Opinion | When Books for Children Are Banned – The New York Times
To the Editor:
Re “Growing Network of Conservative Groups Is Fueling Book Bans” (front page, Dec. 13):
Do these parents really believe that the moral code they teach to their children is so fragile that the presence of a book on a library shelf will threaten it? Do they take no responsibility for talking with their children about the diversity of life and how their personal morals fit in?
A personal moral code is complex, and the most powerful influence is from the home. But even then no one can force anyone to believe something that does not fit their values or sense of self.
A book alone cannot force someone to behave in a manner that contradicts their morals. And banning books will not eliminate the ideas and voices of the people who wrote them. The ideas are out there in the conversations young people have every day.
The world is a diverse place. And eventually these “innocent children” will leave home and form their own moral code, sometimes despite what they may have been taught at home.
No one can protect their children from everything. And that is a good thing. Children need to be prepared to deal with a complicated world, and they can’t do that if they are shielded by fear and hate from ideas with which they disagree.
To the Editor:
As a young boy growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s, I was fascinated by the New York gangsters I read about in a book called “Murder, Inc.” But my father, who had grown up in Brooklyn in the 1920s and had gone to school with some of the most infamous characters in the book, was not amused.
He made me return the book to the library. He did not, however, demand that the library get rid of the book, nor did he launch a campaign to ban all books about organized crime.
My father was exercising his parental rights, trying to protect his children from material he considered inappropriate. Activist groups like Florida Citizens Alliance are more interested in imposing their personal beliefs on other people’…….