(Reading yet another news story about librarians across the country facing intimidation, harassment, threats and firings, just for having “objectionable” books on their shelves, I thought it’s important to make this argument even more clear. Maybe some librarians, and parents, and reasonable religious folks, could present this argument at a school board meeting)
If ANY book should be banned–or on a restricted reading list–in public school libraries, there is one book that should be at the TOP of any list. This one book contains graphic descriptions of the following:
Child abuse including incest, torture, murder and mass murder
Magic and Witchcraft
Torture and execution
Encourages cult-like beliefs
Condemns religious liberty and favors one religion
Does NOT explicitly condemn polygamy, abortion, loving homosexual relationships, slavery, war
Encourages martyrdom for one’s beliefs (even hating one’s family for the cause of faith)
Contains scientific errors
Commands male dominance/female submission
Discourages critical thinking
Suggests a Library of One Book
Millions of adults “groom” children not only to read this book, but to believe it and follow it as a “moral guide.”
Though a reader can find many good, ethical stories and instructions in this book, it should remain high on any Banned Book List.
Note: I do not advocate the banning of books (though I would appreciate someone banning one of my books to increase sales!). Seriously, if a parent does not want their child to read any book they should not allow their child to read it. Other parents are free to allow their child to read any book.
In support of librarians, and freedom of speech, I am a proud member of:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
A big hurrah about this posting unfortunately your readers are in our secular choir. This is a very logical argument to the point I have wanted to see a study about how conservative Christians explain these passages to their kids. I think is avoided by most or “just pass that by”. I know in my childhood, my parents never read or talked about the most horrendous scriptures and those usually in the NT like patriarchy and the death of Ananias and Sephira were explained as what “the early church believed”. So I thought, so does our interpretation of the Bible change with time as we become more educated and modern? Is Biblical wisdom a changing thing with time? What comes to mind when pursuing this question with my youth pastor, (hard to remember exactly what he said) but something like “the Holy Spirit will guide you”. Oh the Bible needs the HS to help me understand it. But I thought the scripture was without error and clearly to be understood the same by all. Oops got that wrong, and the first crack in the Christians have the truth narrative dam (damn it) appeared.
Chris, what were you told as a child about these very cruel and immoral stories like Lot having sex with his daughters after getting drunk? And he was the nephew of Abraham the Father of all of the great monotheism. Of course he sinned, but did he get to heaven anyway as a repentant Jew? So if that is true, one can do most anything forbidden like incest and still make the K of G or if he wasn’t forgiven then he is in hell and he is in the family of ABRAHAM. Either way, Lot is a loser on earth or for eternity. These plus a thousand other questions as an inquiring youth, were never adequately answered in my religious journey even in seminary. so the only path for me was Deconversion at 25 and at the age of 60+ becoming a Humanist then joining the FFRF as it made more sense.
I agree that all these Bibel Dribble are is also in the same book as some incredible stories of sacred actions and kindness. I think the parable of the Good Samaritan when you really study it (even though there are earlier versions in Mesopotamian wisdom literature and even stories by Buddha) is maybe the greatest story of kindness to strangers who you are supposed to help but the goodie two-shoes failed to do in all of the holy books. I wish it was the standard for our behavior today and we would never have wars, poverty and illness due to neglect. That… plus the take the log out before look for the fleck of sawdust (also in Buddha’s advice) in the other are the top of the line for me. One needs selective attention when swallowing and confirmation bias up the ying yang to digest the good book.
Shall we just do a new form of Jefferson’s bible and take out all of the horrible shit and focus on the stories of valor and morality that is all through this book that ought to be banned unless the librarians can accept our new addition. What should we call it Chris, Ancient Humanist Wisdom or maybe the “The Book beyond the Nook”, or Samaritan and Sawdust Sayings. You have titled many tomes so I will leave it to you.
Cheers and keep it up Chris,
A hearty huzzah to you too, Marty. Good points, questions, suggestions. I guess we–primarily the secular folks– are the ones to challenge the nonsense by shining a light on the dark stuff and presenting something much brighter. If more people simply read the “good book” for themselves, deaf to the preachers, we might have more asking these most difficult questions. . .and/or walking away. I agree, we can find good in the Book, and I appreciate what Jefferson was doing and why, but in our time I think we keep writing our own rather than passing along “god’s words.” Thanks, and be well there up North.