By Felix Clairvoyant, Ph.D.
The recent decision to have as many as eight Utah elementary and middle-school districts remove the Bible from their school library gave me pause. And I’m pretty sure the general public is divided on this contentious decision. Let’s face it, the Bible—and many other religious books for that matter—is replete with passages that can make any human rights advocate’s hair stand straight. So, rather than take the extreme measure of removing entire Bibles from school shelves—which is already upsetting many Christians who view this move as discriminatory and anti-Christian—and until Rael's proposal submitted to the UN decades ago is finally on the UN agenda, why not simply create a 'special section' in those libraries called “Warning: Anti-Human Rights Books—Adults Only” or “Warning: Books that Violate Human Rights—Adults Only” and stack the bookshelves accordingly? Wouldn’t this approach be less draconian and more impartial for now? Of course, it would. And it would be a first step in the right direction.
We are actually already seeing a backlash from their decision and this is only the beginning. To have the district’s Board of Education establish and appoint a committee for the sole purpose of reviewing parents’ complaints is counterproductive, and perhaps if things had been handled differently, such a committee would never have seen the light of day. Case in point, the Davis School District is now considering whether to return the Bible to library shelves.
But if we are serious at all about filtering the content of any book, it should be done for violence-related not sex-related passages like onanism, pornography, racial identity, or LGBTQ lifestyles, and we should start by expurgating from all religious texts every single passage that violates human rights, such as the beating, raping, and stoning of wives for disobeying their husbands, the killing of adulterers, homosexuals and infidels, pedophilia, genital mutilation, infanticide, and rape, and the list goes on. Because if we continue to ignore such teachings, we are only ensuring more generations of violence, and at some point, we must say "Enough is enough" and hold all religions accountable for what they teach their followers.
For decades now, Rael—spiritual leader of the International Raelian Movement (see Raelian Movement)—has advocated the creation of an international oversight committee that would be tasked with the removal from all religious texts of any passage that incites racism, sexism, discrimination, intolerance, and violence. In other words, passages that fail to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. How much longer will the UN continue to ignore such a brilliant and pro-human rights request remains to be seen. Until then, we must continue to campaign for human rights, justice, freedom, equality, and peace for all humans.