OSC Answers Questions
As an assignment for my eighth grade English class, we were required
to read a 'banned book' and write a paper examining the reasons for its
"banishment." I chose Ender's Game, and the main reasons cited for it being
banned included profanity and sexuality. What are YOUR thoughts on banned
books in general, but especially on Ender's Game?
-- Submitted Anonymously
OSC REPLIES: - July 19, 2004
Ender's Game banned because of "sexuality"? Ha. There's no sexuality
in the book, period. Unless somebody thinks that showering naked is "sexual."
The reason Ender's Game was first banned is because it was placed on a "hit list"
of "evil books" by a Baptist group many years ago, and it was placed on that list
for no other reason than that I'm a Mormon, and therefore no children should be
reading a book by me. I've run into Baptist anti-Mormon efforts many times - like
the time the editor of a Christian magazine was forced to eliminate me as a
columnist on religious matters and the negative coverage generated on my first
screenplay, which came back notated as "blatant Mormon propaganda," even
though there was nothing remotely Mormon in it.
The original official excuse for EG being on a hit list was because it cultivated
'anti-adult attitudes.' Whenever I see that excuse as the reason, I know the source
is the Baptist list. Which makes it hilarious that it was banned once in Utah,
because of the efforts of a Mormon who had picked up the Baptist list and didn't
realize that one way to get on that list was just to BE a Mormon!
Later, EG was banned from some libraries because the N word was used in a scene
where Ender was making an ANTI-racist point to a racist character (such is the
stupidity of censors!). So at my urging, my publisher allowed me to rewrite the
scene to eliminate the offending word. But since some people were fully
committed to banning EG, they simply chose other words to be offended by.
Since Ender's Game is actually quite inoffensive in itself, there is invariably a
hidden agenda in the efforts to ban the book, usually tied to the fact that I'm a
Mormon. Nowadays, most efforts to boycott or ban books of mine stem from the
fact that the Mormon Church openly opposes gay marriage and continues to regard
voluntary homosexual behavior as sinful, and I have openly defended my
But since I never use my books to preach my religion or advance my political
agenda, it's always a real stretch to find excuses to ban my books. Ultimately, the
motive almost always seems to come down to wanting to punish me for actually
being an orthodox and vocal Latter-day Saint.