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Libraries Release Most-Censored Books List

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the words-are-dangerous dept.

Books 229

destinyland writes "The American Library Association released this year's list of the most-frequently censored books. (Included in the top 10 are two best-selling novels — Twilight and The Hunger Games — as well as Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.) The annual list celebrates 'the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment,' according to the library association, highlighting 'the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship.' Interestingly, seven of the ten most-censored books are now available on Amazon's Kindle — more than twice as many as last year."

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Banned books week (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536552)

This week is banned books week. Celebrate (?) by reading a banned book - say no to censorship :)

Re:Banned books week (1)

MPolo (129811) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536598)

The lists are interesting in that this year's list includes an item of required reading for my English classes (Brave New World), and last years includes a book that I required for English, even though it wasn't formally required by the government (To Kill a Mockingbird). [I'm teaching in Germany, where there are centralized exams to graduate from High School, so that everybody has to read at least some of the same books.]

I suppose that it is censorship in a certain way, since the libraries typically receive government monies; on the other hand, the publication and purchase of the books was in no way suppressed, so in that sense, censorship isn't exactly the right word here, as it would be, say, in Iran when the controversy over The Satanic Verses came out.

Re:Banned books week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536656)

Germany does not have "high schools" a North Americans understand them. The closest thing you get to a "high school" education the the opportunity to take the Abitur in a Gesamtschule. All American high school diplomas entitle the holder to attend a university however completing the same number of years in a German school does not.

Re:Banned books week (1)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536884)

To be fair to the Libraries, this list is basically one of the public's complaints against books, not an actual list of censorship. The count also contains complaints for "age inappropriate" material and complaints from schools. I know I'd complain if my hypothetical 10 year old child was subjected to twilight.

Brave New World (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537960)

this list is basically one of the public's complaints against books, not an actual list of censorship

Which is really ironic.

You see, there's an endocrinologist I know who makes a nice living giving normal upper middle class kids growth hormone because their parents are concerned that their son will be under six feet when he finishes growing. Why, a young man who looked like he was going to peek at 5' 9" was given hormones at the insistence of his parents.

Brave New World - we're already there. I guess parents don't want it shoved in their faces. I don't have a problem with it - tall (and good looking) people have an edge in this society and if a parent can do something to improve their kid's chances, I say go for it.

Re:Banned books week (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537772)

For twilight I think it is banned (partially) due to religious groups. But I think it is mostly from high school English teachers who do not want to read essay after essay about twilight from every girl. When they assign them a book report.

I remember a college class on creative writing the first day of class the professor stated she didn't want any stories about God or Jesus. Not because she had a problem with religion, but she previously taught in salt lake city Utah, and every story she read was about God, and was sick of hearing the same thing over and over again in a creative writting class.

Re:Banned books week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537894)

Both "A Brave New World" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" were required reading in my English class (Ontario, Canada)

Re:Banned books week (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536772)

Just not Twilight.

Re:Banned books week (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537706)

Twilight was banned due to massive faggotry although its clearly heterosexual.

Re:Banned books week (2)

iiiears (987462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537368)

"..seven of the ten most-censored books are now available on Amazon's Kindle — more than twice as many as last year."
I lol'ed

Not really censored (5, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536576)

In this age of hyperbole, where everything is worked up to be a huge scandal (Obama is the antichrist, Bush is Hitler, and social security is a Ponzi scheme), it's worth mentioning that censorship here is not government censorship, it means someone decided to remove that book from their library. All these materials are easily available elsewhere.

And frankly, if they're going to remove something from their library, Twilight is a great choice. Bravo, friends, bravo.

Re:Not really censored (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536604)

It doesn't even really mean that someone removed the book from their library. If you read carefully it says that these are the most challenged books, where a challenge is defined as a formal written complaint or request to remove the book from the library. None of these materials are actually censored.

But, the editors here clearly self-censored and chose not to read the article before posting it.

Captcha: "paranoia" (somewhat apt).

Re:Not really censored (3, Informative)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536758)

Someone please mod AC up.

These books weren't censored, they were challenged by over-protective parents fearing that their children might ask them uncomfortable questions. The books themselves weren't removed (I'd assume successful challenges might not even make it to ALA).

"And Tango Makes Three" got the most challenges. Seriously America, you're worried about two male penguins hatching an egg?

That's not being protective, it's avoidance. (3, Interesting)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536840)

I question the claim that these parents are being protective of their children. I think they are doing nothing more than being bad parents by avoiding difficult but important conversations with their children.

I am reminded of the fact that people who never learn to swim are much more likely to drown. You might think that they don't know how to swim, and so they will stay out of the water and be safer that way. The real world doesn't work that way.

Both over-protective and lazy (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537172)

Note that I used 'over-protective'. It's probably just as well parents being lazy, but the end result is the same regardless.

Using your analogy: children won't learn to swim if their parents steer them away from water.

Those parents might do so because they think it is too risky. They might not want to put in the effort. They might not be able to swim themselves. Regardless of their reasons or how they explain their actions, they are indeed harming their children in the long run.

Re:Both over-protective and lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537374)

Seriously? All books are acceptable for all age-groups? There are no books at all that you might want to prevent your kid from reading until they reach an appropriate age? Have you ever read Filth by Irvine Welsh? I highly recommend it if you haven't. But do you really think it should be accessible to 10 yr olds?

Re:Both over-protective and lazy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37538022)

Seriously. All books are acceptable for all age groups. There are no books at all that I might want to prevent my kid from reading. It is their life, not mine. If my kid wants to read something, I would want him to read it with me, not in spite of me. I have read a lot of filth, but not by Irvine Welsh. And you are right, some of that filth is really not appropriate for 10 yr olds. But why should it not be accessible to them?

Stop projecting your childhood fears onto others.

Re:Not really censored (0)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537964)

and this not take into account the censorship inherent in the book selection committees who choose which books to buy and let the public use.

In the end this is about equality, the rights of those who want certain books bought with public money and the rights of those who don't want certain books bought with public money. Free speech also means not being compelled to support the same of those you disagree with. While you cannot stop a person from writing a book you can stop someone from spending your money to buy it. That is how it should be. Free speech is a wholly separate thing from acceptable speech. The first is a guarantee the second is up to the society to determine.

Re:Not really censored (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37538086)

-1 clueless drivel.

Free speech also means not being compelled to support the same of those you disagree with

Get the fuck out, or get some sense of perspective. Free speech has nothing to do with being compelled, that's freedom of movement/decision. In fact, free speech has everything to do with not having a selection process for which books are "public funds worthy" and which are not.

Free speech is a wholly separate thing from acceptable speech

No it isn't. The free speech doctrine states that every utterance of a private thought is protected unless it directly harms an individual. Weasel words like "acceptable" don't add into it. And society has already determined the scope. That you seem to imply that your own opinion to outweighs that of society says a lot about you.

Re:Not really censored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536742)

it means someone decided to remove that book from their library.

"Their" library? The books are being removed from whose library? And by Whom?

You mean like the tax dollar funded school and public libraries which often bow to the wishes of... umm what's that called that town hall meeting thing... oh yeah local GOVERNMENT?

Re:Not really censored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537008)

No in the US censorship takes the form of lawyers keeping your material from hitting the market with lawsuits and publishers refusing to publish your material. Of course we have the intertubes, until DHS decides your posts are threatening, or you could hit the attorney lag again. But I know, its not like in other countries where the government censors material. I mean here in the US there are laws that you have to follow. Even though coincidentally the same laws written by government officials are the ones the lawyers use to keep you from writing certain things, its still not government censorship.

Re:Not really censored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537126)

...it's worth mentioning that censorship here is not government censorship

Libraries are government institutions.

And frankly, if they're going to remove something from their library, Twilight is a great choice. Bravo, friends, bravo.

Because it deals with teenage sexuality? Your segue from (liberal) "hyperbole" to far-right Conservatism is disappointing.

Re:Not really censored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537260)

No, because it's crap?

Re:Not really censored (2)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37538038)

I like to compare Twilight to trashy romance novels.

I think trashy romance novels are better because you still get the sex.

Plus it's fun to recite them out loud in a dead pan voice.

Re:Not really censored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537488)

My thoughts exactly. Can we get a larger campaign to remove Twilight going?

Brave New World (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536606)

It's been a while since I read it - what is it exactly that people object to in Brave New World?

At worst, I remember it being a bit preachy.

Re:Brave New World (4, Informative)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536668)

Oh, I don't know -- maybe something to do with all of the young children engaging in "erotic play". That sort of thing tends to make people uncomfortable.

Re:Brave New World (1)

loteck (533317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536686)

Children being encouraged to experiment with sex, I'd bet.

Re:Brave New World (2)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537984)

Children being encouraged to experiment with sex, I'd bet.

If that was the case, you should start censoring MTV. Almost every female pop idol since Madonna has indulged in a bit of pelvic thrusting or whatever in the videos.

I remember working at a gig one saturday morning building the stage with all the roadies when suddenly they were all outside the security guards hut leering at a Christina Aguilera video being shown on children's TV. They were all enjoying it immensely until someone pointed out their daughters were probably at home watching it too.

Kids are encourage to experiment with sex by every other form of media, why should books be any different?

On a different note anyone who reads A Brave New World should also read Island as in many way the books are counterpoints to each other.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_(novel) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Brave New World (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537166)

It's been a while since I read it - what is it exactly that people object to in Brave New World? At worst, I remember it being a bit preachy.

From the article (well, linked by it):

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit

I suppose racism claims have been raised by some angry Delta (everyone knows Epsilons are not intelligent enough to fill a complaint). More seriously, perhaps the part about the reserve.

Anyway, I find the article very poor if it comes from an association of well-educated people as librarians. The "top 10" lists does not even show how many hits each of them got.

And, with less than 2000 requests for removal in a year, it does not look like it is a very serious problem (of course, TFE of TFS "forgot" to add that bit of data). Even if you accept the claim that they estimate "actual" requests to be 5x the reported requests, it looks like those attempts of censorship can easily be thwarted by ignoring the claims.

Re:Brave New World (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37538124)

Probably because its about a world where people are essentially constructed for a specific job and kept under control by sex and drugs. Some people seem to get uncomfortable with some of that.

It amazes me that books like these are censored (-1, Flamebait)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536612)

It amazes me that books like these are censored while the Qur'an and Hadith, which tell Muslims to subdue or kill non-Muslims to enter paradise, is allowed.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536640)

It amazes me that books like these are censored while the Bible, which tell Christians to kill non-believers, is allowed.

There you go, I fixed that for you.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

DerPflanz (525793) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536722)

It amazes me that books like these are censored while the Qur'an and Hadith, which tell Muslims to subdue or kill non-Muslims to enter paradise, is allowed.

It amazes me that books like these are censored while the Bible, which tell Christians to kill non-believers, is allowed.

There you go, I fixed that
for you.

The point still stands.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (4, Informative)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536778)

heya,

Err, which version of the Bible are you reading...?

I'm fairly sure the bible never commands anybody to kill non-believers. In fact, last time I checked, it stated quite unequivocally "Thou shalt not murder". (Exodus 20:13). Note that it says murder, not kill (http://people.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/Shokel/001102_ThouShaltNotMurder.html).

The giving/taking of life is God's alone to command - and barring some explicit command from him (as happened in the OT), to take a life is considered by most Christians to be tantamount to blasphemy and trying to supplant God's role.

So sorry, but your post is really full of ignorance.

Cheers,
Victor

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536882)

>I'm fairly sure the bible never commands anybody to kill non-believers

You immediately contradict yourself:

>and barring some explicit command from him (as happened in the OT),

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (5, Informative)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536960)

I'm fairly sure the bible never commands anybody to kill non-believers.

Give Deu. 17:3-5 a quick read. You don't get much more explicit than that.

Honestly, I don't see how you could have missed it. Joshua slaughtered just about everyone in Canaan -- with more than a bit of divine assistance.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537382)

Ahh, but surely you're aware that Christians follow the New Testament, in which Jesus states that he who is without sin should cast the first stone.

The Old Testament is full of obscure rules that have no bearing on the Christian faith. The Catechism is very, very clear on the taking of a life: you can only do it to protect against an attacker, and even then you should not be trying to kill, only disable.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (5, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537434)

not a iota or a dot will go away [from OT] before the world ends * Matthew 5:18-19

not a single letter of the OT can be invalid * Luke 16:17

all scripture counts * 2 Timothy 3:16

it is not up to personal interpretation * 2 Peter 20-21

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537522)

Jesus worked on the Sabbath. He associated with sinners. He didn't fast at all the appointed times. The OT is still around, and important for historical reasons, but Jesus repeatedly made clear that the rules were changing.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537462)

Ahh, but surely you're aware that Christians follow the New Testament, in which Jesus states that he who is without sin should cast the first stone.

Since the point was about censoring the book, it's not relevant which page it's on.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537538)

The original statement was that Christians are commanded to kill non-believers. This is false. It might command Jews to kill...

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537500)

Regardless, the Old Testament is still *in the bible* no? The contents of books is what is relevant to this discussion, not which parts of the bible Christians choose to selectively follow.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537702)

That is like saying slavery is legal because the original constitution allows it. Yeah if you ignore the 13th and 14th amendment.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

knarf (34928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537892)

I'm fairly sure the bible never commands anybody to kill non-believers.

Let's do a simple search for that, shall we?

Google 'killing bible' [google.com] and click a link. I'd say any link, but why not click the first?

Murder in the Bible [evilbible.com]

Read and weep...

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (0)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537908)

"I'm fairly sure the bible never commands anybody to kill non-believers."

If you claim to be a Christian, you really should be more certain than this. In fact, I've found that most Christians have never even bothered to read most of the book that they profess to be The Word Of God. It's a bit like signing a contract that you haven't read... but this is a contract for your eternal soul.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (2)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536914)

I've read the Bible a couple times, it doesn't say that.

God does command the Israelites to kill certain people (for example the inhabitants of Jericho) based on their practices which it claims are an abomination to God. Whether or not they are believers doesn't enter into it.

Nevertheless, these verses are largely censored in churches. Not so much because preachers want to denigrate them, but because preachers are generally a bunch of spineless cowards who want to avoid difficult conversations that might hurt the profitability of their churches.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

slippyblade (962288) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536728)

Or the bible for that matter which says that selling a disobedient child into slavery is a good deal. Or fathering 2 separate warring peoples with your daughters is a virtuous thing. Or that wearing two different types of fabric in the same outfit is "an abomination"

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (0)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536938)

heya,

Every time this comes up, all these people come out of the woodwork, trying to wave about their "knowledge" of the bible.

Please cite your references for any of the previous wild claims. I'd be quite curious to see where you gathered any of this knowledge. Cereal boxes? Overheard at the hairdresses? In the latest copy of E! Weekly?

The bible doesn't "support" slavery, not in the sense that it says slavery is a good thing. Slavery was a common feature of most cultures in the ancient world (Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Greek, Roman etc.) and a integral part of commerce, taxation and how people interacted. The Bible set strict controls around it (e.g. slaves were to be treated like extended family, they were not to be harmed, slaves were automatically freed after 7 years), but it didn't actually outright tell people to ignore the slavery that was around them.

The NT likewise set controls on slavery, and Christian owners were encouraged to free their servants. However, the Bible didn't tell people to order Christians to go demand non-Christians free their slaves. Ultimately, the Bible regarded regarded as all the same - "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28), in the sense that everybody was an equal brother in Christ.

So within Christian circles, slavery was pushed away, but they didn't go so far as to outright tell people to go against society and try to free people outside Christian circles.

This isn't that out of line with the rest of the NT - for example, when a Jew asks Jesus if he really had to pay taxes to Caesar (the Jews obviously weren't happy about being subjugated under the Romans), Jesus tells the Jew to give to Caesar what is his (the coins were stamped with Caesars likeness), and to give to God what was God's.

In the grand scheme of things, things like taxes weren't important, but what mattered was how you served God - since ultimately, for a Christian, this would all come to pass, and what really counted was your spiritual life.

And this is all ignoring the Christian inspiration behind the abolitionists of the 1800's, like William Wilberforce, who used the verses above as well as others to try to push people around them to all abolish slavery.

Regarding the daughters thing, I'm not sure what your source for this, but it sounds like some cute soundbyte trotted out by atheists to justify why they haven't seriously considered spiritual things.

Finally, the wearing two fabrics - off the top of my head, that sounds like Deuteronomy. God set down controls for his people within a specific context - to set his people apart. It sounds strange, but it was part of God's grand plan (don't ask me, lol, God asked for a lot of weird things in those days, which ultimately actually ended up being quite smart).

Also, you won't see any Christians these days refer to these clothes? Ever wonder why? =). You should ask them.

Cheers,
Victor

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537058)

The daughters thing would be the virtuous Lot and his daughters. I guess it was just and allegory though, eh?

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (2)

slippyblade (962288) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537132)

Yep - Lot. What a nice guy.

Here's a clip that I love to trot out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-2_LqOS3uo [youtube.com]

Exodus 21 talks extensively about the buying, selling, and owning of slaves. Deuteronomy is indeed the source of the 2 fabrics comment. The reason you wont see christians follow it? Same as every other backwards and self-contradictory passage, they pick and choose what bits to believe.

RTFA for more info... (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536924)

The article notes that these are books challenged and requested removal in public or school libraries. So I think you're going to see a bias towards books for teenagers which adults feel are inappropriate for their dear children: more emphasis on requests for censorship because of rude words, sex scenes and unconventional ideas than because of religious thought.

I can see conservative parents getting upset about a whole range of exciting contemporary teenage literature while I would imagine only the most radically conservative are going to get upset about school libraries stock religious works, they'll more likely accept the concept of teaching comparative religion.

My guess is all the world's religious works have some pretty horrific sections, you might be upset about the Qur'an but everybody here at slashdot loves the way the Lego Bible [thebricktestament.com] picks out the extreme sections of the Christian holy books... I'd guess the Christians can give the Muslims a good run for their money in terms of tough edicts on people who don't follow the holy words... (stonings, killings, etc). Within a school or library context I don't think people blink when they see a shelf with the different world religions holy books next to each other (probably they yawn).

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536970)

There is a quote in the Qur'an that says "fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them" which sound bad when taken out of context, but that is directed specifically against the Meccan Pagans of 1500 years ago (that were at war against Mohammad at the time of writing).

Likewise there are many questionable passages in the Bible. For example: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death"

These are still allowed because they are important historical documents that reflect the views of the time. Making similar statements today would be considered hate speech in most countries.

Re:It amazes me that books like these are censored (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537152)

There is a quote in the Qur'an that says "fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them" which sound bad when taken out of context, but that is directed specifically against the Meccan Pagans of 1500 years ago (that were at war against Mohammad at the time of writing).

Likewise there are many questionable passages in the Bible. For example: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death"

These are still allowed because they are important historical documents that reflect the views of the time. Making similar statements today would be considered hate speech in most countries.

It actually says "fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them" in several places, one of which the apologists always bring out because it is qualified by the context. In the other places it is a general command.

What's missing here? (-1, Troll)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536634)

Strange that there are no examples of right wing hate literature on the list. I mean with the country being overrun by freedom hating liberals and all, you would think the list would consist almost exclusivly of works by "conservative" authors.

Re:What's missing here? (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537262)

Maybe because liberals don't believe that censoring conservatives is justified and believe in respecting the views of others even if they disagree with them. Notably to respect their rights to air views even if you utterly despise those views.

The trouble with respecting the views of conservatives is that they'll never afford you the same courtesy.

Which, for at least Christian Conservatives go directly against their Jesus's direct order to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Re:What's missing here? (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537318)

Which, for at least Christian Conservatives go directly against their Jesus's direct order to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Not in Conservative Christian Logic. "If I were a homosexual/atheist/non-Christian I'd want someone to pressure me and make things difficult so that I would have no choice but to accept Jesus and be saved from the fires of hell."

Re:What's missing here? (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537534)

>Not in Conservative Christian Logic. "If I were a homosexual/atheist/non-Christian I'd want someone to pressure me and make things difficult so that I would have no choice but to accept Jesus and be saved from the fires of hell."

Which is pretty flawed logic. A much more valid version would be: "If I lived in a muslim/atheist/budhist nation, I would like them to allow me to practice my beliefs freely without persecution or pressure. Therefore in the nation my faith rules I should treat those with different beliefs with the same courtesy."

This applies just as much to believes which are in fact biological realities such as "I am gay".

Re:What's missing here? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537426)

Maybe because liberals don't believe that censoring conservatives is justified and believe in respecting the views of others even if they disagree with them. Notably to respect their rights to air views even if you utterly despise those views.

Right, because political correctness is the result of right wingers. David Horowitz is a complete chode, but there is an inkling of truth in his rants concerning university thought police.

Re:What's missing here? (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537468)

Oh right. Because suggesting that we protect vulnerable communities with sensitive speech is the same as demanding viewpoints you dislike be kept from others at gunpoint

Re:What's missing here? (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537340)

Strange that there are no examples of right wing hate literature on the list. I mean with the country being overrun by freedom hating liberals and all, you would think the list would consist almost exclusivly of works by "conservative" authors.

Right, but you wouldn't expect the liberal media conspiracy [wikia.com] to report that, now, would you?

That list is hillarious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536692)

...it reads like a must-not-read for the christian right... christians have a messiah too.. like the nazi cult...

Censored? (3, Informative)

pahles (701275) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536706)

The list is about "challenged" books, not about them being censored. Please RTFA!

Banned Classics...1984 eh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536748)

Does anyone else find it a tad ironic that 1984 is among the books "censored"? Maybe they should remove Fahrenheit 451 as well. :)

Re:Banned Classics...1984 eh? (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537334)

Does anyone else find it a tad ironic that 1984 is among the books "censored"? Maybe they should remove Fahrenheit 451 as well. :)

I would go with enforcing conversion of the title to "Celsius 233". I am the SI unit Nazi

Twilight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536766)

I think they tried to censor the bad writing, but the book came out empty.

Challenged isn't censored (5, Informative)

jevring (618916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536798)

The article lists the most *challenged* books. Challenging a book doesn't result in it being censored. The title of the article is incredibly misleading.

Re:Challenged isn't censored (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537094)

To be clear, FTA:

A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.

It doesn't say anything about how successful these challenges are.

Re:Challenged isn't censored (2)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537280)

To follow up on my own comment about the success of these challenges, I read the Wikipedia page on And Tango Makes Three [wikipedia.org], #1 on this year's list and also #1 for 5 of the last 6 years. It's based on a true story where two male penguins formed a couple and were given an egg to raise.

To summarize the list of challenges on the linked page, which is hopefully representative of the challenges that went particularly far, there were...
3 failed requests to restrict the book
2 failed removal requests
1 successful request to move it to non-fiction
1 successful removal, oddly based on no requests; the removal was reviewed and at least temporarily reversed, though I didn't find the ultimate outcome

This is the mildest form of censorship I can think of. I imagine most school districts wouldn't bother to go to court over this book. It's good that this list is kept and some organizations work to keep controversial books around, but until some real censorship takes place it's not really news.

Re:Challenged isn't censored (2)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537416)

So they are examples of attempted censorship, not necessarily successful. It's still troublesome.

Re:Challenged isn't censored (2)

jevring (618916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537444)

So they are examples of attempted censorship, not necessarily successful. It's still troublesome.

There will always be people unhappy about something. It's their right to be. I don't think we have to be worried about people complaining about this until it's actually acted upon. It's not like we can prevent people from asking others to censor stuff. That would be censorship in itself.

ban maths!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536866)

the article said:

"majority of challenges were initiated by parents (almost exactly 48%),"

(Maybe they meant 'the most frequent source of challenges')

This year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536906)

All I see is up to 2010.

Did I go back in time without realizing it? If so get out of Northern Japan early next year.

Incongruous (2, Interesting)

akeeneye (1788292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536934)

Alexie's book, written for teenagers, yet quite satisfying reading for adults, has a few references to jacking off as I recall. Any parent of teenagers who thinks this would be foreign territory to their spawn is delusional. But Nickel and Dimed?? Are the uber-capitalists now descending on libraries to challenge the sort of books that illustrate that the economic status-quo is not exactly peachy for everyone?

Nickel and Dimed? (1)

ethicalcannibal (1632871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37536946)

Am I reading this right? 8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich? I know it get's bandied about politically, but why censor it? I read it and didn't find it objectionable. Anyone know why?

Re:Nickel and Dimed? (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537822)

Mainly for the political reasons and also for advocating illegal drug use.
Some teachers have been using it as a way to attack capitalism and providing no counter views so when adults find out about it there have been a few objections.

The difference between "challenged" and "censored" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536958)

It's actually quite easy.

If some authority disaollows you from reading a certain work and removes said work everywhere in their area of influence (and maybe even puts some sort of punishment on creating, owning, reading, knowing, trading, .. this work), it's "censored".

If you confuse "censored" and "challenged" when submitting a slashdot article (your own TFA even says "challenged" for the love of everything!) then you are "challenged".

One odd new entry for 2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37536962)

I'm curious as to why "Nickel and Dimed", an 8 year old book about how crappy it is to have a minimum wage job suddenly appeared on the list in 2010.

Harry Potter?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537080)

I noticed that Harry Potter got challenged quite a bit but not any more!

My 7 year old was learning about HP at school, it was part of her school's curriculum last year used to encourage kids to think about fantasy situations to help with with their creative writing skills. After they'd all finished the book they also sat and watched the film to see how their interpretations differed from the film maker's. I can imagine the people who complained back in 2002 would have a fit if they knew what was happening my kid's school, LOL!

I love this bullshit! "Quick, hide it! If we hide enough bad stuff our kiddies will be safe forever!". Roll forward several years. "Oh no why are our kids so screwed up and can't cope?! Why do they feel the need to run, hide and perhaps even contemplate suicide to escape from the nasty things in life? Could it be that we hid so much from they they don't understand how to cope with horrible things in life?".

I guess there's people out there with too much fucking free time on their hands they feel the need to complain to public libraries and request books be taken off shelves!
Alright don't show an 8 year old a mangled corpse or pictures from a vivisection lab or slaughter house, but discussing persecution ( Kill a Mocking Bird ), censorship ( Farhenheit 451 ) , repression ( 1984 ), magic and witch-craft ( Harry Potter ) is not going to screw your kids up, denying them these things most likely will!

How about Catcher in the Rye? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537378)

That was a real eye opener for me when I read it for the first time and I 'grew up' during the summer of love in '68.

Re:Harry Potter?! (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537930)

Not even that, how do you expect children to grow without experiencing? That doesn't require personal experience, any more than learning about airplanes requires you to be a pilot. But if you don't read about the wars, you'll never understand what "torture" or "genocide" etc. actually *mean*.

If it's just a word on the page, it's much easier to *commit* that act than if you have it drummed into you exactly WHAT happened (that kind of teaching inevitably comes with a certain "so never do it" moniker, but that's really not necessary if the right facts are put in front of someone). In schools I've worked in, it's been explained to 8-10 year old precisely what it means to not come back from the war. In Germany, you can visit concentration camps that show you uncensored videos of hundreds of bodies being pushed by a bulldozer into a hole in the ground as part of their educational section. This sort of stuff is horrific (in the original sense of the word) but incredibly educational.

Taking it to the other extreme, when a child's pet fish dies you can buy a replacement that looks the same, or have them help you bury it in the garden. It's sad and confusing for them, sure, but it's a very worthwhile thing to do.

The people who *complain* about these things being available understand what they are talking about only in a very removed context, thus it's easy to condemn them. But even they would have *more* knowledge of what's being banned than someone who's been insulated from everything that's banned (which could easily include lists of things that HAVE been banned).

Harry Potter is 100% harmless - it's Tolkien for kids (except in my day, Tolkien WAS for kids). But, hell, in Of Mice and Men, a best friend shoots a mentally-challenged person who's committed murder, after being afraid that other people might his friend has tried to commit rape. That book was taught to me in school, and I'm none the worse for it.

Never, in the best of schools I've been to, have I ever seen such a change as a rough class of inner-city kids come to a grinding, poignant, reflective silence - such as I witnessed in my own English class as a child as we read through the end of that book together. The closest I ever saw was when we were writing our own poems based on a poem describing war-time mustard-gassing of soldiers.

Things that are "horrific" can also be "fantastic", "terrific" or even "amazing" but only if you understand what those words actually *mean*. Just because they are horrific, does not mean you shouldn't subject yourself to them voluntarily. Better to get an idea of things by reading them first than by experiencing them.

s/censored/challenged/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537316)

How can the submitter use the word "censored" in the very hyperlink that points to a page containing a list of the most "challenged" books?

let me make this 100% clear:

THESE BOOKS ARE NOT, HAVE NOT, AND HAVE NEVER BEEN CENSORED.

Are there missing pages? black redaction lines? No.

This is a list of the most frequently challenged books that parents and fundamentalists complain about because they just happen to challenge their preconceptions or prejudices.

Do these people have a clue? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537442)

Seriously, we seem to be constantly under the impression that somehow, if we don't expose kids at all human sexuality, then somehow they won't become sexual. IE somehow readings lists can trump millions of years of evolution...

Here's a hint, the only kids interested in reading about "orgy porgy" are probably the only ones not actually recreating it :P

By the numbers (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537604)

4,660: Registered challenges to books since the beginning of the century.
311,800,000: Approximate population of the United States in 2011.
So, 1.49454779e-5, or .0000015%, of the population is responsible for
the "Frequently challenged books of the 21st century" list.

It's mind boggling that so few could affect the lives, or get the attention
of, so many.
Welcome to the era of rule by the lunatic fringe.

Re:By the numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37537916)

.000015 of the population, or .00015%

Re:By the numbers (1)

bjorniac (836863) | more than 2 years ago | (#37538030)

And that's presuming that there are no repeats - I'd wager there are people who object to more than one book at a time...

Our book was banned from Amazon and several others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37538118)

It is interesting, the whole "censorship" thing, in the end though as the years tick by we seem to find ourselves laughing a bit at books that had been banned in the past (I note with intrigue that a lot of the books on the list were actually on my school study list for "English" )

We recently had a book that we submitted banned by Amazon, ripped apart by B&N (but still there), rejected by Kobo and a few other distributors due to it being "offensive" because of its intense sexual nature and the context. That said, we're not entirely surprised, however on Goodreads we're picking up nice 5-star reviews and a good dosage of 4 & 5 star reviews elsewhere around the net.

Fortunately in this *day and age*, we can just sell it direct on eBooks :)

They got the order mixed up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37538142)

I think the ALA made a mistake - Twilight was listed as number 10, not number 1.

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