Friday, April 8, 2011

Banned Books: The Dark Side of Religion

Here is a great web site: The American Library Association's Banned Books List. It's a testament to the stupidity of religious morality.

From the top 100 books of the last 100 years, the great majority have been banned at one time or another. Looking at this list, I just don't get it. Almost to the last book, they strike me as great literature. But with religious "morality" one can never tell...
1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
So of the top 20 novels of the past century, only three were not the target of banning attempts! What were those three?
10. The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
13. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce
OK, so maybe back in the 1940s and 1950s people were more conservative. Surely things have gotten better. Right? Wrong. Here are the top ten most-often-banned books for the last decade:
1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Myracle, Lauren
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
Harry Potter is number one???

Banning books is a terrible thing. The fact that it is mostly done in the name of religion reinforces my thesis that education and knowledge are the enemies of fundamentalist religion. If we want to become a modern society where science and logical thought are valued over superstition and faith, we have to fight book banning and all attempts to suppress knowledge.


  1. whoa! ridiculous really. But, yeah, for the most part we're dealing with one-book people. What did you expect?

    The funny part is the title: "the dark side of religion"??? And what's the bright side?

  2. Well, this list was taken from a Xtian POV. I don't see any Pagans making lists like these.:D

  3. I think there's an old Latin saying, "Cave ab homini unius libri." "Beware the man of one book."


  4. While I don't agree with all of the banned book choices, there is a cause more important than that of promoting all books, and rejecting the banning of books. That cause, in my opinion, is to provide great influence in the lives of children. Some of these books weaken, and even terrify children. Scary Stories 3, for instance should come with an unconditional guarantee of nightmares and irrational fears. There are many, many uplifting books. We don't need to sink to all levels to provide a comprehensive collection of books.


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