With all the stories and comments about faith and practices with some calling those who think differently as "bigots" in the newspaper. Thinking about these stories over the weekend I remembered an experience from elementary school.
I attended Avondale Elementary in the 1940's. This was when report cards were sent home every six weeks. When I was promoted to the fifth grade I ended up in Mrs. Holder's class. She was a sixth grade teacher that students prayed that they would not get. To our surprise a fifth grade teacher would not be available and Mrs. Holder agreed to take the class if she could keep it in the sixth grade. I guess we thought this was double trouble. I must say she became my favorite teacher.
One of the requirements was we had to chose a library book each six weeks to read at home and write a report. One book I chose was "The Silver Skates." It seemed each day that book increased in pages. Two days to the deadline I still hadn't read the book. I was in our local drug store and saw a comic book version so I bought it, read the comic book and wrote a book report and turned it in that Friday. I made it in time.
On Monday when the class was doing a history lesson, Mrs. Holder called me up to her desk and handed me my book report with a big red "F" on it. She looked me in the eye and said, "Mr. Kennedy, you did not read the book but you will. Starting today you will stay in at noon recess until you read the book and write a report."
This lasted two weeks before I finished the assignment and turned it in. The next day she gave me my grade and it was an "A". With her it was not about the grade, it was about reading the book. I have loved reading for years.
My advice to all that writes or reports about Christianity and how it is practiced, "First read the book with understanding."and don't assume. This will help keep you from "cherry picking" scripture and taking it out of context.