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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His own family turned him in,no less.

Hell, this is the same culture that beheads young women for being raped- and for defendig themselves against rape- both. Damned if you do... and Michael can rant, but they are all of the same stripe if they are this rabidly fanatical- old or new gov't. It's not gov'tal- it's fundamental.


It's not gov'tal- it's fundamental.

There it is in a "nut"shell. AND, in the Koran this little tidbit is unexplained, unquestionable and the Muslim I spoke with today said:"It is confusing logic, but one that is not allowed to be questioned by the faithful. It is one of those things in the Koran that has to be accepted on faith."



Well, Irshad Manji would say it isn't so, that there is an alternate tradition of ijtihad, which she translates as "independent thinking":

In the early centuries of Islam, thanks to the spirit of ijtihad, 135 schools of thought thrived. Inspired by ijtihad, Muslims gave the world inventions from the astrolabe to the university. So much of we consider "western" pop culture came from Muslims: the guitar, mocha coffee, even the ultra-Spanish expression "Ole!" (which has its root in the Arabic word for God, "Allah").

What happened to ijtihad?

Toward the end of the 11th century, the "gates of ijtihad" were closed for entirely political reasons. During this time, the Muslim empire from Iraq in the east to Spain in the west was going through a series of internal upheavals. Dissident denominations were popping up and declaring their own runaway governments, which posed a threat to the main Muslim leader -- the caliph. Based in Baghdad, the caliph cracked down and closed ranks. Remember those 135 schools of thought mentioned above? They were deliberately reduced to four, pretty conservative, schools of thought. This led to a rigid reading of the Koran as well as to a series of legal opinions -- fatwas -- that scholars could no longer overturn or even question, but could now only imitate. To this very day, imitation of medieval norms has trumped innovation in Islam. It’s time to revive ijtihad to update Islam for the 21st century. That’s why I’ve created Project Ijtihad. . . .

If you embrace our vision to replace the jihadists with a new generation of “ijtihadists,” then join us.

Go read about her Project Ijtihad -- the anti-madrassa -- and if you can, make a donation.


And why does that history remind me a little bit of Christian bishops cracking down at 4th century councils and reducing the profusion of Gospels of Jesus to four?


It's intresting how India has a very different tradition of promoting diversity in its public sphere. I was at the University of Hyderabad, India a few years ago for a conference. Hyderabad has a mixed population of Muslims and Hindus.

Some local professors took us out to a Bollywood movie. Before the movie was a public ad that read "diversity is our strength."


Thanks Amba, I am checking that out.

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