Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Read A Banned Book To Celebrate Banned Books Week – 2009

This is Banned Books Week.

Also known as Hypocrite Awareness Week. This is about people, who claim to care about education, but wish to ban books because of their fear that students might read. Even worse, students might understand.

Another name for Banned Books Week could be First Amendment Week. Not just because this highlights the threats to the free speech part of the First Amendment. The people trying to prevent children from reading are often pushing the beliefs of their religious sect on those not in their sect. This is also about protecting us from those trying to establish their religious beliefs in law, using the public school system as their weapon.

This appears to be the goal of the book banning mob:

One of my favorite books on education would probably be banned – if it weren’t aimed at the teachers, rather than the students. Teaching as a Subversive Activity[1] is about teaching the students to ask the right questions, rather than teaching them to answer questions. Education is something that continues throughout one’s life. The best way to keep learning is to ask the right questions.

Every valuable human being must be a radical and a rebel, for what he must aim at is to make things better than they are. Niels Bohr.

Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question. Niels Bohr.

Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers in the preceding generation … Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way:

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. Richard Feynman.

Here is an example of the way that pressure is brought to prevent students from being exposed to any discussion of a topic, because just mentioning it could make it happen – knock on wood. The parents signed permission slips for their children to read the book. Others were not required to read it. The fanatical parents still opposed the ability of the other parents to allow their children to read this book. Book bans have nothing to do with being reasonable.

Mule Breath points out that today is International Blasphemy Day.

This is the fourth anniversary of the publishing of some cartoons in Denmark in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten[2]

Muslims wanted to kill these cartoonists for depicting Mohammed, the newspaper employees for publishing these cartoons, and anyone who might happen to get in the way of their desire to just Kill! Kill! Kill!. Many of the same people, who might read and/or produce the newspaper below.

They can print the same cartoons. I guess, they use the phrase, It’s not blasphemy, when we do it.

We even had some home grown commentary on terrorists.[3]

Book burners, promoters of censorship, issuers of fatwas, . . . ; Muslim, Christian, Jewish . . . silencers of opposition; You are all the same.

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^ 1 Teaching as a Subversive Activity
by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner.
Open library link

Wikipedia article about Inquiry Education

^ 2 Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy

^ 3 I Was a Tool of Satan…
Doug Marlette describing the religious outreach from his Muslim brothers, when he printed that comic.

I have outraged Christians by skewering Jerry Falwell, Catholics by needling the pope, and Jews by criticizing Israel. Those who rise up against the expression of ideas are strikingly similar. No one is less tolerant than those demanding tolerance. Despite differences of culture and creed, they all seem to share the notion that there is only one way of looking at things, their way. What I have learned from years of this is one of the great lessons of all the world’s religions: we are all one in our humanness.In my response, I reminded readers that my “What Would Mohammed Drive?” drawing was an assault not upon Islam but on the distortion of the Muslim religion by murderous fanatics –

Then I gave my Journalism 101 lecture on the First Amendment, explaining that in this country we do not apologize for our opinions. Free speech is the linchpin of our republic. All other freedoms flow from it. After all, we don’t need a First Amendment to allow us to run boring, inoffensive cartoons. We need constitutional protection for our right to express unpopular views. If we can’t discuss the great issues of the day on the pages of our newspapers fearlessly, and without apology, where can we discuss them? In the streets with guns? In cafés with strapped-on bombs?…