William Tyndale, Moms for Liberty, and the Banning of Books

by Jan 26, 2024

Joy Ann Reid, an anchor for MSNBC, recently interviewed Tiffany Justice, the co-founder of Moms for Liberty (FYI the interview includes some sexually explicit references/language). The interview sought to address the issue of “banned books” that the Moms for Liberty organization has sought to have removed from public school libraries across the country. In our own local public library, I came across an ALA (American Libraries of America) poster decrying an unprecedented push to ban books. I prefer physical books, so digital books have always felt a bit like an encroachment, but I wasn’t aware that books were in such danger as the poster seemed to suggest. Then, after a little research, I learned that nearly every one of these supposedly banned books just so happens to include LGBTQIA+ content or sexually explicit material.

THE REAL ISSUE

It doesn’t take much insight to see that today’s homosexual movement has cunningly targeted young people. Perverting children through exposure to homosexuality or even pornographic heterosexual material is part of the depraved LGBTQIA+ culture. I’ve come across these things in my social media timeline and wouldn’t dare repost them here. I can’t stand to watch the clips myself. Such videos and even some of the content in the so-called “banned books” are captured in Ephesians 5:12 – “For it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.”

Even the people posting for Joy Ann Reid on social media recognize the truth of Ephesians 5:12. In the post pictured below, @TheReidOut censured the very language that Joy Ann Reid argued on her show should be readily accessible in public schools.

The goal of this movement is the perversion of young people and a distortion of God’s intention for masculinity, femininity, and sexual intimacy. But Tiffany Justice did make an interesting point about the banning of books. She rightly insisted, “No one’s banning books. Write the book. Print the book. Publish the book. Put the book in the public library. Sell the book, right? We’re talking about a public school library.” The authors of these so-called “banned books” are being celebrated and growing wealthy despite the opposition from public school parents. So it behooves us to remember what qualifies as true book banning.

THE REAL BANNING OF BOOKS

William Tyndale was wrongfully burned as a heretic in 1536. It is mainly because of Tyndale that we have God’s Word in English. The crime for which he was martyred was daring to give English speakers the Bible in their own language instead of the defunct Latin tongue. Tyndale’s English New Testament and other writings were such a threat to the Roman Catholic establishment, and Tyndale himself such an offense to the monarchy, that King Henry VIII issued a proclamation in 1529 forbidding the king’s subjects “to bring into this realm, to sell, receive, take, or detain,” any of the writings bearing William Tyndale’s real name or pseudonym, ‘Hitchens’.

Fast forward 500 years. George M. Johnson, the “Award-Winning Black Non-binary Writer”* is the celebrated author of the New York Times Bestseller, All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir Manifesto. Johnson’s book is said to be the second most banned book in America**, which includes stomach-turning, conscience-defiling, graphic homosexual content worthy of the warning found in Ephesians 5:12. A brief look at Johnson’s media mentions reveals his national acclaim. Is this really what happens to persecuted authors of banned books?

Compare Johnson’s stardom to the fate of John Tewkesbury, an ordinary London tradesman who was only found in possession of The Parable of Wicked Mammon, William Tyndale’s treatise on the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Upon being found out, Tewkesbury was jailed, brought before a tribunal for questioning about his beliefs, and compelled to recant. One biographer elaborates what else the punishment entailed.

He was then sentenced to carry a fagot [a wooden stick on which heretics were burned] publicly to two churches, and to three of the city markets, on different days, and to wear the sign of a fagot worked on each of his sleeves all his lifetime, as a confession to the beholders that he deserved the fire; to submit to be shut up in a monastery, till the bishop should give him leave to come out; and then to confine himself to residing within his diocese of London.*^*

Apparently, the truth still resonated with John Tewkesbury because he was found again, two years later, in possession of the same Parable as well as The Obedience of a Christian Man, another of Tyndale’s writings. But this time, he did not recant, calling the truth in these books, “good and Christian faith.” A few months after Tewkesbury had been burned, Sir Thomas More captured in no uncertain terms what was the common sentiment of Rome regarding William Tyndale and all those who, like John Tewkesbury, adhered to such contraband:

The poor wretch lieth now in hell, and crieth out on [Tyndale]; and Tyndale, if he do not amend in time, he is like to find him, when they come together, an hot firebrand burning at his back.*^*

The pitiable authors who have earned their place on various lists of censured books are in no such danger. They are gaining more book deals, more speaking engagements, and more media hype from a perverse generation who eagerly celebrates writing that further defiles America’s youth. So when you hear about today’s “banned books” written by wannabe cultural martyrs, don’t buy into the hype. Instead, remember real martyrs. Remember real banned books. And be thankful. And above all, praise God for your English Bible.

“I shall delight in Your statutes/ I shall not forget Your word.” — Psalm 119:16


* https://iamgmjohnson.com/gmj-media-kit-new/ (accessed Friday, January 26, 2024).

** Ashlyn Campbell for the Daily New Record, “Award-Winning Author Shares Importance of Diverse Storytelling at Bridgewater College,” September 28, 2023 (https://www.dnronline.com/news/award-winning-author-shares-importance-of-diverse-storytelling-at-bridgewater-college/article_77104551-3352-59ed-acdd-9df274e71043.html (accessed Friday, January 26, 2024).

*^* William Tyndale, The Works of William Tyndale, Volume I (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2010), 32.

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