An anonymous Utah parent has requested for the Bible to be removed from the Davis School District, complaining about its “pornographic” content.
The parent is exercising his or her right under a new Utah law that allows materials to be challenged or reported as indecent. If the text includes sexual acts, that book is to be immediately removed from school shelves. New reports say the parent included an eight-page document that cited offensive passages with rape, incest, sex, and nudity examples in the Bible for the school board to review.
“Get this PORN out of our schools,” the parent stated in the request, specifically asking for the religious text to be taken out of Davis High School, located north of Salt Lake City. “If the books that have been banned so far are any indication for way lesser offenses, this should be a slam dunk.”
According to Newsweek, the district has removed 33 books from schools due to previous requests. Parents also have the option to ask their child’s school to disable a student from checking out certain titles.
This parent, however, wants the Bible completely removed because he or she believes the Holy Book has “no serious value for minors.” While the district reviews this parent’s complaint—first submitted on Dec. 11—some Christians have spoken out about the outlandish petition.
“The Bible’s pretty raw, and there’s some pretty raw stuff in there, but it’s nothing compared to what kids see on their phones, on the computer, on the TV on a daily basis,” youth and worship minister Andrew Strang told Newsweek. “In the Bible, we also see God’s redemptive nature in never condoning these things that are sinful but always judging, punishing and redeeming.”
The First Liberty Institute announced that it recently wrote a letter to the Davis School District’s review committee, explaining why it is both reasonable and legal to have the Bible in school libraries and reminding them to uphold the First Amendment.
“The serious educational value of the Bible to secondary students is unquestionable. Far from being inappropriate, many studies have shown that knowledge of the Bible is actually critical to a student’s education,” said First Liberty attorney Keisha Russell. In an online article, First Liberty referred to multiple surveys by the Bible Literacy Project, including the statistic that “98% of high-school-level English teachers agreed that students who do not know the Bible are at a disadvantage when reading and studying literature.”
“Importantly, it is also illegal for the school district to display hostility toward any particular religion or religious text,” Russell continued. “The school district must adhere to the law.”