“Wo bitte geht’s zu Gott?, fragte das kleine Ferkel”

That’s the title of a controversial children’s book published in Germany that the German government is considering banning. The idea of any country banning a book for any reason is repugnant to me. The idea of Germany banning books is horrifying. This smacks of the early years of the Third Reich. I thought that Germany had learned its lesson.

According to an article on Harets.com, the book is anti-religion. The book portrays Christian, Islamic and Jewish clergy in somewhat negative terms and it is the portrayal of the rabbi that is causing all the furor over the book in Germany.

Germany certainly has a right to be sensitive to anything that smacks of anti-Semitism. But, the impression I got was that the book is not biased against just one of the three major religions, but is biased against all three. That, im my opinion, removes any stigma of anit-Semitism, unless you want to use Semite in a very broad sense. After all, Jesus and Mohammed were both Semites. If anti-Semitism now means hatred of anything Semitic, then one can argue that a fair portion of the population of Israel, the more conservative portion, is anti-Semitic because they hate the Palestinians.

Being sensitive to hate is a good thing, especially in a country like Germany, but that sensitivity must be tempered by a strong commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of belief, which includes atheism. I strongly urge the government and people of my native land to exercise a great deal of caution here. You are treading on some very thin ice.

You might find this web page of interest – it’s in German though.

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