mainmbutimelinelogo-copy
  • Home
  • Opinion
  • Should Controversial Literature Ever be Banned?

Should Controversial Literature Ever be Banned?

Books have been burned and banned throughout history, some in very public ways. We should always remember that harsh reality so that we never repeat that practice.

__________________________________________________

By: JULIANNE COMBS

Books seem relatively harmless with their artful covers and enticing titles. The biggest danger being a mere paper cut.

However, the words inside can pack a powerful punch – so powerful, some of history’s literary classics have ended up banned by schools, libraries and bookstores, such as, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Great Gatsby” and “The Color Purple.”

I do not agree with the practice of blacklisting books on the fundamental notion of intellectual freedom.

The American Library Association defines intellectual freedom as “the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction.”

When an organization decides to not include a book on the basis of what a few people think of it, they are restricting other individuals from exercising their right to obtain any information they wish.

Just because you are offended by some words or an idea portrayed in a book does not mean that I should not be able to read the novel and form my own opinion.

Discretion, which is the freedom to choose what should be done in a specific situation, is different from banning books. Essentially, it is a branch of intellectual freedom. Just as one can choose what they do read, they can also choose what they do not read.

Parents should most definitely exercise discretion when it comes to what their children view. They have a responsibility to their children to protect them from adult themes that may be beyond the child’s understanding or maturity.

But an adult should not be able to tell another adult what they are not allowed to read. I don’t mind a suggestion or a rating – reviews can be helpful in not wasting your time. But I want the ability to read that book even if all the reviews are horrible.

Tags: , ,

@mbutimeline

Recent Stories

About MBU Timeline

MBU

DID YOU KNOW?
   
Here are some interesting facts about MBU Timeline, the student newsmagazine of Missouri Baptist University, in St. Louis:
   
*Our mission statement is: MBU Timeline is the student news network of Missouri Baptist University, a private Christian university that embraces the essential core value of “social change through service and leadership.”
   
*The Bible verse that drives our mission is 2 Timothy 2:15 (Worldwide English Version): “Tell the true message in the right way.”
   
*The WordPress website has been up since late-fall 2013. We average about 3,000 sessions and about 5,000 pageviews per month.
   
*Our stories and galleries get as few as 40 or 50 hits, or as many as 8,000 hits.
   
*We have readers in every state and more than 90 countries around the world. We have several readers in South America, the United Kingdom, India and Australia.
   
*Most of our readers are in Missouri, followed by Illinois, California and Texas.
   
*We do not accept advertising as we are a not-for-profit online newsmagazine.
   
*We welcome contributors from all walks of MBU life, regardless of your major. Reach out to us on Twitter at: @mbutimeline.