Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Thoughts On Banned Books-Banned book week September 24-Oct. 1



September 2016:

Every year this week comes around and I think of this post I put up in 2011. There have been so many GOOD books over the years that have been banned. Find a list over time and see what wonders have made the list. A few that come to mind are of course The Bible, and who can forget Gone With the Wind? As my little 2-cents states, I am not for banning books. I am for stepping up and being a parent and being aware of what our children get their hands on. Should books be banned? No! Should all books be read though? Again a resounding NO! So, once again, here are my thoughts on banned books:


Repost from 2011:

Such a touchy topic! I’m not an essayist, and I’m not a very deep thinker, but I do have an opinion on the topic.  So I’ll just jump in:

While I do not believe that books should be banned (wasn’t the Bible banned somewhere and sometime in history?), I do believe in Self-Censorship and censoring what our children read. As parents we need to be involved in our children’s lives. That means we need to be aware of what they are reading.

As my daughters went through public school there were a few times that I questioned the reading material that was sent home with them. If it didn’t agree with what we were teaching in our home then we discussed it. We then made a choice. Would we allow our daughter to participate, or would we request that an alternate assignment be given. Did we ever march up to the school and demand a book be removed from the curriculum? NO! Did we feel like it? Of course!

Did you see that “request that an alternate assignment be given”?  As parents that is our right! These are our children and we determine how we want them to be raised. We are the ones that determine the morals and beliefs that we want our children taught. If that means not allowing a questionable piece of literature to be read then so be it. BUT, that is a decision for us to make for ourselves. NOT for the masses. To me just as one student does not determine what the masses read, so the masses shall not determine what one student reads.

That is just how we dealt with a public school setting. That doesn’t mean that I never went to a school and questioned motives and reasons behind assignments. It just means that decisions were made for MY child, not everyone else’s. 

Regarding my own Self-Censorship, I used to read pretty much anything and everything. But as the saying goes, “Garbage in, Garbage out”, I have found that to be true in my own life.  I choose not to read books with sexual content or excessive foul language. It is my own choice, my own conviction. I don’t try to foist that on any other person.  My daughters are now adults; they choose for themselves what they want to read. Have I read any banned books? You betcha! 

There is so much out there on the topic of banned books and censorship. I could never cover all that I feel on the subject. These are just some of my thoughts for this week that is set aside for celebrating banned books. 
This is a verse that is over the front door in our home:

Joshua 24:15
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

We hope to live that verse out in our daily lives. What we read, what we say and what we do is a reflection of whom we are serving.


23 comments:

  1. Wow- Julie that was very well said. Good for you for sticking by your beliefs and being a good parent. I get so irritated with people shouting about how its freedom of speech to expose children to sexuality....WHATEVER, they have their entire adult lives to be exposed to nonsense why cant they be kids for the short time that they can???

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  2. Exactly Tina! Our children have enough to deal with growing up that we don't need to expose them to sexuality in their reading material. Gah! Don't even get me started! LOL!

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  3. Good job Julie!!!! What I love about your post is that you specifically say that your choice was for your daughter and not the masses. That is so true and I agree completely. You are a great Mom and Grandma and a super friend. Thanks for loving me even though I'm the way I am. :)

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  4. Bwahahaha, Karin! The world would be a pretty boring place if we all agreed with each other. I love the fact that even though we disagree with each other on some things we can still remain friends! Love you mucho!

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  5. Great thoughts Julie!

    As parents we absolutely have to monitor what our kids are reading.

    And on the other side of the coin...I was trying to get my son to read the Percy Jackson series and he'd been stalling. Finally, he came up to me and said he didn't feel comfortable with all the gods language and themes. Then I had a major mommy guilt trip forcing him to read something that didn't sit well with his spirit. yikes!

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  6. ...and thanks for the email Julie. I'm still alive, just buried under the stack of items in my inbox and a mountain of unread blog feeds.

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  7. Joy I think it was so mature of your son to make that decision for himself! He is on the way to finding material that is appropriate for him alone and not picking something just because it is the latest craze. GOOD FOR HIM! And don't worry, we all have many of those mommy guilt trippin moments! We learn from them and move on..:)

    Glad to hear from you! I know once school started that life gets hectic for the life of a teacher! Hope you're having a good year so far.

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  8. I don't think books should be banned. Too much of that has gone on for the benefit of governments to advance their own agenda (think Nazi Germany). But I also don't think books with questionable content should be "required reading" for anyone, especially children.

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    1. Agreed Sarah! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  9. Excellent thoughts. I wish more parents would get involved with what their children are reading. I know too many that don't censure what comes home from public schools.

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    1. I agree Anne. Too many people are allowing teachers/churches/government to make the decisions for the home. No thanks! I'll raise my own children thank-you very much(actually I did raise my own daughters since they are all grown up now :))Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Great post. You summed up my thoughts exactly! I participated in a Banned Books Giveaway Hop this year and chose a biography of William Tyndale (it did include excerpts from his writings). Most who entered my giveaway (and there were just a few) were not aware of the sacrifice he made to get the Bible printed in English. Not all banned books are laudable and not all should be read by our children. But we do have to defend free speech even when it is something we would rather not hear.

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    1. I like that Beckie, "Not all banned books are laudable and not all should be read by our children" one book that my oldest daughter was required to read was Catcher in the Rye. It is a classic evidently. I thought it was pure trash! Required reading for a 10th grader when the main character is so full of angst and constantly contemplating suicide? Also filling the last several pages of the book with the "f" word was not appreciated. I was not impressed and not happy about that choice. So I agree with you, "Not all banned books are laudable and not all should be read by our children."

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. the remainder of Beckie's comment is equally agreeable, "But we do have to defend free speech even when it is something we would rather not hear."
    much writing found acceptable was banned yet the message is applaudable. we do not have to read everything published. the point is to make wise choices with what is available.

    as believers granted lives of freedom in Christ, we have no right to force our will on others just as much as we agree to the vice versa of that enforcement..

    1 Corinthians 6:12
    Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.

    HapPy reading of whatever is of your conscientious H Sp led choosing. :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

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  12. How nice to get to meet more of you as we travel around the blog tour. i JOY! How are you?

    I don't know what books are newly banned so I tend to think of the old ones, which are all part of classic literature. I remember when Harry Potter was a big deal and there was a lot of discussion about its suitability. It seemed to have begun a new interest in young adult fiction. More young people are reading. That SHOULD be a good thing... Like everything else in life, the parent must be involved. Thanks Julie!

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  13. Thanks for stopping by Debra! I agree it is fun to meet new bloggers(to me) or to also visit "old" friends. :)

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  14. Stopping by as part of the Come To The Table hop.

    Wow, very profound and I find myself agreeing. Our school library has some great books for kids, but also has books I feel are not appropriate for younger readers. Thankfully our librarian tries to guide the kids as to what is a better choice for them, but ultimately it is up to us as parents to make sure our kids are reading, watching and listening to things we approve of, not only for content, but for their ages!
    Susan M (blog: Loves 2 Read)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Susan! After working in an elementary school library and also a middle school library I know the value of a librarian willing to put age appropriate books in our children's hands. Thankfully both librarians I worked for were good at that.

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  15. I'm visiting on the Come to the Table hop. Great thoughts on book banning. I agree that it has to be our own choice and not something a school should force on us.

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  16. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Veronica :)

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  17. I agree, Julie! I'm not sure that I want anything to be banned by some government authority, but I also believe in self-censorship. I learned the hard way--like you. Thanks for sharing this thought-provoking post. Blessings!

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    1. Hi Renee! Thanks for stopping by! I was just over at your blog leaving a comment!!

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