Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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The blogger you quote says he treasures "the freedoms we often take for granted." Perhaps he should read the so-called Patriot Act.

And he won't give a pass to to Islamic fundamentalists because he has spent years "monitoring the mix of politics and Christian fundamentalism"?

Try leaving a centrist comment on a Christian political blog, as I did, and see what spewings of hatred result.

I'm not nearly so frightened of Islamists on the other side of the world as I am of Christian fundamentalists at home.

Those freedoms he treasures - the right to an attorney and a speedy trial, for example, and the separation of church and state - are being chipped away at every day right under our noses.

Some of us - wherever we come out on a simplistic, toy political quiz - are scared stiff of where of our nation is heading.


I'm a member of the Libertarian Left!! News to me...

As to Ronni's comment, it's probably appropriate to be scared, or concerned. But concern and vigilance in a democracy need to be constant, even in, especially in, those times when leadership is either thoroughly consistent or thoroughly inconsistent with one's own personal beliefs and values. If a government's values seem entirely consistent with your own, then (a) you're in danger of becoming complacent and missing abuses and missteps, and of being responsible for them; and (b) if the government acts and thinks in a way radically different from you, the reasons for concern and vigilance are no less urgent but far more obvious.

I'm told that the Buddha, on his deathbed, urged his followers to figure out their own salvation. He could've been a Democrat.



I share your misgivings about intolerance on the Christian right. There is among some a desire to roll back what they see as increasing secularism in society, which many of us would see as maintaining a strong separation between church and state, a principle that has been beneficial to both church and state. I am not opposed to religious expression in the public square, but think religion and politics is a dangerous mix.

I am more frightened of the Islamists precisely because they operate from a doctrine that considers religion and politics to be inseparable, and the result has been theocratic totalitarianism in countrries as diverse as Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, the Sudan.

Moreover, even in the liberal West Islamists threaten the lives of brave women like Aayan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch MP who has been vocal in opposing the oppression of women within Islam. This same phenomenon is occurring throughout Europe, with politicans having to hire bodyguards. There is simply nothing comparable going on within the Christian right, heated rhetoric notwithstanding.

Islamists by definition want to supplant secular laws with the Qur'an, and they are making inroads around the world and even in the Western hemisphere. In the US, the Saudis are spreading religious hatred and intolerance through "educational" materials distributed through mosques, as reported recently by Freedom House. Canada is in the process of authorizing a separate system of Islamic sharia courts, which will set a disastrous precedent for women in North America.

We must be aware of what is going on and oppose theocracy of all stripes, whether homegrown or transplanted. My problem with liberalism is that it is vigilant about the former, but in denial about the latter.


Actually, there may be something similar rearing its head in this country... The recent murders in Chicago of the mother and husband of a judge who had jailed a white supremacist (whose movement was called "World Church of the Creator"), while more hate-based than Christianity-based, is scarily similar to the work of terrorists who believe themselves to be working the will of God by slaughtering innocents or staging videotaped murders of infidels.



I agree - that is a disturbing case, comparable to the murder of abortion doctors by "pro-life" radicals. Have you seen evidence of support or apologists for these murderers among evangelicals or fundamentalist Christians? I doubt it, any more than you would see support for the KKK.

Imagine if such white supremacists were numerous and that their interpretation of Christianity, while not dominant had a following throughout portions of the world and even political legitimacy in some countries. That is the threat represented by radical jihadists.


Sorry, the link above is broken. It should be:


PurpleStater writes:

"There is simply nothing comparable going on within the Christian right, heated rhetoric notwithstanding."

Actually, there is -- the bombing of abortion clinics, online publishing of target lists of doctors, and outright assassination of health care providers who perform abortions, like Dr. Barnett Slepian. This will make your blood run cold, and there are other similar websites -- just Google his name.

I do not know about anti-gay violence, but I suspect there's some of that going on as well -- though probably less organized and vocal.

That said, these activities are far more marginal on the Christian Right than lethal terrorism is in Islam -- and the mainstream Christian Right has been more outspoken in condemning them than has moderate Islam. An example is this post from Rightgrrl deploring Slepian's murder and any such violent act purporting to be in the name of the pro-life movement.


Oops! Wrote that comment before reading the rest of the Comments. This is a great discussion.

PurpleStater also wrote: "maintaining a strong separation between church and state, a principle that has been beneficial to both church and state." Check out this post, which quotes at some length from an interview with Susan Jacoby, author of Freethinkers, on precisely that subject. Jacoby emphasizes that the principle is designed to protect the freedom and flourishing of the churches (mosques, synagogues, zendos, etc.) just as much as the independence and neutrality of the state.



The fact that you have to go back to 1998 to find an example of murder by the religious right supports my contention that radical Islam is of far greater concern, both in currency and magnitude. Again, not to say that we should be complacent about extremists of any type. But there is no worldwide movement of radical Christians that threatens political leaders and artists, murders civilans, and seeks to subvert governments and establish a global religious theocracy, insisting it is a religious duty justified by scripture. Those are all stated goals of Islamists like bin Laden and Zarqawi, as well as the mullahs in Iran and the Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia. What we have in the US is a movement of primarily conservative Christians who see all forms of public religious expression (creche scenes, public prayer, Ten Commandments displays, mention of God in the pledge of allegiance) as under attack, and who are vocal in their opposition to that trend. Their arguments are primarily grounded in where the constitution draws the line between freedom of and from religion.

For my part, I agree with Jacoby: church/state separation has served to keep religion free of state meddling, as much as it has prevented the establishment of an official religion. But it's important to keep in mind that the intent was to allow for mulitple religions to flourish, not to suppress religious expression in the public square.

I am not on board with the religious right, but I don't entirely discount their concerns that there are secularists who are opposed to all forms of public expression of religious belief. Lest we forget, it was religious belief that powered the abolitionist and civil rights movements, and many in the anti-war movement base their opposition on religious doctrine or principles.

I want to live in a country where all religious people can speak their convictions without fear of censure. Let a thousand ministers, rabbis, imams and priests espouse their beliefs, and even champion social change - our constitution gurantees that right. But it also gurantees that there will be no "state religion" and that our laws and government will remain secular - thank God for that!

Dr. Ernie

If you like Political Compass, but are lazy or moderate, you might enjoy - it takes 30 seconds, and you're allowed to answer "Maybe."


Thanks! I did it -- and (no surprise, except for its accuracy for something so brief) here's what it said:

The political description that
fits you best is...
CENTRISTS espouse a "middle ground" regarding government
control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on
the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention
and sometimes support individual freedom of choice.
Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind,
tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what
they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.

On this graph, my red dot was more evenly suspended between "liberatarian" and "statist," maybe because of the option of saying "Maybe": for example, I believe there may be situations in which a draft is called for.


I think we are more split between those who are worried about things here and those who are worried about things there... Or rather those of us who feel we have no right to tell others how to live or to even "help" out people outside of our nation until we have things right here. Personally I have been studying those nations that are considered nutral and have not been involed in a war (under any other name as well) since WW I or before. To see if they can offer any insight for us. Two things pop out right away. One is they turn inward they tend towards socialism to a degree that we fear (and even I'm very anixious about). The second thing is that they currantly exsibit a lack of xenophobia .... although adimtedly I'd like to expore that more.


"Some of us - wherever we come out on a simplistic, toy political quiz - are scared stiff of where of our nation is heading."

And that would be me!

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