How do you feel about state and local school boards and other jurisdictions banning of classic books such as those I’ve listed? Under what circumstances, if any, do you feel that banning of such books is appropriate and justifiable?
Just the other day, I posted this clip from “Inherit The Wind.”
This is what Darrow actually said from the original transcript.
Darrow – If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach it in the public school, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools, and the next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers. Soon you may set Catholic against Protestant and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the minds of men. If you can do one you can do the other. Ignorance and fanaticism is ever busy and needs feeding. Always it is feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers, tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers and the lectures, the magazines, the books, the newspapers. After while, your honor, it is the setting of man against man and creed against creed until with flying banners and beating drums we are marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth century when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind.
The movie sticks pretty close to the original trial’s transcript, changing words only where we now use different words. The author didn’t alter the intent or meaning of the speech. What was true in 1925 is true in 2022.
Ignorance and fanaticism is forever busy and needs feeding.
Ignorance and fanaticism has gone out of control. No longer confined to backwater towns in Tennessee, it is sweeping large segments of our nation and who knows? Maybe with our help, it could sweep the world! Instead of waiting for earth to die of the damage we’ve done, we could have another war and blow ourselves to smithereens.
What an irony that Europe pretty much settled these issues five or six hundred years ago, but we never heard of the Renaissance and Enlightenment. We won’t trust anything that isn’t “American.” We act as if America is the creator of everything. We may not be God, but it would seem we are his appointed nation.
Funny how every nation — not matter what horrors they perpetrate — are sure God is on their side. I’d like to hear what God has to say about it, but thus far, all I hear is silence. Is it possible that God isn’t on their side? Or maybe God gave us intelligence and the ability to choose to do the right thing and then left town?
Banning books is the same as banning our right to think, our right to intelligently understand this world. Instead of seeking to understand, we have doubled back and joined hands with the judges who condemned Galileo.
I am so glad I don’t have children in school. I have substantial doubts — and good reason for those doubts — that this country is going to recover, find it’s center, and be a light to the world ever again. As a nation — though not necessarily individually — we have lost our way, lost our integrity, as well as our understanding of good and evil, right and wrong, truth and falsehood.
We are hopelessly lost. But hey, if someone’s deity comes out of the mist and pulls off a miracle? I’m ready. We need a miracle. It might be the only thing left with a chance of saving our national soul.