Dear L.A.W. Readers...
A PERSONAL REFLECTION
One thing that I always admired in Bill - Executive Director of L.A.W. - was his ability to look at many sides of an issue. I was always amazed and surprised when I saw him reading magazines, books, newspapers and newletters/quarterly publications that reflected BOTH sides of an issue. His diverse reading collection covered the spectrum of ideals - Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, liberal, moderate, conservative, atheist, agnostic, religious and so on.
I was very one sided when I met Bill due to my lack of involvement, interest and development in important topics of the day. If someone told me something, or I saw something on t.v., or read it in a paper, I took it at face value and rarely did additional research on an issue. Partly because I was too lazy to do so, but mostly because I really didn't care enough to do more. Sad to say.
What I learned from Bill is that a person can only develop an informed opinion when they have really looked at ALL sides of an issue. Reading, researching and analyzing each side to an issue is half the battle to understanding and creating a position on that issue. We are all entitled to our opinions, but let's make the effort to get there through plenty of homework and reflection. Sometimes, it's not the final perfect answer that matters so much as the over-all pursuit of knowledge. True tolerance in differences (sex, age, religion, politics, etc.) seems to come from greater knowledge and understanding.
If you are not a big reader, find a book and start. As time goes on and people give you ideas and suggestions, your diverse group of books will expand. Start on one side of an issue and move on from there. Move back and forth between sides and topics - it's all the more enjoyable.
BOOKS FOR CONSIDERATION
I have read a number of very interesting books over this past year.
I recommend the following books for further understanding on the crisis ocurring both in the U.S. and also around the world on major issues such as radical islam, population declines, culture wars and the loss of faith. I am a bit of a speed reader so, I might be able to get through more books then some people. But...be it one book or two...pick one up. Quality counts, not necessarily volume.
I selected these to read as they were promoted heavily in the media and via book sites and I wanted to see what they had to share. I found all to have very interesting and important things to say...especially the top four. I didn't agree with everything each author said but, many things were very enlightening and motivational.
Ideas for a home library:
1.) America Alone - Mark Steyn * highly suggested*
2.) The West's Last Chance - Tony Blankley * highly suggested*
3.) Because They Hate - Brigitte Gabriel * highly suggested*
4.) Redicovering God In America - Newt Gingrich * highly suggested*
5.) 110 People Who Are Screwing Up America - Bernie Goldberg
6.) The Real America -Glenn Beck
7.) Shut Up & Sing - Laura Ingraham
8.) Unhinged - Michelle Malkin
9.) Culture Warrior -Bill O'Reilly
10.) Godless & How To Talk To A Liberal - Ann Coulter
11.) Between War & Peace, Ripples of Battle - Victor David Hanson
12.) Darwin's Black Box - Michael Behe
13.) God's Choice - George Weigel
14.) A Case for Faith, A Case for Christ & A Case for God (3 different books) - Lee Stroebel
15.) A Rose Remembered & The Eleventh Hour - Michael Phillips
16.) A Gift of Valor - Michael Phillips
17.) Bankrupt - David Limbaugh
18.) An Idiot Girl's Christmas - Laurie Notaro (serious sacrasm and laughs for us girls)
...and my next project - to finish reading the 3 volume set of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's three volume masterpiece "The Gulag Archipelago" (Bill finished this years ago...I'm just catching up. This book shows what a real Gulag is all about).
All these books can easily be bought as new or used via Barnes & Noble, Amazaon, Walden, and so on. If you have read any of the above books and have some brief thoughts, feel free to give us a reply. If you feel there are some solid books that I have not gotten to yet and you feel our readers could benefit from reading, feel free to post a note. As time goes on...we can consider posting a "best of the best" depending on the number of suggestions we get.