Germany opts not to ban children’s “anti-religious” book

March 7, 2008

Are German authorities right to have decided against banning a children’s book about religion which critics say is subversive and promotes atheism? The book “How do I get to God? asks the little pig” follows a little pink pig and a hedgehog in their quest to find God. In the end, the two creatures decide God would not like any of the religions.

Cover of the book “How do I get to God? asks the little pig”But what has angered some readers, including Germany’s Family Ministry, is that the priest, rabbi and mufti are all depicted as being crazy. That, argues the ministry, ridicules relgion and should not be allowed.

The ministry, which also argued the book was anti-Semitic, had tried to get it added to Germany’s list of literature which is dangerous for children. The book cover looks harmless enough, with its picture of a cute little pink pig in blue and white chequered dungarees and his hedgehog companion in Wellington boots, gazing quizzically upwards.

But inside, the illustrations do resort to stereotypical negative images. The rabbi has long black curls and an evil glint in his eye, the priest is extremely fat and the mufti is portrayed as a hate-preacher.  The German government department which is responsible for deciding whether books and media could be harmful for young people took a benign view on Thursday. After a thorough discussion, the 12-person panel decided the book could not be viewed as anti-Semitic since its attacks on Christianity and Islam were just as harsh.

On the broader point, the department said poking fun at religion posed no danger to young people.

Do you think children should be protected from these stereotypes?


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If these were stereotypes, we would have Muslims rioting against *cartoons*, Catholic Church paying billions to settle sex abuse claims, and Israelis taking land from people that had lived on it for hundreds or thousands of years.

Posted by Not Religious | Report as abusive

I meant “would not.”

Posted by Not Religious | Report as abusive

Children should be allowed to learn about atheism as much as other religions. Even in a country with a christian heritage I think Religious Education should be divided equally between lessons about Christianity, Islam, Judism, atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism and the rest.
A child should be left to make up it’s own mind (when he/she matures) and not given the religion of its parents.
Richard Dawkins says labelling children as ‘a Muslim child’ or ‘a protestant child’ is ludicrous and is a form of child abuse.
He may have gone a bit far but his point is demonstrated thus. If we called a child a ‘socialist child’ or a ‘monetarist child’ people would think we were mad.

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive