With Hurricane Dorian and the amazon still burning, you wouldn’t think there’d be enough room in the news for this, but here we are. I mean, you can’t say there have been any slow news days lately, yet still the media jumped all over this. This is nothing. It’s silly, and it’s nothing. Harry Potter books have been banned from yet another school library. This has happened so many times over the past twenty years, it’s hard to keep track.
So, why does a staunch defender of the First Amendment such as myself see this as a whole lotta nothin’? Because this isn’t a public school. It is a Catholic school. It is a private school. My cries against censorship pretty much stop at religious institutions. As far as I’m concerned, they can read what they want, ban what they want, and teach what they want within the confines of their walls. Do I agree with doing so? Not morally, no. But I support their right to do it. If this is the life these parents have chosen for their children, I don’t have much to say about it, other than I hope the kids grow up to read any books they damn well please, Harry Potter included.
If this were a public school, supported by public tax dollars, my tune would be very different, and I likely would be making a shoddy and gaudy sign ready to protest instead of blogging about it. The only way this would really piss me off is if I learned that this school were supported by public tax dollars, but I still wouldn’t be pissed about the ban, per se, rather the idea that public monies are being used for a religious institution. Church and state…SEPARATE. THAT. SHIT. NOW. Of course, this school is in the red state of Tennessee, so this is, sadly, quite possibly the case.
I suppose this story went so viral, because it has the added twist that the other Harry Potter bans have lacked over the years; the decision came after the school consulted with exorcists who declared that reading the books may inadvertently summon evil spirits. I mean, that’s kind of badass. Um, hi, Catholic school, do you know kids at all? You just made the books so appealing to kids that J. K. Rowling is figuratively admonishing herself with a firm head-slap for not thinking of consulting exorcists first.