Bible Ranks No. 6 on List of Top 10 Most Challenged Books

A man holds a Bible.
A man holds a Bible. | (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Chris Yarzab)

The American Library Association has revealed that the Bible is among the books most often challenged and called to be banned in libraries.

"You have people who feel that if a school library buys a copy of the Bible, it's a violation of church and state," said James LaRue, who directs the Office for Intellectual Freedom for the American Library Association, according to The Associated Press.

"And sometimes there's a retaliatory action, where a religious group has objected to a book and a parent might respond by objecting to the Bible."

Guidelines for the Office for Intellectual Freedom have clarified that including Bibles in the library does not violate the separation of church and state, as long as it is not endorsed or promoted above other religious material.

While the Bible ranked at No. 6 on the list, most of the other books were objected to because of sexually explicit content, or because of having an LGBT theme.

The LA Times released the full list, which includes: Looking for Alaska by John Green at the very top, due to its sexually explicit nature. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James came in at second for the same reasons, while books such as I am Jazz, Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, and Two Boys Kissing focused on LGBT themes.

The association clarified, however, that the list of challenged books is not comprehensive, and offers only a snapshot of reports.

"[T]he Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books list should be seen as a snapshot of the reports [the Office for Intellectual Freedom] receives and not an exhaustive report," it said.

"[S]urveys indicate up to 85 percent of book challenges receive no media attention and remain unreported."

Some evangelical voices, such as Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham, have suggested that due to the rising tide of secularism across the Western world, it might not be long before the Bible is publicly banned.

Last month, Ham commented on a case involving a prison chaplain who was forced to resign from his post after being warned by authorities not to read verses from the Bible dealing with homosexuality.

"This is an alarming example of how quickly Christians are losing religious freedom across the West. In this case, it wasn't even acceptable for this chaplain to use God's Word during a chapel service — a completely voluntary service where those attending would expect to hear from God's Word. It won't be long before we see this happening in other countries, including America," Ham responded

"And really, the authorities are saying the Bible itself is not suitable for people! How long before it will be outlawed?"

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