Reactions to heretical or blasphemous literature

At my work, there is a sort of practice where coworkers will read books and then leave them on the table in the break room so that others can come by and pick them up if they are interested. Sometimes I will glance at the covers and descriptions to see what they were about. There is one that was lying on the table for the past three months or so, it was a blasphemous book that mocks God (Jehovah specifically the Judeo-Christian God). I was offended by it, but I left it there for a long time. After several months I got sick of seeing it there every time I walked through the break room so I bumped it into the trash can. I am wondering, is it wrong to discard literature that is blasphemous or heretical? I would understand it being wrong if it is something that belongs to somebody and they intend to take it back, but when it’s left open to the public for anyone to come by and take it then it seems like it would be up for grabs, or for the trash can. I am sometimes also tempted to throw away the watchtower society tracts that I find in the laundry room at my apartments.

In St. Paul’s letters, there is an incident where about 50,000 silver pieces worth of magic books and witchcraft books were burned.

Book burning used to be common enough.

Why not?

Error has no rights, so I’d say you’re okay in dumping them in the trash, although I’d probably steer more into leaving solid Catholic books in the break room personally. Something by Peter Kreeft or Scott Hahn would be ideal. God bless.

If it was there for 3 months, I would assume that no one wanted to read it. I would think it would be fine to get rid of a book that no one wanted to read.

Sounds like abandoned property to me and should have been tossed out of the public space. I throw out the Watchtower every chance I get.

Down here in South Louisiana we have an old saying, “File 13” TRASH IT!!!

You could always borrow it. For a very long time…

If we want our rights respected, we must respect others’ rights.

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