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Fundies pressure NC school district to ban slang dictionary

Actually, more books than that were challenged.

The local fundie group Called2Action, a group of professional AmTaliban protestors and activists, is on the loose again. These folks spend their time sending out “Action Grams” to get a marriage amendment passed here and protesting the teaching of yoga in the schools.

It was not surprising to read that Called2Action’s latest action item is the control over what kids can read in schools. And the hit list makes no sense.

Jonathon Green, who compiled the 87,000 entries in the Cassell Dictionary of Slang, which was published last year, said that North Carolina is the only place he knows of where the book cannot be used in schools.

A Wake County school official told ABC News that five books, including the dictionary, were formally challenged. The others were listed as The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, Junie B Jones and Some Sneaky, Peaky Spying by Barbara Park, Reluctantly Alice by Phyllis Reynolds and In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak. School officials acted after pressure from Called2Action, a local Christian activist group.

Some parents were also reportedly upset that their children were required to read books such as The Color Purple by Alice Walker and Beloved by Toni Morrison, on the grounds that the books contain “vulgar and sexually explicit language”.

“I’m very flattered,” said Mr Green on Friday. “It’s not exactly book-burning but, in the great tradition of book censorship, there never seems to be the slightest logic to it.” He said that there were around 80 words in the dictionary that could sum up his reaction. The word that he would use for those who had pushed for the ban, he said, was “wowser”, a 1910 Australian term for a “Bible-banging” puritan.

Called2Action, whose website asks people to “join our E-army today to take your place on the front lines of the battle for our children’s future“, did not respond to a call.

When they were doing their lobbying effort last year to get a marriage amendment out of committee, C2A passed out around Action Grams with this on it:

Legalization of same-sex marriage is crucial to a broad agenda that includes

  Silencing all public religious teaching against homosexual activity
  Criminalization of any institutional limitation of homosexual activity
  Complete legal and financial equality of same-sex partnerships
  Complete normalization of homosexuality in all public education
  Aggressive reverse discrimination in favor of homosexuals and their proponents
  Aggressive institutional and legal discrimination against anyone who speaks against homosexual practices

North Carolina has strong laws that define marriage as only between one man & one woman at one time. However, having a strong law is not enough in todays culture. Indeed, North Carolina is only one decision away from having its marriage laws declared unconstitutional. The strongest defense in favor of traditional marriage is a state constitutional amendment an amendment which has been introduced in both chambers of the NC legislature.

Needless to say, C2A and the fundies bused in for the 2005 marriage rally expected 10,000 to show up, and only managed a couple of hundred folks. The bill died in committee.

Hat tip, Paul.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding