6 Books Banned By Christian Influenced School Boards

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Mr. Scott is a political junkie, and animal lover. He is also a U.S. Army veteran, career law enforcement executive and university professor. In addition he happens to own MadMikesAmerica which means he can write anything he wants, and often does.
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The Christians are always looking for things to regulate, control, or outright ban. They start by searching for anything that appears to diminish biblical teachings by way of language, lifestyle, sex, or, worst of all, SCIENCE, and their influence is considerable.

banned 1024x336 6 Books Banned By Christian Influenced School Boards

Pic courtesy of www.ftrf.org

In Texas the Board of Education is actually considering a change to their textbooks which would include creationism as part of the readings, right alongside a watered down version of evolution. Texas, however, isn’t alone as four additional states, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, and Oklahoma, are actually considering new legislation directed at teaching science disguised as creationism in school curriculum’s that critics say would set up a backdoor way of questioning evolution, and allowing pupils to be taught religious, not scientific, versions of how life on earth really developed.

The purpose of this story, however, is not about books to be published, but books that have been published, some for decades and even centuries. These books have already been banned from some public libraries and schools:

1.  Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man is a masterpiece that captures the grim realities of racial discrimination in 20th-century America. Unfortunately, thanks to a ban passed by the local board of education, school kids in Randolph County, N.C, won’t be able find that novel in their library.  An angry parent objected to the book’s sexual content and lack of innocence, and the school board agreed to ban the book by a vote of 5-2 with one of the board members, Gary Mason, a scholarly man no doubt, stated: “I didn’t find any literary value.”

2. 1961: Tarzan series, Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic series about a man living in the jungle was pulled from the shelves of a public library in the appropriately named town of Tarzana, Calif. Authorities thought the adventure stories unsuitable for youngsters, since there was no evidence that Tarzan and Jane had married before they started cohabiting in the treetops. Ralph Rothmund, who ran Burroughs’ estate, protested that the couple had taken marital vows in the jungle with Jane’s father serving as minister. “The father may not have been an ordained minister,” said Rothmund, “but after all things were primitive in those days in the jungle.”

3. 1983: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, chronicles the tragic experience of a Jewish family in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, where the 13-year-old and her family hid until they were caught and sent to concentration camps in August 1944. The book has been challenged numerous times for sexually explicit passages, and, in 1983, the Alabama State Textbook Committee called for rejecting the book because it was “a real downer.”

4. 1996: Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare

School authorities in Merrimack, N.H. found nothing amusing about Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, in which a girl washes ashore after a shipwreck, disguises herself as a page, and falls in love with her male master. That jolly cross-dressing and fake-same-sex romance was deemed in violation of the district’s “prohibition of alternative lifestyle instruction,” and copies of the play were pulled from schools.

5. 2006: Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White

Even arachnophobes love Charlotte’s Web, a heart-warming tale about the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a wordy barn spider called Charlotte. But a parents group in Kansas decided that any book featuring two talking animals must be the work of the devil, and so had E.B. White’s 1952 work barred from classrooms. The group’s central complaint was that humans are the highest level of God’s creation, as shown by, they said, the fact we’re “the only creatures that can communicate vocally. Showing lower life forms with human abilities is sacrilegious and disrespectful to God.”

6. 2007: Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling 

While pretty much every child was devouring the final book in the Harry Potter series in 2007, one school was pulling all seven Potter books from its library shelves. The pastor of St. Joseph School in Wakefield, Mass., deemed their sorcery-heavy story-lines inappropriate for a Catholic school. Parents said the pastor thought most children were “strong enough to resist the temptation,” but his job was to “protect the weak and the strong.”

 

 6 Books Banned By Christian Influenced School Boards
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92 Responses to 6 Books Banned By Christian Influenced School Boards

  1. RickRay Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    It’s quite obvious that those who ban books don’t want us having an opinion or thinking for ourselves. I would compare those who ban books to Hitler when he banned and burned so many books.

    • tesmith Reply

      September 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      i agree with yur sentiments, but why do americans always talk about hitler and his actions. i would say that this is more akin to americas ban on the black folks learning to read

      • James Smith Reply

        September 22, 2013 at 6:31 am

        It could be that WWII was the last that most Americans bothered to learn anything.

        • Anonymous Reply

          September 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm

          I’d say it’s also because WWII was pretty much our big glorious moment. Never again have we stormed into a region with a clear consensus of what is wrong and what is right, to take down a clearly evil motherfucker.

          Since then we’ve never had both a clear path AND incredible success. Basically, it’s national nostalgia.

          • Mystie Reply

            September 24, 2013 at 4:06 am

            Remember, only Americans see it that way. In reality, your role in the war was not really that impressive. Many European countries remember and appreciate your aid rather than your actions, and see the victory of the war as being more due to Russian intervention than American intervention.

            • Glenn Geist Reply

              September 24, 2013 at 10:30 am

              Oh really? What do you think the outcome in the Pacific theater would have been without the US? Europeans are no more intelligent or objective than Americans and I once had an online argument with a French lady who insisted that we swarmed into Normandy and across Europe with hardly a shot fired.

              So much of that attitude is informed by unwillingness to admit their helplessness in the face of Hitler.

              So, sure, the Soviets played a huge part in Europe but without us, Europe may have become part of their empire and I don’t think any of us would like that alternate history.

            • Allan Reply

              September 25, 2013 at 8:05 am

              Just remember, the Russians were only on our side AFTER the Germans betrayed them.

      • Earnest Reply

        September 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

        Because the “Bonfire of the Vanities” is too esoteric for most folks.

      • ImpShial Reply

        September 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm

        Because it’s easier for a group of people to use something that someone else did for an analogy, rather than look at their own shameful past.

    • MSnider Reply

      September 22, 2013 at 4:50 am

      I have news for these parents. Kids are not so stupid anymore. They can find anything they want to on the internet. Parents who try to control what their kids are doing are just making them want to do it behind their backs. I found that it worked better for my kids if I told them I trusted them. They were allowed to have a say in what they wanted to do, like using my car to drive to friends houses, etc. They didn’t want to lose my trust because then they wouldn’t get these privileges. In college, I saw a lot of girls that came from small towns get wild when they got away from their controlling parents.

      Do you want your kids to learn all about sex on the street from other kids or would you like to be the one who introduces them to it and talk about how sacred it is? I can’t believe that parents are so ignorant as to think that their kids aren’t doing everything they are trying to keep them from doing.

      • James Smith Reply

        September 22, 2013 at 7:35 am

        That’s exactly why so many college stupids behave so abysmally stupidly. “Mommy and daddy can’t stop me now!”

  2. Peter Biehn Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Anne Frank was a “real downer?” Tarzan wasn’t married? These religious are destroying America at its core. The Christians are just as bad as the Muslims when it comes to demanding control of all things.

    • tesmith Reply

      September 21, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      religion ruins EVERYTHING

      • MSnider Reply

        September 22, 2013 at 4:51 am

        I so agree tesmith.

      • Kenton Forshee Reply

        September 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        Don’t worry. The internet will destroy all religions. Religion only works when people don’t communicate openly and are kept ignorant.

    • Bruce Bowman Reply

      September 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      > The Christians are just as bad as the Muslims when it comes to demanding control of all things.

      Thats because they are losing the battle for the mind.

    • Anonymous Reply

      September 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      You can’t be serious

  3. Rachael Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Charlotte’s Web and talking animals are disrespectful to God? Are you kidding? What about the talking snake in the bible? Idiotic christian fools.

    • E.A. Blair Reply

      September 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Rachael, the creature that tempted Even in the garden was a serpent, not a snake. Biblically, serpents are intelligent beings who are the tricksters and deceivers which try to lure others into disobeying the deity’s whims. In their characters and characteristics, they have more in common with the Chinese notion of dragons (although Chinese dragons are often benevolent or neutral with regard to humans) and to certain aspects of Medieval western dragons (being endowed with a certain cunning and wisdom).

      In church art through the Middle Ages, the serpent was usually depicted in human form, often as a woman. Note that the serpent who tempted Eve was only condemned to crawl on his belly after the temptation. In John Huston’s 1966 movie, The Bible: In The Beginning, he was depicted as having a human form until this divine pronouncement, and as a snake after. Identification of the serpent as Satan is largely a New Testament and Christian conceit.

      However, the fact that the serpent was transformed into a snake puts to an end the creationist notion that all animals were created in their final and unchanging form. During this episode, God also refers to itself in the plural. Just who is this “us”?

      • Anonymous Reply

        September 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm

        Regarding your last bit there: In ancient times, kings and monarches would often refer to themselves in the plural. I don’t know why, but they did it. So maybe God did it because he was supposed to be the ultimate king over everything.
        It still looks weird, though.

        • Michael John Scott Reply

          September 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm

          It does look weird …..

        • E.A. Blair Reply

          September 23, 2013 at 11:01 pm

          When the deity is referenced by name in the Old Testament, two monikers are used: Elohim and Yahweh. The former term is used in the early parts of Genesis, and gradually gives way to the latter, until it is obscured altogether by a taboo on referring to the divine by name.

          The point of all this is that this is not just a simple matter of using the “royal we”. In the Hebrew language, the ending “-him” is the marker for plural, and “El” is a word for the deity (it is cognate with Arabic “al-lah”). Thus, “Elohim” is a plural, and some biblical scholars believe that it is a vestige of a time when the people who became Israelites were polytheistic, like their neighbors, and the replacement by “Yahweh” represents a transition from polytheism to monotheism. I have my own private little theory as well.

          • Phea1Mike Reply

            September 24, 2013 at 10:42 am

            If there was only “one” god, why was he so worried and insecure that his very first commandment was not to worship any other gods? I mean, if I’m the only man on an island full of women, I really don’t think I’d give a whole lot of thought about them lusting after another man, or worry too much about it, (even if they did)…

          • Glenn Geist Reply

            September 24, 2013 at 10:49 am

            The Documentary Theory, as it’s called, holds that there are several primary sources of the texts and amongst these are the E source and the J source denoting the differences in Hashem the divine name. It’s bolstered by the fact that in Genesis there are two versions of the stories. For instance there is an elohim flood and a Yahweh flood with different duration, different numbers of animals and so on.

            It’s apparent that what we have is a blending of related cults and a syncretion of gods into one god. Judaism and it’s illegitimate offspring, Christianity are hardly unique in this evolutionary process. Reading English translations, the two separate gods aren’t apparent when Yahweh is rendered as “the Lord” and El and the Elohim given as “God.” This deception isn’t by accident.

            As to Elohim being plural, it’s argued that a singular article is used which indicates that Elohim is one, but to me that seems a relic of an earlier “henotheistic” phase of El worship where there were many “heavenly beings” even if there was a single overlord amongst them. To support the notion, Hebrew readers may notice that Elohim, used as a plural noun refers to “angels” in Genesis. Were they once lesser gods? I think so. Is this why “Yahweh demands that we not recognize lesser gods, maybe from the El tradition? I do think so.

            The “imperial we” argument seems hardly valid since that English usage can’t apply to things written long before English existed – I’m just sayin’ – I could be wrong.

      • mhead Reply

        September 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm

        veggie tales is a christian cartoon that spreads christian messages. are they next on the chopping block?

        i guess maybe charlotte should have spun a psalms verse.

        • James Smith Reply

          September 23, 2013 at 2:35 pm

          Talking Vegetables? That sounds more satanic than talking animals.

    • Niko Reply

      September 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Rachael, in the book of Deuteronomy there is a story of a man named Balaam and his donkey that is granted the gift to speak. Long story short, Balaam doesn’t do as God commands him, and Balaam decides to go do his own thing. God puts an angel in the path of Balaam and the donkey he is riding on. The donkey sees the angel and tries to avoid him. As a result Balaam beats the donkey. This happens a couple times and then God gives the donkey the ability to speak. The donkey tells Balaam why it was trying to turn around, (The angel in the way with a sword in hand). The story is around chapters 20-23. This is a much better example to use because, (like E.A. pointed out), the “snake” that you speak of worked to tempt both Adam and Eve which many Christians see as a bad thing.

  4. Bill Formby Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I see little hope for this country with fools like this in charge. Texas is a major player in the school textbook business because of their large number of students. Publishers usually bow to what they want because it is such a big order their.

  5. E.A. Blair Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Note that it’s not children who have problems distinguishing between fantasy and reality, but adults.

  6. E.A. Blair Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    In a true instance of irony, as opposed to how it is usually tagged, Tarzana was founded by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was also originally established as a whites-only community (the deeds Burroughs issued when he subdivided his property forbade sale to “non-caucasians”).

    • tesmith Reply

      September 21, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      DID NOT KNOW THAT , THANKS

    • Phea1Mike Reply

      September 24, 2013 at 10:32 am

      The Tarzan books were actually quite racist, which carried over into the movies as well. Here he is, an abandoned infant, raised by apes, knowing no more than an ape, about the harsh environment and dangers of the jungle. Yet it’s Tarzan, (the noble white man), who becomes Lord and Master of the jungle, and kind saviour, or ruthless victor,(depending on the storyline), of the savage, clueless, natives, who are never given any credit for having a culture, or having figured out, over generations, how to also survive.

      I still enjoyed the stories though, and racism wasn’t as intentionally malicious back then, as it wasn’t so much based on hate, as it was on ignorance.

  7. Marsha Woerner Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    The only one of those that I have not read is Ralph Ellison’s _Invisible Man_, and I’ve only read the first of the Tarzan books. Certainly Harry Potter books are listened to regularly in our household! I think that it’s time for me to get an audio copy of Ellison’s _Invisible Man_ and the Tarzan books! I think that it’s important for my children to experience the books that the Christians think are detrimental! Also, I haven’t read _Twelfth Night_ since the class in high school. I suppose that that’s another one to which we should listen. _Charlotte’s Web_? Seriously? Not only is that a classic, but that’s a standard for kids! Why do we let lunatics run our decisions? Don’t you have anything more important to worry about? Never mind. I don’t think ANYTHING that they find to worry about is “important”, much less correct…

  8. James Smith Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    As always, christians think it’s OK to impose their sick beliefs upon everyone else. Nothing matches the arrogance and evil attitude of the religious reich.

  9. Alan Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    “But a parents group in Kansas decided that any book featuring two talking animals must be the work of the devil …”
    Hmmmm, I seem to recall a book that has both a talking snake AND a talking donkey. What book could that be? Can anyone help me out here?
    As for the sexual language in Anne Frank’s diary, how about this one from another book: “She lusted after lovers with genitals as large as donkeys and emissions like those of a horse.”

  10. Michael John Scott Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Alan writes:

    ‘…how about this one from another book: “She lusted after lovers with genitals as large as donkeys and emissions like those of a horse.”

    The buybull?

    • MSnider Reply

      September 22, 2013 at 5:02 am

      Love the spelling Michael. Instead of attracting the religions christian right, this site has attracted atheists, of which I am one. It is issues like these that has driven me away from people who think that the USA was based on christianity. They just must read the constitution and realize also that these is a division between church and state. If you want your children to learn everything from the bible, you should enrol them in a christian school. You don’t need to impose your beliefs on perfectly innocent children.

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        September 22, 2013 at 8:55 am

        I couldn’t agree more M. If they want to parlay their crazy BS let them do it in their own forums, not public ones.

  11. Michael John Scott Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    This comment left on Facebook from Linda D. It is reproduced here with her permission:

    “I work with Nazi’s. They think like this, talk about how the world needs to change, how this group is like this or that, what should happen to this group of people, the hate, racism, sexism, homophobic rants drone on and on, day after day…..I just sit and listen and occasionally I say something to make them spin a bit faster, get a bit angrier and I wonder when their heads will explode. Yes, I work with Nazi’s who have tunnel vision. They all own guns (and don’t anyone try to take them away….smh), hate gay people, hate anyone who isn’t a WASP, think women are only good for ONE thing (but they’d never say that to their wives)…..the amount of pure stupidity just blows my mind. Jesus would truly be ashamed if he were to hear what these blowhards say and know what they really think….oh but wait….they wouldn’t like Jesus either…..he was a Jew, dark skinned, hippie type. Whoops. Yep, Nazi’s. :0)”

  12. Oy Vey Reply

    September 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Ironically, re: the Tarzan books. Edgar Rice Burroughs FOUNDED the city of Tarzana, and it was named AFTER TARZAN! (It was originally his ranch.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarzana,_Los_Angeles

    That would be like Washington, D.C. saying they don’t want to use quarters or dollar bills.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      September 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      LOL! Very true.

    • E.A. Blair Reply

      September 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

      They don’t use dollars and quarters in D.C. Nothing less than a Franklin will do (lots of them) and they’re really prefer Grover Cleveland made a comeback.

  13. Glenn Geist Reply

    September 22, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I have many misgivings about how textbooks and source materials are chosen in America in general, not just this wholesale assault on math and science and biology and history. We constantly try to remove any intellectual and even vocabulary challenges from curricula so that no self esteem will be damaged in this education.

    I was recently told by a high school teacher that Moby Dick had no place in high school because the “elevated language’ was just too hard for the students. In 4th grade it was my favorite book and I’m guessing other kids might agree.

    Religion is a major player in dumbing down America (deluding, misleading and hate-mongering too) but they get a lot of help from their friends.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      September 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Moby Dick, Robinson Crusoe, A Christmas Carol, Invisible Man, Tarzan and many, many more all read before I was in the 8th grade. I wonder what percentage of today’s children can make that claim.

  14. Glenn Geist Reply

    September 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I was an early reader, but probably because my mother didn’t take the school’s advice and wait until first grade teachers could take the pleasure out of it.

    Reading over your head is a hell of a lot better way to learn vocabulary than taking tests and memorizing.

    But it’s disgusting that this crap still goes on, even if the best way to become a best seller is to have the puritans ban it. If I had my way I’d be tempted just to ban Texas and put up a wall.

    • MSnider Reply

      September 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Glenn Geist What you said about Texas is priceless. When Perry threatened succession before he put his hat in the presidential ring, I was silently hoping that would happen. Building the wall around it would be the Pièce de résistance! Much better than building the wall on the southern border IMHO.

    • MSnider Reply

      September 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Glenn Geist I forgot to mention in my last response to you that I learned to read when I was in kindergarten. In those days, when kids got communicable diseases like measles, smallpox, etc., the house was put under quarantine. My father could go to work but, none of us could leave the house. So, my mother had my brothers papers delivered to her and she “home schooled” him. I was hanging around so I learned to read as well. She also taught my brother his arithmetic tables and I learned them too. When I finally got to 1st grade, I was bored so the teacher just gave me more work to do or had me doing “flash card” with the slow learners – boy that makes a person popular! My brother was an avid reader and read all of the books banned above by the time he was in 6th grade. If he had questions, he would ask my mother. We were never censored about what movies we could watch. Of course, there was no MPAA ratings then either.

      • E.A. Blair Reply

        September 23, 2013 at 11:12 pm

        My favorite aunt was a third grade teacher, and one of my earliest memories was sitting on her lap while she did the newspaper’s crossword puzzle. She patiently named each letter as she wrote it in, and told me what it was. Soon, I was repeating after her. Then she started pointing at letters in the headlines and asking me to name them, and then she did the same with the comic strips. By the time I was three and a half, I was able to read headlines and comic strips on my own, and I demonstrated this by reading things from an evening paper that my father had just brought home (and, therefore, could not have been coached on what it said). I can put an exact date to this, because the lead story was JFK receiving the 1960 Democratic nomination.

        I was the only child in my kindergarten class who could read. When I asked the teacher for some books, she offered picture books. When I told her I wanted to read, she was like my parents – had trouble believing I could actually do it. I convinced her by reading from a book on her desk.

        I often wonder if, had I become a father, I would have had the patience to do with mine as my aunt did with me.

    • Phea1Mike Reply

      September 24, 2013 at 10:51 am

      Ya think maybe if we sincerely apologised, and maybe offered them a buttload of money, we could somehow convince Mexico to take Texas back?

      • James Smith Reply

        September 24, 2013 at 11:10 am

        I thought they already did. I recall the president of Mexico saying, “Mexico doesn’t stop at the border, where there are Mexicans, there is Mexico.” That would seem to take care of most of the southwestern USA.

  15. Glenn Geist Reply

    September 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    And by the way, I think I read all the Tarzan books and as I recall, Burroughs esteemed “the blacks” as being only marginally better than the apes and perhaps not always that.

    But they want to ban it because he wasn’t married???

    Seriously, can’t we put these people on a reservation and build a wall around it?

    • MSnider Reply

      September 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Glenn Geist I think the religious right/teabaggers want this nation to be ignorant. They want to defund education and fire teachers making class sizes too big to be successful. They want to make it harder for students to get a college education that won’t cost them 20 years to pay back. It is all about NOT making people intelligent and able to make their own decisions. Just watch fox news and use their talking points and biases and it’s all good.

      • Glenn Geist Reply

        September 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm

        Of course they do. They get their best recruits from the ignorant, from the jails and from people without hope. In countries with higher standards of education, this kind of stuff doesn’t happen.

      • James Smith Reply

        September 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm

        Of course they want people t be ignorant. The uneducated are much easier to control and deceive than the educated.

        Facts and verifiable evidence are always fatal to any religion and most politics. Keeping people ignorant places them further from discovering either.

        • Anonymous Reply

          September 23, 2013 at 4:11 am

          James Smith

          You said: “Facts and verifiable evidence are always fatal to any religion and most politics. Keeping people ignorant places them further from discovering either.”

          That begs the question of how muslims keep following their religion. Are they kept ignorant too? Because there are a lot of things about religion that are full of hatred like the excuse of the bible thumpers to hate homosexuals – because it says “thus and so” in the bible. I just don’t buy that of an ordinary person let alone an educated one. The same goes for racism. It has flared up to a time before the civil rights amendment. People are saying the worst things about our president. But, they just can’t deny that he was the best pick in 2012! They came up with a car full of clowns and it looks like it will be pretty similar in 2016.

          • Glenn Geist Reply

            September 23, 2013 at 8:45 am

            I think Islam is even more variable than Christianity, but since I’ve begun reading about it, I’ve discovered that the Islam of today has been generated as it went along by misogynists and other nasties who have inserted all kinds of authoritarian nonsense into it and starting with the death of Muhammad.

            The original Islamic community was far more egalitarian than any other of the time and place and there was far more integration of women into the community than the arab world had seen before or has seen since. He did away with the segregation of women. He had female advisors and generals and females had a strong part in formulating early Islam.

            I don’t think there are many old religions that resemble their original form and with many the original form is no longer discernible from our viewpoint

  16. Norman Rampart Reply

    September 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    ‘Religion’ doesn’t ruin anything. We, humanity, ruin everything. Religion is merely a manifestation of a trait of humanity, no more no less.

    Humanity ruins.

  17. tesmith Reply

    September 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    rampart, you are right, religion is asymptom. i was using a short hand; perhaps i wont in the future, depending on the audiance

  18. Tony Podesta Reply

    September 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    The banning of Twelfth Night makes a gross assumption that children taught in modern public schools have the mental capacity to understand Shakespeare’s prose.

  19. Cliff Curlee Reply

    September 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    It is a shame that he opened with “the christians.” Painting all who believe in God with the same brush. It is intellectual laziness. I am sure to be lambasted and burned in effigy if I start out an article with “the progressives.” That being said, his opinions may be perfectly valid, but his the laziness and prejudice of the first two words kept me from reading all but the first sentence. Pity.

    • James Smith Reply

      September 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      It’s proper to paint the religious with the same brush. Are there any who do not accept their beliefs when there is no supporting evidence and even much evidence against it? Please explain how that is rational and why rational people would do it. Intellectual laziness is accepting as true those things with no verifiable proofs.

      All religious people must discard facts, logical thinking, and any semblance of proof to maintain their faith. Thinking for oneself is also discourage because any of those things would be fatal to any religious beliefs.

      Please remember, “Beliefs, no matter how sincerely held, do not alter facts.”

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      September 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Your loss dude. You missed the rest of the story.

  20. Charles Reply

    September 23, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    I say that they ban the Bible for its incest, frank sexuality and wanton violence.

    • James Smith Reply

      September 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      How about for a few things like cannibalism, random murder, and slavery?

      2 KINGS 6:29 says: “So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.”

      Deuteronomy 28:53 says: “Then because of the dire straits to which you will be reduced when your enemy besieges you, you will eat your own children, the flesh of your sons and daughters whom the Lord has given you.”

      Leviticus 20:9 says: “Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. Such a person is guilty of a capital offense.”

      Deuteronomy 13:12-15, if you find that the people in the city you’re visiting worship another god, you have to kill them all.

      Leviticus 25:44 says: “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.”

      • Glenn Geist Reply

        September 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        To be fair, the first citation angrily opposes that cannibalism and the second uses it as a curse, but yes, using that pastiche of ancient political polemics as a moral guide?

        You might find better advice on the Bus Station mens room wall.

        • James Smith Reply

          September 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm

          How does the first citation “angrily oppose cannibalism” and the second, use it as a curse? They seem to be simple statements of approval of the act.

          I agree, better advice in in graffiti. “The words of the prophets are written on the tenement halls.”

          • Glenn Geist Reply

            September 25, 2013 at 9:47 am

            DId you read the whole passage? I believe in the first the King of Israel hears the story of cannibalism and is sorely aggrieved offering himself so that that the next child will not be eaten, if I’m not mistaken.

            The second is part of a description of what the cursor wishes on the cursed nation, much like psalm 137 wishes on Babylonians for having conquered Israel. “you’ll be so hungry under siege that you’ll eat your children.” Maybe that’s tacit approval, but not a recommendation.

            I don’t read them as approval, but we know there’s wholesale approval of all sorts of things we now consider barbaric. Those books were written in barbaric times after all.

            • James Smith Reply

              September 25, 2013 at 9:56 am

              I read what was posted here. In that, it plainly says, ” Give thy son, that we may eat him:” I don’t see much room for interpretation there.

              The second part specifically says, “You will eat your own children.” Not much room for doubt there, to me.

              I agree it isn’t a recommendation or demand, but a prediction.

              Perhaps when they were starving, they could choose to interpret it as at least permission. That’s pretty much what most do with the bible anyway, interpret it to mean what’s convenient for them.

              • Glenn Geist Reply

                September 25, 2013 at 10:05 am

                “interpret it to mean what’s convenient for them.”

                That’s the game. And of course it gets translated with that idea in mind in the first place. That’s why I giggle at the “word by word” perfection of the Bible.

                • James Smith Reply

                  September 25, 2013 at 10:10 am

                  Let’s not forget “politically edited.” That’s how certain writings were discarded and passages altered to please whomever was paying for the “official” version.

  21. notorious_bob Reply

    September 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    The next time I think about how backwards the muslims in northern Pakistan are, I must remind myself how brainless the smartest people (those making command decisions on school boards) are in Alabama and Kansas. I think I’ll pull a “planet of the apes” and go to Kansas and wave my cell phone around to see if they burn me for witchcraft. Retarded backwoods creationists disturb me no matter what country they are in.

  22. Phea1Mike Reply

    September 24, 2013 at 9:58 am

    It’s interesting how so many Christian fundamentalists seem to be on the defensive these days. They seem to be running scared. For years their absurd dogma, skewed morals, and ridiculous teachings were kept alive and flourishing. The flock was controlled and kept ignorant and this was maintained in a way only isolation from truth can accomplish.

    The 21st Century, through communication technology and scientific advancement has now made that impossible. There is something universal and historic about lies… they always wither and die when exposed to the light of truth. Go ahead and let them ban whatever literature they want, as they desperately, frantically struggle to maintain their power and control. It just gives people another reason to doubt the Iron Age myths these superstitious fanatics peddle, and nicely showcases their narrow mindedness and lack of critical thinking skills.

    • MSnider Reply

      September 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      I would love to know how many modern “evolutionary” inventions are accepted by these so-called religious people. Do they use cars, dish washers, washing machines, or do they walk everywhere, and wash their dishes by hand. What about that liquid soap? Or do they wash their dishes with some other type of cleanser that was invented when the bible was written? Do they wash all of their clothes in the river because isn’t running water inside a house a modern invention? Libraries, government funded schools, the fact that humans evolved from apes, that dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago, etc. How do they live their lives without admitting to scientific evidence of evolution?

      • Glenn Geist Reply

        September 25, 2013 at 10:07 am

        I don’t think soap was invented until relatively modern times. Hence the constant references to fragrant oils and anointing and all that.

        My guess is that the prophets stank all to hell.

  23. Glenn Geist Reply

    September 24, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I think the flight into fundamentalism has a lot to do with fear in the first place – the fear of being engulfed by a foreign culture, by secularism by scientific discovery. Reality means a loss of power, loss of identification with a group, a tribe, a Church and for some, that’s all they have. That’s why proselytizers look for the miserable and afraid for new recruits.

    The harder it gets to hold on to faith, the firmer must be the rejection of objectivity and I think most psychologists would agree that the fear of loss outweighs the expectation of gain in many,m if not all of us.

    Many would prefer to hang on to false comfort, or even false fear than risk it all to learn the truth. Better the devil you think you know than the scary thought that we are all alone and have no special place in the Universe.

    The ACLU of Florida is holding events here starting today for Banned Books Week. Local libraries are having readings of Brave New World, Catch-22, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and the Great Gatsby, among others. Maybe your state has something similar, and it’s a great thing to promote.

    • Phea1Mike Reply

      September 24, 2013 at 11:10 am

      But we DO have a special place in the Universe. We are, (as far as we now know), the only creation, the only evolved part of the Universe, (at least around these parts), that can gaze up at the night sky and actually recognize it’s existence, marvel at it’s vastness, mystery, beauty, and complexity. We are now even beginning to unravel it’s secrets and understand it. No special place? I feel we are very special, and that feeling, which I really can’t put into words properly, gives my life more meaning, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally… on every level, than any religion ever could. But, that’s just me…

      • E.A. Blair Reply

        September 24, 2013 at 11:31 am

        I, however, find more comfort in the possibility that we may not be alone in the universe than goddies do in the certainty that they are alone and unique.

      • Glenn Geist Reply

        September 25, 2013 at 10:13 am

        the progress over the centuries is to move not only Jerusalem, our planet our sun and us further and further from the center of anything. The universe actually has no center and not only don’t we have any evidence to support our uniqueness, our relative size alone makes the idea that its existence has anything to do with us ridiculous.

        I believe the astronomer Tycho Brahe expressed that idea quite some time ago. Every scientific advance has served to remove man from t4he pedestal religion has put him on. Our vaunted awareness itself is only a byproduct of a self perpetuating chemical reaction. We are special only to ourselves and our own egos precisely because of a biological imperative with no purpose any more than matter has a purpose.

  24. ColoradoMom Reply

    September 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I question the source of your article. My son has attended Christian schools his entire life. In second grade, Charlotte’s web was handed out as reading material for the entire class! In seventh grade Anne Frank was on the suggested reading list. As for creationism and evolution, both are discussed in the eight grade science textbook. Yes, there is more of a lean towards creationism, but it is not completely ignored. A compare/contract essay was required after studying the beginning of the universe.

    We live in the United States and are allowed the freedom to choose our religion or lack there of. I also don’t see a problem teaching both creationism and evolution in schools and letting the individuals decide for themselves. I personally attended public schools and a very liberal college. After seeing both sides and taking and abundance of science classes (I work in healthcare), creationism makes more logical sense to me. This is just my onion as we are all entitled to one. To believe that everything happened from a big bang and then evolved into the complicated systems that exist today does not make sense to me. I truly believe that there had to be some intelligent involvement in the creation of what we live among today. I don’t believe that random mutations and natural selection could not have brought us to where we are today with all the organisms that exist in the world as we know it.

    -JMO

    • James Smith Reply

      September 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      If you don’t see a problem with teaching creationism, there is no hope for you, intellectually, or ethically.

      If creationism makes sense to you logically that only reinforces my previous statement.

      Yes, you are free to choose your own religion. You are not free to choose your own facts. Nor are you free to impose those fake facts and beliefs upon others.

      Keep in mind that beliefs, no matter how sincerely held, do not alter facts.

      • ColoradoMom Reply

        September 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm

        Wow James! Your first statement goes to show how making Christians feel stupid is your only avenue.

        Explain to me in some depth, instead of pure criticism, why teaching both and allowing someone to decide is such a problem. Who chooses the facts to decide? You?

        • James Smith Reply

          September 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm

          Stupid is believing in something with no supporting evidence and even much evidence against it. If that shoe fits you, please don’t complain to me. It is your choice, not mine.

          Individuals decide what is fact and what is not, based upon supporting evidence. As a religious person, you have to have discarded facts and rational thinking to “Keep your faith.”

          Teaching both is a problem because there is not a single bit of verifiable evidence to support evolution. There are thousands of pieces of evidence of evolution in museums, laboratories, and universities around the world.

          What you choose to regard as criticism, is only statements of observed facts. Oops, awkward momemt for you. There are those ugly facts again that are always fatal to religion.

          • James Smith Reply

            September 25, 2013 at 9:44 am

            Oops, I typed “evolution” where I meant “creationism” in the third paragraph. That’s the problem with computers. There’s even a poem about it.

            I hate this machine,
            I wish they would sell it.
            It ever does what I want,
            Only what I tell it.

            Word processors are like that, too. The spell checker doesn’t care what I meant to say, only if I spelled it correctly. Stupid machine!

        • Glenn Geist Reply

          September 25, 2013 at 9:36 am

          Your error is shown by the sentence containing
          “teaching both” as though there were only two equal choices. Since you’re offering an unsupported (except by myth) conjecture, why not offer the nearly infinite other conjectures supported only by legend or myth?

          The answer of course is that you prefer the Genesis version and would like to slip it into the lineup.

          The unique feature of scientific theory is that it can be dismissed by contrary evidence. The feature of your Biblical offering is that it cannot and so suggesting that one should choose between two choices is a rigged contest and your interest is only to misrepresent an idea that has only mystical and legendary support and will admit of no error.

          If you will assure anyone that all choices between all ideas are equally likely to be true, you are not an honest person, but worse you are the end of education since if anything could be true, why have schools at all?

          You cannot dismiss scientific theory without evidence. Propositions lacking any evidence on the other hand can be dismissed with or without evidence. No one is so stupid as not to see this. People are, on the other hand willfully and piously dishonest, aren’t they. A fool for God is none the less a fool and fools aren’t good teachers.

          There are more than enough churches and religious schools of all types and denominations and there is consequently no need for using the schools I support to teach the mythology you support.

          Have a nice day.

          • James Smith Reply

            September 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

            There you go again, Glenn. Using facts and logic to rely to myths, lies, and wishful thinking. Now really, is that fair?

            I suspect we may never hear from ColoradoMom again. Like most of the religious reich, she seems to be a “drive by” poster. They pop in and take a couple of lame shots. When they are confronted by facts and rational replies, they disappear. No doubt to return to their peers and declare “Victory, in the name of (some imaginary deity)” “I showed those filthy atheists that they are all going to hell!”

            Good work, Glenn.

            • Glenn Geist Reply

              September 25, 2013 at 10:18 am

              I tend to leave religious people alone – or at least I try, because it’s really hopeless, unless they come after me or try to take over the government which after all is what most religion is about – power.

              Getting at the young and impressionable is one of the dirtiest tricks they have and if I had a goat, they would have gotten it a long time ago.

              As the prophet Pink Floyd hath said: “Hey teacher – leave those kids alone!”

    • E.A. Blair Reply

      September 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      I see. Just because your school didn’t ban Charlotte’s web means that no school has ever banned it? Is it getting solipsistic in here or is it just me? You may not want to believe in a big bang, but you still have the knotty philosophical problem of where your deity came from as well. Science, at least, knows when to say, “I don’t know…”, but it also keeps saying, “…but I’m never going to stop trying to find out.” It seems to me that once something becomes a matter of faith alone, all inquiry stops at that point and thinking stagnates. I’m all for teaching creationism in schools, as long as those are private schools that don’t even pretend to not have a religious bias. But in the public schools? Definitely not. As for letting individuals decide for themselves, children are not able to make that determination on many different levels. Maybe it’s too bad that we even allow religious indoctrination of unformed minds the way some denominations only baptize adults.

      The kind of thinking Colorado Mom is espousing here is known as God of the gaps, and if you’ve ever been to the WEIT web site you’d find that the topic surfaces there with almost monotonous regularity. In fact, there’s a posting on creationism there right now.

      I went to a Catholic school, and the banning of books was never an issue because any books that were potentially offensive never appeared in the first place. Some that did make it onto the shelves were openly censored with magic marker or by having pages removed (access to a public library clued me in to what was happening). I was also told that if I even considered that evolution was valid I was going to hell. Anything that the school considered unorthodox simply wasn’t taught or, if a student raised the question, was met with the same response – a one-way ticket to hell.

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