After a parent requested that the Bible be reviewed by a Utah county school district on the grounds that it is “pornographic,” a nonprofit law firm dedicated to defending religious liberty is pushing back. On April 24, First Liberty Institute sent a letter to the Sensitive Materials Review Committee of the Davis School District, warning the committee “not to act in a manner that is hostile toward Christianity.”
“Consistent with Constitution and district policies, Davis School District libraries have copies of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Torah, and the Quran available to check out,” said the letter. “Removal of the Bible while permitting other holy books to remain available presents unconstitutional hostility toward Christianity.”
Davis School District Asked To Review Bible
In late March, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that in December a parent had filed a request to have the Bible removed from school libraries, calling the text “one of the most sex-ridden books around.”
The parent referenced a law banning sensitive materials in schools that the Utah state legislature passed in March 2022. Critics of the law argue it is being used to silence the perspectives of minorities and that it is interfering with librarians’ book review process, which had been adequate prior to the law’s passage. Supporters say the law is protecting children from the destructive impact of pornography.
According to the parent who wrote the district, the Bible contains “incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide.” The parent continued, “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. 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.”
The parent included a document listing “offensive” Bible passages from the Old and New Testaments, including Matthew 15:19, where Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
The Bible is currently one of more than 80 books the district committee is reviewing, according to a statement sent by Davis School District spokesperson Christopher Williams to The Christian Post in March.
In its letter, First Liberty Institute said that removing the Bible would present “serious constitutional concerns.” The firm defended the Bible as having “serious value for minors” as a work of literature and history. Furthermore, should the district remove the Bible, it would be discriminating against Christianity because other religious texts contain some of the same passages the parent cited in his or her letter.