Karl Barth back in US Prisons

News came this week that the ban on religious books (other than primary texts like the Bible, the Torah, or the Koran, etc...) in US Prisons has been reconsidered:

The US Federal Bureau of Prisons is purging prison libraries of "non-approved" religious books and materials because of terrorism concerns, say a number of US religious groups amid warnings of possible violations of religious freedom.

Books not approved include works by respected 20th century theologians such as Reinhold Niebuhr and Karl Barth, and contemporary fare like Rick Warren's "The Purpose-Driven Life" and Harold Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen to Good People".

"The idea of government bureaucrats drafting a list of approved books on religion seems like something out of Soviet-era Russia, not the United States of America, where freedom of religion, even for those behind prison walls, is something we treasure," said the Christian activist organization Sojourners in an e-mail this week to its supporters.

Traci Billingsley, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons, told The New York Times the policy was prompted by a 2004 justice department report. This warned of the need to prevent US prisons from becoming places where those advocating militant Islamic beliefs or other religious views deemed "extremist" could recruit followers.

Read the rest of the story here.

Comments (1)

Right, we all know that dozens of terrorist groups patterned after Barth, Warren and Niebuhr have gone on genocidal rampages... how stupid are the people running the Bureau of Prisons? did those idiots even get through high school? As President Bush asked, "Is our children learning?"


Add your comments

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Reminder: At Episcopal Café, we hope to establish an ethic of transparency by requiring all contributors and commentators to make submissions under their real names. For more details see our Feedback Policy.

Advertising Space