Buddhist magazines treated like porno

Bell, Shane

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2/7/2021 Buddhist Magazines treated like Porno I have been the Jameson Buddhist Group facilitator for about 5 years now and I cannot believe that the Buddhist magazines titled 'Lion's Roar', January and March 2021 issues are no longer being received by me to use in teaching the Buddhist Group. Recently, a federal magistrate judge, Lawrence Piersol ruled that the South Dakota State Penitentiary pornography policy was unconstitutional. According to the way the policy for the prison system was written, the Christian Bible and works of Shakespeare would be considered sexually explicit. As a result of this the prison has set up a "viewing room" where prisoners can look at magazines that would be rejected for nudity or being sexual explicit. A prisoner must sign up to view up to 3 magazines that are in a folder under the eyes of a prison employee for only 20 minutes. The magazines cannot be removed or shown to any other prisoner. I have looked at 2 magazines in the viewing room titled, World War II and Lions Roar which is a Buddhist magazine. Both of these magazines are available to 1 the public of any age. Magazines that any 10 year old kid can purchase at any newstand or store has been deemed to sexually explicit for me, a 42 year old prisoner to see. I see this as just another draconian practice by the South Dakota Department of Corrections and a violation of my First Amendment and 14th Amendment rights. I have used the Buddhist publication titled 'Lion's Roar' to teach at the Buddhist Group, but now this publication dealing with the Buddhist religion is being treated as if it were pornography. I cannot use the valuable information in it to teach fellow prisoners about the peaceful, compassionate religion of Buddhism. One must ask where will the draconian practices of restricting Buddhist literature end? If the Christian Bible was considered sexually explicit per prison policy, why is the Bible allowed into the prison and be possessed by any person, but the Buddhist magazine 'Lion's Roar' is not? Don't you think this is a violation of the First and 14th Amendments of the Constitution. I would enjoy getting your opinions on this, as under the law we are all supposed to be treated equally.

Author: Bell, Shane

Author Location: South Dakota

Date: February 7, 2021

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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