Censorship Starts at Home

People. Fellow Christians. Can we talk? This is one of my biggest Christian Busybody pet peeves. Let’s look at the pattern here: Girl brings home a book targeted toward adolescents with some arguably inappropriate (but hardly uncommon for kids of that age) talk about sex. Mother gets up in arms and protests to the library, calling it “smut”. Mom calls for ban. Library refuses. Ensuing controversy increases demand for book and increases the book’s popularity.

This is a very familiar pattern. How about this scenario instead: Girl brings home a book targeted toward adolescents with some arguably inappropriate (but hardly uncommon for kids of that age) talk about sex. Mother discusses why the language is inappropriate with daughter, tells her to return the book, and guides her to more appropriate reading material. Book stays in relative obscurity.

In other words, let’s all raise our own kids okay? I stay abreast of what my kid is watching, reading, and listening to and Heidi and I are the first and only censors Girlzilla needs. I don’t want other adults, or my child’s librarian, to make the decisions for me or my child. I’d like the freedom to decide that a particular book or show is okay to watch despite some “adult” elements. For instance, we let our nine year old Girlzilla watch the R-rated movie “Men of Honor” because of its message about hard work and determination despite the absolutely filthy language that she under threat of life and limb was not allowed to even think much less utter. She thought it was a great movie but complained about all the cursing. That’s my girl.

This goes for the Internet, Cable TV, and video games. Don’t let them use these unsupervised. If you want to fight smut, reduce demand with a family-level boycott instead of stoking it up by making a big stink. I, for one, plan to be a big meanie when it comes to my own daughter. I don’t care what “all the other kids” get to watch and do as reported to us (indignantly) by Girlzilla. But I recognize that as their parents’ fool-ass right to screw up, er, raise their kids as they see fit.

So, you media watchdog do-gooders out there, I appreciate your efforts when it comes to keeping me informed. Thanks for telling me which movies depict sex, which rap songs idolize gang-banging, and that Harry Potter books depict witchraft. Informatioin is a tool I can use to make better parental guidance decisions. But I won’t sign your petition to ban X, no matter how awful X may be. I’ll decide for myself and my child, thanks. I’ll fight X by not giving it my money, time, or undue publicity.

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