Highland Park HS Keeps Genesis on Required Reading List Despite Smut

Lot and his daughters. "Oh, man, I'm sho drunk right now I don't know whatsh going on."
Lot and his daughters. "Oh, man, I'm sho drunk right now I don't know whatsh going on."

Last week, Highland Park ISD released its updated high school reading list. The list provided titles required for in-class reading, optional outside reading and the passive aggressive list of "approved" but not taught in the classroom reading.

Students will have to get parental permission to read six books on the required and outside choice list: Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and David K. Shipler's Working Poor: Invisible in America.

See also: Highland Park ISD Bans Books Because Sex

HPISD Superintendent Dawson Orr will make the final decision on all English department books at the December 9 board meeting.

Let's hope that between now and then someone tips Orr to certain oversights in the list, which -- we're shocked to note -- includes the biblical book of Genesis as required reading for English IV classes, no permission slips required.

Seriously, Highland Park, have none of you heathens ever read Genesis?

Smut. Smut. Smut. It's nothing but smut.

What, you think it's all "let there be light" and apple theft? Oh, no, Genesis is a Hunter-esque chronicle of sex, drugs and rock and roll of the earliest monotheists, only with more incest and less rock and roll. It clearly could be a negative influence on impressionable Highland Park teens. You think The Picture of Dorian Gray is gritty enough to require parental approval? Listen, Oscar Wilde may have been as gay as a chorus line, but he was the soul of propriety compared with the heinous filth Highland Parks' callow youths will traipse through in Genesis:

  • Incest: We could start with Cain and Abel, who, as Mark Twain noted: "had some sisters; and knew what to do with them. And so there were some more results: Cain and Abel begot some nephews and nieces." But that's nothing compared with Lot and his daughters, who got Pops drunk and took turns having sex with him in order to get knocked up. This story, told in Genesis 19:30-36, is that Lot was soooo drunk he didn't know he was diddling his daughters, making this the earliest known instance of victim blaming in the history of sex crimes.
  • Sex with non-relatives: So much sex. Adam and Eve, Bilhah and Reuben, Abraham and Hagar, Abraham and Sarah, Abraham and Keturah, (Abe was a playah.) Judah and Shuah, Onan and his dead brother's wife (just the tip), Judah and his dead son's wife...
  • Birth control: Speaking of Onan ... well, let's not speak of Onan. Let's just say that when Dad tells you to impregnate your dead brother's wife (Tamar), the pull-out method is off the table, if you want to live.
  • Prostitution: Judah thinks his dead son's wife is a whore (again Tamar) and sleeps with her for the price of a young goat. Who knew Genesis was set in Alabama?
  • Booze: In typical SMU frat boy fashion, Noah gets drunk and passes out naked in his tent. His son Ham sees father naked and all his descendants are cursed by Noah, as if getting an eyeful of your drunk dad in all his glory isn't punishment enough.
  • Fratricide: Cain killed Abel in Genesis 4:8, and Jacob Joseph was very nearly killed by his brothers in Genesis 37:18-28.
  • Almost infanticide: In the words of Bob Dylan: "God said to Abraham, 'Kill me a son.' Abe said, 'Man, you must be puttin' me on.'" God wasn't. But at the same time he was.
  • Rape, sodomy and extremely bad parenting: In Genesis 19:3-8, Lot houses two angels as guests, and all the men in town riot his house because they want to have sex with them. Lot, who may have been a great host but is no one's idea of father of the year, had another idea: "My brothers, don't do such an evil thing. I've got two daughters who are virgins. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them whatever you wish." Which goes a long way toward explaining why his daughters were so effed up (see above).
  • Sex trafficking: Sarah gave her slave, Hagar, to Abraham to sleep with in Genesis 16:1-4. In Sarah's defense, she was probably worn out, because Abraham was a damn lumberjack.
  • Mass murder: Noah. Flood. Humanity. Got it?

The HPHS list reads like an awkward grab-bag compromise between Highland Park parents and the HPHS English department. Compromises in emotionally charged issues like whether high school students are ready to read The Picture of Dorian Gray can be good things ... unless they're dumb.

That's why we urge HPHS to rethink the use of Genesis in its English classes. Let's keep stuff like Genesis out of hands of impressionable English students and in the science classroom where it belongs.


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