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Should Books be Banned?

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Aurora Rodriguez

on 29 October 2014

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Transcript of Should Books be Banned?

First Amendment
In order to understand the argument of those in support of book banning, reasons will be discussed. The first argument is that books should be banned because of their content. The argument is that some books can contain: (1) racial issues, (2) encourage “damaging” lifestyles, (3) use blasphemous dialog, (4) detail sexual situations or dialog, (5) detail violence or negativity, (6) glorify witchcraft, (7) put-down religious affiliations (unpopular religions), (8) are political bias, and (9) age inappropriate for children (Butler University Libraries). Those in favor of banning books are rallying the call to have their input in what books should be banned. This presents a fundamental problem, as with everybody wanting to have their own opinion in what books are being banned and what books are being challenged there are too many opinions. If a book could be banned due to the content of it by a person or group then the question becomes: “What will happen to the diversity of authors?” “Who will have the finale say of the book being banned?” and “How does this support our First Amendment of Freedom of Speech?” Consequently, the complexity of these opinions make it hard for there to be a decision made (American Library Association).
Counter Claim:
Have you ever read “Twilight,” “How to Kill a Mockingbird,” or “The Kite Runner?” (AnnenbergClassroom.org). If unchallenged, these books could be banned from schools and libraries. One of the strongest arguments for book banning comes from people who do not like the content within the book. The claim is to protect the reader; however, in our free society, should others have the right to shelter others from book content (American Library Association)? Of course not, books should not be banned from schools and libraries, as people have different opinions on what content is good and bad. This is precisely why books should not be banned. Opinions reflect one’s norms, values, and beliefs. Consequently, people do not have the same moral compass, religious beliefs, and view of life. Therefore, access must be granted to people to see different points of view, as freedom is the foundation in America from which people can express themselves.
To conclude, a book cannot be judged by its cover. Books should not be banned because their content offended someone. People have different norms, values, and beliefs. This is supported by our right to Freedom of Speech. Instead of crippling diversity, book banning should not be allowed to remove authors for the shelves.
If books are allowed to be banned from schools and libraries what are the unintended consequences? To re-assert, the core issue is content because of different peoples’ beliefs and standards on books. The critical concern of those opposed to book banning questions: “Does this open Pandora’s Box on an attack on the First Amendment of Freedom of Speech? Where does this ban lead? Will all religious books be banned, as religions hold different beliefs and content? The Founding Fathers believed as do those opposed to book banning that each person has their right to hold their own opinion and religion. For example, if Atheists’ are allowed to ban Christian books than why cannot Christians seek to ban books with content containing witchcraft, magic, and mystical creatures? If opinions of content are allowed to become the rules which govern the library shelves, then the shelves will be empty. According to Butler University Libraries books, religious books are on the list of categories that may be banned, which may be the category if left unchallenged order to exit the library (AnnenbergClassroom.org). Books should be categorized for age appropriate content. For example, the book “War and Peace” is not intended for a Kindergarten student (LibriVox); consequently, this book is put in a section of the library with other books targeting this specific audience. This is important to understand, as one of the arguments for book banning is to protect the children. The solution is already available. Books are put in categories at age appropriate levels to support our Freedom of Speech. As children grow, in order to be prepared for society (American Library Association), they need diversity of information. In order to understand what Atheism or Christianity faith or Muslim faith is books must be allowed to do their intended purpose of informing the reader. Rather the book is fictional or fact, Freedom of Speech, must be protected. If the content is offensive, simply do not read the book or go to that section of the library.
By: Aurora Rodriguez
Should Books be Banned?
Works Cited
American Library Association. "About Banned & Challenged Books." Banned & Challenged Books a Website of the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association. American Library Association, 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www.ala.org>.
AnnenbergClassroom.org. "Speak Out: Should Schools be Allowed to Ban Books?" The Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics Presents Annenberg Classroom Resources for Excellent Civics Education. www.annenbergclassroom.org, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
Butler University Libraries. "Common Reasons for Banning Books." Banned Books Information About Books that have been Banned from Schools and Libraries . Butler University Libraries, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://libguides.butler.edu/bannedbooks>.
Google. "Google Images." Google Images. Google, 24 May 2014. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://www.googleimages.com>.
LibriVox. "War and Peace." LibriVox . Public Domain, 28 Apr. 2007. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://librivox.org/war-and-peace-bool-01-by-leo-tolstoy/>.

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