To some Americans, the Holy Bible is too controversial to sit on public libraries’ shelves, a recent report from the American Library Association shows. The group has just released a list with top 10 most challenged books in 2015, and the holy book landed just four spots down from the graphic novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ which occupied the second position.
On the top of the list we have “Looking for Alaska” by John Green, a book challenged by many parents for being ‘disgusting,’ ‘pornographic,’ and unsuitable to be used for secondary school instruction as it happened in 2008.
But the most surprising entry on the list was the Bible. People challenged it last year for both its sex and violence content and some legal problems it may involve. For instance, some Americans challenged the Book saying that a public library buying one copy would directly violate church and state separation. The last time the Bible made it on the list was in 2001.
James LaRue of the American Library Association said that some complaints about the holy book may be simply ‘retaliatory’ since some parents challenged the book after a religious group complained about another book on the list.
LaRue added that the ALA does not object to having the Holy Scripture in public libraries and schools. The group believes that this does not represent a violation of church and state separation, unless these entities promote the views presented in the book.
The ALA does not oppose other religious texts either, including the Book of Mormon and Quaran. Surprisingly, there were fewer complaints about the Quaran than for the Christians’ holy book over the years.
Other books on the list were challenged for obvious reasons such as “I Am Jazz,” a picture book for trans kids and “Beyond Magenta” by Susan Kuklin, a collection of interviews with six transgender teens. Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” is also on the list for its content rich in ‘profanity and atheism.’
“Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan” ranked 9th on the list for its religious viewpoint and violence, while Craig Thompson’s graphic novel “Habibi ranked 8th.
The ALA based its list on reports sent from libraries nationwide and incidents associated with a controversial book. The group had access to 275 written complaints filed with a public library or school demanding that a certain book to be banned because of its content or inappropriateness to an age group.
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