Last month I decided to read some banned books. I gave myself a year to finish the project. I’m sandwiching these books in with my regular reading, rather than tackling them all at once. One month in, I’ve finished four controversial books for children:
|And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Looks innocent, doesn’t it? What if I told you Tango has two daddies? Ah, now you understand. This book isn’t just gay, it’s homosexual agenda gay! Seriously, it’s difficult to see this book as anything other than a pitch for tolerance of alternate lifestyles. As a childrens’ story, there’s barely anything there . . . the entire book is like six pages long, with giant print. The only child I can imagine buying this for would be a child of single-sex parents who is being taunted at school.
|A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
As an adult, I often read books aimed at teenagers, and I looked forward to reading this one because it’s cataloged as science fiction and I am a sci-fi geek. But A Wrinkle in Time, despite a head-nod to interstellar travel through wormholes, a well-worn sci-fi convention, is really magic, fantasy, and witchcraft, wrapped around a Christian, Chronicles of Narnia-like message. So why is it that L’Engle’s book is so often challenged? Because, I suppose, a certain kind of Christian hates being reminded that Christ preached love over vengeance and hate. And then there’s the passage where L’Engle gives Ghandi equal billing with Jesus. Hell, I could have told her that was a non-starter!
|James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
I can already hear you asking why anyone would want to keep kids from reading such a cute-looking book. My god, have you read the thing? A malingering boy, shirking his chores, meets a rain-coated pervert and accepts from him a bag of body parts harvested from endangered species, then drops the illicit gift and creates hideous genetic mutations. He then runs away with giant insects, murdering his legal guardians in the process. And not one mention of Christ, never mind any hint of remorse, punishment, and eternal damnation. I weep for the souls of children exposed to this evil work of Satan.
|Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
Oh my . . . a strong female character who’s out of the kitchen, hints of sexuality, dirty fucking hippies, possible Jews. Stir in a flip attitude toward organized religion, insufficient fealty to Christ, and elements of witchcraft, and you’ve got subversive literature, right here in River City! You’ve also got a terribly good story about friendship, growing up, and death, a story that will make a positive and lasting impression on young (and old) readers.
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