The American Library Association has released its list of the top 10 “challenged” books in America. ALA provides the list to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The list is compiled from libraries, schools, and the media reports on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. ALA says the top three reasons cited for challenging books are that the material is considered sexually explicit, contains offensive language, and the material is unsuited to any age group. There is, however, another reason that has propelled this particular book to the top ten list of those challenged to be banned from libraries and schools across America. Religious content. The results are shocking.
Among books that are sexually explicit, promote sex outside of marriage, those about transgendered teens, promote homosexuality and violence, is The Holy Bible. It is the sixth most challenged book in America. This is the first time since ALA began keeping statistics in 1990 that the Bible has made the list, debuting at 6. In context, the ALA has compiled the lists of top 100 challenged books in the decades of 1990-1999 and 2000-2010. The Bible was not on those lists. In fact, the Bible was not on the ALA challenged book list from 2011-2014. This needs to sink in. This is the first time the Bible has ever been on this list and it made it to number six. This is not only an indicator of society, but of a dangerous road ahead.
ALA says that 85% of book challenges receive no media attention and remain unreported. According to this statistic, there is a possibility that the Bible could be far and away number one on the list if all incidents were reported. The only measure to make the list is the number of “documented requests to remove materials from schools or libraries.” The largest groups of those who challenge books in general are two-fold: parents and administrators in public schools. Individual statistics on who challenged the Bible were not made public. An ALA spokesman said that there are complaints about the Koran, but not nearly as many as the Bible. In fact, the Koran doesn’t even make the list.
This is a grave reflection on the recent direction of society. The Bible is not “challenged” substantially for decades, probably since the establishment of public schools and libraries in America, and it debuts as the sixth most challenged book in American libraries and public schools. While the “church” should be outraged, it also should be ashamed at the job it is doing. The self-indulgent, extra-biblical doctrines being taught over the past generation are having more impact than even the devil could have imagined. Our nation is turning dark. Parents are seeking to ban the Word of God. Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” How dark are we to become?