Charlotte’s Web, that children’s story of friendship, respect and devotion, published in 1952 and a favorite of waves of generations of children since then, was banned in 2006 in a school district – on religious grounds. Some parents felt that only humans should have the ability to speak. It was not proper for animals to speak. Did they also ban the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood? What horrible influences, to portray all those animals as being able to talk! Would those stories confuse the children? No, wrong objection. God didn’t make animals to talk, so the stories are an affront to God Almighty.

But, didn’t they forget one little detail? Under those objection, the Bible should also be banned. In the very first book of the Bible (gasp) a serpent speaks. It speaks to Eve, encouraging her to eat the forbidden fruit.

Then, in the second book in the Bible, it goes even further and says that a bush speaks: the Burning Bush spoke to Moses. At least the serpent had a mouth, how does a bush speak? But, this is not really the bush speaking, it is Almighty God speaking through the bush – no mouth necessary.

Did the whale speak to Jonah before swallowing him?

Did the demons who inhabited the swine speak when Christ drove them out?

I don’t know. I can’t think any further. Some people don’t understand the use of allegory, metaphor and parables in conveying spiritual truth which is essentially beyond the physical limitations of our words. When people forget, or ignore that, they can end up in some very strange places.

The banned status of Charlotte’s Web did not last very long. Maybe someone showed them what’s in the Bible.

For those who do not know, or have not read Charlotte’s Web (is there anyone who hasn’t?), written by E.B. White, it was 78th on the best-selling hardcover list of children’s literature, selling more than 45 million copies, translated into twenty-three languages and adapted several times to film, as well as winning many awards along the way.

In fairy tales anything can happen, so why don’t we just call it a fairy tale? But, children understand the truth of it, no matter how it’s labeled.

4 thoughts on “Charlotte’s Web: BANNED by Duane L Herrmann

  1. So disappointing that laypeople without knowledge & expertise in development, learning, & communication can ban books instead of letting parents, teachers & adults just choose whether to read a certain book or not or to have mindful dialogue about a book or subvert & then respect each other’s differences.

  2. Such an enjoyable and imaginative children’s novel our 3rd grade teacher read to us back in 1963. These religious extremists would ban ALL novels if given the chance. Imagination is an essential part of CREATIVITY. What’s next? Ban poetry, song lyrics, music, and art because someone is blessed with
    “G-D given talents?” These religious extremists need to “Quit PRETENDING they know the mind of ALMIGHTY G-D”….
    THAT WOULD REQUIRE genius, ingenuity, creativity, and inspiration; Which they clearly lack.

  3. The parents that wanted Charlotte Web banned are rediculous. My kids liked the book and the movie. These people don’t even realize that when the animals were in the garden with Adam and Eve, that they WERE created to talk. YHWH shut their mouths when A&E were kicked out of the garden. This is also why animals understand people and sometimes warn them of danger. They do understand and have same feelings and ID why, in the Bible, Yah tells people to be kind to them.

  4. They should do a background check on people making claims like this and then enlist a panel of experts and professionals to review and give an unbiased and honest comment about it. Some people don’t go to church or participate or read their bible. It’s not fair or right to throw everything on religion, especially for the wrong cause or under a false understanding. Is honestly would have thought animals rights would have been the reason. At least animal rights makes more sense.

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