Friday, September 24, 2010

FF - Speak Loudly

Banned Books week starts tomorrow.

I'll tell you right up front that I'm a relatively moderate, Christian mom. I will admit that there are some books I've steered my kids away from when they were younger, because, in my judgment as a parent, I either felt they didn't uphold our family's values or I decided my children weren't ready for the subject matter yet. There are books that I myself prefer not to read because I am uncomfortable with the language or the subject matter. All this may make me an unlikely advocate for freedom in reading.

But here's the thing. I choose for me. I choose for my children (until they are old enough to choose for themselves.) But I don't believe I have the right to choose for anyone else.

Do I understand the zeal behind some of the book challenges, especially in schools? Absolutely. We are taught in many a church to stand up for what is right. Some people misguidedly believe this means imposing their interpretation of "right" on others. While I'm sure these people have the best of intentions, that view is, at best, shortsighted. I value the freedom to choose for myself, thank you.

So here I am, a protective mom, speaking up against censorship. We've seen a lot of high-profile banning going on in the past few weeks. But there are quieter bans happening all over. Challenges by some people who haven't even read the books they are questioning. The only way we're going to stop this kind of dictatorship from happening is to speak loudly against it.

For this week's freebie - and a longer-standing commitment - leave a comment below, telling me your views on book banning and censorship. (The winner, as always, will be selected via random name draw, not on the content of the comment, so feel free to be completely honest. But be respectful. I reserve the right to remove argumentative, troll-like comments.) Up for grabs is the last remaining ARC of TRANCE, a signed flat, and a handful of bookmarks. This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, September 29.