We are in the midst of Banned Books Week, and I must confess that my feelings on banning books and other materials have changed drastically over the past few years.
There was a time when I would defend the freedom of speech and the publication of books no matter how noxious, but that time has passed. I now wish to urge the passing of a Blasphemy Law here in the United States, and, as a Jew, I will take as my model Articles 170 and 173 of the Israeli penal code:
170. If a person destroys, damages or desecrates a place of worship or any object that is held sacred by a group of persons, with the intention of reviling their religion, or in the knowledge that they are liable to deem that act an insult to their religion, then the one is liable to three years imprisonment.
173. If a person does any of the following, then the one is liable to one year imprisonment: (1) One publishes a publication that is liable to crudely offend the religious faith or sentiment of others; (2) One voices in a public place and in the hearing of another person any word or sound that is liable to crudely offend the religious faith or sentiment of others.
Here are just a few of the books that must be banned and who authors should be jailed:
The New Testament in that it blasphemes against Judaism by insisting that God had a child with a Jewish woman, and defames Jews as the spawn of Satan (John 8:44); The Qur’an in that it blasphemes against Christianity by declaring Jesus a prophet but not the Son of God, and defames both Christians and Jews; the Writings of the Baha’i Faith in that it blasphemes against Islam by denying that Mohammed is the final prophet of God; the writings of any Protestant Christians whose books defame the Catholic Church; the writings of any Catholic Christians whose books defame Protestantism; and the Book of Mormon in that it blasphemes against both Protestantism and Catholicism by insisting that the Trinity is comprised of three separate persons, and that God has a body.
The list could go on, but this is a good start. As far as jailing the authors of the books just mentioned, most of them are dead though there are plenty of living Protestant authors who defame the Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon so we shouldn’t give up on jailing blasphemers.
So there you have it. Ban Judy Bloom if you must, but ban the Torah, New Testament, and Qur’an right next to her. Like all other book banning advocates, I am certain the world will be a better place without these books—with the exception of Judy Bloom’s books which we will really miss.