Moffat Talks John Hurt’s Doctor (via doctorwho)
“…God wants to be our perfect lover, but instead we seek perfection in human relationships and are disappointed when our lovers cannot love us perfectly. God wants to provide our ultimate security, but we seek our safety in power & possessions and then we find we must continually worry about them. we seek satisfaction of our spiritual longing in a host of ways that may have very little to do with God… the more we become accustomed to seeking spiritual satisfaction through things other than God, the more abnormal & stressful it becomes to look for God directly.”—Gerald May (Addiction & Grace)
“A lot of people “believe in God” but certainly don’t put Him at the center of their lives—I mean, He’s around and you ask Him for things and assume that it’s His job to meet your needs, but that is so vague and biblically inaccurate. As C. S. Lewis said in The Problem With Pain, “we don’t really want a father in heaven—we want a grandfather in heaven.” Fathers are demanding and controlling, but grandfathers—they just want the kid to like him. The grandfather lets you do whatever you want. Most people don’t really want God as a father, they just want to be spoiled. They want God to be a grandfather figure who wishes them well and lets them do whatever they think is best. And even though you know that isn’t love, you still want it because it makes you feel comfortable. But that idea of God is fantasy. That God doesn’t exist. If that’s the God you’re serving, you might as well admit that you are your own god and stop pretending your living as a child of the Heavenly Father.”—
Timothy Keller, sermon on “The Jealousy of God” (via yesdarlingido)
I’m posting this in its entirety because it’s just that good. :)
Expansive Questions, Not Constrictive Answers
Meditation 8 of 52
Your image of God, your de facto, operative image of God, lives in a symbiotic relationship with your soul and creates what you become. Loving people, forgiving people have always encountered a loving and forgiving God. Cynical people are cynical about the very possibility of any coherent or loving Center to the universe. So why wouldn’t they become cynical themselves? Of course they do.
When you encounter a truly sacred text, the first questions are not: Did this literally happen just as it states? How can I be saved? What is the right thing for me to do? What is the dogmatic pronouncement here? Does my church agree with this? Who is right and who is wrong here? These are largely ego questions, I am afraid. They are questions that try to secure your position, not questions that help you go on a spiritual path of faith and trust. They constrict you, whereas the purpose of The Sacred is to expand you. I know these are the first questions that come to our mind because that is where we usually live—inside of our mental ego. They are the questions we were trained to ask, because everybody else asks them, unfortunately!
Having read sacred text, I would invite you to ponder these questions:
What is God doing here?
What does this say about who God is?
What does this say about how I can then relate to such a God?
Just because someone disagrees with you about any issue major or minor or has incorporated something into their lives that is unfamiliar or unappealing to you, it does not make them a Nazi, a worthless piece of ____, a ____-____ing ____bag _____ of a _____, or any other insult you think is sooooo clever. It makes them a human being with as much a right to their opinions and lifestyles as you. Your targeted rage dump does not help your cause. It does not make people take you seriously. It makes you look like a fool in desperate need of a grammar book. Please, think before you post.