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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Banned Books Week


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. 



7 comments:

  1. KUDOS!!

    I agree.

    Long ago I wanted to read and do a report for school on a book called Go Ask Alice. It was a diary of a girl going through drug addiction. Trying to find that book was an adventure to say the least. Our school wouldn't purchase it and although one local library said they had it, they couldn't let anyone sign it out because it was on the "banned " list. WTF!

    My Mom special ordered it for me through a local Christian book store. (The big name book store wouldn't order it)

    I honestly do not see why the book was considered so taboo. If anything it made me fear drugs even more. Reading it taught me alot and in a perspective that I understood and could relate to, not just some adult telling me "say no to drugs."

    Soooo anyway.... What I am getting at is, I have no clue who decided that book was too bad to be read by anyone in my community but I will bet they didn't even read it themselves before standing on a soapbox and hailing it as evil and corruptive.

    oh and BTW Hi!!!!

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  2. I apologize for the late reply! I'm not sure if I over looked the alert in my email or if I even got alerted at all.

    I have never even heard of "Go Ask" Alice," but you have me very interested in checking it out. I'll never understand why people feel the need to ban any book, especially since we live in a country that is supposed to be about Freedom. The only reason I can come up with is that certain people fear their ideas and beliefs being challenged or questioned by other people, and certain books can do that.

    "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a perfect of example, especially when it comes to race playing a roll in the justice system back in then. People feared somebody just because of the color of their skin, and even though things have changed a lot since those days, the message of the book is still relevant today. Maybe some ignorant and prejudice people fear that books like that will change a person's heart and mind when it comes to hating an entire race or religion.

    That is the only conclusion I can come up with anyway. Though how that applies to fictional wizards, I'll never know lol ;-) But I will definitely try to find "Go Ask Alice" because you have me very curious about it.

    And thanks for stopping by and commenting!! =)

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  3. They ban them out of fear, pure and simple. They fear anything that they don't understand or agree with.

    You didn't take long in replying. I commented on the 2nd and you responded on the 3rd. see no biggy. LoL

    =)

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  4. Ignorance and Fear is the greatest threat to our country. As long as they both exist, there will always be hate in this world. It goes beyond books =/

    LOL I know, but I like being on top of things and it took me a full day to realize I had a comment!! And then later that night I saw the other comment lol!! I fixed it now so that I will get alerted ASAP lol

    =)

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  5. um there's a lot of books that are Irreligious. If some of these nutters had their way, every book that wasn't a bible, hymnal or book sold at a Christian book store would be burned. I have a personal faith and it goes without saying that everyone can believe what they want to. Kind of like what you said about politics; live and let live.
    I second what you say about banning it is banning imagination.
    People usually fear what they do not understand. I think sometimes they fear people who have talent in areas they wish they did so they join Christianity to bash everything. I know that sounds anti-religious, but it's common psychology.
    My personal belief is that the bible is poorly thought out novel with contradictions. Jesus probably did die on the cross but even with epic faith there's no real proof WHO our God is. All we can do is believe and hope we are right, but at the same time, since bible thumpers fear what they do not understand, they bash everything in site. Like Children. LoL. I have a faith but mine dictates that you don't bash anyone. Love is the answer even though sometimes God is a way that measure our pain.

    Sylvia Browne is someone that I once really wanted to believe in. I felt she was legit but there's no real way of knowing. I haven't heard the reason that Montel's show was canceled. All I know is he ended up doing what a lot of actors do; Infomercials.

    Yeah people take things too far. If i were in politics, neither party would like me much because i'd actually get things done. Oo burn! LoL jk. I'd try to pass a law that said any form of reported harrassment at least had them pay a hefty fine. That seems harsh, indeed, BUT if people didn't want to pay the fine, most would hopefully not do it. Though admittedly it might be a bad idea too because I remember people in school telling me they would be love getting in trouble because it was worth it as long as they could hurt me. LoL they were pathetic. I found out when they tried to beat me up. It didn't hurt at all. LMAO.

    I should try not to ram my vegetarian beliefs so much too LoL. I don't really ram, i just make comments like "oh my vlod, eww, is that leather?" Then I make a gay femmy noise LoL. :p

    Before the divorce, I was once related to a woman who told my mother she was providing me with damaging sinful material when it comes to Harry Potter. The first movie had been released and my mother got pissed off and told her she respected her but to keep her mouth shut when it came to what wasn't even happening in her home. A woman who is a so-called devout christian but then divorced my cousin because he forbad the idea of a threesome with another man. Good on yer, for my cousin, as the British say. It basically means congrats for him keeping his ground. :p.

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  6. Damn, you are so right about that! Everything is evil according to some of them...lol @ nutters!!

    I do agree with you about all the contradictions of the Bible. That's one reason I really dont read it too much, I get a headache trying to figure out why in one chapter they are saying Thou Shall Not Kill, while in another, they are stoning women to death for having sex or whatever. Eeek! I agree with the fear thing though. People fear a lot of stuff, and they cling to their beliefs to make the world seem better.

    LOL Those who think Harry Potter is evil, obviously has never seen real evil in their lifetime. Yay for your mom for telling her how it is and putting her in place! lol!

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  7. Yeah I remember reading some contradictions myself too, I forgot most of them because I figured it was useless trivia because I used to have them all memorized from just the first five books of the bible. I remember how in parts it talks about it being okay to love but then it mentions exceptions and man cannot lie with another man. I can understand why a man shouldn't lay with a lion LoL but i wouldn't speak of hell and damnation and tell them they are a miserable sinner. I'd tell them how disgusting I thought it was though LoL! :p

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