Reading books with inappropriate material


For a school assignment, I was required to read a novel that has some inappropriate content. Some scenes contain sexual themes and were difficult for me to read. Since it was for a school assignment, was it sinful for me to read this book?


Reading isn’t sinful in of itself.
There are parents who read teen novels that have explicit material to preview it before deciding if their kid should read it/to equip themselves for talking about it to their kid on why they shouldn’t or if they do.
If you chose the material purposefully to be titillated, then that’s another matter. i am no theologian, but that’s my interpretation.

But maybe after reading it, you can suggest to the teachers or whoever decides these things that there are other books with similar themes that can be read in its place for the next group of kids. What happened to the classics?


Teachers do not decide the curriculum, but it is decided by the State Board of Education and the school board of the district (in Texas).


I went to a Baptist college for undergrad. A student wrote to the school newspaper complaining about the inclusion of (sex? violence?) in one of the reading assignments in their literature class. The writer explained they were good Christians, and liked reading their Bible, but didn’t like reading about (sex? violence?). The next month’s worth of letters to the editor were other students pointing out all the sex and violence in the Bible. :slight_smile:

So, do your assignment. There’s a lot of junk out there to read, but there’s also a lot of decent literature out there that either hasn’t aged well, and the themes from its original period make us uncomfortable today, or it deliberately makes use of controversial or edgy material for a purpose.

What was the book that you read?


The book is called Everything is Illuminated. It’s actually quite an interesting book, but some parts of it are not appropriate.


No, you didn’t go looking for inappropriate material.


Indeed, the Classics are called that for a reason.


Sex is part of everyday human life. It is part of the human experience. There is no shame in reading or writing about it as long as it brings value to the broader work and isn’t obscene or gratuitous.


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