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Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Common Core Recommended Reading Condones Rape, Pedophilia, Graphic Sex?

August 27, 2013|9:49 pm

Editor's Note: The following article contains graphic material.

A book on the federal Common Core State Standards Initiative's recommended reading list has sparked outrage among Christian leaders and one community in Colorado for its graphic and non-judgmental portrayal of rape, pedophilia, and incest.

"This book is no different than pornography," Monica Cole, director of One Million Moms, an online advocacy arm of the American Family Association, told The Christian Post in a Monday interview. She then linked pornography to human trafficking, rape, sexual violence, and even sexual slavery.

In order to compete for the education funds, states had to agree to adopt the standards even before they knew what the standards would be. All but five states adopted them, and their slow unveiling has caused a great deal of controversy among both conservatives and liberals.

The book in question, The Bluest Eye by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, appears under "Grade 11-CCR Text Exemplars" on Appendix B of the Common Core website. According to the short summary, it tells how "an eleven-year-old african-american girl in Ohio, in the early 1940s, prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be beautiful."

The novel uses explicit, bodily detail in its narration of sexual acts. "When she senses some spasm about to grip him, she will make rapid movements with her hips, press her fingernails into his back, suck in her breath, and pretend she is having an orgasm," runs one episode. Lewd references to body parts abound, even in the case of little girls.

The author reportedly said "she wanted the reader to feel as though they are a 'co-conspirator' with the rapist," so "she took pains to make sure she never portrayed the actions as wrong in order to show how everyone has their own problems." The book narrates cases of pedophilia, rape, and incest which the author described as "friendly," "innocent," and "tender."

Since Common Core is a set of standards, not a curriculum, schools will be able to choose whether or not to suggest the book, but some have argued that even its presence on the recommended list crosses a line. A local petition to remove the book from the Common Core reading list in Broomfield, Colo., has gathered 1,205 signatures.

Cole said she was "speechless," that this book would be on the recommended reading list, and she set an ultimatum. "The material that is sexually graphic, we don't agree with it and it needs to be pulled from the curriculum immediately," she stated firmly.

Cole also condemned the pedophile's use of the Lord's name to justify his actions – "I work only through the Lord. He sometimes uses me to help people," the character claims.The director of One Million Moms called this "an extremely sneaky way to involve violence in the school system."

The director asked why books like this one, as opposed to the classics, are recommended to children. She mentioned "millions of books to recommend" as opposed to this one.

Cole stressed that neither One Million Moms nor the American Family Association has yet taken a stand against Common Core in general, but when it comes to The Bluest Eye, she proved more definitive. "Nothing good will come of this," she proclaimed.

While also condemning Common Core's recommendation of the book, Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., took a slightly different view. "This dispute is not about whether the author is skilled as a writer and it's not about whether this is even good literature for adults," but only "whether this graphic sexual subject matter is appropriate for schools," he told CP on Monday.

Sprigg argued that "if it's going to be read by minors at all, it's got to be completely voluntary without the school encouraging it in any way." While kids may end up seeing this sort of material anyway, it is inappropriate for the school itself to expose them to it.

Cases like this, Sprigg explained, inflame the debate over national education standards. While he emphasized that the Family Research Council has not yet taken a stand on the issue, he defended as legitimate the fear that Common Core "will not leave room for community standards to be applied – especially moral community standards."

While Cole argued that Morrison, the book's author, likely used the book to argue for moral relativism, Sprigg gave her the benefit of the doubt. He argued that Morrison might have just wanted the reader to feel empathy for a wrongdoer – not to condone actions like rape and pedophilia.

The Family Research Council scholar said he supports adults being able to read books like this, but he argued stringently against taxpayer dollars being spent to suggest such works to children. "Anything that, if it was depicted on screen, would be rated R or worse, it should not be presented to the students in high school or K-12 education," he argued. Nevertheless, he admitted that it should be a local decision, not something enforced by the state.

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/common-core-recommended-reading-condones-rape-pedophilia-graphic-sex-103072/