What’s to read?

Let’s see…anything good to read?

David Plotz says we should read the Bible, every single word of it.  And we should read his book, too.  Why?

Question: After someone reads the Slate article, do they have any reason to buy your book instead of just buying a Bible? What does your book have that a Bible doesn’t?
David Plotz: You can leave my book in the bathroom, and not feel guilty about it!
My book is by no means a substitute for the Bible. It’s an effort to bring a new, curious, irreverent perspective to a book that has been made inaccessible and difficult by clergy and academics. If there is anything I hope Good Book does, it is to show readers the exuberant, fascinating messiness of the Bible, and encourage them to read it themselves.

Seems like a good enough reason.

John Rawls also says (from the beyond the grave) that we should read the Bible.  He said the following in his recently published undergraduate thesis:

An ounce of the Bible is worth a pound (possibly a ton) of Aristotle.

Even the Peripatetic Prattler can’t disagree.

David Harvey says we should read Marx’s Capital.  He’ll even help us.

Economist and blogger  Paul Krugman says we should read torturers the riot act in order to reclaim America’s soul.  Why?

…because America is more than a collection of policies. We are, or at least we used to be, a nation of moral ideals. In the past, our government has sometimes done an imperfect job of upholding those ideals. But never before have our leaders so utterly betrayed everything our nation stands for […] the only way we can regain our moral compass, not just for the sake of our position in the world, but for the sake of our own national conscience, is to investigate how that happened, and, if necessary, to prosecute those responsible.

(“Never before”?  Really?  Maybe Krugman hasn’t read Zinn or Chomsky.  Maybe he doesn’t watch Democracy Now! Anyway, I hope his net’ll catch all the Democrats who were briefed a long time ago about all this, along with the Republican S.O.B.s).  You can read some of the relevant memos here.

A. N. Wilson says we shouldn’t bother reading C.S. Lewis.  Anything at all linguistic should be sufficient to lose our atheistic faith:

The phenomenon of language alone should give us pause. A materialist Darwinian was having dinner with me a few years ago and we laughingly alluded to how, as years go by, one forgets names. Eager, as committed Darwinians often are, to testify on any occasion, my friend asserted: “It is because when we were simply anthropoid apes, there was no need to distinguish between one another by giving names.”
This credal confession struck me as just as superstitious as believing in the historicity of Noah’s Ark. More so, really.
Do materialists really think that language just “evolved”, like finches’ beaks, or have they simply never thought about the matter rationally? Where’s the evidence? How could it come about that human beings all agreed that particular grunts carried particular connotations? How could it have come about that groups of anthropoid apes developed the amazing morphological complexity of a single sentence, let alone the whole grammatical mystery which has engaged Chomsky and others in our lifetime and linguists for time out of mind? No, the existence of language is one of the many phenomena – of which love and music are the two strongest – which suggest that human beings are very much more than collections of meat. They convince me that we are spiritual beings, and that the religion of the incarnation, asserting that God made humanity in His image, and continually restores humanity in His image, is simply true. As a working blueprint for life, as a template against which to measure experience, it fits.

You can read an interview with this convert here.

Mark Edmundson says we shouldn’t be reading “readings.” Rather, we should just be reading.  He begins:

If I could make one wish for the members of my profession, college and university professors of literature, I would wish that for one year, two, three, or five, we would give up readings. By a reading, I mean the application of an analytical vocabulary — Marx’s, Freud’s, Foucault’s, Derrida’s, or whoever’s — to describe and (usually) to judge a work of literary art. I wish that we’d declare a moratorium on readings. I wish that we’d give readings a rest.

Amen, brother!

And speaking of amen, the Pope will have to read this secret memo (scroll down…it’s the second piece) before President Obama will visit the Vatican.

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