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Shadows of Divine Things

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Location: Texas, United States

This site is devoted to theological and philosophical investigations of the spiritual meanings of life, current events, music, spiritual growth, nature, and learning to be attuned to listening to the 'language of God.' The name of this blog comes from one of Jonathan Edwards's journals which he called 'Shadows of Divine Things,' and later renamed 'Images of Divine Things.' As a Christian I am continously on a spiritual journey to grow more into the image of Christ, to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ. To seek the truths of the Christian Faith is of upmost importance, and to know that any truths that are found outside of Christianity are present there because they ultimately point to God. I have an M.A. in theology and apologetics and I completed one year of graduate studies in Philosophy at Marquette University.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Banned Any Books Lately?

This week is the ALA's (American Library Association) "Banned Books Week." Here is a description of BBW at the ALA website, "Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2006, marks BBW's 25th anniversary (September 23-30)."

I am opposed to the banning of books in Public Schools, Public Libraries, or the enforcement of a ban on books by certain fundamentalist groups (religious or otherwise) in these same institutions. Responsible reading is a much better alternative to banning books. If the content of a book offends, then do not read the book. There is no need to burn or ban books simply because the content is unorthodox or unpopular and thus offensive.

Typically what happens, here in America anyway, with the banning of a book is a child (student or otherwise) brings home material that is being read, a parent sees the material (i.e. book, essay, etc.) is offended by the content, thus filing a complaint with the school, orginization, or what have you. Sometimes the parent/s will go so far as to petition the material out of a school library or reading program, etc. thus causing everyone else involve (i.e. students, etc.) to not be able to participate in the reading of the material in this school, reading group, etc. This is typically how books/material gets "banned."

Below is a list of the 25 most commonly banned books in the history of print:

"Harry Potter" (Series) (J.K. Rowling)
"To Kill a Mockingbird" (Harper Lee)
"The Color Purple" (Alice Walker)
"The Outsiders" (S.E. Hinton)
"Lord of the Flies" (William Golding)
"Of Mice and Men" (John Steinbeck)
"Goosebumps" (Series) (R.L. Stine)
"How to Eat Fried Worms" (Thomas Rockwell)
"The Catcher in the Rye" (J.D. Salinger)
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (Mark Twain)
"The Giver" (Lois Lowry)
"Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley)
"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Mark Twain)
"Captain Underpants" (Dav Pilkey)
"The Anarchist Cookbook" (William Powell)
"Carrie" (Stephen King)
"Flowers for Algernon" (Daniel Keyes)
"The Dead Zone" (Stephen King)
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (Maya Angelou)
"Go Ask Alice" (anonymous)
"American Psycho" (Bret Easton Ellis)
"The Chocolate War" (Robert Cormier)
"James and the Giant Peach" (Roald Dahl)
"The Pigman" (Paul Zindel)
"A Wrinkle in Time" (Madeleine L'Engle)

"Dort, wo man B├╝cher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen." - Heinrich Heine, from his play Almansor (1821) [English Translation: "Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings."]

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