Has the Bible Been Banned in the USA Since 1963?! This Congressman Sure Thinks So!

In a recent House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education hearing, Representative Burgess Owens boldly claimed that the United States has banned the Bible since 1963. This assertion comes as part of a broader discussion on removing “explicit” content from school libraries, which has sparked considerable controversy.

Book Banning Debate Heats up in School Libraries

Image Credit: Shutterstock / arindambanerjee

Owens began his statement by saying, “Some say that we are here today to talk about so-called book burning in K–12 school libraries.” 

Owens’ Bold Claim

Image Credit: Shutterstock / FGC

Holding up a copy of the Bible, he stated, “One of our nation’s most consequential books, banning was done by the Supreme Court in 1963 when officially it mandated the Bible reading, this book, is banned from all of us.”

He went on to emphasize that, due to this alleged ban, generations of Americans lack knowledge of the foundational principles that built the nation.

Supreme Court Bible Ban Debunked

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

Owens is referencing the Supreme Court’s 1963 ruling in Abington School District v. Schempp.

Contrary to his claim, this decision declared school-sponsored Bible readings unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment but did not ban the Bible from schools.

Combatting Explicit Content in Schools

Image Credit: Shutterstock / SeventyFour

The hearing, titled “Protecting Kids: Combatting Graphic, Explicit Content in School Libraries,” saw Republican members and witnesses objecting to people calling efforts to remove “inappropriate” materials as “book banning.” 

Republicans Reject Book Banning Label, Cite Online Availability

Image Credit: Shutterstock / danielfela

They argued that many of the books in question remain widely available online, in stores, and in public libraries.

The hearing also witnessed attempts to distance themselves from allegations of anti-LGBTQ+ bias, even though they referenced LGBTQ+ books as examples of “sexually explicit” or “pornographic” material.

Media Accused of Distorting the Book Ban Issue

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Microgen

Representative Aaron Bean, the subcommittee’s chairman, stated, “Today, the Committee will set the record straight for the American people: inappropriate books are in school libraries, and local communities are within their rights to remove them.”

He blamed the media for distorting the issue and creating public outrage.

“Gender Queer” and Children

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pranithan Chorruangsak

In her testimony, Lindsey Smith, chair of the Montgomery County, Maryland chapter of Moms for Liberty, singled out the book “Gender Queer,” suggesting that even children “as young as three” were being exposed to such content.

She emphasized that the matter wasn’t about sexual orientation but rather about protecting children’s innocence.

Defining Book Bans

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Castleski

Ranking committee member Suzanne Bonamici criticized House Republicans for introducing the “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act,” describing it as a blueprint for book bans.

LGBTQ+ Themes in the Crosshairs

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Prehistorik

She pointed out that a significant portion of the banned content focuses on LGBTQ+ themes and characters and characters of color.

Implications of Banning Books

Image Credit: Shutterstock / nampix

Dr. Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education programs at PEN America, refuted conservative claims that they are not banning books.

He argued that if a student loses access to a book due to a challenge over its content, ideas, or themes, that book is effectively banned for that student. 

First Amendment Rights at Risk

Image Credit: Shutterstock / nampix

Friedman highlighted the potential threat to students’ First Amendment rights and the broader implications of banning books with diverse protagonists and themes.

The Bigger Picture

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Friedman’s testimony highlighted the high stakes in the ongoing book-banning discussions, emphasizing the importance of a diverse society that “upholds our traditions of freedom and democracy.” 

Parental Rights vs. Censorship

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tero Vesalainen

It’s a debate that raises questions about the scope of parental involvement, the role of public education, and the preservation of First Amendment rights.

What’s Appropriate for Young Readers?

Image Credit: Shutterstock / ChristianChan

The hearing underscored the ongoing battle between those advocating for parental rights and those concerned about censorship and its impact on education. 

Education and Expression in America

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

The controversy continues to fuel debates about what is appropriate for young readers and who gets to decide.

It’s a debate that shows no signs of waning and continues to raise questions about the future of education and freedom of expression in America.

“They Just Kept on Increasing” – Trans Teenagers Are on the Rise, and Now Studies Are Showing the Reasons Behind This ‘Strange’ Development

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nuva Frames

A study has highlighted the rise of teenagers seeking help with gender identity. “They Just Kept on Increasing” – Trans Teenagers Are on the Rise, and Now Studies Are Showing the Reasons Behind This ‘Strange’ Development

“I Am Pansexual” – Wayne Brady Reveals Pansexuality at 51 and Shares Struggles With Love Addiction

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kathy Hutchins

Wayne Brady, the well-known entertainer, candidly opens up about his pansexuality, addressing his struggles with love addiction, societal pressures, and the importance of embracing his true self. “I Am Pansexual” – Wayne Brady Reveals Pansexuality at 51 and Shares Struggles With Love Addiction

“Church Is Open to Everyone BUT There Are Specific Rules” – Pope Took a Stance on Gay Catholics, Reiterating the Church’s Commitment to Inclusivity

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Daniel Jedzura

In a pivotal statement, Pope Francis recently reiterated the Catholic Church’s commitment to being inclusive of LGBTQ+ individuals, despite certain regulations and restrictions. “Church Is Open to Everyone BUT There Are Specific Rules” – Pope Took a Stance on Gay Catholics, Reiterating the Church’s Commitment to Inclusivity

“Leave Our Kids Alone”: Superintendent’s Heated Opposition to Parental Notification Rule for Transgender Students Results in Removal From School Board Hearing

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mladen Mitrinovic

A school board hearing at Don Lugo High School in Chino, California turned into a highly charged event as over 300 people gathered to discuss a policy requiring teachers to notify parents if their child identifies as transgender. “Leave Our Kids Alone”: Superintendent’s Heated Opposition to Parental Notification Rule for Transgender Students Results in Removal From School Board Hearing

Karma Comes Knocking: Lesbian Daughter Refuses to Help Estranged Parents in Need After They Disowned Her at 18

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

A young woman sparked outrage on Reddit after she refused to help her parents when they fell on tough times. Was she being mean, or was it just karma? Karma Comes Knocking: Lesbian Daughter Refuses to Help Estranged Parents in Need After They Disowned Her at 18

The post Has the Bible Been Banned in the USA Since 1963?! This Congressman Sure Thinks So! first appeared on Mama Say What?!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / chayanuphol. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

+ posts

Joe Lysikatos is a distinguished writer, highly regarded for his in-depth coverage and analysis of politics, human rights, equality, and freedom. His work is characterized by a deep understanding of these critical issues, often highlighting the interplay between political decisions and their impact on civil liberties and social justice.