Dangerously close to censorship, new list of banned books includes scriptures
Is God dead? The taboo question has everyone buzzing of late. People are asking it in Hollywood, at the Supreme Court — and now in public schools and in libraries.
Appearing on the list of the most objectionable and “challenged” books in public schools and libraries for the first time is a text that might surprise you — the Bible.
“You have people who feel that if a school library buys a copy of the Bible, it’s a violation of church and state,” said James LaRue, the director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom for the American Library Association, in a release.
He added, “And sometimes there’s a retaliatory action, where a religious group has objected to a book and a parent might respond by objecting to the Bible.”
The group just put out its annual top 10 most “challenged” books of 2015 in conjunction with its “State of Libraries Report” for 2016.
The Bible finished sixth on the list and was accompanied the following titles: “Looking for Alaska,” which finished first for its language and scenes of explicit sexual content; “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which made the list for its overtly sexual nature; “I Am Jazz,” a picture book for children about transgenderism; and Susan Kuklin’s “Beyond Magenta,” another story on the transgender issue.
Some of the other “challenged” books include “Habibi” by Craig Thompson, for sexually explicit content, and “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan, for homosexuality.
“Many of the books deal with issues of diversity,” said LaRue. “And that often leads to challenges.”
But what does this mean, to be a “banned” and “challenged” book? The Bible “does not violate the separation of church and state as long as the library does not endorse or promote the views included in the Bible,” states the Office for Intellectual Freedom in its guidelines.
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