Friday, November 23, 2007

Religious Persecution

The Halton Catholic School Board has not only removed Philip Pullman's books (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) from its libraries; it has even removed catalogs that advertise the books. The reason given is that the author is an atheist and the books have atheistic themes. Halton's move was based on a local complaint and is subject to review, but the campaign against the books (and atheism in general) is widespread, and has been promoted by groups such as the US Catholic League.

It would be outrageous if a school board banned books because the author was Muslim or Hindu; why is it acceptable to have open season on atheists? Atheism is a deeply held conviction of many people, including myself, and we should have equal rights with people of differing faiths. Persecuting atheists should be just as illegal as persecuting other faiths.

Fearing atheists as devil-worshippers or god-killers is tantamount to calling educated women witches. Atheists are no threat. We don't even proselytise. You never see atheists out knocking on doors trying to badger people into changing their faith.

Can we not take the Halton Catholic School Board to court for breaching a fundamental tenet of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms - freedom of religion? The assault on atheism is a denial of my right to my own faith.

Update: US School Bans Dictionary


1 comment:

Graeme said...

I saw this in the newspaper yesterday, and seriously considered writing a letter to the editor about it, but I was so angry about it that I doubt they would have published my letter, which would have said something to the effect of "This is crap!"

You've put it much more eloquently than I would have, and I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote.