A parent in Utah is using a law allowing parents to request "inappropriate" books be removed from schools to challenge what they say is "one of the most sex-ridden books around" — the Bible.
A 2022 Utah law demands the removal of any books deemed “pornographic or indecent” from public schools, explicitly stating that the material doesn’t have to be “taken as a whole," but should be immediately removed for any inappropriate passage.
Parents are able to submit requests about specific books they believe should be removed, which has mostly been utilized by conservative organization Utah Parents United to challenge books about people of color and the LGBTQ+ community.
In a complaint filed December 11, one parent submitted a request to the Davis County school district to remove the Bible from schools, as it contains sexual content. They also included an eight-page document of passages that contain the explicit material.
“Incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide,” the parent wrote in their request, obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune. “You’ll no doubt find that the Bible, under Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1227, has ‘no serious values for minors’ because it’s pornographic by our new definition.”
They continued: “Get this PORN out of our schools. If the books that have been banned so far are any indication for way lesser offenses, this should be a slam dunk.”
District spokesperson Christopher Williams said that they are reviewing the request, but have been stalled due to a backlog of complaints from parents. He said that the Bible removal request would be treated no differently than any other case.
“We don’t differentiate between one request and another. We see that as the work that we do," he said.
In their request, the parent noted that they had read through the Bible, a step that Utah Parents United and alike actors fail to take when engaging in queer or racial material.
“I thank the Utah Legislature and Utah Parents United for making this bad faith process so much easier and way more efficient," the parent wrote. "Now we can all ban books and you don’t even need to read them or be accurate about it. Heck, you don’t even need to see the book!”
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