September 25-October the 2 is known as "Banned Books Week." It's held every year to celebrate the freedom to read, and how censorship is not only harmful, but violates our First Amendment rights. I've never even heard of "Banned Books Week" until the other day, but I've always been against banning books for any reason. Books expand the mind and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. One book series that is often challenged happens to be one of my all time favorites: Harry Potter. It has been challenged in 19 states and even burned in New Mexico for being Irreligious. In honor of "Banned Books Week," I wanted to repost a blog I wrote back in 2007 that shows my thoughts and feelings on banning Harry Potter. While rereading the original blog, I decided a few things needed editing. I actually ended up taking some stuff out and adding new thoughts and even came up with a new title. I wanted to focus more on book banning than just ranting.
BANNING HARRY POTTER IS BANNING IMAGINATION:
I consider myself to be a very opened-minded person. I'm not one to criticize a person for their personal or religious beliefs. By living in America, I believe a person has the right to say or do whatever they want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else or it isn't illegal. I also believe that a person should be able to write a book or make a movie without some person saying it is immoral or wrong. See, the beauty of the First Amendment is that it gives a person the right to freedom of expression. If you don't like what that person has to say, then don't listen. If you don't like a book, then don't read it. And if you don't like a movie or a TV show, then don't buy it, don't watch it; just change the channel. The reason I am saying this is because the scripture Deuteronomy 18:9-14 comes up a lot.
[Deuteronomy 18:10-11] There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination , or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
Now you might ask, what does that have to do with what I'm talking about. Well the reason is simple: Christian fanatics trying to ban Harry Potter books and movies. Now first off I want to say that I dont think all Christians are fanatics, but sometimes you have to draw a line between what is fantasy and what is reality. I think people who practice the dark magik for the purpose of doing bad things are evil. I think all the "John Edwards" of the world are probably going straight to hell. But, that is in reality. When it comes to TV shows, books, and movies, that's all make believe! It's fiction, it's not real, and I don't see anything wrong with it. It's just like I said before, a person has the right to like it or hate, but that person DOES NOT have the right to sit there and tell another person what they should or shouldn't be reading or watching!
When I came across a website that said movies like Harry Potter are corrupting little kids and that they should be banned, it really pissed me off. One reason: It isn't up to movies or celebrities to teach children right from wrong, that is the parent's job! But that's besides the point, because I also strongly believe that one parents belief system shouldnt infringe on the rights of another child. If you are parent and you dont want your child reading Harry Potter, then thats your decision. But when you start petitioning to have certain books removed completely from school, then you are shoving your beliefs down others parents throats. You're not only trying to take away another child's right to be able to read the book of their choosing, you're also limiting a child's imagination. Nobody should restrict a child's imagination, even if their imagination includes wizards. It's what makes their childhood fun. People should just let their kids be kids, and not force them to grow up so fast by preaching to them about "evil" fictional characters. I think parents should have more faith in their child's ability to judge right from wrong, and not live in fear that a book or a movie will corrupt their child's mind. Banning books wont solve problems, because books dont create the problems in the world, people do.