Anti-Catholic summer reading

Hey all Im in High School, and I live in New York, and I wanted to know if this new trend is common in your schools or your childrens schools. For the past few years my High School has been putting The Da Vinci code on our school reccomended reading list for the summer, you have to read 2 out of around the 5 choices they give you. (not much of a choice) I was so appaulled by this, but it got even worse. My school has an annual book fair where they sell books including those on the summer reading list. Last year they had a huge shelf full of Davinci code books, must have been around 50-100 of them on shelf or in boxes( I just wanted to takem all and throw them in the trash where they belong.) So this past year my parents wrote a mean letter to the administration and got the book thrown off of the reading list, but they still sold them at the fair. Do things like this happen all over public schools throughout the country?

If it is a choice of 2 of 5 books, you have the option to read something else. Use that freedom of preference.

Public schools, public funding…they can sell anything they want at the fair. This is America. You were given 5 choices. In “your opinion” the DaVinci Code was not a good choice for you. So now you are free to choose 2 other books. There are books out there I wouldn’t care to read because of content. I am “free” not read them. Do “I” personally think they should be thrown in the trash…oh yeah…some of them. Yes, things like this happen in public schools all over the country…but as a parent…my dh and I decide what is best for our children. Since your school gave you two choices out of the 5, the DaVinci Code shouldn’t even be a question. I, however wouldn’t write a letter to school in order to get 1 book out of the 5 removed from the reading list…because we don’t live in a fishbowl.

I have read the DaVinci Code and thought it was a good piece of “FICTION”. I did not deem it as Anti-Catholic…because a work of FICTION cannot do anything to my faith. Faith is stronger. Think on those things.

AaronsStaff,
Of course you are offended by the Da Vinci Code showing up on your summer reading list! It shows you have a well developed sense of your Catholic faith. Good for you! Unfortunately, when a person of faith who attends a public school is offended by something taught or promoted, they are usually out of luck. Needless to say, if a book that completely degraded the homosexual lifestyle or defamed any other special interest group was being put on a reading list, there would probably be an outcry of complaint from the ACLU. Doesn’t matter that it’s fiction. It’s insulting to an entire group of people.

Your parents appear to have handled it well. I am actually quite impressed that the school removed the book from the list. I think I would just let it go and be grateful they at least responded positively to your mom and dad’s request.

God bless you!

This is great that you were able to do this. The problem with the Da Vinci Code is that some people will read it and will say - “this is historical fiction” and then think that Mr. Brown did do some good research and believe the pieces that he presents as “truthful”. Having this book on a reading list for high school students gives it a much better chance of being read, especially since it is a very easy read so someone could choose it just so they don’t have to challenge themselves, by this alone it should not be on the list!

Your contention that work of fiction can not be anti-Catholic is wrong too. Just because something is anti-Catholic does not mean it will have any affect on my faith. My personal faith has nothing to do with whether a piece of fiction is anti-Catholic or not, the words and ideas presented can be anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, anti-Animal, pro-Humanism etc. It is what it is.

You read the book, did it put the Catholic church down? In a bad light? Did it do so using untruthful statements? If the answer is yes to any of these that makes the book anti-Catholic.

I have borrowed a copy from my mom but can’t find it now as I do want to read it to see what all the hoopla is about, I also have at my fingertips the essays about the book to help me in reading it critically.

Brenda V.

Hi AaronsStaff! This is a tough call. On the one hand, I do not take kindly to literature that denigrates the Catholic faith; on the other hand, I’m a firm believer in the First Amendment. Personally, I think the school had already thought of the ramifications of including the Da Vinci Code in the list of books, since they did make it optional. Like some of the previous posters said, this is a public school, so it’s not really possible for the school administrators to cater to everyone’s likes and dislikes. Unless someone complains vociferously, as your parents did, they’re not likely to change.

I was thinking, though, another reason to exclude that book from the list would be on grounds of separation of church and state. It’s still kind of messed up. So, in summary, I can’t give you a straight answer, as I’m still pretty conflicted about it myself.

What? Lol. That’s actually funny. Your public school is having you read a piece of commercial fiction for summer reading. That just shows what our public school system is coming to. I wouldn’t complain as much about the anti-Catholicism in the book as the sheer literary garbage that it is. A commercial historo-thriller on the summer reading list? Give me a break. At least they could have let you read somewhat literary thriller like *Jurassic Park *or some other one The point of high school reading is to prepare you for college. Teachers will have expected you to have read certain books(i.e. Frankenstein, Heart of Darkness, Of Mice and Men, etc.) and I don’t think The Da Vinci Code in anyway prepares you for college discussion or in any way will give you good literary analysis skills. This is just my opinion I guess though.

Why not Stephen King? Robert Ludlum? Jackie Collins? Page turners? Maybe. Significant literature. NO!

I dont think its a free speech issue first and foremost, Like I said I live in New York, a very liberal state, and My school is very very liberal. My health class is like a pro-abortion Catholic bashing rally. If this book reading was an isolated occasion I wouldnt be as upset, but its becoming a trend. For example our school selects a student to give morning announcments and say the pledge of alleigence, and this past year when saying the pledge, they cut out under God in the pledge, I thought it was ridiculous.
There just a negative spin on anything God oriented or specifically Catholic oriented.( you wouldnt believe the amount of attacks on the Church that happened when we studied european history, by both teachers and students.)

Haha! I’ve got you beat - I live in Massachusetts. And that’s not even a Red Sox reference! I’m a Cubs fan, by the way.

Anyway, personally, I have not found the priests here to be that liberal, even in the Boston area, although the lack of TLM may be an indication, but that’s another topic for another day. I agree with you that this is turning into a trend, which is quite alarming. But the thing is, with public schools, that’s what they got to do these days, or they can be cut off from federal grants or whatever. So unless you can go to a private school, I guess this is what you can expect.

The same thing can be observed in the workplace, where you can’t have anything religious in public places. You can’t even say the word Christmas, and you have to replace it with “Happy Holidays” or some other variation. Oh well, what are you gonna do.

Next thing you know, Santas Claus will be referred to as the “Non-Denominational Horizontally-Challenged Non-Alcoholic Children-Friendly Bringer of Lead-Free, Non-Recalled, Made-in-North-Pole Gifts, with a Chimney Construction Permit for Non-Subprime Loan Houses and License to Operate a Flying Aparatus under the Purview of the Department of Agriculture for Owning Wild Animals with Explicit Approval by PETA for Humane Treatment of Reindeer.”

That is precisely the problem Brenda V! I was talking about the Da Vinci Code with a priest in campus ministry. He said, “Do you have any idea how many students believe that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalen since that book came out?” Lets just say it has been “a lot.”

Giving that book to high school students who are unlikely to understand the historical truths of Jesus and the Catholic Church just breeds misinformation.

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