The purpose of Christian Fiction is to share Good storytellers with you. Sometimes these stories aren’t wrapped in pretty packages. Oftentimes these books aren’t discussed in Christian fiction circles, but they should. So in honor of Banned Books Week I want to share a Good book that some of our churches have removed[or removed] from some Georgia schools.(I live in Georgia.) Moreover, I want to share with you why fiction matters and this book shouldn’t be banned.
Banned Book: Native Son
Synopsis from Time Magazine:
In Chicago of the 1930's, where Bigger Thomas has found work as a chauffeur, he murders a young white woman, the only child of the wealthy family who has just hired him. Though the killing is accidental, it becomes a kind of retroactive act of will. It leads Thomas to an inquiry into his own injuries and humiliations at the hands of a sometimes literally bloodthirsty white society.
Who banned this book: Appling County School(Baxley, GA) 2008
Response Appling High School English Department Head, Mary Ann Ellis, speaks out against the books' removal.:
Our students are the ones who’ve truly been betrayed by the very board responsible for giving them the best education available. Somewhere down the road when the ministers bring three more books and three more and Shakespeare, what will happen then? Our students will leave this county unprepared for Mercer, UGA, Harvard, GSU. Not because of the ministers, mind you. No, they can thank their very own Appling County Board of Education.
My response: I read Native son in high school. My high school isn’t far from Baxley, Georgia, so I understand the region, especially Christianity influences there. However, what I don’t understand is how that church couldn’t find black spiritualism and Christian existentialism as theme threads in. Perhaps because the ministers never read the book [according to the complaint.]
Thus, this realization causes another challenge.
I’ve talked with many ministers through the years about the relevance of Christian fiction and the banning of Christian fiction from their churches. And like Appling High School’s banning decision they, too, have never read the novels.
These decisions to ban books—for whatever reason—cripples our society. More so for Christian fiction authors, whose books are banned in their own churches…
Your thoughts. Does your church support Christian fiction? Or any fiction for that matter?