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Saturday, November 13, 2004

'Bridge to Terabithia' author on faith, culture war.

Rich Barlow interviews Katherine Paterson, author of the marvelous children's book Bridge to Terabithia, about her faith — she is a Presbyterian — and the repeated efforts by conservative Christians to ban her book. (She'll speak here in Cambridge at a round-table discussion on religion in children's literature on Wednesday and at the First Parish Church in Harvard Square on Thursday.) I especially appreciated these observations:

An English writer, Jill Paton Walsh, is a good friend of mine and self-proclaimed atheist. And yet the spiritual passages of her books are so powerful that I doubt her atheism. I think she betrays a conviction that she does not consciously own.

What bothers me is how narrowly we define what is religious. We've been talking about the moral values of the past election. They were gay marriage and anti-abortion — "I'm [against] these two things, and therefore I'm a moral person." I just think that's tragic.

One law Jesus laid down is that we would love our neighbor as ourselves. I think loving your neighbor means believing that not one of those [estimated] 100,000 Iraqis who died was disposable. I believe that prolife means you do not believe in executing anybody for any crime. The abuse of children and the fact that children have no health insurance or not enough food — where are our moral values when we look at that picture?

("Culture War Grips Children's Literature," Rich Barlow Boston Globe 11.13.04)

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 13 November 2004 at 6:51 PM

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