This week marks what I consider to be one of the most important issues in our country. Yep, it’s Banned Books Week.
It astounds me that in 2015, this still needs to be a thing. It disappoints me that there are people who are willing to literally rip books from the hands of children because they don’t necessarily agree with the books’ espoused ideology.
There is a big difference between “I don’t like what this book says,” or “I don’t think my child is ready for this material,” and “I don’t like what this book says, so no one else should read it – ever.”
The thing about so-called “banned” books is that the reason they are challenged is the same reason they should be read: They’re provocative. Before anyone gets their nose out of joint, I’m not referring to sex. Provocative as in, meant to provoke questions, discussions, critical thinking, a skill that is sorely lacking in modern society.
People who challenge certain books aren’t really concerned with the moral high ground. They aren’t even really concerned with protecting children’s innocence, no matter what they tell us – or themselves. The real issue is control. They want to control public mindset. They want to control the information people have access to. Because if the information everyone can access doesn’t promote the agenda of those doing the challenge, then it becomes objectionable.
Of course, there is another side to this coin. For instance, the “rape books” promoted by RooshV. These are objectionable – or should be – to everyone. These books promote rape. While RooshV has the right to write and publish what he likes, these books actually put individuals in danger from those who read them. And yet, we never hear about them in the conversation on “banned books.”
The only thing put in danger by the books being challenged are ideas and beliefs. And if your beliefs are too weak to withstand a little critical examination, maybe they aren’t your beliefs after all.