Jay Evensen: Why the Nigerian kidnapping case matters to us

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  • Curtis Hight Anchorage, AK
    May 11, 2014 11:36 p.m.

    So hands were dirty, and the great mistake was failure to wash before eating. This was why those religious groups that prescribed washing--the Jews, the Muslims--had lower disease and death rates; which did not always count to their advantage. People were easily persuaded that if fewer Jews died, it was because they had poisoned Christian wells.
    Two special characteristics of the Protestants reflect and confirm this link. The first was stress on instruction and literacy, for girls as well as boys. This was a by-product of Bible reading. Good Protestants were expected to read the holy scriptures for themselves. (By way of contrast, Catholics were catechized but did not have to read, and they were explicitly discouraged from reading the Bible.) The result: greater literacy and a larger pool of candidates for advanced schooling; also greater assurance of continuity of literacy from generation to generation. Literate mothers matter.

    David S. Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1998), xviii, 178.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 9, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    IMO... it matters because we are human beings... and so are they.

    We are all brothers and sisters in a way... so when this happens it happens to OUR sisters...

    That's why it matters to me.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    May 8, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    We just need to keep in mind that this incident has nothing to do with the religion to which Boko Haram subscribes, which is a religion of peace. Let's all remain creative and find any other reason, absolutely anything, besides the fact that their holy book may or may not condone such violence. Perhaps it's a lack of economic activity? Justified response to imperialism? Vengeance against their natural resources being exploited by capitalism? Any takers?

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    May 8, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    Jay, I applaud your “Me, too!” on this matter. However, like your friends in the media, you didn’t share the whole story. Further, it was quite obvious you left out the term "Islamic terrorists". Any reason why? I expected it, but perhaps your readers might want to know.

    Here are the facts you failed to report (source: BBC).

    Prior to this recent kidnapping, on February 25, between 40 and 59 children were killed by the fundamentalist militant group, Boko Haram. Early that morning, the terrorists attacked a boarding school and shot many of the children, aged 11 to 18, while they slept. Some of the students were gunned down as they attempted to flee. Others had their throats slit. In some buildings, Boko Haram militants locked the doors and set the buildings alight. The occupants were burned alive.

    All of the victims were boys. The militants spared the girls and told them to flee, get married, and shun the western education to which they were privy.

    Why did you call out your “Me, too!” regarding the kidnapping, but were unmoved when it was young boys who were being slaughtered and burned alive? Enlighten us, please.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    May 8, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    Keeping people in ignorance is how a corrupt system keeps a tight grip on control. Thugs and tribal lords see education in the third world as a deadly threat. A people who learn how to think learn how to fight and resist.