Crista V. Worthy: Bullies are banning books with zero public discussion
Crista V. Worthy is one of the contributing writers for Writers on the Range. In this guest op-ed for the Albuquerque Journal, she takes aim at book banners.
Some people have become so alarmed by what children might read in school or in libraries they want books they don’t like removed – immediately. The targeted books include scenes of sexual awakening, gender identity, racism or violence.
But why aren’t these alarmists focusing on a book that’s chock-full of incest, rape and gore? I’m talking, of course, about the Bible.
In Genesis 19:30-36, Lot’s daughters get him drunk in a cave and his eldest daughter has incestuous sex with him. Judges 19 tells how an angry mob surrounds a Levite and his concubine, so he appeases them by handing over his companion. What happens next to the sacrificed woman is too gory for me to describe.
Yet the Bible hasn’t been a target of book banners; moreover, some zealots attack books they’ve never read. They just have a list.
People on the warpath about “dangerous” books started urging libraries and schools to ban books they found objectionable in 2021. That discontent bubbled to the surface during COVID-caused school shutdowns and has now erupted into a culture war.
In Idaho, where I live, book banners have targeted the state’s three largest cities of Boise, Meridian and Nampa, all in the Treasure Valley in southwest Idaho.
So far, only Nampa has succumbed to the pressure. Oddly, the book tossing was started by just one woman, Tosha Sweeney, who emailed the Nampa school board to demand it remove 24 “pornographic” books that sex offenders might use to “plan their attacks.”
The 24 books she cited were all “young adult” books, and parental consent was already required before they could be checked out.