Reasons for banning are as varied as the beliefs of the people who find the material offensive.
Complaints include: sexual content, violence, obscenity, profanity, homosexuality, occult, drug use, sexism, racism, unsuitable for age group, and "general inappropriateness". Whatever that might mean!
And this is only a partial list. The bottom line here is that some person (or persons) want to keep the rest of us from thinking for ourselves and making our own decisions about what we read.
As I hear complaint after complaint from those who try to keep books they don't approve of away from everyone else, it's clear that what they are doing is attempting to restrict the rights of others. Rights that I'm quite sure they would not want taken from them.
I wonder if they ever think of it in that way? Or do they perhaps believe they are entitled to choose for all people?!
I've noticed that numerous books by amazing African American authors are often challenged. Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and James Baldwin come to mind.
After reading several of their books, it occurred to me that maybe the real reasons for banning here - and what some would like to repress - is these authors writing about how things really were.
Sugarcoating our history serves no good purpose. Our young people will not be harmed by knowing the truth. In fact, they deserve to know the truth. It may not be pretty, but it is what it is. To be in denial helps no one.
Another disturbing thing that happens all too often is that many people want to see library shelves - especially in schools - stocked with only reading material that conforms to their particular religious beliefs.
Never mind people of other faiths, or those with no religious affiliation at all. These would-be 'banners' don't seem to take others' rights into consideration.
Sexual content is a reason frequently cited for wanting to ban a book. Even educational materials of a sexual nature are severely criticized.
Again, pretending that middle and high school students know nothing about sex is being in denial. And it's dangerous. It promotes ignorance. Much better to see that kids get correct information. "Out of sight, out of mind" does not work here!
I wonder if any of these same people would agree to banning the Bible until college?? I think not!
But, after all, the same reasons for banning apply here that are used to challenge other books. Sexual content, promoting premarital sex, and violence against women are a few. (Genesis 19: 1-9).
How about witchcraft? Noah put a curse on his son, Ham, and all generations after him, declaring they would all be slaves.
Other complaints could be child abuse, incest, drunkenness, slavery, murder and magic.
And let's don't forget cannibalism! If you missed this story, you can find it in 2 Kings, chapter 6, verses 24-30
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