Chaplains have been systematically removing a wide range of religious books and tapes from the libraries of federal prisons under a directive issued by the Bureau of Prisons. The aim is to prevent federal prisons from becoming recruiting grounds for militant Islamic and other religious groups. The banned materials include books by eminent protestant theologians (Reinhold Niebuhr, Karl Barth) and contemporary evangelical leaders (Robert Schuller, Rick Warren).
Once more, our frantic response to a real, but elusive and unpredictable, terrorist threat has done more harm to human liberty and quality of life than any terrorist could. We are denying religious freedom, breeding bewilderment and resentment among the prison population, and cutting inmates off from resources that could aid in rehabilitation and positive spiritual development.
Sojourners is sponsoring a letter writing campaign to end the censorship. You may sign on at: Stop Censoring Prison Libraries.