With banning books suddenly fashionable in America again, consider this modest proposal for a literary work that young people deserve to be protected from.

Few books contain more casual references to age-inappropriate issues like bestiality, incest, rape, infanticide, cannibalism, murder, adulatory, and drunken orgies than the, so-called, “holy” Bible. This should be reason enough to pull these texts from library shelves, to say nothing of the constitutional separation of church and state.

But worst of all, the second half of the book glorifies a radical leftist who promotes a woke ideology of tolerance and forgiveness, challenging local government and business leaders with his activism.

Because sarcasm can be difficult to convey in writing, let me clarify that I do not actually believe the Bible, or any other book, deserves to be banned. For one reason, I believe, as Mark Twain did, that if more people actually read the Bible for themselves, far fewer of them would choose to identify as Christians. Then, the fascist fever of Christian nationalism that has hijacked both the Republican Party and well-meaning faith communities might finally break.

In Washington and in state houses across the country, far-right politicians wielding their faith like an AR-15 appear determined to legislate out of existence entire groups of people they consider icky; immigrants, the LGBTQ community, single mothers, the working poor. WWJD, indeed.

We in Maine have fortunately been spared from the most vile rhetoric, but with the next election less than 18 months away and with you-know-who setting the tone for incivility, we can only expect the temperature and volume to rise.


Faith can inspire transcendent artwork and profound acts of generosity and charity or justify brutal and dehumanizing atrocities. Elected officials must not be allowed to use their religious beliefs as a political weapon.


Jonathan Strieff

South China

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