So a friend of mine just posted an article about parents complaining to the ALA about the "Hunger Games" book series. Some of the complaints are that the books are "anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence." (The Hunger Games Ignites the ALA's list of most challenged books) I get the violence part, but the rest sort of boggles my mind.
I love to read. I always have. I encourage my children to read. That's not always easy. Two of my kids have difficulty with reading and one has problems with comprehension. Reading isn't always fun for those two. However, both have read, or are reading, (or at least TRYING to read) the Hunger Games. It thrills me to no end. I have read the Hunger Games myself (I've also read all of the Twighlight books, and the Percy Jackson series). I really enjoyed it. I blew through all 3 books in about 4 1/2 days. I love the whole dystopian society genre. Why? It gives me something to be thankful about for one thing. It makes me think about the world we live in for another. And that's the key right there. It makes me think. I want my children to think. I want them to question the world and not accept blindly whatever crap society shoves down their throats. My kids read YA literature and they read their Bibles. They ask questions about both secular and spiritual concepts. I do my best to answer them honestly. I give them my opinions on what they read. I listen to theirs in return. I discuss my moral and personal standing on what I deem "objectionable". I read their books. I listen to their music. I watch their tv shows.
I wonder how many of these parents who are so up in arms about these books have actually read them? I wonder if these parents are as careful about what their children watch on television? What they hear on the radio? I take more offense, and find more objectionable content in Spongebob Squarepants than in these books. (Spongebob is a moron, people. He encourages your children to be morons too, in my opinion.) The Hunger games are sexually explicit? Are you kidding me? There's more sex on Glee in one 10 minute segment than in the entire trilogy of the Hunger Games combined. Satanic? Really? Where is that coming from? I will grant you this is not a pro-christian ethic series of books, but it isn't anti-christian either. I suppose, if you stretch it a bit you could look at the "sacrificing" of 2 children from each district every year as satanic in nature, however the premise is political, not spiritual. I truly believe parents who want to ban books are operating out of sheer ignorance and fear. This is the United States, right? Freedom of speech and all that still applies in this country... at least for the moment. At least until people stop thinking for themselves, start banning books, start eating up every tidbit of crap Hollywood and Washington D.C. feed them... oh wait, that's already happening.
I just don't get why we feel the need to ban books at all. If you object to the content, don't read it. If you object to your children reading it, then say so. Talk with them for crying out loud. Explain your rationale (if in fact you have one) and shoot, you're the parent, you don't even have to explain if you don't want to! (Although, I don't recommend that method of parenting for this kind of situation. Just my thoughts here...) This leads me right into another can of worms, parents don't talk with their kids. We talk AT them. We talk near them, we talk about them...
Look, I don't want someone to tell me what my kids cannot read. That's my job. I don't want someone to hinder a child, any child, from reading by taking away options across the board. It's just flat not your call outside of your own home. Who are you to say what is good for someone else's family? I believe that God gave us all a free will, and it's not my place to take yours away from you, so don't take mine, or my childrens. It's not a huge request.