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On the absurdity of banning books

There was a display at the library about banned books. I was reading some of the reasons why some of these books were banned/why some people tried to get them banned, and some were simply absurd. "Fahrenheit 451," for instance, was banned for "Profanity." Riiiight... that the best you could come up with? A book that points out the follies of burning books, and all you can say for wanting it banned is "Profanity"? Let me tell you why that's absurd:

There's this book I know of, a bestseller. It's a collection of related short stories written by a bunch of different authors who can't seem to agree on anything. Oh well, on to my point. The whole thing is full of all kinds of horrific violence. The heroes are all very ethically questionable by today's standards, and are almost always heroes for killing a whole lot of people. One of the heroes in it even killed 10 children just because they insulted him.

The main character of this book is the king of the universe, and he's a real prick. He commits genocide at least twice during the course of the book, the *first* time being wiping out all of humanity except for a handful of people, all because they wouldn't kneel before him and heed his ridiculously complicated rules. I will give him some credit, though: he did try to pare the number of rules down to a handful, but genocide? That character is NOT a good role model for kids!

The second time this king of the universe committed genocide was when he destroyed two cities, killing everyone but one family, just because they weren't very nice to guests. And he tossed his second in command into everlasting flames when the guy decided this king dude was a fucking psychopath who needed to be taken down.

And even being loyal to this king guy wouldn't spare you from his wrath. Being the perfect devout little follower was no guarantee! In one story, the king of the universe and his former second in command bet against each other (gambling! Another reason to ban this book!) on just how loyal this one dude is. The king agrees, and lets his former second in command put the guy through worse and worse luck, deaths of family members, and all kinds of tortures and diseases. And here's where it gets a bit hard to believe: through all the horrible torture and shit that the king guy lets his former #1 do to the guy, the guy remains loyal. Well... I guess, considering the king's track record, it was the safest thing to do. Still, I'm surprised the guy didn't decide to join the rebels.

Oh, and did I mention there's sex in this book? Not just sex, but rape! Oh, and also there's incest and bestiality in it. And pedophilia! In fact, the only heroine in the whole thing (the whole book is highly misogynistic), a heroine only because she gave birth to the least objectionable hero in the whole thing (who seems to be a herald of the king of the universe becoming more sane), was either 12 or 13 when she got pregnant with that hero. What's more, she claims that her husband was not the father - the king of the universe is the father! And considering that he's a LOT older than her, and didn't seem to have asked for her consent, makes that child molestation AND an extra-marital affair, which is interesting because while the king never seems to have had a rule saying anything like "Don't rape" or "Don't molest children," he did have a rule saying "Don't have sex with another man's wife." Which, despite her age, means that the king dude broke one of his own rules. I guess when you make the law you can be above it. Makes sense, I suppose. He also had a rule that was "Don't murder," and BOY did he ever break that one! Genocide being murder on an epic scale, after all.

Throughout the whole thing they preach and preach about the former second in command dude being evil and how good and wonderful the king is, when the most the supposed villain ever seems to have done is hurt one dude on a bet, and offer this one woman a piece of fruit. Compared to genocide, child molestation, war, murder, torture, hypocrisy, condoning such acts as these (and such acts as the murder of a bunch of children for insulting someone, as mentioned up above), and throwing someone into eternal flames for pointing out that doing all this shit makes him the universe's biggest cock sandwich, I'd have to say anyone who buys into the whole "this king of the universe dude is soooo cool" bullshit is, frankly, insane.

If it weren't for the fact that its writers (as well as its fans) seem to have been dead serious about how awesome the king dude is, and about how awesome the homocidal, psychotic "heroes" are, I would think this book was the world's least subtle, most over-the-top satire of human affairs in the history of literature. That thousands of people could worship the king dude after all the evils he's done would have been the most cutting criticism ever of how the human race runs its affairs, ruined by the fact that they're dead serious. Compared to this book, Twilight makes sense and it high literature.

The book I'm talking about? The Bible, of course.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
arinwolfe
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
curiously the bible has been banned.
fayanora
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
o_O

Really? Where?
kengr
Sep. 29th, 2009 07:12 am (UTC)
Partway down the first page of a google search:
http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=4483
d4b
Sep. 29th, 2009 08:05 am (UTC)
Yeah, well, they'd need more vowels before they could really understand anything in there, anyway! ;-)
d4b
Sep. 29th, 2009 08:02 am (UTC)
There was a line in today's, (well, yesterday's), Yom Kippur readings, Leviticus 18:22, saying not to "lie with a man as you would with a woman". I always assumed that this was addressing homosexuality, (at least m/m), but as I read it, I realized that that was simply perspective. It could be just as easily interpreted to be against bisexuality, i.e., don't treat both genders the same in bed, and reasonably silent on which single gender one chooses.
fayanora
Sep. 29th, 2009 08:03 am (UTC)
Or you could take it to mean "Don't have vaginal sex with a man. That's what the anus is for." :-)
d4b
Sep. 29th, 2009 08:06 am (UTC)
True, that.
christinaathena
Sep. 30th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
LOL!

In all seriousness, though, I have read an argument that that was aimed specifically at anal sex, as opposed to any male-male intimacy.
shadowsculptor
Sep. 30th, 2009 07:18 am (UTC)
If Fahrenheit 451 was banned anywhere, I doubt it was for profanity. The irony is... well, quite noticeable. lol...

Indeed! Not only is the Bible full of objectionable material, it has been used countless times to fuel and justify horrible things.

I'm not going to say "If any book should be banned, it should be the Bible!" because I don't believe books should be banned, period. However, I am going to say that those lobbying so intently to get certain titles pulled from schools, libraries, etc, do so more because of ideological differences than they do out of any concern for children. They do not like the thought of other viewpoints being shared so openly, so easy to access, just right there in a book waiting to be read. They can't have that! People might begin to question them....
fayanora
Sep. 30th, 2009 07:20 am (UTC)
Yup. "Ohhh owie, my po wittle bwain can't handle other people's differing opinions!" That sort of thing.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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