We watched the PBS series on the Amish last night. I have such mixed feelings about cultures like those, mainly because I know how I would hate to be trapped in a society where "wife and mother" was my sole future. Most of these old-fashioned religions (and a few modern ones) seem like a lousy deal for women. Also, there's the shunning of people who leave. I realize those people's different beliefs pose a threat to the community (and the Amish are all about the community), but shunning is incredibly hard on both the "wayward" individual and his/her family. The choice harms the family for the sake of the community. It also seems entirely un-Christian.
But I completely understand why the Amish avoid modernism, and feel that it detracts from the important parts of life (and, in their view, being godly). I think many of us can understand that. The question is, why don't we extend that same understanding to Middle Eastern cultures? Again, I'm pained by how those cultures repress women and their choices. But I do understand why modernization is less an "opportunity" for them than a threat.
No answers here, just lots of thoughts.
Different topic: I randomly remembered a story Christopher wrote in Kindergarten that started out, I found Shiny Shark at the beach last summer. There was more, but the interesting thing was that Shiny Shark could as easily be real as a toy. And to a five-year-old... there's probably less separation than for most of us.
My favorite opening, though, is still the collaborative Star Wars fanfic he was working on when he was seven. He wrote the opening chapter, which began, My employer is a giant slug. Doesn't that just tell a Star Wars fan nearly everything?