Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Daily Links 10-29-13

Links of interest rounded up daily. In today's edition, the nanny state strikes again, advice from a father to son, twenty years of leadership, and more.


Dr. Albert Mohler reflects on twenty years as president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It hasn't always been an easy road. (Hat tip: Challies)


Advice from a father to son:

I encourage you, my son, to be a conservative but not in the narrowly political sense. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats embody the fullness of true conservatism, and I have no desire here to give you partisan advice. I want to draw you to something deeper, a way of life that is grounded in essential truths about God, man, and society.

The true conservatism I would steer you toward begins with a foundational truth that is revealed to us in the Bible but which has always struck me as the height of common sense: namely, that we were made in God’s image but are now fallen. The first part is the ground of all human dignity and intrinsic worth. Apart from it, we are nothing more than great apes with no ultimate claim to specialness. The second part is the reality check, the reason why we need laws and limits, checks and balances. 


Reason #4,378 to homeschool: A school district tells a mother she has to provide a doctor's note in order to pack her child's lunch. No kidding. (Hat tip from my lovely wife, via Free Republic)


Who was the first African-American major league baseball player? If you answered Jackie Robinson, you would be wrong.


Neil Gaiman on getting children to read:

The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them. 
I don't think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children's books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. I've seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy.
It's tosh. It's snobbery and it's foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isn't hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you.
Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child's love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian "improving" literature. You'll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant. We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up, rung by rung, into literacy. (Also, do not do what this author did when his 11-year-old daughter was into RL Stine, which is to go and get a copy of Stephen King's Carrie, saying if you liked those you'll love this! Holly read nothing but safe stories of settlers on prairies for the rest of her teenage years, and still glares at me when Stephen King's name is mentioned.).

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip: Book Riot

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