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teachergirl

Bontragers and books

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teachergirl

So I was reading Mama Bontrager's list for mothers who are overwhelmed and they list that as four or more kids; as if mothers with LESS than a quiver don't feel overwhelmed??? At any rate, besides the "be in submission to your husband idea because mothers can make bad decisions on their own." part,, the book section for children made me scream.  Curious George and Berenstain Bears are out!!!??? and of course Disney.  You know besides having a crappy home school education, these poor children cannot even read good quality children's books.  I hate fundies and all they do to restrict their children's learning. I want to kidnap every single one and let them loose in a public library.

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THERetroGamerNY

This is why, during my childhood years trapped in fundyland, I stole every book I could manage...

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lauraloralara

Do you have a link? I'd like to read it but not sure where to find it.

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teachergirl

I am woefully bad at technology but if you google Bontrager family, their blog comes up.  It is after their July singing schedule.

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Marian the Librarian
1 hour ago, teachergirl said:

So I was reading Mama Bontrager's list for mothers who are overwhelmed and they list that as four or more kids; as if mothers with LESS than a quiver don't feel overwhelmed??? At any rate, besides the "be in submission to your husband idea because mothers can make bad decisions on their own." part,, the book section for children made me scream.  Curious George and Berenstain Bears are out!!!??? and of course Disney.  You know besides having a crappy home school education, these poor children cannot even read good quality children's books.  I hate fundies and all they do to restrict their children's learning. I want to kidnap every single one and let them loose in a public library.

Ah, librarians...those subversives walking quietly in the midst of narrow-minded fundamentalism...

:pb_glasses:

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TeddyBonkers
Quote

In "Curious George" books,  children learn that a good ending justifies acts of disobedience.  The "Bernstein Bears" are disrespectful to their parents, Mrs. Bear runs the home, and Mr. Bear is a wimp. Most Disney products are full of story plots that elevate disrespect, disobedience, and dishonor. (not to mention pervading themes of witchcraft, "save the planet" mentalities, and "follow your heart" story lines.) 

~"Curious George" teaches forgiveness, can't have that!

~Mrs. Bear runs her home, like that Proverbs 31 lady!

~Yeah, screw you, planet Earth, it's not like we're supposed to be good stewards of it or anything!

I'm terribly sorry, books are of vital importance to children's development (even though I only had 2 kids, and how could I possibly be overwhelmed?). We didn't have a lot of money growing up, but my mother made sure we had books. I still have a bunch of Little Golden Books with the "clearance" price tags on them. 

Kids who read are kids who learn.

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sparkles
5 minutes ago, TeddyBonkers said:

~"Curious George" teaches forgiveness, can't have that!

~Mrs. Bear runs her home, like that Proverbs 31 lady!

~Yeah, screw you, planet Earth, it's not like we're supposed to be good stewards of it or anything!

I'm terribly sorry, books are of vital importance to children's development (even though I only had 2 kids, and how could I possibly be overwhelmed?). We didn't have a lot of money growing up, but my mother made sure we had books. I still have a bunch of Little Golden Books with the "clearance" price tags on them. 

Kids who read are kids who learn.

To the bolded, therein lies the problem. They don't want kids who learn. In order to learn, you have to question, you have to process, you have to reason and you have to make decisions. You have to THINK. Fundies want children who OBEY without any of those things. Never question, never think. Reading only encourages sinful behavior. It's more than sad.

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smittykins
2 hours ago, TeddyBonkers said:

~"Curious George" teaches forgiveness, can't have that!

~Mrs. Bear runs her home, like that Proverbs 31 lady!

~Yeah, screw you, planet Earth, it's not like we're supposed to be good stewards of it or anything!

I'm terribly sorry, books are of vital importance to children's development (even though I only had 2 kids, and how could I possibly be overwhelmed?). We didn't have a lot of money growing up, but my mother made sure we had books. I still have a bunch of Little Golden Books with the "clearance" price tags on them. 

Kids who read are kids who learn.

Because Bad Actions Have Consequences, and we can't fully understand God's mercy until we've experienced His judgement.(Yes someone actually said that.)

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polecat

Oh, man, I will be forever and ever thankful that my home was rich in literature growing up in spite of my parents' fundiness. Reading was my escape. So sad for these kids who will forever be constrained to the black-and-white Pleasantville of their parents' cruel making.

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apandaaries
3 hours ago, THERetroGamerNY said:

This is why, during my childhood years trapped in fundyland, I stole every book I could manage...

So funny you mention that.  A few of my favorite Hasidic escape memoirs mention sneaking out to libraries and establishing relationships there.  Growing a brain and an imagination can be hard in fundiedom, but books can improve the situation so much.  

Also, checking out that post, fuck her font and those weird s's and w's.  Eyestrain.  Even more yuck.

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TeddyBonkers
4 hours ago, THERetroGamerNY said:

This is why, during my childhood years trapped in fundyland, I stole every book I could manage...

I will forever be grateful for the Bookmobile ladies, who faithfully brought new and exciting adventures in literature every 2 weeks to the small parochial school I attended. 

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Emilycharlotte

I wish Mrs. B had included a list of books that she thinks are acceptable. It would obviously be a short list, so it's not like it would have taken all day. 

(On the bright side,  if I had followed her rules I would have escaped reading the scandalous "He Bear, She Bear" out loud approximately 10 million times. I used to beg my daughter to pick a different book, lol)

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Leftitinmysnood

For the fundies we hung out with, Curious George would be out because he disobeyed and the Bernstein Bears talk and keep house and that's a lie. God didn't design bears to do that.  Of course, the family with the most liberal book policy also edited out unhappiness (not grateful), temptation to do wrong, lying, made clothing more modest in the illustrations, and stapled together whole chapters sometimes. I got chewed out by a mom once for letting her kids read a book where the delivery man lied to a kid so she wouldn't be tempted to open her present before Christmas. I read voraciously every book I could get my hands on, sneaking Judy Blume books and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn behind my mom's back. 

Edited by Leftitinmysnood
common commas

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CelticGoddess

Mrs Bontranger would freak if she saw what my daughter read when she was a child.  She didn't learn to read until 1st grade but by second grade was reading Harry Potter (oh, the horrors!).  She also read "His Dark Materials" (oh the horrors) and evil fantasy where animals talk.  I read to her faerie tales, Curious George, Frances, Berenstein Bears, Eric Carle, Richard Scarry, Dr Seuss, etc.  You know, those evil books that actually help a child learn to think and have an imagination.  She still reads, two to three books a week.  She reads whatever she can get her hands on (she loves a good mystery and fantasy).  She reads graphic novels of all types.  Of course, my daughter is probably on a hand truck to hell, because she plays D&D.

 

I find it so sad that anyone would have to sneak "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" to read it.  I have read that a few dozen times.  It's one of my all time favorites.  But then again, I was reading "The Tropic of Cancer" and "The Story of O" in high school and my mum only raised an eyebrow  Hell, she gave me "The Thornbirds" to read when I was 15.  She was such a corrupting influence.  LOL

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ILoveJellybeans

I cant understand how they can restrict their children's reading so much. Children's books are harmless, but then they start being so picky that hardly anything is acceptable.

 

I think it is ridiculous that they don't allow examples of characters being disobedient or naughty, even if the character gets punished for it or learns a lesson in the end, and then is forgiven. This doesn't teach children to behave badly, it teaches them that it is wrong to do these things.

 

This is how shit literature like the Moody books is made. Boring, conflict free and sterile. No conflict or anything that makes a story interesting.

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samira_catlover

DANG.  If I wasn't way totally broke, would like to set up a GFM campaign.

But nonetheless, dear FJ readers and everybody else that may be enlistable:  let's give it up for the libraries (and some extra tax bonds and/or extra money won't hurt)!  

Books---hundreds of books, thousands of books, millions and billions and trillions of books! FREE THE MINDS!

Oh, and have I mentioned recently that I adore public librarians who Subvert Public Order and who actually encourage people to read?

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AuLait

Fundy kids don't always have a lot of entertainment other than reading so I hate to see even that so tightly restricted. Although I was raised borderline fundy we had lots of books, Readers Digests, this wonderful set of books that compiled poems, stories, myths, and rhymes in 11 volumes of increasing complexity (my sister bought my kids the same set... Still love them as an adult), all sorts of magazines. While my Mom did censor some of the sexy time parts of the mature books we still were quite well read and all of us grew up loving to read. And I don't recall her ever monitoring our our library use. We all had our own cards and were responsible for the books we checked out.

Reading is a wonderful way to learn about the world, different people and cultures, and how to navigate life. Although many of these families cloak their uber strictness it under a guise of "protecting" their children, I believe at the root they fear knowledge and intelligence because they on some base level know those things make it more likely their children will not follow in their fundamentalist footsteps.

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Jana814

Fundie's don't want their kids to learn about the world. I think they feel if their kids learn about the world around them they would want to experience it. 

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Loveday
6 hours ago, CelticGoddess said:

Mrs Bontranger would freak if she saw what my daughter read when she was a child.  She didn't learn to read until 1st grade but by second grade was reading Harry Potter (oh, the horrors!).  She also read "His Dark Materials" (oh the horrors) and evil fantasy where animals talk.  I read to her faerie tales, Curious George, Frances, Berenstein Bears, Eric Carle, Richard Scarry, Dr Seuss, etc.  You know, those evil books that actually help a child learn to think and have an imagination.  She still reads, two to three books a week.  She reads whatever she can get her hands on (she loves a good mystery and fantasy).  She reads graphic novels of all types.  Of course, my daughter is probably on a hand truck to hell, because she plays D&D.

 

I find it so sad that anyone would have to sneak "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" to read it.  I have read that a few dozen times.  It's one of my all time favorites.  But then again, I was reading "The Tropic of Cancer" and "The Story of O" in high school and my mum only raised an eyebrow  Hell, she gave me "The Thornbirds" to read when I was 15.  She was such a corrupting influence.  LOL

Mine, too. I first read it when I was about ten. My mother recommended it to me. I've read it many times since, and each time it resonates with me in a slightly different way. It's one of those books you don't read so much as live inside.

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violynn
47 minutes ago, Loveday said:

find it so sad that anyone would have to sneak "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" to read it.  I have read that a few dozen times.  It's one of my all time favorites.

My Mom told me when I was a kid that ATGIB is the first and only book she ever enjoyed reading.  That was just so unbearably sad to me, as I loved reading from the time I was four.  The only birthday gift I ever remember receiving was a box set of Francis Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden.  

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Funwithfundies
12 hours ago, Emilycharlotte said:

I wish Mrs. B had included a list of books that she thinks are acceptable. It would obviously be a short list, so it's not like it would have taken all day. 

(On the bright side,  if I had followed her rules I would have escaped reading the scandalous "He Bear, She Bear" out loud approximately 10 million times. I used to beg my daughter to pick a different book, lol)

Exactly...if only I were fundy, I wouldn't have the text of "Curious George Goes to the Chocolate Factory" stuck in my head forever...

The whole premise is just ridiculous.  My kids were (overall) very well behaved, which is part of the reason they loved C.G. so much - they would giggle like crazy as they saw him 'break the rules' and the mayhem that followed.

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Emilycharlotte

I can't decide if this kind of uber-legalism is born out of weak faith, irrational fear or a need to feel more "righteous" than everyone else---but I can't believe it is what God wants for us.  I think it must be  much easier to adapt to this lifestyle if you are a person with no or very little imagination or creativity.  

 

 

 

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refugee
3 hours ago, AuLait said:

this wonderful set of books that compiled poems, stories, myths, and rhymes in 11 volumes of increasing complexity

Was that the Bookhouse Books, by chance? Just curious. We wore out a set of those when I was growing up, and I bought a set of the revised series but the kids preferred the worn-out, falling apart older version. Actually, though, they preferred stand-alone books to book sets.

I was such a voracious reader, I couldn't deny my kids the pleasures I'd known, even though as we got pulled deeper into fundiedom, we began to develop the same mindset, or concerns mentioned above, regarding the Berenstain Bears and Disney. Our solution was not to ban the books, but to talk about them as we read them. As a side note, I am so thankful to the people who introduced us to the Sonlight reading list! There were a lot of classics there that I'd never heard of as a child. We didn't do Sonlight (budget constraints), but we got books from their booklist from the library. Our slightly less fundie friends liked Sonlight because it encouraged reading widely and discussing issues with kids, rather than censoring and practicing avoidance.

(I haven't revisited Sonlight since we left the lifestyle. Reality check? Is it truly more liberal minded, or is it simply on the liberal end of the fundie spectrum?)

I did set some arbitrary age limits, though, like for Harry Potter books. I read through all that were available, when they were popular (that would have been just after Book 4 came out) and decided they were too dark in tone for our young ones, and that I wanted them to be teens (like 14, yeah, I know, it was arbitrary) before reading them. Unfortunately I didn't make my reasoning clear, and they were hearing the other parents in our circles decry the glorification of witchcraft and magic and evil, and tarred me in their minds with the same brush. I just found this out recently in conversation, and it makes me sad that I didn't make my reasons clearer -- for instance, preventing nightmares.

I did the same for the Redwall series. I read the first chapter of the first book aloud to my eldest when she was 11, and we *both* had nightmares that night. Just too vivid in our imaginations, I guess. So I put Redwall later on the free-reading list.

I guess I'm arguing for balance, even while I grieve for the kids whose childhood wonder got shortchanged.

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Chocolatedefrauded

Access to free, good books ought to be a right for children. Studies show how much reading and access to book helps in so many areas of life. Discovering a great book is one of the pleasures of life. How can you restrict that?

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