Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Banned Books Week

Yes, the Book of Mormon has been burned and/or banned/challenged by different competing religious factions.

Artist: Multiple popular artists and writers, Religious materials

Confronting Bodies: Harvest Assembly of God Church

Date of Action: March 2001

Specific Location: Harvest Assembly of God Church parking lot, Penn Township, Butler County, PA.

Description of Artwork: Books, Music CDs and tapes, Videotapes, Religious materials

Description of Incident: The Harvest Assembly of God Church held a book, music, and videotape burning ceremony in the parking lot of their church. Approximately 30 participants gathered to burn their own possessions that they felt were disloyal to God. The event was the idea of some church youths who were studying the book of Revelations. Acts 19:19 was also sited as inspiration, given its description of how former practitioners of magic burned their books in public. Participants congregated for the ceremony where in they deposited their popular music, literature, and movies in the fire, while singing Christian songs. Among the "objectionable material" was music from artists such as REM, Bruce Springsteen, and Foreigner. Disney movies and Harry Potter novels were destroyed for promoting sorcery. Additionally, Mormon and Jehovah's Witness materials were burned for not being truly Christian since they promoted several gods. The event was catered toward people who had already "received Christ" and wanted to demonstrate their commitment to him. That may explain the absence of pornographic materials or any discernable idols.

Results of Incident: No protesters attended the event. Reverend George Bender from the Harvest Assembly of God Church was disappointed that there were not more visitors at the burning, but felt the ceremony had worked out well.


So if, in the spirit of Banned Books week, you want to read it, go ahead. But if you want to read a GOOD banned/challenged book, may I suggest:

  • Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman)
  • The Canterbury Tales (Geoffrey Chaucer)
  • Candide (Voltaire)
  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (Judy Blume)
  • The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
  • Fallen Angels (Walter Dean Myers)
  • Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)
  • The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle)
What's your favourite banned/challenged book, and why should I read it?


1 comment:

  1. Weeee, a librarian's favorite question! Some of my best beloved oft-challengees are:

    His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (a trilogy of fantasy books, ostensibly for kids but quite satisfying for adults. All about religion, humanity, and free will. With polar bears!)

    The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (a graphic novel about all sorts of things: mythology, death, dreams, strange humans, books that were never written.)