Christians Freak over Offensive Book, Student Gives them Away

brady kisselIdaho the state you love to leave but miss the mountains. An Idaho school banned the bookThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” Brady Kissel took a few copies over to a nearby park to give them away.

A steady flow of students showed up Wednesday afternoon, at a municipal park near Meridian’s perpetually crowded Eagle Road thoroughfare. Kissel made sure a box load of the books went back to the school’s drama club for distribution. One classmate asked Kissel to autograph her copy — her first autograph, Kissel said with a smile.

If they haven’t yet a university should give her a full-ride scholarship.

However, when Christian parents found out about this, they were furious and attempted to call the police to stop the event because they believe the book is too sexual and anti-Christian.

“If God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs,” is among the many lines in the book that concerned parents seemed to have a problem with.

The police showed up, talked to her, did nothing as she had done no wrong and left.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was published in 2007 and it is one of the most popular books for schools that want to discuss the life of Native American children growing up today. Both critics and students have received the book with open arms because of its impeccable use of wit and charm, so much so that when it was banned, a petition circulated inside after Mountain View High School received more than 300 signatures, compelling authorities to reinstate the book in its reading list. The book, written by a Native American author Sherman Alexie, isn’t particularly anti-Christian, except it raises several questions about religion – questions similar to those raised by most teens who wrestle themselves while trying to discover their identities.

Alexie was outraged when schools in Idaho decided to remove the book from their reading lists, saying, “Book banners want to control debate and limit the imagination. I encourage debate and celebrate imagination.”

brady kissel bookKissel’s book promotion caught on.

Two Washington women, University of Washington student Sara Baker and Jennifer Lott of Spokane, started a fundraising drive. They eventually secured about $3,000, enough to pay for 350 books. Their goal was to make sure every student who signed Kissel’s petition would have access to the novel.

Then, on Tuesday, Alexie’s publishing house committed to donate 350 more books. They’ll arrive next week, said Erin Nelson of Rediscovered Bookshop, a Boise shop helping with the distribution.

At Rediscovered Bookshop, there were no second thoughts about wading into the controversy. For Nelson, who read the novel during her senior year of high school, the topic has added resonance. She believes parents should have a say over what their children read. But she says this novel, which chronicles an American Indian student assimilating in an all-white high school, explores real-world issues of class and race.

“I think it’s a really important book,” she said. “If anyone wants to read it, they should have the right to do that.”

I guess if trigger warnings catch on we will have to start labeling these books so Christians won’t experience PTSD since they are still recovering and say they continue to experience persecution.

One has to wonder about the Native Americans. Maybe we need trigger warnings on stories such as these so Native Americans will be more ready when they are exposed to this bullshit.
Jim Newman, bright and well

About Jim Newman

Jim Newman is a philosopher. When I was young I wondered what was the ultimate truth. How should I behave? What makes it all work? I was intensely curious to know what it all means. It was enlightening to realize there is no ultimate truth, but nevertheless sufficient and necessary turth, and that meaning was a meta analysis of living one’s life. In this sense my work has been living large. Living and experiencing life has made me learn many things. Building boats, motors, houses, electronics. Raising animals. Teaching. Writing. Photography. Drawing. Knitting. Sewing. Cooking. Music. Painting. Hiking. Aboriginal living skills. All material aspects of reality that seem irrelevant until you realize they allow you to experience more. My epiphany came when I read Christopher Hitchen’s “Letters to a Young Contrarian” and I felt vindicated in my many meals of sacred cow.
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One Response to Christians Freak over Offensive Book, Student Gives them Away

  1. fred says:

    In the long run, the result is favorable. I wonder when the religious wingnuts will finally realize that the best publicity a book can receive is to be banned by god-fearing do-gooders.

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