CV NEWS FEED // At a House subcommittee hearing, members of Congress and witnesses showed how the Biden administration is allowing sexually graphic books in school libraries in the name of opposition to “book banning.”
“[None] of the evidence suggests books are being removed for any reason other than inappropriate, explicit content,” said Rep. Aaron Bean, R-FL Thursday. “In fact, seven of the 10 most frequently removed books feature explicit heterosexual content.”
Bean pointed out that one of these books was so inappropriate, a concerned father was not allowed to read it aloud at a televised school board meeting. The board said that airing his reading of “Lucky” on television would run afoul of federal communications laws against obscenity.
Similarly, the congressman indicated that “Late-night television refused to air an ad featuring language from ‘Gender Queer.’”
The pornographic graphic novel which appears in many school libraries nationwide contains multiple explicit illustrations, including a scene in which the minor protagonist fantasizes about being sexually molested by an adult.
As CatholicVote previously reported, the National Education Association’s (NEA) placed “Gender Queer” on its “recommended” reading list for educators this summer. With over 3 million members, the NEA is the largest teachers union in the country.
During the hearing, Bean asked Maryland mother Lindsey Smith how she was received by “school board officials and other elected officials” when she brought the concerning books to their attention.
“They don’t like when I speak up, because then other parents start getting involved,” Smith said. “What we have seen since then has been thousands of parents coming to the board of education, Muslims, Ethiopians, you name it.”
Smith is the chair of the Moms For Liberty chapter in Montgomery County, MD, where the local public school district is notorious for anti-parent policies.
Bean added that President Biden is promoting these controversial reading materials under the guise of preventing so-called “book banning.”
“Biden appointed a book-review czar to monitor the actions of local school boards and potentially penalize them for simply reviewing books,” the Florida congressman said. “I see this as a dangerous step and a violation of federalist principles.”
The lawmaker argued that the narrative that preventing children from accessing sexual material amounts to “banning” is flawed.
“Removing a book from a library shelf is not akin to pouring gasoline on it and setting it ablaze,” he stated. “It’s not criminalizing the ownership of the book. It’s not even making them less accessible.”
“If you can check out a book from a public library, it is not banned,” Bean said. “If you can order a book from Amazon and have it delivered to your home the next day, it is not banned. In fact, the most-removed books are still wildly popular on Amazon.”
The first-term congressman is the chair of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.
In 2021, Amazon removed When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment from its online store. The book by Catholic philosopher Ryan T. Anderson criticizes the concept of “transgenderism” from an academic perspective.
Amazon has amassed a near-monopoly on book sales in recent years. The online retailer defended its decision by stating that it would “not sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.” Anderson denied that this was the purpose of his book.
Many of the activists who support Biden’s effort to end so-called “book banning” applauded Amazon’s move.