Thursday, July 12, 2012

Good Story 038: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Episode #38 - It was a pleasure for Julie and Scott not to burn any books during the recording of this podcast. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

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  1. I've been listening to your podcast for a little while but this one struck a cord. I need to reread (or listen to) this book again. I was thinking about what book I would memorize and if I could deal with the length I'd choose To Kill A Mockingbird. I've been taken with the book since I read it many years ago and it contains some life lessons I'd like to see passed on.

  2. What a great choice! I've been thinking about this ever since we did this podcast, and my answer is different every day. So many books!

  3. Great show! I started and quit both the audiobook and movie and still really enjoyed this discussion- the mark of a good podcast. I need to give the book another try now.
    When y'all were discussing how easily people are offended it reminded me of Proverbs 12:16- "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult." And also on Phil Vischer's podcast they quoted someone whose name I don't recall this: "The mature Christian is almost impossible to offend." Both of those hit home for me, I need to have more patience when people disagree with me in an ugly manner.
    Love the show!!!

  4. I enjoyed the discussion of Fahrenheit 451 & the first chapter which you read on Forgotten Classics, Julie. However, the disparagement of government regulation/interference in our lives I did not agree with. Did you know that the School Lunch program got started originally because, after the Great Depression, many WWII draftees were too malnourished to fight? Unregulated, free-market capitalism causes great suffering. I do not agree that a laissez-faire attitude is the right way to go, as you two seem to be advocating. Given the Catholic Church's stand on birth control, expecting all children to be born to supportive, functional and financially stable parents is somewhat disingenuous. How do you reconcile that?

  5. Hi Rebecca,

    I certainly can't speak for Julie, but I have thought about and read quite a bit on this subject since this podcast.

    I don't see this as an all-in situation. Zero government intervention causes great suffering as you say, but too much government intervention leads to problems as well. Issues need to be addressed on a case by case basis.

    In the school system in particular, it's very clear to me that the closer an administrator is to a child, the better it is. I've seen teachers notice things about a child's situation and be able to do things to help.

    It's the same way with nearly everything, and that's why I feel that the federal government should stay out of most issues.

    Again, this is not all or nothing. Your statement that we can't expect all children to be born to supportive, functional, and financially stable parents is well taken.

    It's also true that the solution is NOT to stop encouraging parents to take responsibility for their children. We can not add this many things to the school day then wonder why our kids can't pass a math test. The federal government does not need to do that.

  6. Hi Rebecca! Great points and thanks to Sergeant York and the history of food labeling, I actually did know about malnourishment during that time. No one here would deny that folks need helping hands AND that some regulation on things is necessary. However, the question rests in degrees and closeness. I favor a light hand and aid issued as close to the person as possible (which is what Scott talks about above).

    For example, I feel that the Salvation Army kitchens have helped many a person more effectively using money more efficiently than most government programs. I especially think this when I consider your example from WWII, look at Johnson's initiative to feed the hungry (etc.) ... and then look at where we are now, with my sister-in-law buying breakfast for the kids she teaches (out of her own pocket). If the school lunch is the only food those kids would otherwise get during the day, then what are the odds that many of them are on government assistance? I wonder ... it seems likely to me.

    Also, a school lunch program is not the same as mandating an employer pay for contraceptives, which is where unabated government programs get us. Moderation from both sides is needed, both capitalists and governments.

    It always seemed to me that the point of the Catholic social justice concept was aimed at that very point. Give a man a fish but ALSO teach a man to fish AND make sure that he's got a place to fish. If possible. :-)

    Your point about supportive, functional, financially stable parents is a bit confusing to me. We can't do everything for everyone.

    Having supportive, functional, and financially stable parents is the ideal situation, many people still flourish without all those conditions in their parents. Me, for example. A verbally abusive, alcoholic father is not the ideal situation and it definitely put its mark on my siblings and me ... however, should the government have stepped in? Actually, no.

    How about our president? Born into a completely unstable environment and he flourished.

    People are more resilient than they are given credit for and they also can be incredibly stubborn. Those things together often compensate for bad circumstances.

    The Church, while wanting support for the needy, also recognizes that we must do things for ourselves or not fully human. The idea that poverty = suffering is mistaken. It may, but we can't escape suffering in this world. The beautiful thing about the Catholic Church is that it shows the way to use the suffering we can't escape for other's good (and our own).

    Fact is that none of us gets a perfect deal when we are born. It is not a perfect world.

    I may have gone way beyond what you meant, but was just thinking aloud in the comments box. :-)