Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Good Book, the Bad Book, the Ugly Book

This Easter weekend is the weekend of the Good Book.

Hundreds and hundreds of millions of Christians commemorate and celebrate across the world.

In Germany, this weekend is also tied to the Bad Book for a small minority of people. We would have missed this had our local paper not asked the question "Can we make fun of Hitler?" and mentioned that his birthday was coming up.
The Bad Book is, of course, his convoluted and dumb tome, still not legally available in Germany. Which, on one hand, makes sense, on the other shows how little faith German leadership has had to this day in the younger generations. And maybe no faith in its education system either?
The answer to the question should be a resounding yes. Charlie Chaplin did it, and we love him for it.

The Ugly Book would be any of those written by Mr. Sarrazin or recently Mr. Pirincci. A recent opinion page article in Der Spiegel magazine calls them hate books. We are of two minds about them but lean toward the freedom of speech side, because views can be debated once they are clearly stated. If authors like them only engage in mealy mouthed discourse, what can you do?

Once it's out in the open, as ugly as it is, you can debate them, disprove them, and you can try to engage "at risk" segments of the public and work towards peace.

Happy Easter.

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