Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sex, Violence and Censorship

Some comments on an article about a man who really sets himself up to be made fun of.

I recently found a news story titled “Dad Wants $20K, Says Lesbian Book Disturbed Teens” here. I have a strong suspicion that the man in question is really just after some quick cash, but even so the news story serves as a perfect example of the strange views on sex and violence in society.

I have personally never understood why sex is supposed to be worse for the children than violence. But it seems like many think that’s the case. Parent groups and crusaders for morality complain whenever a “bad” word is uttered or an uncovered inch of skin is shown. Sure, they complain about violence too, but not at all to the same degree. Sex is always the real danger, according to people like that.

Either way, we all know that it is common for people to overreact at the very mention of sex, for whatever reason. But few are as funny to mock as the gentleman in the news article.

According to the article Earl Adams in Bentonville, Ark. has two sons, aged 14 and 16 who were at the public library “browsing for material on military academies.” During this they apparently found a book titled “The Whole Lesbian Sex Book” instead, and were according to Adams “greatly disturbed.”

Because of this, Adams wants the library director fired and tried to sue the city for $10,000 for each of his sons; the maximum allowed under the Arkansas obscenity law. Why does Adams think that they need such large amounts? What damage could the book have caused? Well, according to Adams, the book caused “many sleepless nights in our house.”

Well, I bet it did! Books of that nature often tend to cause “sleepless nights” for healthy young men, but they usually don’t complain about it.

Honestly, it seems very hard to find a book like that by accident while browsing information about the military. And even if the book had been misplaced there they could have just ignored it after reading the title, if they didn’t want to read it. I’m worried for them if they didn’t read it and were that “greatly disturbed” just by being reminded that lesbians exist. If so they seem to be so sexually repressed that they should get a psychologist. They should possibly get a better home too.

I’m just speculating here, but it seems more likely that they did read the book. And in that case they did so of their own free will. And it also seems likely that their tremendously strict father caught them reading the book and that’s the only reason they told him that they were greatly disturbed by it. They couldn’t very well tell such a man that they liked it.

Whatever the boys did, and whatever their real intentions were, the father overreacted extremely though. He is totally ok with his young sons reading about military academies, after all, that’s good and healthy, right? Joining the military has never held any danger, none at all. A book on lesbian sex, though, that is very dangerous. I’m not sure exactly how, but obviously it is. It’s $10,000 dollars worth of dangerous just seeing such a book. Obviously.

Well, thankfully “the city’s attorney dismissed Adam’s claim as baseless” and he didn’t get his $20,000, so there seems to be some sanity left in the world. He did manage to get the book off the shelves of the library though.

According to the article, Adams said in an e-mail that “God was speaking to my heart that day and helped me find the words that proved successful in removing this book from the shelf.” And “Any effort to reinstate the book will be met with legal action and protests from the Christian community.”

Don’t you just love these people who think that they know exactly what God wants? And these guys who think that they can claim to speak for the entire Christian community… It’s just such wonderful humility and modesty!

Sometimes when I write it can seem like I have a problem with religious people in general. I really, really don’t. It’s just people like this guy, who feels that he alone has the right to dictate what is going to be on the shelves of a public library and decide what other people are allowed to read.