The week’s list of forbidden books bans the Bible



Bibles are inside a church pew stand. |

It is the week of the forbidden book. It is sponsored by the American Library Association. As usual, the world’s most forbidden book, the Bible, is not on the list. They should reconsider. ALA’s annual crusade against the book ban is inconceivable without Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, which is by far the most influential book on the book ban phenomenon, and ALA has exploited the brand. Bradbury on several occasions in his public statements.

What they don’t seem to know, or at least they don’t, is that Bradbury himself has recognized the great importance of the Bible and its historic role as a target for banners. Bradbury, who saw himself as both a Buddhist and a Christian, gave the Bible a very important role in Fahrenheit 451. For example, the Bible is the first book Montag reads, the one that awakens him from the restrictions of his society. tyrannical.

When Montag tries to free his wife from the spirit of the times, he reads Matthew Arnold’s poem Dover Beach aloud to her.

“The sea of ​​faith
Was once also at the edge of the full and round earth
Were like the folds of a coiled shiny belt.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy roar, long and withdrawn,
Retreat, to the breath
From the night wind, along the vast gloomy shores
And the bare shingles of the world….

His call seems similar to the narrator of the poem in that he asks his love to join him in fidelity and truth to one another despite the loss of truth in the world …

“Ah, my love, let’s be real
To another! for the world, which seems
To lie down in front of us like a land of dreams,
So diverse, so beautiful, so new,
Really has no joy, no love, no light,
No certainty, no peace, no help for pain;
And we are here as in a dark plain
Swept away by confused fight and flight alarms,
Where ignorant armies clash at night. “

Dover Beach

“Where ignorant armies clash at night” is particularly relevant as throughout the novel there are glimpses of warplanes flying no one knows where and the sounds of a distant battle, but no one seems to know who is fighting whom. The clashes take place in ignorance, what Bradbury tells those with ears to hear is due to the “long roar of withdrawal” from the “sea of ​​faith”.

This is how far the sea of ​​faith has receded since Fahrenheit 451:

In 1968 a film was made based on the book, except for the reference to the Bible as a book that launched Montag on his journey, is deleted from history. The famous engraving sequence does not show the Bible being burned and has a strong inclination towards post-modern secular literature with a particular weakness for existentialism.

In the book, when Montag finally escapes and meets the community that keeps the books alive through memorization, he meets someone who has memorized the gospel of Luke. The film cuts that too.

It’s like the script starts with the book, then tears up (and burns) any pages that have something positive to say about the Bible and the faith.

In 2009, a “graphic novel” was produced from the book. Graphic novels are the artistically sounding names of what we used to call comics. Ray Bradbury’s book, Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation, which the ALA promoted, eliminates almost all references to the Bible.

Then we have 2018 and the cinematic reboot of the movie that shot on the HBO platform. He took the message one step further, not only did he immolate the message that the Bible is the go-to bait par excellence for aspiring dictators like the 1968 book did, he goes further and aligns the Bible. and the burners together. Surprisingly, instead of the Bible being burned by “firefighters” like in the original novel, the Bible is one of the few books the state recommends. Sure, he recommends a simplified Bible emoji, but the chief book burner at the start of the film explains to students that the Bible and Moby Dick are among the few books to read. This is a blatant reversal of Bradbury’s novel, worse than burning because it makes the viewer feel like they’re learning something about the story when instead their head is filled with lies .

It’s HBO, which is Time Warner, which is really AT&T, that should remind all of us who the real “firefighters” are today. In the United States and Europe, it is the companies that are taking the lion’s share of the ban. Whether it’s literally banning unapproved views like cross-skepticism from Amazon and Target’s digital shelves, or Youtube or Twitter, or co-opting classic literature in a way that overturns its true meaning. , the dirty work is more and more done not by the State but by legal persons of State size.

Such a ban will fail. It is a sign of fear. I have never banned the reading of atheist books in my house because Marx, Freud and Nietzsche do not scare me. Their ideas are easily demolished by argument, so no force is needed. The fact that they ban us shows that force or manipulation is all they have.

Jerry Bowyer is a financial economist, president of Bowyer Research and author of “The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics”.


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