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Because Burning’s Too Good For ‘Em: The Latest in Book Bannings

Because Burning’s Too Good For ‘Em: The Latest in Book Bannings

I love my Harry Potters.  Please don’t take my Huck Finn away.  I’ve seen them come for the Farenheit 451 without a hint of irony, and watched them fume over To Kill a Mockingbird.

They are the book banners.  They have a usual list.  They are on a crusade to protect their children from the possibilities of offensive words, explicit sexual situations, or worldviews that might make them second guess their familial beliefs.

The are the very definition of rigid thinkers.  And bizarrely enough, they want to ban the very definitions themselves.

That’s right.  They came for the dictionary.

A Menifee, California, school district has banned the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Because the book contains the words “oral sex.” The school district is now “forming a committee to review whether dictionaries containing the definitions for sexual terms should be permanently banned.” Of course they are.

Obviously, the answer is to create an abridged version of the dictionary that only contains non-sexual words.  There’s no need for those other, vulgar words, after all.  Besides, once they finally get all of those books that might mention sex off the shelves and out of schools, there will be no reason for their children to come across those words anyway.

To get them one step closer, one school district is resuing to teach that pile of filth and dirty sexual themes known as “The Diary of Anne Frank.” 

“The Diary of a Young Girl: the Definitive Edition,” which was published on the 50th anniversary of Frank’s death in a concentration camp, will not be used in the future, said James Allen, director of instruction for the 7,600-student system. The school system did not follow its own policy for handling complaints about instructional materials, Allen said.

The diary documents the daily life of a Jewish girl in Amsterdam during World War II. Frank started writing on her 13th birthday, shortly before her family went into hiding in an annex of an office building. The version of the diary in question includes passages previously excluded from the widely read original edition, first published in Dutch in 1947. That book was arranged by her father, the only survivor in her immediate family. Some of the extra passages detail her emerging sexual desires; others include unflattering descriptions of her mother and other people living together.

See, the students need to use the more sanitized version, not the one that talks about a young girl going through the changes of adolescence, including hormonal issues.

Frankly, it’s probably just as well.  If they got caught looking up any of the dirty words they might get the dictionary banned.

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188 comments

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9:54AM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

Book banning should be banned.

2:31PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

Oh, good grief! If they're old enough to read and use a dictionary, they're old enough to know a definition!

Would the person who voted "yes" in the poll be willing to tell us why? Or are you too embarrassed to admit it?

1:57PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

Banning a Dictionary? Really? Wow.

5:22PM PST on Jan 27, 2014

Books should never be banned or burned. Makes me cringe seeing that picture.

5:11PM PST on Jan 27, 2014

both seem ridiculous....bet these are the same people who think we should be reading The Bible in school....that has more sex in it than anything I think....

4:53AM PST on Jan 27, 2014

thank you for sharing

5:56PM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

They can protect themselves and their children fom whatever they want.
But hands off my reading lists. And keep your prying little fingers out of public libraries, because my taxes help to pay for those.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to read some lust and murder and adultery and betrayal - 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII'.

8:23AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

The more something is made out to be "evil" or "forbidden" or "for adult eyes only", the more likely kids will be to seek them out. I have three teenagers. Banning books is simply a stupid move made by stupid people who are afraid to open their minds. After all, the world is a scary place, isn't it?

4:28AM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

Ban a dictionary? Ridiculous!

6:54PM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

monica r.--I agree, anything that makes the little buggers READ is good. It reminds of a time a few years back that I read a letter to the editor from a parent with a child in the nearby "world class school district." The kids were in 8th grade and were reading things like "Lizzie Borden took an ax, gave her mother forty whacks, etc." and Mommy thought that was just horrid. I fired off a letter, too--saying it would appall ME if my eigith grader could not, apparently read a full book at his age.

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