FFRF, local activist ensure banned books return to Colo. schools


Three books removed from a Colorado school system’s libraries at the request of a conservative group will be back on the shelves after the Freedom From Religion Foundation and a local activist demanded that the district either put the books back or ban the bible.

In May, the Academy School District 20 yanked three books from school libraries after a parent group known as “Advocates for D20 Kids” insisted that 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.

This led to a concerned district parent asking for the bible to be banned based on the same criteria. FFRF then reiterated this request 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 wrote.

As FFRF’s letter 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)

FFRF is pleased to report that the district has taken note of FFRF and the local parent’s request — and rescinded its initial decision.

“After careful consideration, the district assures that the removal of library materials will be based on established policies and procedures,” writes the school system’s legal counsel Tonya Thompson. “Therefore, any books recently removed without following the district’s procedure shall be reinstated and subject to reconsideration upon formal request.”

FFRF is always appreciative when school officials engage in constitutional correction instead of continuing to bow to obtrusive Christian nationalist groups.

“By resorting to book bans, a school district is opening the door to challenges to all sorts of literature — from the classics to the bible, as we pointed out,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Keeping school libraries free from religious intrusion is vital for critical thinking.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the largest national association of freethinkers, with 40,000 members and several chapters around the country, including more than 1,300 members and two chapters in Colorado.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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