• The protest was sparked by a school district's decision to remove the Bible from elementary, middle school libraries
  • The Bible was ruled as too 'violent or vulgar' for adolescent students following a review
  • The review came after a parent's complaint asking for the Bible to be scrutinized by the 'sensitive materials' law

Parents, children and Republican lawmakers gathered at Utah's Capitol on Wednesday to protest a school district's recent decision to remove the Bible from the shelves of elementary and middle school libraries.

"Remove porn, not the Bible" and "The Bible is the original textbook," read signs held by families outraged by the Bible ban, which was made possible by a GOP-backed "sensitive materials" law passed two years ago, according to NY Daily News.

Only a few days have passed since a review committee for the 72,000-student-strong Davis School District concluded that the Bible was too "violent or vulgar" for the district's adolescent students. The ban came after a parent, in a complaint, asked for the Bible to also be scrutinized by the sensitive materials law in the same way as non-religious books.

The law allows for the removal of obscene or pornographic materials from schools after the book goes under review by a committee, composed of teachers, parents and administrators.

The Davis School District received the parent's complaint against the Bible in December.

"Utah Parents United left off one of the most sex-ridden books around: The Bible," the parent said in the complaint, AP News reported.

The parent's challenging of the Bible appears to be an effort to undermine the sensitive materials law and to also call out groups such as Parents United, which have pushed for the removal of other books, especially those that contain race- and LGBTQ-related subjects.

The complaint reportedly pointed out instances of "incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide" from the Bible and also contained more than 60 Bible passages that were called "offensive," according to Axios.

"It's pornographic by our new definition," read the parent's complaint.

Following the parent's request, the committee reviewed the Bible and ruled that the Good Book did not qualify as obscene or pornographic under the sensitive materials law. But they concluded that the book was too "violent or vulgar" for children below the high school level.

The demonstration at Utah's Capitol on Wednesday saw more than a hundred parents and children joined by Republican lawmakers in response to the removal of the religious book from elementary and middle school libraries.

"We love the Bible. We love God. And we need God in our nation," said Karlee Vincent, a Davis County mother-of-three, who was seen at the protest carrying children's Bibles.

Vincent said districts should ban book titles with controversial materials but not religious texts.

Utah Parents United President Nichole Mason defended the state's sensitive materials law and said the attention on the removal of the Bible would distract people from discussions about obscene titles that still remain in school libraries.

"God Bless America that we can challenge any book out there!" Mason said.

Kasey Meehan, director of the Freedom to Read program at PEN America, said last week, "If folks are outraged about the Bible being banned, they should be outraged about all the books that are being censored."

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