It’s not often the Bible and Fifty Shades of Grey appear on the same reading list, but they have at least once – in the American Library Association’s list of top 10 most frequently challenged books for 2015. The reasons given for E.L. James’ novel’s listing include that it is “sexually explicit” and “poorly written.” The reasons for the Bible: its “religious viewpoint.”
From 2000 to 2009,
1,639 of these challenges were in school libraries; 1,811 were in classrooms; 1,217 took place in public libraries. There were 114 challenges to materials used in college classes; and 30 to academic libraries. There are isolated cases of challenges to library materials made available in or by prisons, special libraries, community groups, and students. The vast majority of challenges were initiated by parents (2,535), with patrons and administrators to follow (516 and 489 respectively).
The Christian Scriptures are a “regular” among the complaints forwarded by public libraries and schools to the ALA, according to James LaRue, director of the association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. But it’s been seven years since the Bible received enough complaints to make the Top 10 list, LaRue said.
“There’s almost a little retaliatory feel to people speaking up against the Bible because they want to go on record as being opposed to Christian opposition to LGBT (issues) or Christian opposition to Islam,” he said.
But there’s “definitely” a growing number of complaints lodged about books for their “religious viewpoints,” according to the director.
Photo from Six Seeds/Patheos blog linked here.