Pastor Wants Books Removed From Library

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A minister is demanding that books be removed from a public library because they’re corrupting the children! This is a repeat from everywhere at any time ever. This time the target is Twilight, Harry Potter and other “occult” books.

A Shepherd minister is leading a petition to have certain books removed from the shelves of the teen section at Austin Memorial Library.

The books include Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, the House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, and all other books aimed at a teen audience that perpetuate a theme of vampires in relationships with young teens.

Phillip Missick, pastor of King of Saints Tabernacle, is concerned that the books and others do not bend a child’s character in a positive way.

“There are 75 books, according to the library, that deal with the occult in the teen section. On the top shelf, there is a demonic stuffed doll and a witch’s hat,” said Missick, referring to a figurine of the Harry Potter elf character, Dobby, and a sorting hat from the same series.

“I am not saying that the library shouldn’t have information on the occult since it is part of our history, but there is an overwhelming amount and the books appear to be targeting teens,” he said.

You believe in a book with talking snakes, holy spirits, and magic potions that tell whether a person has committed adultery, for crying out loud. And the Bible contains more violence and barbarism than all of those vampire books combined. Glass houses, padre.

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  • Chiroptera

    Because nothing attracts children to your church like advertising how much you hate fun stuff.

  • dugglebogey

    We are so lucky that the Nazis burned books. It created a really nice historical stigma against it.

    Some people are so stupid they are impervious to history.

  • bahrfeldt

    The “Shepherd” is merely inciting the flock to make them amenable to even more and greater fleecing. Same as it ever was. False prophets/ false profiteers.

  • erichoug


    Seriously, these books pose a real and growing threat to our children and they have an excellent point about each and every one of them. Book challenges need to be looked at very seriously.

    The fact that I use ALA list of challenged and banned books to find the best reads out there has nothing whatsoever to do with my position

  • raven

    This minister is rather stupid.

    1. Generally, asking libraries to censor themselves doesn’t work. I suppose in some backwoods Oogedy Boogedy places like east Texas or most rural areas it might.

    2. This is just an attention getting stunt. Really, he needs to just buy and/or collect a bunch of Harry Potter, Twilight, etc.. books and put them in a big pile. Douse them in kerosene, and sing hymns while they burn. Wear some cute paramilitary style uniforms with armbands with crosses on them.

    Upload the video to Youtube!!! I’m sure it will make national news. Fox NoNews will repeat it for days on end.

  • John Pieret

    You believe in a book with talking snakes, holy spirits, and magic potions that tell whether a person has committed adultery, for crying out loud.

    Okay, with my sense of humor, I’d consider moving the vampire books to the “adult” section in an “occult” subsection (it’s not like the teens couldn’t find and get them there … it might get them to learn how to search the library’s catalogue), as long as all the Bibles were stored there too.

  • I played a Shepherd minister in D&D. Lawful Asshole alignment, obviously. I did okay, up until the Perils of Petty Moralism adventure, where I saved the children from thoughts or influences, but for some reason they hated me for it.


    You believe in a book with talking snakes, holy spirits, and magic potions that tell whether a person has committed adultery, for crying out loud. And the Bible contains more violence and barbarism than all of those vampire books combined.

    They’re little things called “history” and “science”, Ed.

  • I am OK with the removal of the Twilight books. Have you read them? They are bad. Not evil, occult bad, but shitty writing bad. Remove the DVDs, too. He really would be doing a service to the children.

  • raven

    Back in the Dark Ages, a Mormono-fascist in Utah, a county commissioner tried to get some books removed from the local library.

    The librarian refused so he tried to fire her. She sued.

    I was so appalled, I sent some money (very little actually) to the defense fund, even though at the time I was still a broke student. The best few dollars I ever spent.

    She won. And as part of the settlement, the county sent me back a refund. The county commissioner lost his next election.

  • nicemarmot

    We should start a petition to have all copies of the Bible removed from his church.

  • Abby Normal

    You believe in a book with talking snakes, holy spirits, and magic potions that tell whether a person has committed adultery, for crying out loud.

    Exactly the minister’s point, he belives in the book. These are clearly topics for the non-fiction section.

  • I’m really starting to believe there must be something in the water down there. It’s bloody dangerous too…what with how it kills brain cells!

    Nicemarot, do you prefer black or blue ink? How ’bout nice bright rainbow colours?

  • I love the banned and challenged book list. The first time I read the list, my kids and I counted the number of those books we owned and were on our shelves. It was a lot of them. I thank my local librarian for providing me with the list.

    If you take away books that a CLEARLY fiction based upon a book that is ALSO CLEARLY fiction, you might be a moron. Banning books is really not effective, and no library worth it’s salt is going to censor its’ book content because somebody whines about it. I know the folks at our library, in Southern Baptist/Republican/Hillbilly Hell Florida, rather enjoy sticking to the crazy religious fundies here. One of them sports a FSM decal on her car.

  • cptdoom

    I can totally see why Missick wants to ban the Harry Potter series. We wouldn’t want kids to read a series of books that contrast nearly perfect good with pure evil, would we? And what kind of a hero is Harry Potter anyway? He’s only prophesied before birth to be the savior of all mankind, develops the ability to resist the forces of pure evil through his mother’s sacrifice, gathers around himself a motley crew of regular people who learn from him to do extraordinary things to fight that same pure evil, saves the life of his enemy Draco Malfoy (helping to turn him away from evil) and finally (spoiler alert) succeeds in destroying that evil by giving up his own life.

    Clearly it’s too much competition for Missick’s own set of fairy tales.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    “Thank you very much, Mr. Missick. Ms. Meyer’s check is in the mail.”

  • shadowspade

    I guess when you believe in a giant formless three yet one yet three yet one being in the sky who controls everything believing in vampires, magic and such is pretty easy.

  • JustaTech

    In general, librarians don’t take well to requests to ban books.

    The fantasy author Mercedes Lackey has a statement in a few of her books that gives a phone number to call to order (from the publisher) a large number of her books for burning. She lives in Oklahoma and has been writing books with gay protagonists since the 80’s. She said that if her books offend you so much that you want to burn them then the least she can do is get you a bulk discount.

    Has anyone ever requested a book be banned from a library for reasons other than sex or religion?

  • Abby Normal

    JustaTech, yes, for public saftey. The The Anarchist Cookbook is a prime example. But you’re point is still good.

  • Abby Normal


    damn it

  • eric

    there is an overwhelming amount and the books appear to be targeting teens,

    Give him some credit – he noticed that a book written for teenagers appears to be targeting teens. That’s probably more social awareness than many ministers.

  • vereverum

    @ John Pieret #6

    Your suggestion would also probably increase readership. The best way to get someone to do something is to tell them they aren’t allowed or that they’re too young. Sorry kid, those books are only for adults, you’re too young, so you just keep away from the east end of aisle 19.

  • eric

    In fairness, all the comments on the article are pro-freedom.

    I get something of a “down with bell bottoms!” feeling when I read this complaint. I think in the next 10-20 years most kids will be e-checking out e-books from a virtual library, and the concept of removing books from access will just not make sense. It’ll be grandpa’s rant about his old days. To be sure, brick and mortar libraries will always be useful (particularly for the poor), but you can already order up free books on your phone. We’re there. The questions confronting libraries now is not if practically any novel will be available to anyone online, but (1) how to allow ‘library standard limited’ access to copyrighted material, and (2) how fast can they make popular titles available to their patrons.

  • Justatech:

    Has anyone ever requested a book be banned from a library for reasons other than sex or religion?

    I’ve seen reasons like “Disrespecting autjhority figures” given in attempts to ban books like A Catcher in the Rye. Also, people have tried to ban Huckleberry Finn for its copious use of the N-word.

  • Abby Normal

    Eric, I think you’re probably right. But it’s not a sure thing. In some respects digital books are easier to censor because with most digital licenses the consumer never actually owns the book. They purchase access to it or some such. The provider retains ownership and can even go into your device and delete copies. You gave them permission when you agreed to the terms of service.

    From NY Times

    On Friday, it was “1984” and another Orwell book, “Animal Farm,” that were dropped down the memory hole — by

    In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them.

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    One of my favorite bookstores has a ‘banned books month’ every year, in ‘honor’ of assholes like this preacher. 🙂

  • Scr… Archivist

    You believe in a book with talking snakes…

    Holy crap! (And I do mean that.) I just realized. Eve must have been a Parselmouth!

    And the Bible contains more violence and barbarism than all of those vampire books combined.

    Has anyone ever written a secular fantasy novel that purposely includes all of the evil actions of the Bible? It would be interesting to see if Christians tried to ban it, especially if the evil is performed by or on behalf of the lavishly lauded hero of the story.

  • magistramarla

    Wasn’t the Twilight series written by a Mormon Mom who disapproved of the vampire books written by Anne Rice?

    As I understood it, she wrote them to give teens something about vampires to read that she considered more “appropriate”.

    I read Anne Rice’s books when I was younger, and they were much, much more interesting.

  • Looking at the ALA’s list of books people complain about, it seems to be that being in the top 10 to 100 almost guarantees a book’s success. Of course, I guess it had to be successful for the theocrat censors to notice it in the first place. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to track book sales after this kind of diatribe is widely published.

    Also, echoing what someone else here said, moving the top 10 to the adult section should fully satisfy Missick (yeah, right).

  • anubisprime

    Religion cannot control itself, neither in this age and certainly not in the past.

    Fear, ignorance and the palpable dearth of philosophical depth always betrays them.

    In another age they would righteously burn, rip, destroy and ban anything that they assume poses as a palpable threat and pretend they were saving souls…simply because they fear that what is in the pages belies their delusion so completely and they have no cogent argument or coherent response against the knowledge and concepts the books contain which might make people think for themselves and ultimately understand the world just that little bit better…to the detriment of the carefully crafted perverted manipulative influence of intellectually challenged sexually dysfunctional fools and charlatans, their previous unassailable strangle hold affectively diminishes just that little bit more and the slide into oblivion gathers pace for bronze age mysticism.

    The only life raft available is political activism, and that becomes rather expensive and uncertain.

    Their tentative hold on reality must indeed be fractional if they feel threatened by a book…but so it has always been.

    The fear of being usurped by a society that edges towards regarding supernatural gobbly gook as a childish and flawed attitude terrifies always has!

    When fictional stories hold greater fascination then the religiously spun dull and tedious wares they promote the shock must sting, because of the parallels, their tale of super duper sky fairies pales in significance and potency…

    Simply put fantasy literature might become far more popular because it fulfils imagination and the curious human trait of invented portents and signs invented to explain the nominally unexplainable in a manner that does not engender fear of damnation or ostracism.

    Theists cannot control that release from mental slavery, the only thing left is burning the threat as they used to do, or banning them from being seen by their natural victims, what a incredibly desperate and pointless certainty they must have.

    They are losing ground…and they know it.

  • Ichthyic

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A minister is demanding that books be removed from a public library because they’re corrupting the children!

    Nobody did it better than Robert Preston.

  • eric

    @24 – interesting story, though I note Amazon then reversed policy and said they wouldn’t do it. Also, it would be relatively easy to stop this practice at the grass roots level if such deletions became common. Initially download the document to your computer, then transfer it to a thumb drive. I’m guessing changing the filename and location would also work. As a temporary measure, you can just turn off the cell connnetion. About 99% of the time I have it off anyway, because it saves on battery. If tomorrow the NYT reports that Amazon is erasing copies of some book I have on my pad, I won’t lose it. I’ll suffer the minor inconvenience of having to plug it into my computer so that I can transfer it to another media, but that’s it.

    Lastly (and probably more on topic), I was really discussing public access to library e-books. I’m fully supportive of library apps ‘taking back’ the book after a certain amount of time. What I think this preacher doesn’t understand is that there is not going to be any way to stem the access to such e-libraries. Oh noes, he had Twilight removed from the Springfield e-library. Know what I do? Log on to the Shelbyville e-library and get it there.

  • Synfandel

    It is possible that those books are corrupting the minds some young people–those few who are so simple-mindedly credulous that they actually believe that wizards, demons, elves, and magic hats exist. Fortunately, the vast majority of children and teens have far more functioning grey matter than Pastor Missick appears to have.

  • Loqi

    Twilight, of all things? I was subjected to one of the movies, and it took about 10 minutes for me to turn to my friend and ask, “This was written by a Mormon, wasn’t it?” It was half antifeminist purity porn and half anti-abortion commercial. It seemed to be written specifically as a thinly-veiled religious propaganda piece. Obviously this pastor doesn’t know what the series is about, or he’d be cheering it on.