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The antidote to seeing things done poorly is to do them better. The Church, especially the Mainline Churches, became irrelevant when they allowed themselves to be co-opted by the downward pull of society instead of preaching that human beings owe respect, honor and allegiance to something higher. Schools abandoned their responsibility for quality education to teach to the lowest common denominator. Libraries are among the first social services to be underfunded, and reading is denigrated as a value in a society captivated by "soundbites", "memes" and "social media".

If there is to be a course correction, all of us who feel that it is overdue will need to "fight like Hell" to be sure that attention is paid to the loss of the Holy Trinity. And to shore up the good that still remains and restore/repair what has been lost.

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I wanted to cry when I read your latest postings. ..becasue I soooooooooo agree with your assessment. Like you, I owe so much more than I can ever dream of paying forward on to the Holy Trinity. And, like you, I fear for their future...and fight for their right to exist.

RE: ...with church, school, and library under assault, mostly by religious and political fundamentalists seeking to undo reciprocity and trustworthiness and replace them with authoritarian power and propaganda. To that horrid list I'm adding KEEP US IGNORANT AND SANS A MORAL COMPAS.

And finally, IMO, the enemies of social capitol don't just aim to turn the world into a global vison of The Hunger Games (where ignorance played a huge role), their aim is to create a kiss-up, kick down dog-eat-dog world where they are the top dog.

Keep sending out the good -- as in makes one think -- stuff!

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Sep 9, 2023Liked by Diana Butler Bass

Thank you Diana!! You spoke to my experience as well! It needs to be said over and over again because our democracy is under threat as well as our schools , churches and libraries!!!

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This message - and our blog - was suggested by a dear friend and my sister. I feel so fortunate about that and having read this today. Every word that built every passage is SO TRUE. It was just what is needed and I will share as widely as I can. Thank you very much for sending your words out into the world - they will enlighten and bless all who read them.

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Ah the library, where possibility lived and a boy could become a character in a thousand stories! I know I did....

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founding

You always touch my soul, Diana. Though I enjoyed our small public library ( which was a bit too far to walk to) my 3 places (which were all within 1 block of my home) were my elementary & jr high school, my church (where my Mom was secretary) and my neighborhood (with large trees to climb, friends to play with & small grocery that sold dill pickles).

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Growing up in a country 10 000 miles across the sea, and my holy trinity are the same as yours, albeit different politics. Food for.my thoughts thank you

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You articulate so well much of what I have been thinking. I grew up believing these institutions were unshakable.

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Amen, amen!! I grew up with the same three in a small town on the plains in Nebraska!! In our social and political environment it feels like we are treading water and ready to go over the falls. However I do see evidence of the influence of this "Holy Trinity" in my community everyday! I hold to the belief that this social capital will survive and eventually thrive.

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This is so on point . If I drew- a sociogram I would put a circle around each of these institutions that is church, school, library and then draw dotted lines to connect the all but before I did that I would draw a large circle and in the middle I would put my home and neighborhood. It was a very nourishing place --which I didn't always appreciate growing up. What I now know as a sociologist and an elder is that all colors and societies had some form of the same even here in the U. S. And it is what we didn't know that has allowed the current situation. There is a need for all these institutions and we need to stand up act locally one of the ways I see-- is to come out of our all too comfortable silo's and meet and interact really interact and get to know people of other cultures --like rebuilding social capital. It can be done if we start acting intentionally. Again thank you Diana and also for the inspiration poetry.

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Good morning all and thank you especially to those who liked my post! Many of us think along or wonder along the same lines and it is so helpful to be able to communicate cross the globe actually. We have a wonderful public library here in Macon and one for /residents in the retirement community I live in. Any ideas from where you are about supporting public school libraries. Anyone on here living in Houston and doing anything about closing public school libraries and maybe supporting room libraries for teachers? Just a thought or two.

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PS Went to college in Houston so am really concerned and was aware that public schools needed support even in the 60's which I know the History they didn't get much support from residents then either but perhaps it is time to s up wherever we are.?

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support public schools.

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Amen to it all. They attack them because they work. Spot on insight.

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Also, they are rallying points for communities and those who seek the Hunger Gams world for us don't want that...no, no, not at all.

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Good points all around; thanks for weaving these three together so well. Actually triggered memories of 'good exposure' from all three--especially the library, where I'd roam around the stacks during the summer and then in high school our local library became a gathering place for some of us and I can still 'see' the small tables and nooks where we'd hang out. Besides the political assault is also just the lack of connection to 'place' that all three presented. Nice autumn discussion-- thanks!

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Thanks, Diana, for this lament of the attacks on public schools, libraries, and churches that encourage questions, scholarship, and critical thinking. Occasionally I see opinion pieces critical of book banning or right-wing takeovers of school boards, but rarely have I read a critique as comprehesive as this one. There is a need for more public lament about the destruction of the institutions that promote democracy, equality, and the common good. Watching these threats happen is painful enough for those of us who are in supportive communities and friendships. How much more painful are they for people who feel alone in their dismay and horror! More public lament is needed. Maybe we readers of the The Cottage are the ones to help make it happen.

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There is more need, IMO, to let "just folks" know they are the common good.

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Thank you so much for this piece.

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Excellent, truthful summary of how the Right has demolished the very institutions that do most to raise the spirit of human beings. However, the Left bears much of the responsibility as well. And we need to be honest with ourselves and what our 'side' has contributed to the erosion of church and school particularly. Schools have been turned into ideological war zones that promote LGBTQ and anti-West indoctrination. Political correctness reigns supreme and has replaced much of the education that Diana received. The extreme polarization and EVIL that Donald Trump brought to the surface and empowered, either through the actions or reactions of the institutions of society, has done irreparable damage to schools and churches. But the Left has played its role, and if Trump wins the White House again the 'woke' Left will share much of the blame. I can only pray that enough voters will be able to forgive the mistakes of the Left more easily than the evils of the Right.

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Just to clarify things: the woke left and the teabaggers are not the problem, the problem is that middle-of-the-roaders (on both sides of the political spectrum) allowed the squeeeeeky/screechy, agenda-driven ideologues of their respective parties to become the party's mouthpiece. And it took the vast majority of the m-o-t-rs a decade (or more) to figure out what the heck happened. It'll take twice that long for the ship of state to right itself....sigh.

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I sigh also.

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This comes at an excellent time. A member of our school board is proposing that 7 “ideologies” be banned from our schools: CRT, social emotional learning, DEI, Black Lives Matter, Anti-fa, Gay Agenda, and Woke. It is absolutely ridiculous but it could pass. I think I will send this post to all 5 board members. Thank you!

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