Prisons Purging Books on Faith From Libraries

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by MegansPrius, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. MegansPrius

    MegansPrius GoogleMeister, AKA bongokitty

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    Stupid is as stupid does.

    Prisons Purging Books on Faith From Libraries http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/10/us/10pri...amp;oref=slogin
    "There’s a lot about it that’s weird.” The lists “show a bias toward evangelical popularism and Calvinism.”
     
  2. hycamguy07

    hycamguy07 New Member

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    Jails/Prisons are a plethra of religions, I can see them having two books per religion..and replace them every 5 yrs. with another two books.
     
  3. fshagan

    fshagan Senior Member

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    Well, we should ban books on Islam, except for the Quran, and limit access to the prisoners from Muslims, but not any other religion. Unless that religion starts spawning people who fly airplanes into buildings.
     
  4. fshagan

    fshagan Senior Member

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    Well, we should ban books on Islam, except for the Quran, and limit access to the prisoners from Muslims, but not any other religion. Unless that religion starts spawning people who fly airplanes into buildings.
     
  5. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    Cash money says no librarians in the decision-making process.
     
  6. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    Cash money says no librarians in the decision-making process.
     
  7. n8kwx

    n8kwx Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(fshagan @ Sep 11 2007, 10:29 PM) [snapback]511044[/snapback]</div>
    So we should ban the New Testament? According to some Christian wacko 9/11 was God's punishment for us.

    Islam isn't the only religion that has a small fringe that does bad things in God's name.
     
  8. n8kwx

    n8kwx Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(fshagan @ Sep 11 2007, 10:29 PM) [snapback]511044[/snapback]</div>
    So we should ban the New Testament? According to some Christian wacko 9/11 was God's punishment for us.

    Islam isn't the only religion that has a small fringe that does bad things in God's name.
     
  9. fshagan

    fshagan Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(n8kwx @ Sep 11 2007, 09:13 PM) [snapback]511068[/snapback]</div>
    You obviously didn't read my post. Go back and read it, and then reformulate your question so it fits my thesis to make a comparison. Oh, never mind, you won't be able to see your mistake. I'll explain it to you.

    I said ban all Muslim books except the Quran. The Quran (Koran) would be equivalent in this context to the New Testament. So your challenge fails on that point alone.

    It also fails in its inability to make a moral distinction between someone saying "this is God's punishment" and someone killing 3,000 people. One is free speech, and one is a crime. Even if you think the former is reprehensible, do you really think saying something stupid is the same as killing someone?

    Islam's "small fringe" is responsible for thousands and thousands of American deaths, as well as millions of deaths in Africa. It is "tolerated" and its techniques and actions thought "acceptable" by about a third of AMERICAN Muslims under 30 years old. Estimates run as high as 30% of the world's Muslim's support the Jihad. A greater percentage believe that it would be best for all people to live under Sharia Law (nearly 80% of Muslims in some studies).

    Find me a Christian or Jewish denomination today that comes close to that. Or a Buddhist, Bahia, Shinto-ist, Pagan or any other religion. You'll find isolated examples, numbers in the single digits, of usually a mentally off-balanced person who is not acting on orders from a higher religious authority. There is simply no equal to the Fatwa in Islam among Christians, Jews, Bahias, Buddhists, Pagans, or any other religion. Only Islam has it, and a Muslim can walk up to you and kill you, and consider it his duty.

    Prisoners have, by virtue of their own actions, forfeited certain rights. They have given up the right to direct their own way during the day. They have given up the right to vote. They have given up many of their free speech rights. Their right to read what they want can, and should, be limited.
     
  10. fshagan

    fshagan Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(n8kwx @ Sep 11 2007, 09:13 PM) [snapback]511068[/snapback]</div>
    You obviously didn't read my post. Go back and read it, and then reformulate your question so it fits my thesis to make a comparison. Oh, never mind, you won't be able to see your mistake. I'll explain it to you.

    I said ban all Muslim books except the Quran. The Quran (Koran) would be equivalent in this context to the New Testament. So your challenge fails on that point alone.

    It also fails in its inability to make a moral distinction between someone saying "this is God's punishment" and someone killing 3,000 people. One is free speech, and one is a crime. Even if you think the former is reprehensible, do you really think saying something stupid is the same as killing someone?

    Islam's "small fringe" is responsible for thousands and thousands of American deaths, as well as millions of deaths in Africa. It is "tolerated" and its techniques and actions thought "acceptable" by about a third of AMERICAN Muslims under 30 years old. Estimates run as high as 30% of the world's Muslim's support the Jihad. A greater percentage believe that it would be best for all people to live under Sharia Law (nearly 80% of Muslims in some studies).

    Find me a Christian or Jewish denomination today that comes close to that. Or a Buddhist, Bahia, Shinto-ist, Pagan or any other religion. You'll find isolated examples, numbers in the single digits, of usually a mentally off-balanced person who is not acting on orders from a higher religious authority. There is simply no equal to the Fatwa in Islam among Christians, Jews, Bahias, Buddhists, Pagans, or any other religion. Only Islam has it, and a Muslim can walk up to you and kill you, and consider it his duty.

    Prisoners have, by virtue of their own actions, forfeited certain rights. They have given up the right to direct their own way during the day. They have given up the right to vote. They have given up many of their free speech rights. Their right to read what they want can, and should, be limited.
     
  11. marjflowers

    marjflowers New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(fshagan @ Sep 12 2007, 10:29 PM) [snapback]511717[/snapback]</div>
    Can we put aside the debate for now whether prisoners have the right to information or not. The most disturbing aspect to me is the fact that somebody (or bodies) in the Department of Justice is actually making decisions about what religious material is "acceptable," and what isn't. Is that really the job of the government???? I believe that as a citizen, I have the RIGHT to expect that my government will not be involved in favoring some religious ideas over others. That right has been affirmed again and again, and as far as I know, the First Amendment has not been repealed. The whole purpose of the Bill of Rights was to protect us -- not from terrorists, but FROM OUR GOVERNMENT. From this very kind of thing.

    Granted, we all have a stake in not inciting violence among federal prisoners. Yet, by creating a list of "acceptable" religious ideas, the Justice Department is by default deeming any and all other ideas "unacceptable." So, if I decide tomorrow to sit down and write a book of a religious nature, that book is already been determined to be "unacceptable." Now, how on earth can the government decide that my ideas might incite violence, when I haven't even thought those ideas yet???

    I don't see any way around the fact that this is censorship, plain and simple. And that frightens me -- even more than terrorism.

    Peace --

    Marjorie.
     
  12. marjflowers

    marjflowers New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(fshagan @ Sep 12 2007, 10:29 PM) [snapback]511717[/snapback]</div>
    Can we put aside the debate for now whether prisoners have the right to information or not. The most disturbing aspect to me is the fact that somebody (or bodies) in the Department of Justice is actually making decisions about what religious material is "acceptable," and what isn't. Is that really the job of the government???? I believe that as a citizen, I have the RIGHT to expect that my government will not be involved in favoring some religious ideas over others. That right has been affirmed again and again, and as far as I know, the First Amendment has not been repealed. The whole purpose of the Bill of Rights was to protect us -- not from terrorists, but FROM OUR GOVERNMENT. From this very kind of thing.

    Granted, we all have a stake in not inciting violence among federal prisoners. Yet, by creating a list of "acceptable" religious ideas, the Justice Department is by default deeming any and all other ideas "unacceptable." So, if I decide tomorrow to sit down and write a book of a religious nature, that book is already been determined to be "unacceptable." Now, how on earth can the government decide that my ideas might incite violence, when I haven't even thought those ideas yet???

    I don't see any way around the fact that this is censorship, plain and simple. And that frightens me -- even more than terrorism.

    Peace --

    Marjorie.
     
  13. geologyrox

    geologyrox New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(fshagan @ Sep 12 2007, 11:29 PM) [snapback]511717[/snapback]</div>
    fshagan, that might be the least defensible thing I've ever seen you post. In truth, I thought you were kidding with your "Well, we should ban books on Islam, except for the Quran, and limit access to the prisoners from Muslims, but not any other religion. Unless that religion starts spawning people who fly airplanes into buildings." quote. I was shocked to hear you defend the thought with the above quote.

    When Christianity was committing what we would now call terrorism in the past, would you have similarly allowed the removal of all Christian texts but the bible? While I bet you can find some religious groups that can honestly claim that their religion has never been physically violent, Christianity is not among them. Looking at the froth coming from Christian fundamentalists now, I think you WOULD be seeing more Christian terrorists if their lives were anything like those in countries that spawn terrorism. They are (for the most part) nonviolent right now because they are fat, dumb, and happy - they would likely (and sometimes do) take up arms against others in the name of their God if their lives were not quite so comfortable. If you are looking to justify hatred and violence, you will - in both Islamic AND Christian sects.

    Look into the National Liberation Front of Tripura - Christian terrorists supported (with explosives!) by the Baptist Christian Union. Or the Protestants in Sulawesi - they are terrorists just as much as their Muslim opponents. How about here, with the 'Army of God?' That these (and other hate-spewers of any religion or political group) feel justified isn't the point - that's practically the definition of terrorism. Islam is hardly the only religion to back terrorism - their extremists are just particularly loud right now. They feel that they have fewer options and less to lose.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(fshagan @ Sep 12 2007, 11:29 PM) [snapback]511717[/snapback]</div>
    This is the part that makes your position *almost* acceptable to me - I agree that they have forfeited some rights. I just think it's laughable, and very unlike you, to posit that only Islam runs the risk of providing fuel for terrorism. I'm certain you know enough history to know better.
     
  14. geologyrox

    geologyrox New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(fshagan @ Sep 12 2007, 11:29 PM) [snapback]511717[/snapback]</div>
    fshagan, that might be the least defensible thing I've ever seen you post. In truth, I thought you were kidding with your "Well, we should ban books on Islam, except for the Quran, and limit access to the prisoners from Muslims, but not any other religion. Unless that religion starts spawning people who fly airplanes into buildings." quote. I was shocked to hear you defend the thought with the above quote.

    When Christianity was committing what we would now call terrorism in the past, would you have similarly allowed the removal of all Christian texts but the bible? While I bet you can find some religious groups that can honestly claim that their religion has never been physically violent, Christianity is not among them. Looking at the froth coming from Christian fundamentalists now, I think you WOULD be seeing more Christian terrorists if their lives were anything like those in countries that spawn terrorism. They are (for the most part) nonviolent right now because they are fat, dumb, and happy - they would likely (and sometimes do) take up arms against others in the name of their God if their lives were not quite so comfortable. If you are looking to justify hatred and violence, you will - in both Islamic AND Christian sects.

    Look into the National Liberation Front of Tripura - Christian terrorists supported (with explosives!) by the Baptist Christian Union. Or the Protestants in Sulawesi - they are terrorists just as much as their Muslim opponents. How about here, with the 'Army of God?' That these (and other hate-spewers of any religion or political group) feel justified isn't the point - that's practically the definition of terrorism. Islam is hardly the only religion to back terrorism - their extremists are just particularly loud right now. They feel that they have fewer options and less to lose.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(fshagan @ Sep 12 2007, 11:29 PM) [snapback]511717[/snapback]</div>
    This is the part that makes your position *almost* acceptable to me - I agree that they have forfeited some rights. I just think it's laughable, and very unlike you, to posit that only Islam runs the risk of providing fuel for terrorism. I'm certain you know enough history to know better.
     
  15. MegansPrius

    MegansPrius GoogleMeister, AKA bongokitty

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(geologyrox @ Sep 13 2007, 08:30 AM) [snapback]511868[/snapback]</div>
    The Christian Science Monitor had an interesting editorial regarding this that specifically addressed the above issue (among others). This whole action sounds mostly like some done in a too heavy-handed way just to save money, insofar as a recommendation to take an inventory of prison libraries prior to deciding on a course of action was never actually done.

    The issue is not whether prison literature is censored, but the degree to which it is. US law and the Constitution allow government to restrict religious freedom in prisons as long as it has a compelling interest and uses the "least restrictive means" to pursue its interest. Making sure prisons don't become recruiting grounds for terrorists certainly is a compelling interest. But the BOP has overreached. Before this summer, screening was done by BOP chaplains. They culled material sent to the libraries and pulled mostly hate literature – a lot of it white supremacist citing a Christian basis – that could endanger prison security.
    ...
    This [the list] goes far beyond withholding obviously inappropriate materials for security reasons, as done by the chaplains, and instead defines what is religiously appropriate – a disturbing development, even in a prison context.
     
  16. MegansPrius

    MegansPrius GoogleMeister, AKA bongokitty

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(geologyrox @ Sep 13 2007, 08:30 AM) [snapback]511868[/snapback]</div>
    The Christian Science Monitor had an interesting editorial regarding this that specifically addressed the above issue (among others). This whole action sounds mostly like some done in a too heavy-handed way just to save money, insofar as a recommendation to take an inventory of prison libraries prior to deciding on a course of action was never actually done.

    The issue is not whether prison literature is censored, but the degree to which it is. US law and the Constitution allow government to restrict religious freedom in prisons as long as it has a compelling interest and uses the "least restrictive means" to pursue its interest. Making sure prisons don't become recruiting grounds for terrorists certainly is a compelling interest. But the BOP has overreached. Before this summer, screening was done by BOP chaplains. They culled material sent to the libraries and pulled mostly hate literature – a lot of it white supremacist citing a Christian basis – that could endanger prison security.
    ...
    This [the list] goes far beyond withholding obviously inappropriate materials for security reasons, as done by the chaplains, and instead defines what is religiously appropriate – a disturbing development, even in a prison context.
     
  17. fshagan

    fshagan Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(marjflowers @ Sep 12 2007, 11:00 PM) [snapback]511775[/snapback]</div>
    Without the context of them being prisoners, no, the government has no right to restrict what they read. But the government, acting on our behalf, has taken the right of freedom away from the prisoners, and can and should restrict other things. That is the purpose of being incarcerated, after all. And it is censorship.

    Do you really think not allowing certain books to be provided to prisoners is MORE of a restriction on their personal liberty than the other rights they have had taken away? How about if I said to you that you cannot leave your bedroom, except when I say you can to eat, exercise for an hour a day in the yard (I'll watch you with a gun in hand to shoot you if you try to get away) and to take a shower, which I'll monitor? Would that be worse than saying you can't read "How to Convert Your Guard to Islam"?

    You cannot separate that these are prisoners we're talking about. That is the central fact that makes the limitations of rights permissible.
     
  18. fshagan

    fshagan Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(geologyrox @ Sep 13 2007, 06:30 AM) [snapback]511868[/snapback]</div>
    As far as I know, none of the prisoners have a time machine to go back to when Christianity was killing thousands of people in "terror". And there's a distinction anyway; Christianity has never had anything like the modern Islamic terrorist; while its a small difference to the victims, the Christian atrocities were always carried out by the civil authorities with direction or permission from the religious authorities, and not by independent groups empowered by religious decrees. Most often, there was a civil trial, such as the Inquisition used, or used in the "witch trials" in Salem. Even with the groups you mention today, where Christian groups are fighting, you won't find support for them killing innocents among any of the major Christian denominations or groups.

    And yes, if the warden deems Christian books to be subversive, then by all means, restrict readership of them.

    Your statement makes a huge mistake in thinking that the roots of the current terrorism among the Islamists has its roots in poverty. It does not. It has its roots in a philosophy among the wealthy and comfortable in the Islamic world. Look at the people who we know have committed these acts ... many are highly educated, with successful careers, who have studied or lived in the West. The "father" of the Islamists is Sayyid Qutb, was a successful author and western-educated in Washington DC, and Greely Colorado. He was shocked by the permissive sexual attitudes in the West, with the "dirty dancing" going on at Greely's churches at night (these were 1940's "sock hops" that he found so objectionable). It was his writings that animated the Muslim Brothers, the forefather of all the modern Islamist terror groups. Look at the recent arrests ... in England of doctors, in Germany of middle class German men. It is religious philosophy, not poverty, that animates these madmen.


    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(geologyrox @ Sep 13 2007, 06:30 AM) [snapback]511868[/snapback]</div>
    Islam isn't the only religion that CAN provide fuel for terrorism. But its the only one that IS CURRENTLY providing fuel to terrorism. While historical references are interesting, they have no practical application in deciding which books we will allow prisoners to read. Even then, I have absolutely no problem with restricting the religious reading material of prisoners. I do believe that we can use reason to identify the real threats and not worry about whether the followers of Rick Warren are going to rise up and start hacking women to death at the mall. If we are so politically correct as to avoid confronting the true terror risk, then we must restrict rights for all; I find that more objectionable than restricting the real threat.

    Those that insist that we cannot restrict any rights under any circumstances may see themselves living under Sharia Law with no rights at all.
     
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