Ray’s Random Thoughts 3-27-2023

Is it me, or is book Banning, Book Burning, and Censorship becoming ideas in the political arena and becoming a mainstream idea that is acceptable? When it comes to School Libraries, Elementary School ones I can see some omissions to their collection to keep from having an influence on children’s mental and emotional development. But public libraries, High School Level Libraries should not be restricted, Most teenagers have already formed most of their self-identities and the basic mentality that will remain with them for many years of their lives if not till the end.

In history, such censorship has happened and usually, it was under dictatorships or under a communist or fascist regime. Other instances were usually due to religious beliefs and the idea that everyone should adhere to the moral code and reading list of the religion that was popular at that time. The United States were founded on the principle of freedom of religion, which means that one group of people and their religious beliefs do not have the ability to force their beliefs and codes of conduct on another group that is less popular or that has fewer worshipers. Also gives each individual the ability to choose to believe in or not believe in a God and religion of their choice.

I, being a Christian, may not agree with the content of every book, and other people’s choices in life but I strongly stand up for their right to live their life as they see fit. God gave each one of us the right to choose to either follow or rebel. I do not think any person has a right to tell another how to live their life, to advise others is fine but to force them be it by physical, emotional, mental, or even legal means is not right. Of course, there are the Exceptions to that when it comes to crime, there are actions others take that cause others great harm or loss and the Government is in charge of taking care of that and the legal system.

The changing of history in books, to the effect of trying to erase the monuments and facts that certain things happened in our nation’s past that most of us see as horrific and unfortunate only leaves the past open to repeat itself. If we forget the mistakes of the past, then we will, unfortunately, be in a position to repeat those mistakes. And God knows the majority of us never want to seea repeat of such things that took place during the Civil war era and all the years leading up to the time of Equal rights being established. There are of course more miles to go on equal rights and slowly we are getting there.

It is worrisome that we are in such times of political polarization, and public division and have to go through such uncomfortable times before we can finally see the fruition of the founder’s dreams. Though the founding fathers had their issues, they had a very good concept that of course needed to be updated. They planted the seeds of freedom and equality, what it grows into is up to all of us. We are the cultivators of those seeds and how they grow and what they will finally become is in our hands.

I know there are those that either feel strongly for or against things, that is their right and they can feel and express their opinions about such matters. But inturn they should respect the right of others to be in opposition and to have other opinions than their own. The fact that I am anticensorship and oppose any form of hate towards any group of people due to their choice to be different than the mainstream, may cause some to disagree with me if not dislike me due to my beliefs on that subject. I will say that to support other people’s rights to choose their own path in life, and lifestyle is not a reflection of one’s belief in the actions of others. It is just what it is, a belief in the rights of others to choose differently than what a portion of the population sees as acceptable in society.

Spending too much energy focusing on the faults and differences in others only makes you blind to the faults and failings in your own life and self. And a bad thing about Book banning / Censorship is once its acceptable, eventually it will be turned on you and the books and opinions you cherish so much as well. You open the door for those in control to take away more of your rights and freedoms. It has been proven time and time again, look to history and you will see that is true.

In a nutshell, all I am saying is that Censorship is a bad thing, it will be the seed to other rights and freedoms being lessened if not taken away. I agree that there is a lot of stuff that needs to be dealt with, but censorship is not the way to go. My mom always said “If you teach your kids right, then all the bad influences out there will not effect them as much , and in the end, they will find their way”, Love how she thinks, and she always let me make mistakes but always was there watching and helping me through it all.

Be there for your children, and help them understand all that they see and hear. Be supportive and help them navigate the confusing world we live in. Parents are the First line of defense and the first place they get all their information and influence from. There is no way you can remove all the negative influences they may encounter, but you can prepare them for most of them. Be their first source of information about things, if you don’t teach them they will seek out that information from peers whom are not very informed due to their age.

Well I rambled on long enough, hope i didnt offend anyone along the way.

Peace and blessings to you all


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