Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A complicated issue...

I was looking online to see what time our library closed. I found the hours, and then noticed a link to a list of the 100 most banned books. I should note that our library called them banned books, the site I link to says 'challenged books'.

I think what they mean by challenged books are books that people try, and maybe sometimes succeed, to get out of the public school. I personally think the more information the better, so I don't much care for the banning, or challenging, of books.

However, I was struck with a very curious thought as I looked over the list. The only books I know that are regularly banned from the classroom are books like the Bible, The Koran, and other religious texts. These books are banned, but were not on the list.

Now I understand the whole 'separation of church and state', but it brings up a complicated issue. We don't want teachers using the bible to educate children because religion is a very personal thing. And sometimes people go overboard. The bible teaches Christian morals and values. It also teaches things that cannot be verified by science. People feel uncomfortable when teachers, who hold a position of authority, teach ideas out of these texts. Religion, so they say, is best left up to parents.

But there are great stories, ideas, morals, and values in these religious texts. I'm sorry, I don't care what religion you are, David and Goliath is a fantastic story. The little guy standing up to the big guy. He succeeds by thinking outside the box.

I can't tell you any good stories or values from the Koran. That book was banned in my school.

I'm not saying I think we should bring religious text into public schools. But I also don't know if I agree with the banning of religious text. I think it's a complicated issue, and I don't quite know what the answer is. What I do know, is that these kind of religious texts should be on the list of banned, or challenged, books. Because if ever there was a 'banned book', those fit the definition.

1 comment:

Cynthia Blue said...

Hmm that is interesting. I would think, also, that those religious texts were things we can learn from, whether we believe in them or not. I don't like book banning either.