Banning The Theory of Evolution but
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind." - Thomas Paine
We've all seen films and read stories about the famous "Monkey Trial" the Scopes trial - how a teacher in a Tennessee was charged with breaking the state law about teaching evolution. Today is not the date on which the trial ocurred but the date on which the law was passed banning the teaching of evolution. It was the day the state of Tennessee decided to take a stand against "Modernism" and move backward to the Dark Ages, banning books published more than fifty years before and accepted by scientists around the world.
Banning books, burning books is a passion of mine. I correct myself: researching banned and abused books is a passion. I can think of no crime higher than censorship to further explicit ideologies. Withholding knowledge willfully is terribly cruel and inhumane. All knowledge should be available to man at all times. Yes, I'm getting into some pretty deep doo doo here: what about pornography? What about state secrets? Knowledge of any kind is NOT evil in itself. What man DOES with knowledge is an entrely different matter. If that knowledge is used to harm someone in any way, it is used wrongfully. True, some knowledge can be relatively insignificant while other knowledge can be vitally important.
One of the greatest crimes in history occured in 391 CE: the burning of the great Library of Alexandria - burned by an angry mob because it contained books that were not considered "Christian". It was in fact, western civilization's first "book burning" party. As many as 100,000 scrolls went up in flames. It was a time when a person could be imprisoned for owning a copy of Plato's works. Rather than give them up, some people buried their libraries. (Hence, the discovery in 1947 of the Nag Hammadi Library of Gnostic books.)
Other book burnings followed suit. Centuries later, it was almost sinful to be literate: only clergy were allowed to read and write (in Latin). Princes and kings could not even sign their own names.
Only one book, of course, escaped censorship: the Bible. And the irony: only the censors were literate enough to read it. Translating the Bible into the vernacular was punishable by death.
Book banning (and burning) is still with us today, mostly in the form of semi-literate school boards. Some books banned within the past 50 years:
Hamlet - The Merchant of Venice - Macbeth - King Lear - Tom Sawyer - Huckleberry Finn - To Kill a Mockingbird - Gone With the Wind - Canterbury Tales, and...
An illustrated edition of "Little Red Riding Hood" was banned in two California school districts in 1989. Following the Little Red-Cap story from Grimm's Fairy Tales, the book shows the heroine taking food and wine to her grandmother. The school districts cited concerns about the use of alcohol in the story.*
Some over-zealous people have attempted to ban the Bible! (Gasp!) But, if you take a REALLY close look at it, much of the Bible is God-sanctioned violence and murder!
"If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst." (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)
Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. . you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock." (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)
So much for Islam being a violent religion and chastizing unbelievers!
In fact this is what Pastor John Hagee says about Islam in his book, Jerusalem Countdown:
The Islamic religion is a rapidly growing religion that is often controlled by militants who want to impose their beliefs on the rest of the world. Their three in goals are to:
Drive all westerners out of the Middle East
Exterminate Christians and Jews
Establish a one-world Islamic government and religion
"Impose their beliefs on the rest of the world." Doesn't that sound like a Reconstructionist? Hmm.... God sanctions hatred, of course, but only when it's in HIS name. Of course, Hagee is an apocalypticist (dare you to say that ten times real fast) who becomes enraptured when he thinks of the calamities that befall mankind in the End Times.Hagee must LOVE this quote from Deuteronomy:
Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)
* From: Online Books, edited by John Mark Ockerbloom (firstname.lastname@example.org) OBP copyrights and licenses