Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Leaving Academia

I don't know why my beef with the American Librarian Association has me so rattled. Yet I'm up at 3 AM thinking about it.

I'm the daughter of a college professor. I grew up in academia. To date, I'm still far more comfortable in a classroom or a library, than I am in my own kitchen or praying in a quiet church pew. Academia is my natural habitat.

In the back of my mind there was this assumption that certain rules applied--however, imperfectly executed my individual historians. We don't use foul language. We don't make sweeping generalizations about that past that are unsupported by facts. We don't "pander" to public opinion.

To discover that the American Librarian Association thinks that this book is an excellent example of scholarship for juvenile readers,---it's sort of like discovering that the emperor has no clothes.

Jesus said "whoever follows me must loose all possessions." I guess following Him means stripping myself of self-identification with intellectualism or academia. I've got to be willing to put Him ahead of everything else. I need to be willing to be seen in public as the poor, pregnant slob of a girl who is a prissy about children reading foul language and poorly constructed historical arguments against our Faith.

Mary, I'm totally yours!


  1. I think it would be helpful to leave a review of the book at Certainly you would keep your intellectual reasoning with you (not my strong point in the middle of the night...but later) and write your objections. I'd want to know about that if I was looking to buy the book for a young person. I like how highlights the 'best' positive review and the 'best' negative review. But for this book they only have one review so at this point it is rated 4 stars.

  2. I haven't read the book, although I have read the reviews at Amazon. I'd be interested to hear why you feel that it was a slam against our faith (i.e. the Catholic Church's faith). That period was so populated with anti-Catholics and the early settlers of the U.S. were so profoundly anti-Catholic that it would be interesting to hear why you felt the book was an example of bad scholarship. The reviews I read made it seem like the book was critical of the Puritans not the Catholics (who at that point were a very abused minority in both the colonies and in England. I agree with Ann that you ought to write a review at Amazon.

  3. The publishing press for this book launch announced that this book shows that the "roots of American Democracy are the same as the Taliban".

    The author isn't alone in slamming just Catholics (although the objectionable whore quote referred to the unpopular Catholic Queen of England at the time, Queen Charlotte). The main thesis I got from nearly every page was that all religious people are "idiots" and easily corrupted by charismatic leaders. And if people just stopped zealously believing in their brand of faith (Christian, Jewish or Muslim) then we could have peace on earth.

    It's the same slogan of "religion causes all wars" or why can't we all just "Coexist?"

    I found it to be poor scholarship because it imposed a modern day atheism viewpoint on a historic culture that was ANYTHING but filled with atheists.

  4. I find that being a Catholic in academia is often difficult and uncomfortable--and getting more so. So don't feel bad!