FFRF demands Colorado school district ban the bible

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is demanding that the Academy School District 20 ban the bible due to its sexual and violent content after the school system banned several books at the request of a local conservative anti-LGBTQ group.

FFRF has learned that Academy School District 20 has recently removed three books from school libraries after a parent group known as “Advocates for D20 Kids” demanded they be removed for sexually explicit content. The supposed offensive content led the group to deem these books as “obscene.”

In response to this call, Superintendent Tom Gregory permitted all schools in the district to remove the three books. When Discovery Canyon Principal Mark Wahlstrom asked if there was a policy he could consult to help make a decision, Gregory wrote:

No, but…you are the [boss] of the school and are responsible for instructional and non-instructional materials within the school. When a community member raises a question you are obligated to look into it. As an aside … if they go the route of a formal “reconsideration of library materials” request (policy) and it gets to my level, I will have the books removed anyway. This is saving everyone time. Nothing helpful probably, but it is the reality.

Assistant Superintendent for Learning Services Susan Field additionally replied to Wahlstrom, stating that there is a reconsideration policy, but it doesn’t outright say a principal can remove books from school libraries. The district is aiming to change this policy on July 1.

This has led to a concerned district parent calling for the bible to be banned based on the same criteria. FFRF has reiterated this call in a letter to Superintendent Gregory.

“​​The district cannot ban books because it disagrees with the viewpoint expressed while allowing other inappropriate books because it supports their viewpoint,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line writes.

As FFRF’s letter has documented, many bible verses display a lewd, depraved, pornographic view of sex and women, with sexual violence often ordered or countenanced by the biblical deity. These include sordid tales of victims forced to marry their rapists, graphic sexual depictions, and countless references to sperm, intercourse, menstruation, homosexuality, bestiality, adultery and “harlots and whores.” Among one of many descriptions inappropriate for the eyes of children is a bible story about a prostitute who “lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses,” who “longed for the lewdness of your youth, when . . . [her] bosom was caressed and your young breasts fondled.” (Ezekiel 23:20-21)

In FFRF’s campaign to ban the bible entirely from the school district, it points out that the district has banned Push by Sapphire, the basis of the 2009 Academy Award-winning film “Precious” about incestuous abuse told from the perspective of the survivor. Yet the bible, despite its “warped family values” and “slander about incest,” remains on high school shelves, where it depicts virgin daughters seducing their “righteous” father.

“We want to make it clear that we are adamantly opposed to banning books,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “But the religious zealots can’t have it both ways. They can’t scour books looking for sexual references or content to offend them — regardless of literary or social value and context — then say that the true obscenity found in the bible must be judged differently.”

FFRF demands that, so long as these three books are banned, the district must not judge the bible any differently, and it must purge all versions of the bible in order to truly keep obscene sexual content out of school libraries.

You can read FFRF’s letter here.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the largest national association of freethinkers, representing 40,000 atheists, agnostics, and others (including more than 1,300 members and two local chapters in Colorado) who form their opinions about religion based on reason, rather than faith, tradition or authority.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

Send this to a friend