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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Jonathan Pait
September 26, 2003

Yesterday, students of the SC Governor's School for the Arts held a "banned book reading."

It was all in honor of the American Library Association's National Banned Books Week. Of course, one wonders if these kids really have a concept of what a truly banned book might be.

Are there any banned books in America? Let's see . . . I can't think of any. Sure, different organizations, such as a school or library may exercise their rights to limit access to certain works. Yes, this is censorship, but censorship in that context is not illegal. Even when such censorship is employed, these books are accessible in any number of venues.

Gone are the days of book burnings. The fact that these students were able to use state funded facilities to read from these works is proof of that. They could have just as easily read them downtown or at county square.

What constitutes a "banned book" for many today is any time a book is not allowed to be forced upon people. People just must have access to ALL information or their intellectual growth will be stunted. If they don't have this access in every instance, it is a travesty. Then suddenly, just because a book has been kept out of certain venues makes that book "good." Interesting, how that in many cases the "badder" the book the "gooder" it becomes.

There is one more book that could very well fall in the banned book section; the Bible. I wonder if any of the students at the Governor's School read from that one? Ask John Wycliffe and William Tyndale about banned books! Thankfully, even though the Bible is certainly among this group of "banned books," the dream of Wycliffe and Tyndale has been realized and flourishes in America today.

Why? It is because there really are no banned books.

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