I’ve been hitting the Banned Books websites lately and I often come away shaking my head. The latest came from South Carolina where a state legislator decided to attempt funding cuts for two colleges due to a class requiring students to read a particular book. Huh? In college I read plenty of crap I preferred to have been beer (books were expensive, now ebooks are making it cheap). Anybody ever read Comforts of Home?
Here’s the story
A South Carolina legislator wants to punish two public colleges for teaching a book that discusses homosexuality to freshmen. State Representative Garry Smith (R-Simpsonville) claimed that teaching Alison Bechdel’s award-winning graphic novel Fun…
I wonder how far it would go if an atheist lawmaker wished to cut funding for colleges which required the Bible to be read (religion classes, and literature classes)? Garry Smith is concerned that a person who is 17 may get their sweaty palms on the book in question and suddenly turn gay? Have an orgasm? Get a short haircut and start wearing comfortable shoes? What?
What it boils down to is the First Amendment and morality. If a student has an issue with the assigned text don’t take the class. The chances are pretty slim somebody signed up for the courses in question not knowing what books were required. The most likely story is one of the College Republicans slipped in so a controversy could ensue. Mission accomplished, funding cut.
Now that you can dictate the cash flow if a learning institution teaches something counter to your views it is only a matter of holding on to the steering wheel. The problem arises when the logical people realize no one group holds sway forever. Careful what you wish for, both of you.