Tom Batiuk tries to profit from Dan Brown’s publicity

by digging up historically inaccurate anti-Catholic cliches.

In the May 31 edition of Funky Winkerbean, Crazy Harry and John the comic book guy discuss how Wonder Woman was apparently, in the words of the character:

“banned by the Church’s National Organization for Decent Literature, which was a descendent of the old Index Librorum Prohibitorum that once censored Copernicus’ ‘On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres’ and Galileo’s ‘Dialogue On the Two Chief World Systems'”

OK, the “National Organization for Decent Literature” was a US based organization that promoted outright censorship.

The Index was a list of books that were not “banned” but censored: Catholics could not read them unless they had legitimate reason to do so, and did it under the proper guidance.

Living before the Index was ended, Flannery O’Connor openly praised one of the works on the Index, Madame Bovary, as her favorite novel. O’Connor also stated support for the Church’s censorship–so long as authors did not engage in self-censorship.

Many of the works often pointed to as examples of the Index‘s alleged failings (e.g., certain scientific treatises or St. Faustina’s Diary) should merely show that the purpose of the Index was to protect souls who might be badly influenced by works that needed a certain intellectual or spiritual maturity.

2 responses to “Tom Batiuk tries to profit from Dan Brown’s publicity

  1. People need to be "protected" against ideas that threaten their loyalty to a religious organization? I think you've accidentally strengthened Batiuk's case here, if you don't realize how totalitarian that sounds.

  2. John C. Hathaway

    "A religious organization"? Betrays our own secular humanism. Try the True Church. The point is that no one "banned" Galileo's work. It was just restricted to those who could intellectually handle it, because obvoiusly some people are too stupid to understand the Church's teaching on when and when not to take the Bible literally. Take, for example, Christopher Hitchens and P.Z. Myers: complete lack of intellectual curiosity or nuance.

    Or the example of _Madame Bovary_: the book could be read as a moral lesson on the consequences of sin, or it could be read as the story of a proto-feminist rebelling against social strictures of her day, or it could be read as nihilistic or hedonistic. It's not the reading of the book itself that's at issue but the proper guidance in how to interpret it.

    But my point is that Batiuk and his type try to say the Church "banned" books. That is patently untrue. Now, again, some in executing that teaching may have engaged in book-banning and burning, but that is not what the _Index_ was about.

    As for your own contention, what do you mean by "totalitarian"? And why do you think that's wrong?

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