Friday, September 28, 2007

Banned Books Week day 4!

What are two things we aren’t supposed to talk about in public? Religion and politics - so I’ll kill two birds with one stone and give you a few examples from “Banned Books” by Robert P. Doyle in these two categories J

Bailey, Thomas A., and David M. Kennedy. The American Pageant: A History of the Republic. Heath. The John Birch Society’s chapter in Glen Burnie, Md., condemned the textbook and demanded it be banned in the Anne Arundel County, Md., public schools (1966). Removed (1981) from the Mississippi state-approved textbook list. Returned to the Racine, Wis. Unified School District (1984) curriculum just one week after the school board voted to ban it. Opponents of the books on the board charged that the social studies volumes contained “judgmental writing” and, in the words of the board member, “a lot more funny pictures of Republican’s and nicer pictures of Democrats.” Opponents also said that one text did not present an adequate analysis of the Vietnam War.

Clinton, Cathryn. A Stone in My Hand. Candlewick Pr. Challenged, but retained in the Marion County Public Library System in Ocala, Fla. (2003) despite a complaint that the subject matter wastoo mature and the book “was written on-sidedly, specifically showing one party to be fully wrong.” Reviewers noted that the book is told from a Muslim perspective and that it can be taken to be anti-Israel. An Ocala resident noted that, “this book will help further hatred of Jews, anti-Semitism, and hated of Israel, on the part of children, that target audience.”

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. Metropolitan Bks. Criticized as the book chosen for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. summer reading program (2003) by Republican state lawmakers, citing a “pattern” of the university being anti-Christian. In 2002, three freshmen sued the university over its choice of Approaching the Qur’an: The Early Revelations, by Michael A. Sells. The Family Policy Network, a Christian group based in Virginia, filed a federal lawsuit on the students’ behalf. Court later rejected the argument that the reading requirement violated the U.S. Constitution.

Feelings, Muriel. Jambo Means Hello: The Swahili Alphabet. Dial; Puffin. Challenged by a school board member in the Queens, N.Y. school libraries (1994) because it “denigrate[s] white American culture, ‘promotes racial separation, and discourages assimilation.’” The rest of the school board voted to retain the book.

Hewitt, Kathryn. Two by Two: The Untold Story. Harcourt. Challenged at the Hubbard, Ohio Public Library (1991) because the book alters the story of Noah’s Ark, making it secular and confusing to children.

Hoobler, Dorothy, and Thomas Hoobler. Nelson and Winnie Mandela. Watts. Challenged at the Hillsboro, Oreg. Public Library (1988) by a patron who charged that the Mandelas and the African National Congress are Communist-backed and advocate violence. After being reviewed, the book was retained in the library’s collection.

Kellerman, Faye. Milk and Honey. Morrow. Challenged at the Rogers-Hough, Ark. Memorial Library (1991) because of “sacrilegious language.”

Lionni, Leo. In the Rabbit’s Garden. Pantheon. Challenged at the Naas Elementary School library in Boring, Oreg. (1986) because the story about two rabbits living in a lush garden paradise made a mockery of the Bible’s tale of Adam and Eve. Unlike the Story of Adam and Eve, Lionni rewards his bunnies for eating the forbidden fruit by allowing them to live happily ever after.

Stewart, Jon, Ben Karlin, and David Javerbaum. America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction. Warner. Returned to circulation at the Jackson-George Regional Library System in Pascagoula, Miss. (2004). The library board banned the best-selling satirical book because the book contained an image of the Supreme Court judges’ faces superimposed on naked bodies. The book was named a Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, the industry trade magazine.

Suzuki, D.T. Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings. Doubleday. Challenged at the Plymouth Canton school system in Canton, Mich. (1987) because “this book details the teachings of the religion of Buddhism in such a way that the reader could very likely embrace its teachings and choose this as his religion.”

I think what struck me about all these challenges is in how self-serving they sound. These are two very important subjects, both have been the reason behind many a war, and someone wants to pull a book off the shelf because the judges of the Supreme Court are depicted nude. Since when is the human body so vile?

And on that note, I’ll be back tomorrow with more - sex and women I think.

1 comment:

catslady said...

Religion and Politics - my mom comes from the generation that agrees you don't talk about it. I do the total opposite. How is anyone suppose to solve things or ponder different views if they aren't talked (or read) about for goodness sake.