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On free speech & lamb of god

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  • On free speech & lamb of god

    Toni Morrison citing The Genesis and other literary bigwigs launch Free Speech Leadership Council, as advocacy arm of National Coalition Against Censorship. http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/n...e-speech_N.htm

    Toni Morrison speaks up for free speech
    Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison was the main speaker Wednesday at the launch of the Free Speech Leadership Council.

    By Hillel Italie, AP National Writer
    NEW YORK The setting was divine a duplex on the Upper East Side. The featured speaker, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison.
    The subjects: sex, violence and profanity.

    In other words, the stuff that books are banned for.

    Some 50 publishers, writers and other First Amendment supporters gathered over xxxxtails Wednesday night to launch the Free Speech Leadership Council, an advocacy arm of the National Coalition Against Censorship, a nonprofit founded in 1974.

    Former HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman, who hosted the event at her apartment, is the council's chair.

    "I don't see how you can be in publishing for 40 years and not care about this," Friedman said.

    Morrison, 78, has long experience with censorship. Her novels Beloved, Song of Solomon and The Bluest Eye have frequently been threatened with removal from library shelves and sometimes pulled because of sexual, racial or violent content.

    Seated regally in Friedman's living room as other guests stood around her, Morrison said the problem was fear fear of information, dating back to the book of Genesis and the fatal temptation of the Tree of Knowledge.

    "Knowledge is bad" is the Bible's message, Morrison said, while being interviewed by author-humorist Fran Lebowitz. "It is sinful. It will corrupt you and you will die."

    And that fear still "floats around in the back of the brain," Morrison added, noting how slaves once risked their lives to learn to read. "To know stuff is a bad thing. It has consequences, and the consequences are death."

    Also attending was Judy Blume, whose books, too, often show up on lists of banned works. The author, whose novels include Forever and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, joked about being forbidden as a girl to read John O'Hara's novel of a woman's uncontainable sexual desire, A Rage to Live.

    Blume, 61, first became aware of the book around age 9, when her mother warned not to look at the book, especially a certain page. The library would not allow Blume to borrow it without written permission.

    When she finally got her hands on it, Blume found the novel "very satisfying.

    "My husband may not like this, but I did not become a nymphomaniac," she joked.

    At the end of event, signed copies were handed out of a new release edited by Morrison, Burn This Book, which compiles essays by Morrison, John Updike, Salman Rushdie and others about writing and its risks and challenges.

    On Wednesday night, Morrison recalled a letter being sent to her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, from a Texas inmate, who informed the author that Song of Solomon was not permitted at the prison because it might start a riot.

    "And I thought, 'What a powerful book,'" Morrison said. "This book is so powerful."

    Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    ------------------



    Genesis Chapter 22
    א וַיְהִי, אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, וְהָאֱלֹהִים, נִסָּה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם; וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּנִי. 1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him: 'Abraham'; and he said: 'Here am I.'
    ב וַיֹּאמֶר קַח-נָא אֶת-בִּנְךָ אֶת-יְחִידְךָ אֲשֶׁר-אָהַבְתָּ, אֶת-יִצְחָק, וְלֶךְ-לְךָ, אֶל-אֶרֶץ הַמֹּרִיָּה; וְהַעֲלֵהוּ שָׁם, לְעֹלָה, עַל אַחַד הֶהָרִים, אֲשֶׁר אֹמַר אֵלֶיךָ. 2 And He said: 'Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.'
    ג וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם בַּבֹּקֶר, וַיַּחֲבֹשׁ אֶת-חֲמֹרוֹ, וַיִּקַּח אֶת-שְׁנֵי נְעָרָיו אִתּוֹ, וְאֵת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ; וַיְבַקַּע, עֲצֵי עֹלָה, וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ, אֶל-הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר-אָמַר-לוֹ הָאֱלֹהִים. 3 And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he cleaved the wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
    ד בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי, וַיִּשָּׂא אַבְרָהָם אֶת-עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא אֶת-הַמָּקוֹם--מֵרָחֹק. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
    ה וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָהָם אֶל-נְעָרָיו, שְׁבוּ-לָכֶם פֹּה עִם-הַחֲמוֹר, וַאֲנִי וְהַנַּעַר, נֵלְכָה עַד-כֹּה; וְנִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה, וְנָשׁוּבָה אֲלֵיכֶם. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men: 'Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship, and come back to you.'
    ו וַיִּקַּח אַבְרָהָם אֶת-עֲצֵי הָעֹלָה, וַיָּשֶׂם עַל-יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ, וַיִּקַּח בְּיָדוֹ, אֶת-הָאֵשׁ וְאֶת-הַמַּאֲכֶלֶת; וַיֵּלְכוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם, יַחְדָּו. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife; and they went both of them together.
    ז וַיֹּאמֶר יִצְחָק אֶל-אַבְרָהָם אָבִיו, וַיֹּאמֶר אָבִי, וַיֹּאמֶר, הִנֶּנִּי בְנִי; וַיֹּאמֶר, הִנֵּה הָאֵשׁ וְהָעֵצִים, וְאַיֵּה הַשֶּׂה, לְעֹלָה. 7 And Isaac spoke unto Abraham his father, and said: 'My father.' And he said: 'Here am I, my son.' And he said: 'Behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?'
    ח וַיֹּאמֶר, אַבְרָהָם, אֱלֹהִים יִרְאֶה-לּוֹ הַשֶּׂה לְעֹלָה, בְּנִי; וַיֵּלְכוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם, יַחְדָּו. 8 And Abraham said: 'God will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.' So they went both of them together.
    ט וַיָּבֹאוּ, אֶל-הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר-לוֹ הָאֱלֹהִים, וַיִּבֶן שָׁם אַבְרָהָם אֶת-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ, וַיַּעֲרֹךְ אֶת-הָעֵצִים; וַיַּעֲקֹד, אֶת-יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ, וַיָּשֶׂם אֹתוֹ עַל-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ, מִמַּעַל לָעֵצִים. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
    י וַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְרָהָם אֶת-יָדוֹ, וַיִּקַּח אֶת-הַמַּאֲכֶלֶת, לִשְׁחֹט, אֶת-בְּנוֹ. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
    יא וַיִּקְרָא אֵלָיו מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה, מִן-הַשָּׁמַיִם, וַיֹּאמֶר, אַבְרָהָם אַבְרָהָם; וַיֹּאמֶר, הִנֵּנִי. 11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said: 'Abraham, Abraham.' And he said: 'Here am I.'
    יב וַיֹּאמֶר, אַל-תִּשְׁלַח יָדְךָ אֶל-הַנַּעַר, וְאַל-תַּעַשׂ לוֹ, מְאוּמָה: כִּי עַתָּה יָדַעְתִּי, כִּי-יְרֵא אֱלֹהִים אַתָּה, וְלֹא חָשַׂכְתָּ אֶת-בִּנְךָ אֶת-יְחִידְךָ, מִמֶּנִּי. 12 And he said: 'Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him; for now I know that thou art a God-fearing man, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from Me.'
    יג וַיִּשָּׂא אַבְרָהָם אֶת-עֵינָיו, וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה-אַיִל, אַחַר, נֶאֱחַז בַּסְּבַךְ בְּקַרְנָיו; וַיֵּלֶךְ אַבְרָהָם וַיִּקַּח אֶת-הָאַיִל, וַיַּעֲלֵהוּ לְעֹלָה תַּחַת בְּנוֹ. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son.
    יד וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָהָם שֵׁם-הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא, יְהוָה יִרְאֶה, אֲשֶׁר יֵאָמֵר הַיּוֹם, בְּהַר יְהוָה יֵרָאֶה. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Adonai-jireh; as it is said to this day: 'In the mount where the LORD is seen.'
    טו וַיִּקְרָא מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה, אֶל-אַבְרָהָם, שֵׁנִית, מִן-הַשָּׁמָיִם. 15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven,
    טז וַיֹּאמֶר, בִּי נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי נְאֻם-יְהוָה: כִּי, יַעַן אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ אֶת-הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, וְלֹא חָשַׂכְתָּ, אֶת-בִּנְךָ אֶת-יְחִידֶךָ. 16 and said: 'By Myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son,
    יז כִּי-בָרֵךְ אֲבָרֶכְךָ, וְהַרְבָּה אַרְבֶּה אֶת-זַרְעֲךָ כְּכוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְכַחוֹל, אֲשֶׁר עַל-שְׂפַת הַיָּם; וְיִרַשׁ זַרְעֲךָ, אֵת שַׁעַר אֹיְבָיו. 17 that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
    יח וְהִתְבָּרְכוּ בְזַרְעֲךָ, כֹּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ, עֵקֶב, אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקֹלִי. 18 and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast hearkened to My voice.'
    יט וַיָּשָׁב אַבְרָהָם אֶל-נְעָרָיו, וַיָּקֻמוּ וַיֵּלְכוּ יַחְדָּו אֶל-בְּאֵר שָׁבַע; וַיֵּשֶׁב אַבְרָהָם, בִּבְאֵר שָׁבַע. {פ} 19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba. {P}
    כ וַיְהִי, אַחֲרֵי הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, וַיֻּגַּד לְאַבְרָהָם, לֵאמֹר: הִנֵּה יָלְדָה מִלְכָּה גַם-הִוא, בָּנִים--לְנָחוֹר אָחִיךָ. 20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying: 'Behold, Milcah, she also hath borne children unto thy brother Nahor:
    כא אֶת-עוּץ בְּכֹרוֹ, וְאֶת-בּוּז אָחִיו, וְאֶת-קְמוּאֵל, אֲבִי אֲרָם. 21 Uz his first-born, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram;
    כב וְאֶת-כֶּשֶׂד וְאֶת-חֲזוֹ, וְאֶת-פִּלְדָּשׁ וְאֶת-יִדְלָף, וְאֵת, בְּתוּאֵל. 22 and Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.'
    כג וּבְתוּאֵל, יָלַד אֶת-רִבְקָה; שְׁמֹנָה אֵלֶּה יָלְדָה מִלְכָּה, לְנָחוֹר אֲחִי אַבְרָהָם. 23 And Bethuel begot Rebekah; these eight did Milcah bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
    כד וּפִילַגְשׁוֹ, וּשְׁמָהּ רְאוּמָה; וַתֵּלֶד גַּם-הִוא אֶת-טֶבַח וְאֶת-גַּחַם, וְאֶת-תַּחַשׁ וְאֶת-מַעֲכָה. {פ} 24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she also bore Tebah, and Gaham, and Tahash, and Maacah. {P}
    Between childhood, boyhood,
    adolescence
    & manhood (maturity) there
    should be sharp lines drawn w/
    Tests, deaths, feats, rites
    stories, songs & judgements

    - Morrison, Jim. Wilderness, vol. 1, p. 22
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