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Book banning is both real and damaging

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

Author James LaRue recently wrote the following article on why "Book banning is both real and damaging" for the Free Speech Center at MTSU.

Every year, apologists for the restriction of reading stumble over themselves to mock Banned Books Week. Matthew Walther’s recent essay, “The Enemies of Literature Are Winning,” in The New York Times upholds the grand tradition.

Complaints about banning, the argument goes, are simply false. Walther writes, “In zero cases since the advent of Banned Books Week has a local or state ordinance been passed in this country that forbids the sale or general possession of any of the books in question.”

Yet Texas HB 900 was passed on June 13 of this year. It requires book vendors to assign ratings to books based only on the presence of depictions or references to sex. If a book is “sexually explicit” and has no direct connection to required curriculum, it must be pulled from the school. (One wonders what happens to the Bible, and its story of Lot’s daughters, first offered by their father for gang rape, and whom he later sleeps with.)

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