Jeb Bush's Supposedly Scandalous "Just Read, Florida" Program
At Get Religion, Terry Mattingly notes that Gov. Jeb Bush is catching flak from the atheist lobby for encouraging Florida children to read "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe." Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is typically wheezing over anyone encouraging stories with Christian metaphors. (Actually, Lynn's claiming C.S. Lewis is "retelling the story of Christ," but I don't remember the Gospels saying Jesus was a lion, not a human.) Palm Beach Post reporter S.V. Date is scandalized at how Bush’s "Just Read, Florida" effort is funded by Walden Media, producers of the Narnia movie, which the Post notes is run by Philip Anschutz, a big Republican contributor. Walden makes family films, and its latest film was "Because of Winn-Dixie."
But the story also mentions a previous effort by the same program to encourage kids to read Carl Hiaasen’s book "Hoot" (also being made into a Walden movie), which has a standard liberal plot pitting young heroic green saboteurs for saving owls vs. greedy developers. (Barry Lynn hates the promotion of Christianity, but he doesn't mind a little pagan nature worship.) And Hiaasen, a Miami Herald writer, is quite the liberal, which the Palm Beach Post doesn’t notice. The man should really write a kids’ book about the happy story of Elian Gonzalez being dragged away at gunpoint back to Cuba, since he was so angry at any disgusting conservative (like Tom DeLay) who was opposed to his return to Paradise.