The Commonwealth Comment

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Potter Pooper

On July 21st, the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series will hit the shelves. However, Harry has more than Lord Voldemort to worry about. A Georgia mother is trying to have Potter and his adventures banned from public school libraries.
Laura Mallory believes that the Harry Potter series promotes witchcraft, and since some people practice witchcraft, the books violate the Constitution's separation of church and state. She has been trying to ban the books since 2005. In May 2006, the county denied Mallory's demands and the decision was upheld by the Georgia Board of Education later that year.
The county cited that Harry Potter books "are good tools to encourage children to read and to spark creativity and imagination."
Mallory may be taking her case to Federal Court. She believes that she will have more weight if she hires an attorney, rather than representing herself.
She remains worried about the welfare of children who read the popular stories. "They don't want the Easter Bunny's power. The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." She also said "I have a dream that God will be welcomed back in our schools again. I think we need Him."

My Opinion: OK, so let's recap. Mallory wants Harry Potter out because witchcraft is a religion and therefore is in violation of church and state. But then she dreams of a day that God will be back in the schools. Pretty sure that would violate church and state too.

So, she has completely contradicted herself. Basically she should be saying "I'm an evangelical Christian that is overreacting about a children's book. I like my own religion, but nothing else." What a poor picture to paint for the evangelical community, and all Christians.
I enjoy the fact that children don't want to be a giant rabbit. I think that if your child wants to be a large furry mammal that delivers colored eggs around the world, you have bigger problem on your hands than them reading a book.
She also said "The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it". I don't know of any child with a working magic wand, a flying broom, and goes out hanging around ancient castles fighting evil.
Sounds cool, but this person needs to realize that it is, sadly, a world of make believe. When children get to the age where they can read Harry Potter, they should be able to draw the line between reality and imaginary.
Harry Potter is was sparked my interest in reading back in 8th grade. I'm happy to report that I am still a Christian that hasn't been sucked into a cult of witchcraft via reading. I have reserved my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows and cannot wait for July 21st.
Maybe Mallory should try reading the book for herself before she passes judgement on them. Nah, that would be too Christ-like.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Why Can't We Be Friends?

Violence in Iraq is on the rise and President Bush's approval rating is on a steady decline. After 4 years fighting in Iraq, the administration has decided to use diplomacy with Iraq's neighbors.
It has been 27 years since the United States held talks with Iran. On May 29th, Memorial Day, the silence was broken. Ambassadors from the US, Iran, and Iraq met in Baghdad to discuss the future of security in the region.
Ryan Crocker is the US ambassador to Iraq. "I laid out before the Iranians a number of our direct specific concerns about their behavior in Iraq," Crocker said. "Their support for militias that are fighting both the Iraqi security forces and coalition forces; the fact that a lot of the explosives and ammunition that are used by these groups are coming in from Iran; that such activities led by the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] Quds Force needed to cease and that we would be looking for results," he said at a press conference. Crocker went on to say the that there isn't much to argue about.
The Iranian Ambassador to Iraq is Hassan Kazemi Qomi. He said that Iran is ready and willing to help train and equip Iraqi police and the Iraqi Army. Qomi told the AP the three nations will meet again next month.

My Opinion: President Bush may have come to the realization that things in Iraq aren't going to get better without diplomacy. I'm surprised, but pleased he decided to approve these talks. He has called Iran a part of the "Axis of Evil" and refused to talk to this nation.
Its about time the US has decided to use diplomacy. If it were used a little more in 2003, I wonder if we'd be in this mess at all. Sadly, I think we probably would be.
One thing I find interesting is that the two nations appear to be on the same page regarding Iraq. But neither seem to trust the other. We think they're building nuclear weapons, and they think we're going to blow them off the map at any moment.

The US and Iran need to put their differences aside for stability in the Middle East and security in Iraq.

Why can't we be friends?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stay for Paris Slashed

This is an opinion piece.

I was outraged to read that Paris Hilton's 45 day jail sentence was cut in half for good behavior. She is not even in jail yet!!! She had her sentence cut to 23 days for showing up to court for her hearing.
This is disgusting. Any other person shows up to their hearing and they don't have their stays in the big house reduced. Paris Hilton and every celebrity should be treated as equals in the eyes of the law.
It is the law to show up to court when you're supposed to. It is not good behavior.
Shame on the judge that handed down this decision. I hope he enjoys his stay at any Hilton hotel.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Black and White Stripes are Hot

Paris Hilton's life is about to become a little simpler. She will be spending the next 45 days in jail; a big change from her top of the line hotel rooms.
Hilton is going to jail for driving with a suspended license. She claimed that her agent told her she could drive for work related business. Prosecutors and a judge decided that ignorance of the law was no excuse for breaking it, and her celebrity wasn't going to rescue her.
Her psychiatrist described Hilton as "emotionally distraught and traumatized" over the sentence.
She will be kept out of the general inmate population for her own safety.
Her agent has since been fired.

My Opinion: This story makes me smile. I'm so glad that Paris Hilton is going to jail. It proves famous people are not above the law.
:-D Hooray for celebrities going to jail!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tony Blair Says Goodbye

The Prime Minister of Great Britain will step down in June. Tony Blair has served his country for 10 years. Over the last four years he has lost both popularity and respect among the people he represents. Why? Iraq.
I recently read an article in Time about why we will miss Blair and why he deserves better than leaving office with a tarnished reputation.
The post for today is simply the link to the article. Let me know what you think.
Why You'll Miss Tony Blair by Michael Elliott