Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., drove home the point of frustrated parents across the nation when in a Senate hearing he read from two books that parents want to ban from school libraries, exposing the true graphic nature of the books and forcing the witness to respond that the content is “very disturbing.”
Kennedy read the two books, Gender Queer and All Boys Aren’t Blue, during a hearing called “Book Bans: How Censorship Limits Liberty and Literature.” The books feature grotesquely graphic depictions of minors engaging in various homosexual acts.
The hearing was held as the American Library Association (ALA) and PEN America decry “book bans,” claiming that parents who demand that sexually explicit books be removed from school libraries are engaging in censorship.
PEN America lists the two previously named books as the most banned books during the 2021-2022 school year.
Kennedy read excerpts from the books and questioned Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, who is also the state librarian, about why the books should be allowed in school libraries. Illinois has enacted a “Right to Read” law that pulls funding from any library that removes books, including books that are pornographic.
“You come here and say censorship is bad, and of course it’s bad,” Kennedy said. “But the obvious response is — you heard the books we’re talking about. We’re not talking about Catcher in the Rye. So tell me, who gets to decide? And all I’ve heard is the librarians. And parents have nothing to do with it. and if that’s your response, what planet did you just parachute in from?”
The Secretary of State replied, “With all due respect, senator, the words are disturbing, especially coming out of your mouth, it’s very disturbing, but we’re not advocating for kids to read porn. We’re advocating for parents, random parents, not to have the ability under the guise of keeping kids safe to try and challenge the worldview of every single manner on these issues.”
That claim seems suspect as Illinois requires libraries to adopt the ALA bill of rights. ALA not only fought for the removal of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which requires libraries to install filters on computers that prevent children from accessing pornography but also pushes its list of supposedly Top 10 Most Challenged Books. With its 2022 list, ALA celebrated the authors and their books, which included graphic depictions of sex between children, as well as pedophilia.
PEN America and ALA claim that thousands of books have been banned, although those statistics are inflated by the fact that any book that is challenged by parents is automatically placed on the “banned books” list, even if the library puts the book back on the shelf.
American Enterprise Institute research fellow Max Eden argued, “Careful analysis also belies the claims that books are being banned because of race or LGBT issues. Whereas PEN America labels the Black Lives Matter inspired The Hate U Give as the fifth most banned book, we found it available in every school library in question.”
What parents really want banned from school libraries and the children’s sections of public libraries are those books that show or describe graphic sexual content, the very same books that ALA and PEN America want to be made available to children.
Kennedy’s move, though rarely if ever seen from Congress, is one that parents across America have been using at school board meetings as a way to help people realize the graphic nature of these books. Many parents have read excerpts from books that schools either have as part of their reading lists or allow in libraries. On many occasions, these parents are forced to stop speaking due to the inappropriate nature of the books.
Challenges of books aren’t coming only from parents worried about pornography, however. Books by Dr. Seuss, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, and other authors have all been the target of attempted censorship by the left, which alleges that any books that are racist or have offensive language should be banned. That even includes To Kill a Mockingbird, which has been removed from required reading lists or outright banned by some progressive school districts in recent years.
Other authors have had their original words “revised” to be in line with “modern” leftist sensibilities. This includes Roald Dahl, whose books Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, are being edited to remove the words “fat” and “ugly” in describing characters and changing the description of Oompa Loompas from “small men” to “small people.”
The radical left is portraying protective parents as censors who want to ban and burn books, even as it seeks to tear down historic monuments, remove the names of presidents from schools, and ban classic literature. The ALA and PEN America pretend this is because parents are somehow racist or anti-LGBT when actually the difference is quite clear: The left wants to ban things that have value and are part of history by claiming they are offensive, while parents want to keep out pornography and other materials that are inappropriate for children from school libraries.
Clearly, the left cannot distinguish between literature and smut. It seeks to ban the former and advance the latter. You will often see Gender Queer or other books described as an “LGBT coming-of-age story.” That is a euphemism for the overtly pornographic nature of the books, which not only detail sexual acts but use illustrations to actually show minors having sex. The books the ALA and the left want children to be able to read — and even be forced to read — include some of the most graphic and perverse descriptions you can imagine and, as such, the Freedom Center will not quote from any of them here.
The question of censorship is not at play here. There is absolutely no right for children to have access to pornography or books that depict pedophilia — in fact, a healthy, moral society would never stand for adults pushing such materials on innocent children.
Many are criticizing Kennedy for reading from the books, but he has brought into the light the evil that many have sought to keep in the dark. Parents must keep challenging these books. Children’s innocence — and well-being — is at stake.
Collegiate education is saturated in woke narratives and progressive agendas. Sadly, this secularistic intrusion is happening in America’s grade schools as well. But this doesn’t have to happen to your children! Liberty University Online Academy is a K-12 program designed to educate your children in the ways of the Lord while preparing them to stand firm in their faith when they graduate. Our flexible online curriculum ensures your student is trained at your convenience and keeps YOU the ultimate educator of your children.