Thursday, December 8, 2011

Censorship: What does this mean for religious freedom?

I mentioned before that Elizabeth Esther is trying to get her readers to sign a petition asking Amazon to essentially ban the Pearl's books.  I won't get into that here.  You can read her blog yourself.  It has, however, sparked some thoughts of mine.

I'm not big into censorship.  I believe that self censorship is perfectly fine or censoring what your children read in your own home.  But over-all I don't believe in restricting access to information.

Now not all religious people would agree with me on this one.  They feel that banning pornography or other types of harmful material is essential.  They don't want access to it in their public libraries or other public institutions.  And because they vote, they have the right to do so with their vote.

The problem is just like prayer in school, censorship can back fire.  Once you open the door, where does it end?  Some books like the Color Purple, for instance, have been banned because they are graphic.  The Color Purple doesn't advocate violence or sexual assault.  In fact by openly portraying it the way it does, the Color Purple exposes how heinous and criminal sexual assault is.  It gives voice to those who have experienced it.  As Jaycee Duggard so eloquently said about her experiences, the shame falls on the assaulter and should not be carried by the assailant.  Yet, the book is banned and has been censored.

Of course, I'm speaking of a book that's been banned in the United States.  What about other countries?  There are numerous countries where the Bible is banned.  Sometimes it's banned in the name of "detrimental harm" aka another religion; sometimes it's banned because it is religious material.  I read the  I see at least one headline a day talking about religious freedom being squashed either abroad or here at home by the Obama administration.

So while I don't advocate someone traipsing down the video store and renting a porno, I certainly think on some level liberals need to get with the program on religious freedom and censorship.  If you want that porno to be housed in your local video store, you should also allow people access to information about the Bible or the latest Christmas/Nativity Movie too.  And it goes the other way too.  Otherwise, we start looking like communist China and not "freedom of speech and freedom of religion" United States.

And that's all I'm sayin'.

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!