German children’s book against religion

Apparently, the German Family Ministry is trying to get a children’s book critical of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam “to be included on a list of literature considered dangerous for young people.” The book includes religious figures depicted in unflattering, broadly stereotypical ways.

Now, it looks like the book is indeed offensive, in the sense that if I were religious, I’d certainly be offended by it. But I don’t know how much of this would be religious hypersensitivity. Children’s literature has to be graphic, perhaps highly stereotypical. And I wonder if there’s any other way to try and act against the unwarranted sweetness-and-light stereotypes of religion that tends to be much more dominant in children’s media.

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About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • J. J. Ramsey

    You can get a better look at the pictures of the book here:

    The claim that the rabbi is drawn with hands like claws appears wrong, and the claim about him having predator’s teeth is dicey, but the “corkscrew curls” and “fanatical lights in his eyes” are there. I also can’t see from the pictures any implication that the bishop has pedophilic tendencies. What I do notice is that all the clergy end up portrayed as enraged, which, IMHO, is cheating. No atheist arguments worth their salt should rely on religion being presented with a cruel face.

  • While no one’s watching…

    Orthodox Jews do wear corkscrew curls.

    While I would probably not have bothered to make the religious leaders look quite so angry, religion does have a cruel face. Religion is cruel and vile, at its core.

    The concerns about this book are based on the idea that religion is beyond reproach. We have to stop letting the religious get away with censoring attacks on their dogmas.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    “Religion is cruel and vile, at its core.”

    Holy overgeneralization, Batman!

  • Eiskrystal

    I see no-one is complaining about the naked people at the back of the book. (i’m not but I thought someone would)