Thank you for your spineless analysis of my fight to prevent my children from reading pornography in Bedford, NH. Not only do I know that such reading is wrong for my son, I know that it is fundamentally morally wrong to give graphic descriptions of oral sex to fifteen year olds. Do you have a moral compass with regards to the age at which your child may read or see pornography? If you do not, you are nearly the equivalent of a child molester--someone who would sex up a child at any age. If you do have such a compass, you and I aare on the same page, but we may disagree as the age. As far as the award, I would like to speak to your group at the award ceremony and am willing to debate any of you at such an event.* * *
You're welcome, Dennis.
In answer to your questions:
I do, indeed, have a moral compass. The difference between mine and yours, Dennis, is that I don't seek to impose my beliefs or worldview on others. I believe in freedom to choose.
If you don't want your children reading certain books -- or any books -- that's your choice. Be the Savonarola of your household.
Also, I absolutely do not believe in "sexing up" children. For instance, I find child beauty pageants, and the like, abhorrent. Be that as it may, I don't seek to ban them.
Regarding your work, Dennis, getting Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich banned from your school's library because the author referred to Jesus Christ as "a wine-guzzling vagrant and socialist," you tip your hand on your wrongheadedness.
A description of Jesus Christ as "a wine-guzzling vagrant and socialist" is not obscene, it's merely an opinion that differs from your own.
Like my opinion, that Jesus Christ, as you believe you know him, never existed, probably diverges from your opinion on the matter.
Differences of opinion are springboards to debate, discussion.
The mind that believes a differing opinion is obscene and should be banned is a mind that probably believes in "purity balls", in the Promise Keepers, that the doctrine of pre-emptive war is sound, that waterboarding is not torture and that poverty is a crime.
You opened yourself to justified criticism, Dennis, because you're attempting to take away freedom from others. It's particularly hilarious that you're so irony-impaired that you'd perpetrate this affront in a state where the motto is "Live free or die."
And so you object to passages in Sara Gruen's novel Water for Elephants.
I don't dispute your right to object. Object loudly, heartily and vociferously.
But you have no right to ban books merely because you don't like them.
Parenthood is not a sheriff's badge.
Now, following your twisted logic to its crooked end, and arguing for a moment that books should be banned, I say to you: If you have any integrity or intellectual honesty, you would next crusade to have the bible banned from your local school, as it contains more violence, racism, sex and degenerate ideas than any ten books by Sara Gruen or Barbara Ehrenreich.
The bible promotes slavery, racism, violence, murder, incest and voodoo (what else do you call a re-animated corpse?).
For instance, in the first book of the bible, you have Adam and Eve. They procreate and Cain and Abel are born. There is only one way for the human race to progress from there . . . Cain and Abel, or Cain or Abel, had sexual congress with their mother.
I think that's absolutely obscene. Yet, I have never moved to have that execrable text banned. Hell, let people read it and see how twisted and sick it is. Let people read about incest and murder and slavery and a God that would unleash the Great Flood because he, himself, was such a lousy parent.
Let people read about Job and how God doesn't mind a little side-gambling with Satan, making merry by visiting plagues upon a supposedly righteous man.
A mind small enough to ban books is a mind small enough to miss this next point, so I'll spell it out for you:
Human beings have a weird tendency to seek that which is forbidden.
Tell somebody, "Don't do this!" and I'll bet you, they'll want to do it, whatever it is.
Hold up a book and say, "Nobody should read this!" and all you're really doing is making people curious about the book. Which is a good thing.
For instance, I plan to purchase a copy of Sara Gruen's book. I'd never heard of it until you sought to ban it. It sounds like a good read.
Rather than rehash my thoughts on this matter, here, I'll give you this link to a letter I wrote to another ignorant zealot who sought to ban books -- books he'd never even read!
History-impaired Missouri zealot bans books unaware that suppression of arts often bolsters interest in them.
You're wrong about banning books, Dennis. Be the Savonarola of your household all you like, but you don't have the right to take away other people's freedom. If some other parent thinks it's OK for his kid to read Sara Gruen's book, he has that right.
As a closing note, I'd like you to know that I offer a book-burner's discount on my books. And Dennis, trust me, you'd despise my books! They have all the violence, sex, murder and incest of the bible, but I juggle events and circumstances in ways I'm sure you'd object to.
So, if you're having a book-burning, my only stipulations are that you hold up my book for a photographer to capture the covert and that you spell my name correctly in your press release.
If you agree to these, I'll happily extend to you my 40% book-burner's discount.
Because I believe you have the freedom to do such a thing even though I think it's obscene.