Monday, January 31, 2022

Speaking of banning books. let's have a conversation about the Bible . . .

In light of all of the book banning going on around the country, we should call out the irony when it comes to the 'religious persuasion' - conservative evangelicals - of the groups and individuals behind much of this madness.  This is solely because of the book they claim to be their guide for life, i.e. The Bible. 

Far be it from me to seem petty, but for a group of people so concerned with children being warped from what they read, the book they endorse has a lot of violence and sex in it. 

For example:

We all know the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho, but folks seem to forget that after those walls came crashing down, Joshua's army massacred everybody in the city except for a prostitute called Rahab and her family. 

We all know the story of Daniel in the lion's den, but folks seem to omit that after he was delivered, those responsible for his plight - and their families - were then fed to the lions. 

And the story about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has been drilled into our heads as proof that homosexuality is a supposed sin. But what about the story afterwards of the incest between Lot and his daughters. Or the Levite man in the book of Judges when faced with the situation of nearly being gang raped - see Sodom and Gomorrah - handed over his concubine to be manhandled to death, which she was.

Then there is the story of the general, Sisera, who had a tent peg nailed through his head while he slept.

The king Agag, who was chopped into pieces by the prophet Samuel,

The queen Jezebel who thrown out of a window and then whose corpse was eaten by dogs after a chariot was driven over her (She was NOT a nice person), 

Elisha the prophet who had bears come out of the forest and attack boys who was making fun of him,

The king Eglon who has assassinated by having a knife so deeply driven into his belly that feces came out

Then there was  Athaliah, a queen so wicked that she had her grandchildren massacred so she could gain the throne. (She was the daughter of Jezebel. That was not a nice family)

And let's not forget massacre after massacre after massacre all done in God's name, including the wedding dowry of 200 foreskins (which of course was NOT handed over voluntarily).

I hope you see where I'm going with this. There are people out there wanting to ban books because of profanity, sex,  discussions of racism and anti-Semitism, or the existence of LGBTQ people for fear that these things are harmful to their children. And yet these are the same people taking guidance  - including the raising of same children  - from a book containing more violence and sex than a Quentin Tarantino movie.

The point is not to disrespect the Bible or the religious beliefs of those who have a deep personal faith in the Bible. But to put it plainly, book banning is not about parental control nor protecting children. It's about protecting an inflated and undeserved sense of self-entitlement. Some seem to think that it's not enough to mandate what ideas are appropriate in their own homes. Instead they want the ability to mandate the appropriateness of ideas to other families and their children.  They want to dictate standards which others are forced to follow while claiming that not affording them this privilege is harming them.

There is a name for that - gaslighting.

Books are not dangerous to children nor are class discussions about controversial issues those books may spark.  The danger lies in the hypocrisy of those exploiting their children to sanction their own personal beliefs and prejudices in laws and regulations.  Especially when we see that the faces and voices of LGBTQ and parents of color have been omitted throughout this controversy.

And most likely, deliberately so.

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