First, an Episcopal school in Texas does something surprising. The novel “Brokeback Mountain”, best described as a gay-themed Western novel, was on the high school senior optional reading list and had been for years. A trustee and major donor objected to its presence, and a furore ensued. The school not only declined to remove the book, but returned a $3 million donation from the objector on grounds that they cannot accept any conditional gift. Considering how far schools will bend over for that kind of cash even without the current climate of intolerance, this shows extraordinary courage on the part of their board. The punch line is that the book won’t be taught next year anyway because the teacher who had it on her reading list doesn’t teach anything that’s been adapted for a movie, and it’s being released as a big Hollywood picture.
Second, four Christian anti-war activists carried out a peaceful and minimally disruptive demonstration at a military recruiting office. The government threw the book at them, charging them with criminal mischief, and when that failed trying them again for conspiracy in a federal court. Apparently reading a statement, spilling a ceremonial quantity of blood, and then praying is a very serious crime in this country if you don’t do it at an abortion clinic. Found via this rancorous and poorly written but informative blog post from one of those folks who likes to yell about politics a lot.