Should books be banned?

I am a member of a wonderful library board in my little home town. We have the opportunity to work with the librarian in promoting and providing community programs for people of all ages and I really enjoy the people I get to work with. They are wonderful people

We do not always agree. We come from a variety of backgrounds and political standpoints. We have had many different opportunities throughout our lives that have shaped our opinions and thoughts. But when it comes to the library and the programs, we all work together, striving to make our community a better place. I have learned so much and enjoy seeing things and learning things from other people’s perspectives. We have many lively discussions that open my mind to new ideas and possibilities and teach me so much.

We recently had the opportunity to discuss a book that, in our state, has garnered a lot of discussion from both sides of the aisle. I hadn’t been privy to much of the discussion prior to our meeting, I had only seen a couple of comments and a short video from the person who was opposed to the book and where it had been placed in the libraries. I have not personally read the book or even seen anything more than the few photos the person on the video shared. Based upon the subject matter, it is not a book I would go check out at the library or seek out to read at any point in time.

So I thought I would share my thoughts on banning books because that is what the person in the video would like to have done. There are a lot of books out there on the market that I would never read for a variety of reasons, mainly I don’t want some of that stuff in my head. I like to keep my thoughts clean and free from a lot of the worlds filth that seems to be so prevalent today (I cannot say that is what this particular book is full of, I’m talking generally). There are a lot of books out there that I would discourage my children from reading for many of the same reasons. I do not agree with the content, nor do I think it is appropriate or needful for my children to read. I feel like expanding our minds and horizons is a great endeavor, but I also want to keep the garden of my mind tidy and clean, and there is information in some books as well as other formats like movies, video games, and music, that I don’t feel like is necessary to know or understand, likewise, I don’t want it cluttering my mind or that of my children.

But as far as banning books, I don’t think we should remove people’s right to speak their mind. If they want to do that in book form then have at it. Do I think certain topics should not be placed in certain areas? Yes. I don’t think the children’s section of a library should contain books about sex or have pornographic material in them. I don’t feel like that is appropriate. I also believe that parents should be talking to and teaching their children about that kind of thing from an early age so that they can make proper decisions. That doesn’t always happen in homes. It has in our home, my children have had many an awkward discussion about their physical bodies, what is appropriate in their behavior, and concerning other’s physical bodies. We have also discussed the pitfalls and addictions of things like pornography, and that pornography isn’t just about pictures, but can be portrayed in videos as well as written words. Does that mean my kids are perfect? Not at all. Sometimes I forget to review what they are reading or watching, and then we have to revisit all those uncomfortable subjects again. I can’t control their choices when they are adults either, and they may decide that’s exactly what they want to read, but it will be an informed decision and they will have to deal with the consequences at that point.

It used to be that we could count on the basic fabric of society understanding what is good and what is not. However, we have drifted far from that now, and only seem to be getting farther away than ever before. So many people in this world ascribe to the philosophy that there are no moral absolutes. That would be incorrect. The only place that values and morals is being taught anymore is in the home, which means there is a large percentage of children now, growing up without morals and values. The home is the safeguard, or it should be, yet the home and the family is under attack more and more everyday. Values and morals are being attacked or completely dismissed. Right and wrong have become subjective rather than absolutes. And yet, right is still right and wrong is still wrong.

I do not agree with banning books. I believe in the right to speak out and say what’s on our minds. But I also do not believe that I need to support those things that I disagree with. In this case, I will never read this particular book we discussed. It is my choices that keep my mind focused on good things. I cannot control too many other people’s choices, and really, all I can do is teach the ones who are under my care and hope they are learning the lessons my husband and I are trying to teach them before they leave home. Everyone has the right to be who they are and to believe what they believe, and to do what they want to do as long as it doesn’t affect anyone around them negatively. No one has a right to infringe on my right (or anyone else’s) to do the same.

One thought on “Banned”

  1. Your view seems reasonable to me, Steph. Being part of controversial material challenges is not fun, but it does cause us all to revisit our values. Sometimes the heart and the head seem in conflict with one another, but when it comes to censorship, I tend to go with my head.

    Liked by 1 person

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