Day: September 24, 2013

Be wary of the book police

 

In case you haven’t heard, this is “Banned Books Week.” The timing is interesting, following last week’s umpteenth assault on science textbooks by flat-earthers appearing before the State Board of Education.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association to help people remember not to take their First Amendment Rights for granted. The association reports that, in the past decade alone, its member libraries and schools have faced nearly 5,000 challenges over books that someone considered too sexually explicit, too violent or too “anti-family” or that someone else thought had too much “offensive language.” There also were objections to books for dealing with homosexuality or various religious viewpoints or whatever else some self-anointed censor found objectionable.

For all I know, some people objected to books affirming the existence of global warming or describing the world as being round – or reporting that President Obama, indeed, was born in Hawaii.

In the newspaper op-ed linked below, the writer makes the point that people have the right to ban books from their own homes if they don’t want to read them or they believe they are inappropriate for their children. But they have no right to try to restrict access to those same books for other people – or other people’s children.

Let’s ban the book police.

http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/courier/opinion/celebrate-your-freedom-to-read-a-banned-book/article_4dd8bbea-41c0-5c86-8c7b-a08a473a2de7.html