The school board in Oregon’s Onionville School District has ordered librarians to pull The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from its library shelves following a petition by parents concerned about the religious content of the children’s classic. Teachers have been told not to use the book in their curriculum pending a complete review of the author’s Christian background. Other religious titles may be pulled after a review of the library’s collection.Richard Harris, the district superintendent of instruction said that he fully supports the school board’s decision. “These are secular public schools, after all. Separation of church and state and all that.”
Atheist parent Sam Dawkins agreed. “Those Catholic schools in Canada had every right to pull The Golden Compass from their shelves. As atheist parents at a secular school, we have to protect our children from books by authors with hidden religious agendas. Take C. S. Lewis, for example. He dresses Christ up in cat costume with a big mane so that kids cozy right up to Him. Then they’re caught helpless in Jesus’ furry paws.”
Onionville resident and school board member Christopher Johnson is a self-professed Zen Buddhist who voted in favor of the ban. His choice was motivated by a concern for Lewis’ reputation as a Christian apologist. Although Johnson admitted that he hadn’t read the books, he said that “[The Chronicles of Narnia] are just thinly veiled Christian propaganda…there is nothing innocent about [Lewis’] agenda. This man’s sinister goals are to promote Christianity and denigrate atheism. To kids!”
Johnson added, “Also, there aren’t any Zen books in the library for them to remove, so I have nothing to lose.”
The controversy has spread beyond the classroom and into the movie theater. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was adapted into a hit movie a couple of years ago, and the sequel, Prince Caspian, will be released this spring.
Ellen Hitchens, President of the Atheist League, an American lobbying group for non-believers, is leading an effort to boycott the movie. “We encourage parents not to be lured in by the incredible special effects and the thrilling action. We expect that our national email and news campaign will reach parents who haven’t heard of this multimillion dollar epic and keep them from exposing their unsuspecting children to the religious elements hidden under the Christian-approved sorcery and cute talking animals.”
In Onionville, atheist parents say that C. S. Lewis is just the tip of the Christian iceberg. A source confirms that the SF classic Ender’s Game, by Mormon author Orson Scott Card, The Lord of the Rings, by Catholic J.R.R. Tolkien, plays by Anglican William Shakespeare and epic poetry by pagan Homer will all be under review. This purge may not stop at religion, as some parents are also worried about the hidden vegan agenda of Dav Pilkey, author of the popular and irreverent Captain Underpants series.
Note: This is a work of satire.