Friday, October 2, 2009

Where Do We Draw The Line

As I see it, the process starts with the challenging of a book. Susie Bookreader finds in a certain book something that distresses her or “goes against her religious beliefs” or “is unsuitable for children” and she wants it pulled from the shelves. She campaigns for its removal and draws a big enough following to win the vote to have the book banned-removed from the eyes of innocent children and the good church going folks.

It’s a win!!

Or is it? Now let’s take this one-step further. Bob Bookreader wholeheartedly agrees with his sister-in-law Susie, but shock and dismay, he finds the banned book tucked away under young Elroy’s mattress. What’s a family to do?

No one must know. How could our son have gotten his hands on a copy of that…that reading material? A library two towns over you say…we have to stop them, don’t they know it’s on the banned list! You can find it in a bookstore too. And it’s available for purchase on the internet as well! Oh my, what is the world coming too…we are all going to…

Yeah, probably not going there for reading a book, but you see what I’m getting at right. Fear, it can make us crazy. Fear, it can make us do things that we shouldn’t. I know what comes next in the scenario above…soon they are standing in a public forum with a burn barrel and are tossing in book, magazines, music…anything and everything they fear.

So, where do we draw the line?

You know, I wish I could answer that question, I really do, but my answer would be vastly different from everybody else’s answer.

Yep, I’ve heard all the reasons and yes, it may go against one persons beliefs, it may indeed be unsuitable for children and I’m sure it may be distressing to some, but you know what I have to say to that…don’t read it, don’t let your children read it. Bury your head in the sand and only do things that you feel comfortable with, but don’t tell me what I can or cannot read.

I will be the voice for myself, I will decide if my child is old enough to understand what she is reading or if she needs to wait a few more years to be prepared enough to understand and discuss the uncomfortable parts and you do the same for you and yours, then everyone wins.

Or do they?

11 Uncensored Quote about Banned Books:


"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed." - Benjamin Franklin, 1730


"The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame." - Oscar Wilde


"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too." - Voltaire


"Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance." -Lyndon Baines Johnson


"Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there." - Clare Booth Luce


"Every burned book enlightens the world."- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Censorship offends me. ~Author Unknown


"Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads." - George Bernard Shaw


"This is slavery, not to speak one's thought."- Euripides


"One man's vulgarity is another's lyric." - John Marshall Harlan, Supreme Court justice, 1971


"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it." - Mark Twain


"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

May you all have an enlightened day!


Savanna Kougar said...

Serena, fantastic blog. I think, too often, we don't treasure what we think will always be there, our books, our freedom.
Mark Twain always gets to the heart of the matter, doesn't he?

Serena Shay said...

Thanks Savanna! Very true, we don't always realize how quickly our treasures can be taken away.

That he does!

I also quite enjoyed
"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too." - Voltaire


"Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance." -Lyndon Baines Johnson

Savanna Kougar said...

In this day and age, the more 'quotes' we have the better armed we are to fend off those who would ban books.

Paris said...

Wonderful blog and I love the quotes! I'm so tired of certain factions deciding what's best for me and mine that I could scream!

Serena Shay said...

Savanna, I totally agree!!

Serena Shay said...

Oh yeah, tired and beyond! We are big girls with wise minds, let us use them I say!!

Have a great weekend!

Francesca Hawley said...

Great quotes - here's another by Harper Lee who wrote "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
Harper Lee

Serena Shay said...

Hey Francesca,
That is a great quote!!