Never Judge a Book By Its Cover
The cover illustration of contemporary book aimed at teens and adults written by Queensland author Karina Shim was recently branded as “offensive” by chaplains of Queensland Correctional Centres, and deemed “inappropriate” for distribution within Queensland jails.
The illustration by world-renowned artist Istvan Banyai depicts a modern day interpretation of David and Goliath, and is representative of the book which presents the stories of the Old Testament in a contemporary fashion.
In an effort to share her book with prisoners, Karina Shim had contacted chaplains at each of the Queensland Correctional Centres. A reply letter dated 26 February 2015 from one of the chaplains stated that,
“At one of the prisons I attend this letter was opened by an officer for security reasons. He was not taken with the bookmark depicting the cover of your book in light of the situation with Isil etc and the recent gunning down and beheadings. I understand the analogy but the officer was quite offended. It was brought up at our meeting yesterday and all the chaplains agreed that the cover would be inappropriate on a book that was in the centre. For your info all religious material must be approved by The State Chaplaincy Board not individual prison chaplains.”
Karina Shim’s thoughts on the chaplains’ response to her book were,
“Never judge a book by its cover seems to be forgotten in this era of political correctness and preciousness. I have self-published Bible Stories For Big Kids which is the Old Testament of the Bible written as a story in a contemporary and sometimes humorous style for teens and adults, and it has been well received by those who would not normally read the Bible.”
“The illustration on the cover of the book is a cartoon of David and Goliath and was drawn by international illustrator Istvan Banyai well before ISIL was even heard of. Goliath is depicted as a person in army combat uniform, not a hooded ISIL fighter.”
“I feel the attitude of the prison officer is reflective of what is becoming Australian society’s heightened sensitivity about religion, and the response from the prison chaplains is frankly, pathetic. Rather than taking this as a great opportunity for a conversation-starter to explain the Bible’s relevance in the modern world and in particular to their clients, these chaplains have chosen to retreat back to the confines of a safe but uninspiring place away from the scrutiny of the society to which they belong. As we read of the continued persecutions of Christians, in love, we must continue to portray the truth, not run away from it. If we don’t take a stance for what we believe in, others will think that we stand for nothing.”
“Furthermore, I read of illicit drugs and syringes entering jails (Courier Mail 21/3/15), yet this book is not allowed because of its cover. That is ludicrous.”