There's no excuse for Catholic schools assigning reading books that are sacrilegious, sexually explicit, vulgar or otherwise inappropriate to Catholic boys and girls, argues Carl Olson at The Catholic World Report.
The photo that accompanies his essay alone is disturbing. It shows a page from a book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is required summer reading at a Catholic school in Ohio. "I was mad at God; I was mad at Jesus. They were mocking me, so I mocked them," the text reads. It is accompanied by a picture the narrator drew of Our Lord, with the caption, "Jesus farteth and burpeth in harmony! MIRACULOUS!!"
But that's not the worst part of the book, which Olson says describes a sex act and advocates same-sex marriage. He writes:
It got me thinking of the books that I had to read for English classes when I was high school (a public school) in the mid-1980s. They included several plays by Shakespeare (Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet), For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ivanhoe, My Name Is Asher Lev (a personal favorite), 1984, A Tale of Two Cities, and Tess of the D'Urbervilles. I cannot recall reading a book that had been published in the just ten or twenty years before. Which is not to say that good fiction for teens isn't being written in the 21st century. Not at all. But I have serious doubts about The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. If I was a parent whose child was required to read that book, I would have some questions for the English teacher, beginning with this one: "Have you never heard of Ignatius Press?" And, as a follow-up: "Or of the Ignatius Critical Editions?
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