Over at Science Blogs, there is a terrific post in reaction to a Canadian school board’s decision to remove books by an author — because he is an atheist. What would a library be without atheism? According to PZ Meyers’ well-done post, pretty much empty (especially the science and science fiction sections). Snip:
A Canadian school board has decided to remove Philip Pullman’s books from its schools’ shelves because people complained that the author is an atheist. This is a remarkable objection, obviously. I mean, we don’t see school boards screaming to remove Chuck Colson’s books from the shelves because the author is a convicted felon, which seems to me to be a much more serious indicator of moral turpitude than atheism, nor do we see a call to eject books by Ann Coulter because she is incredibly stupid, and is therefore a poor role model for students. It’s just atheism that spurs this objection.
I think we ought to run with it. The school board didn’t go far enough. Let’s purge school libraries of all books by atheists.
Wikipedia has a nice partial list to start with. Let’s throw all these authors out.
* Douglas Adams (1952-2001): British radio and television writer, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
* Isaac Asimov (1920-1992): Russian-born American author of science fiction and popular science books. (…)
(…) Targeting the intellectual, literate segment of the culture, the kinds of people who write and read books, is simply guaranteed to hit large numbers of atheists, and it’s a powerful strategy for this school board to take, especially if they want to reduce spending on books. There is the problem that it’s often not easy to detect which books had an atheist author — it’s not the kind of datum that’s specified in the card catalog. Maybe we should also insist that publishers stamp some distinguishing mark on books by atheist authors to simplify their identification, like, say, a scarlet A on their spines. (…)