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By Carl Parker
For the Record 

Books

 

Last updated 3/28/2023 at 1:48pm

Fortunately our forefathers had the wisdom to guarantee certain freedoms in our constitution. The freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom to participate in government and the freedom of speech – both spoken and written. All of these are freedoms which should be jealously protected.

A student of history knows well that curtailing what citizens can say, read or express in writing is a precursor to a domineering type government. The same was true of the German Nazis, Italian Black Shirts and is true today in Russia where speaking out is subject to a 15-year prison sentence if it is contrary to the teachings of Putin’s government.

Unfortunately today, our governor, lieutenant governor and some “right-wingers” in our legislature are busily making lists of books that should be removed from our public and school libraries. Perhaps some books listed have controversial views; but the whole matter is simply a political stunt in support of the governor and lieutenant governor’s effort to authorize vouchers and educational welfare for rich folks. Books are being banned allegedly because they contain dirty words, descriptions of immoral conduct, sex, incest, murder, robbery and human discrimination among different types of the population.

For the life of me, I have yet to understand why Huckleberry Finn is offensive enough to merit being pulled off school library shelves. There is no doubt that it references unacceptable names for minorities and a few curse words. A well-grounded young person should be capable of making his or her own judgement and not be warped by simply the words, even the book banners seem to be having a little trouble now trying to figure out standards by which they can justify keeping books away from other people. Recently, in the Legislature it was brought out that a great western classic Lonesome Dove would be banned because it contains bad language, descriptions throughout of prostitution and certain discrimination of one race against another. If we are to consider those things as indicators of why the book containing them should be banned, there is another book that is widely published that we need to ban as well because it contains all those elements, many of which are written about in great particularity. The book is called the Bible.

 

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