California school bans all Christian books
Tue, 30 Sep 2014
A school in California has caused controversy by banning all Christian material from its library.
Staff at the library were told to remove all books with a Christian message, authored by Christians or published by a Christian company.
One of the books to be removed was Corrie ten Boom’s ‘The Hiding Place’, the story of a Christian family who helped Jews escape the Holocaust.
A parent of students enrolled at Springs Charter Schools contacted the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a religious advocacy group, after talking to library personnel.
She was shocked at the number of books being removed from shelves to be given away.
As a result the PJI contacted the school to alert them that in banning the books, they were violating the First Amendment.
The school’s Superintendent Kathleen Hermsmeyer, responded to the PJI in a letter writing: “We do not purchase sectarian educational materials and do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves”.
Corrie ten Boom’s ‘The Hiding Place’, a true story of courage and compassion by Christians in Nazi Germany, is one of many titles deemed “sectarian”.
President of the PJI, Brad Dacus commented: “It is alarming that a school library would attempt to purge books from religious authors.
“Indeed, some of the greatest literature of Western Civilization comes from people of faith. Are they going to ban the sermons or speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?”
“Libraries cannot engage in an open purging of books simply because they are of a Christian perspective”, Dacus continued.
Dacus called the school to immediately reverse their “ill-conceived and illegal book-banning policy” or face further legal action.
Earlier this year, the UK wide hotel chain Travelodge removed the Bible from all of its rooms, in a move criticised by the Church of England.
Bibles provided free by the Gideons were taken away to avoid discriminating against any other religion.
Writing on the Telegraph website, commentator Tim Stanley described Travelodge’s decision as “an act of cultural vandalism upon a tradition that goes back 126 years”.