A local teacher has published a book that’s now available for purchase. Throwing Moses under the Bus: A High School English Teacher Looks at the Ten Commandments is the works of John Cabascango an English and Spanish teacher at Smithfield Selma High. He told JoCoReport the idea for his book came from discussions with his students in the International Baccalaureate program over the last few years.
“I was writing a book about teaching and got stuck somewhere between pages 50 and 60. I realized that some of the conversations with students made me want to keep writing but in a different direction. When I framed my writing with the Ten Commandments, the whole process sped up,” Cabascango said.
“The book is the reflections of a 48-year-old teacher who continues to run into the same questions despite all of our technology and supposed advancement. It’s also I hope a reason to continue teaching great texts which make us less narcissistic and narrow-minded in terms of our own time and place in history. Reading and reflecting on moral boundaries that supersede singular times and places can make us more focused and hopefully more compassionate.”
In Throwing Moses Under the Bus, Cabascango examines the ancient rules and stories that show why these stone-tablet rules still matter in a digital age.
Asked who would be interested in reading his first book, Cabascango said, “One of the things that makes it a bit more difficult to market is its lack of genre. It isn’t a work of scholarship. I have nothing to add to the wealth of scholarly work done on the Ten Commandments, or any other great text. It also isn’t a devotional or inspirational work. I have to be honest that I genuinely think a lot of books labeled inspirational are either bad theology or frankly sentimental wish lists. What I enjoyed about writing this book was the flesh and blood connection that scripture has to everyday life. Once I started writing the content of the Commandments seemed more and more connected to stories that truly reflect human nature. Every novel, play or movie I referenced flows into the theme of how challenging it is to grow up and live freely. It’s much easier to fall back on our adolescent tendencies of wanting to do things how we want them in the moment. Most of us, in our weaker moments, are reliving some adolescent tendencies in an older setting. It really is true that the players change but the game stays the same. I think anyone who enjoys reading and is perhaps occasionally discouraged by the state of things around them will enjoy the book. I think anyone who has grown frustrated with quick easy answers, especially those in educational or religious settings will also enjoy it.”
Throwing Moses under the Bus: A High School English Teacher Looks at the Ten Commandments is available online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Wipf and Stock Publishers. It is also available on Kindle. He hopes his book will be on the shelves at local book stores within a few weeks.
Cabascango thanked students in the International Baccalaureate program at Smithfield Selma High and his church, Discovery Church, for their assistance.
John Cabascango holds a bachelor’s degree in literature and biblical studies and a master’s degree in intercultural studies and TESOL from Wheaton College. In addition, he has a graduate certificate in transnational and multicultural literature from East Carolina University. He lives in Clayton with his wife Sherri and his three sons Esteban, Santiago, and Cristian, and their dog Fifa. After twenty-one years of teaching, this is his first book.