I don’t know, it may just be me but this recent trend in the USA of book banning seems to be censorship, it also seems to be motivated by some people’s prejudices and hatred of certain groups in society. The one that really gets me is the banning of books with the words butt and fart in them. That sounds so much like a South Park episode in which parents tried to ban a cartoon that featured the exact same thing. I guess it is all about one’s point of view there.
It is truly sad that in the land of the free that a few can decide what the many can see, read or do. Censorship is a dangerous thing, first people may censor things that may not be as important to you but then in time they censor more and more till there is only one view available in literature, and news, and allowed in public. It’s a dangerous slope to be walking along here people. Once you start down that road it sets you up for total censorship.
It seems like the right to pursue one’s happiness is only a right if it agrees with the beliefs and values of the most vocal group. You are only allowed to be happy if it is what others dictate as acceptable. I wonder if that is how the founding fathers saw it? I wonder if they wanted only a small group to be happy and the rest of the country to just fall in line and suffer or be denied their happiness.
I doubt they wanted it to be the pursuit of happiness if it is dictated by a single group or person. Does not matter if you like or believe in the way another individual seeks out happiness, that is their choice and life. I do however believe it is your right to speak your mind on the issue but not in a hateful or hurtful manner. If someone else dislikes your choice of how to seek happiness, you too must respect their opinion and not be angry or hateful in return.
Then we come around to the issue at hand, the fear of parents about their children being influenced by others. This has always been an issue, not just now and not just with the current issues being fought over. In the past, it was such things as religion in schools, desegregation, sex education, and so on. First off if you teach your children well at home about the things you fear, then those children should be well-armed to deal with the influences found in school and from peers.
Schools have been saddled with too much responsibility in trying to teach children social values. It is a hard balancing act and making sure the classrooms are inclusive and safe for all children regardless of their differences is not an easy task. Trying to teach children tolerance and respect for all people, regardless of their religion, color, sexual preference, and so on, should not be on the teacher’s shoulders but it should be the responsibility of the parents. The sad part is it seems there is a failure in that regard both in school and at home for some kids.
Jesus forgave and accepted all sinners, he taught forgiveness not judgmentalism. God is the judge, so we should leave the judging to him, we should instead love and forgive as we were taught by Jesus. To accept a sinner and love him/her is not accepting their sins. We all sin, and no sin is greater or lesser than another, and all is forgivable except one and that is blasphemy of the holy ghost/spirit. So why do we hate certain groups because of a certain sin, if we are to hate sinners then we must hate everyone including ourselves.
If you hate others, then you deny yourself the chance to know them, to understand them, and even the chance to be friends with them. Just because they live in a way you dislike or don’t understand doesn’t mean that they are not a good person. They are just different from you in that particular way. Look beyond your differences, put aside the things you see as unacceptable in each other, and look at the person in front of you and see them as who they really are.
I guess it boils down to this, you shouldn’t try to impose the values and morals of the religion you chose to follow on others. You should only apply those values and beliefs to yourself. It was your choice to believe in and follow the religion you chose and thus you must apply those values to yourself. Other people have chosen other paths in life and they are responsible for their own choices and actions. This does not mean you can not preach or try to counsel or advise. Just means you should accept it if they choose to do differently.
Love all people, regardless of their differences and shortcomings. Be a messenger of love and compassion not the harbinger of hate. and do your best to be a teacher or a preacher and not a persecutor. In the end, the choice is all yours, you can walk your path in the manner you chose and treat others the way you see fit. Just remember you are accountable for how you treat others in life and that you will reap the fruit of the seeds you have sewn in your life.
I wish everyone a happy life and love-filled days along this path of life.