Jesus Flashcards in the Cafeteria: Back to School with FavD

20 09 2007

Favorite Daughter met some nice Mormons recruiting on campus today.

There are a lot of tables in the Student Union of my community college, especially at the beginning of a new year.

To the left of the door is a gentleman in fatigues, attempting to recruit me to the Army; to the right of the door is a lady in fatigues, trying to recruit me to the National Guard; by the back door is a woman in a crisp suit attempting to recruit me to the Bank of America.

I have learned that it is best not to make eye contact with any of these people, lest they lavish you with gifts of free key chains, pencils, and checking accounts, all while asking you penetrating questions along the lines of, “Would you like to take a test to determine your eligibility to join our bank/army?”, (oddly, everyone seems to pass) and “Would you like our bank/army to pay for your college education? All we’d need is your soul!”

But never, in all my days, have I seen Mormons recruiting in the Student Union. . .

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Gideons for the Gifted (and Greedy?) Giving Out Ayn Rand at School

20 09 2007

I thought I knew all about how Big School affects (not just reflects) our culture and society, but darned if I don’t learn something new every day –never mind military recruiters, prayer oil smeared under desks before the big test, An Inconvenient Truth and It Takes a Village as competing ideology infringing on academics, how about this?

Almost three times as many copies of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged are offered free to Advanced Placement classes each year in standardized, publicly supported school programs, as are purchased by individuals in real-world capitalist bookshops!

Every year, 400,000 copies of Rand’s novels are offered free to Advanced Placement high school programs. They are paid for by the Ayn Rand Institute, whose director, Yaron Brook, said the mission was “to keep Rand alive.”

Last year, bookstores sold 150,000 copies of the book.

So this how-to-live handbook by a revered Russian immigrant is perpetuating its ideology directly and primarily through our high schools, sponsored by a foundation of True Believers who make no bones about their “reason” for doing it this way: whatever works to get us what we want is good, because it’s good to get what we want!

Let’s apply some of Rand’s vaunted “reason” to this reality. Getting what you want and believe in is great, but can you eat your philosophy and have it too? When what you want and believe in is respect and self-determination for each individual, can you possibly achieve it by seducing conscripted masses, privileging your view over others and stacking the intellectual deck against reason? Read the rest of this entry »