Catcher in the Rye

I recall this book from my school days. My daughter now has it. I looked through it and I noticed profanity and low ways of speaking. It seems that the profanity depicted would violate the Second Commandment for someone to say it. I think that reading it can also violate the Second Commandment especially if one identifies with the abuse of the name of God. I don't want my children reading such books.

We don't typically allow religious activities in schools but it seems that we allow materials that could adversely affect a child, especially an impressionable one. I think that this is at least partly why we have a crisis of culture. We require our children to read books that expose them to profanity and negativity.

Do some Catholic high schools also require this book to be read?

I fail to see the problem. There’s no harm in reading a book. Because it’s just a book, and your daughter should be learned enough to be able to read a book and not absorb every bit of immorality in it.

However, I do aknowledge parents have a right to moniotr their children’s reading material

Inb4 all the fiction bashing

I was required to read it in my Catholic grammar school (in grade 7 or 8) AND high school (in grade 9). This is my favorite novel of all time and it isn’t as bad as most pg13 movies. You can’t shelter your teenage children so much that they can’t read a book with a very small amount of profanity in it (or at least you shouldn’t IMO).

You can't sin by reading. If you use that criteria, pull all the classics (from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams, from the Bible to Uncle Tom's Cabin) and you might as well go ahead and not let them read a newspaper or magazine or blog.

As a parent you have the responsibility to know what your child is reading and to explain to them what they are reading and how our Catholic teachings apply.

For example, my kids read several books and articles on WWII, including the Diary of Anne Frank and a graphic autobiography from a death camp survivor. I know the maturity level of my kids and did not have a problem with them reading it. If I knew there was a problem, I would have to deal with it between my child, their teacher, my wife and I, however because my child may not be mature enough to read these books does not mean I have the right to tell other parents what books their children can read.

Our kids will be getting their hands on both written and visual material (especially over the web) far sooner than you may expect, so trying to keep them away from "offensive" materials, especailly classic literature that many others are reading actually does them wrong by not preparing them to understand tough subjects in light of authentic Catholic teaching.

Just my $0.02. YMMV.

(Shondrea, I did check DecentFilms.com as you suggested [it's removed from your post.] Thank you.)

I can understand that the depiction of wrongs as part of a story is not necessarily bad. However, I still can't accept profanity. In a movie where someone steals or punches someone etc. I understand that's just acting. However, I don't see that profanity is merely "depicted". The name of God is to be respected and unlike other acts that are simulated (acted), when the name of God is misused even in a book or film, His name is still used for a purpose that does not glorify Him.

See the last sentence of 2143.
usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt1art2.shtml

Yeah, I couldn't decide what direction I wanted to take the post.

Well, I can respect that. It's good that I have standards.

I read it in the ninth grade at Catholic prep school. I don’t remember now if it was required or just on the reading list. I did write a paper about it.

As someone pointed out, you can’t protect your child from every bit of negative content. She is going to hear cusswords from her friends and in popular music, whatever you let or forbid her to read or see. And CITR is so culturally iconic (there may be a movie version in the next few years) that objecting to it is probably overkill.

You cannot commit a sin by reading bad language in a book.

ICXC NIKA

[quote="shondrea, post:2, topic:192117"]
I fail to see the problem. There's no harm in reading a book. Because it's just a book, and your daughter should be learned enough to be able to read a book and not absorb every bit of immorality in it.

[/quote]

Well...there's no such thing as "just a book." In fact, if memory serves, St. John Bosco said the two most dangerous influences to the soul are bad company and bad books.

[quote="TheDoctor, post:4, topic:192117"]
You can't sin by reading.

[/quote]

Does that also go for pornography?

I teach that book a lot as it's one of my faves and I see something new it it every time I read it. It's interesting to watch the kids talk about it and see who gets it and on what level.

[quote="Victorious, post:8, topic:192117"]
Well...there's no such thing as "just a book." In fact, if memory serves, St. John Bosco said the two most dangerous influences to the soul are bad company and bad books.

Does that also go for pornography?

[/quote]

OK, let me reiterate. to mature, well grounded people who know how to eat the meat and leave the grisle behind, and how to choose books in the first place, it's just a book

[quote="shondrea, post:10, topic:192117"]
OK, let me reiterate. to mature, well grounded people who know how to eat the meat and leave the grisle behind, and how to choose books in the first place, it's just a book

[/quote]

Actually, a truly mature and well-grounded person knows that if you stick your hand into a fire, it will burn. He will therefore flee the occasions of sin, and will not pride himself on his ability to read garbage without having it affect him.

Sorry, but I don't see a book as an occasion of sin. At least, not most books.

BTW, I do NOT consider a good, well written and thought provoking book as "garbage". It's called art

It’s required reading at my kids’ Catholic High School.

Believe me, the language in the book in minor compared to what else your kids will experience in school, on the Internet, on the street, and in life in general.

It is generally not advisable to have such a sheltered child that they cannot handle “real life”.

Good book.

That’s a dangerous blind spot.

Any book that puts one on the greased skids to hell is garbage by definition, however well-written and thought-provoking it is.

It’s in the fiction section, and not a work on how you are supposed to live your life. It’s an incredible novel and one that if you think about at all can be tied into Biblical lessons very easily.

I don’t know WHAT the heck you think I’m reading here, but “puts on the greased skids to hell” is definately not a phrase I’d use to describe anything on my bookshelf.

An X-rated novel may not be an instruction book on how you are supposed to live your life, but it is no less destructive for that. Are you really prepared to deny that fiction influences thoughts and attitudes? If so, then how do you cope with, say, Uncle Tom’s Cabin? And if you acknowledge that a work of fiction can be a force for good, how can you maintain that fiction cannot be a force for evil?

I don’t have any idea what books you have on your shelf, and it’s not germane to my point anyway. My point is that if you rule out books as a potential occasion for sin, and take pride in your ability to read dangerous material unscathed, then you leave yourself open to the evil influence of bad books. How can you exercise custody of the eyes if you think it doesn’t matter what you look at? And if you think what you look at and read doesn’t matter, then how are you going to avoid the traps that lie in your path? How are you even to recognize them? How can you possibly separate the meat from the gristle, as you put it earlier?

And by the way, I think meat versus gristle is an unhappy analogy. A bad book artistically written is more like a bottle that contains 9 parts of fine wine and 1 part cyanide. If you suspected that a bottle of wine might be one part cyanide, would you still drink it? Or would you tell yourself, after all, there are 9 good parts? How are you to separate them out?

Gross oversimplification time much?

I don't think books are an occasion for sin because never, ever in my life of reading fiction have I been tempted to sin by a book. If it offends me or does something I'm not comfortable with, I just shut it. It's that simple. I'm not going to read something I know is brimming with sex, drugs and prostitution, but I don't think DEALING with the ISSUES of those activities is going to lead a normal, healthy person to sin. There's a difference between a book that goes over the line and glorifies sinful behavior, and one that aknowledges sinful behavior. And people aren't stupid. They CAN tell the difference

Can they be an occasion of sin for someone? Can a person not be aware enough of what they're consuimg to know when it crosses the line? Can people be lead into premarital sex, the occult and atheism from a book? Sure, some. but I ain't one of them.

Sorry honey, I'm not afraid of a fairy tale. :shrug: or the trace levels of arsenic I consume in my tap water every single day of my life that have yet to harm me

Wow. How pleasant it must be to be so virtuous, and so sure of oneself.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.