Saturday, May 3, 2008

Anthony Wayne Library Censors

For several years I have subscribed to the popular Campus Life magazine, a Christian magazine for teens, donating several issues to the A.W. school libraries. These magazines are wholesome, deal with topics of concern to youth, and do have a Judeo-Christian worldview --as would many of the students in that school. I learned that the librarians were not making them available to the students --except for one who may not be there anymore. She wrote a thank you note.

So I called the librarian who said to talk to the principal who never called me back. So I called the superintendent who said he would talk to the principal and knew the magazine to be good --and would have the principal call me. He didn't.

So many months later, I called the sup't. again who said he'd talk to the principal again and the principal called me.

He said he thought these would be nice to make available to the Campus Life Club but to have them in the library, the board would have to approve them. I said, I was on the board for 8 years, and I don't remember approving the new purchases or the donations received by the library. And I knew there were things in our library and on our reading lists for students that I and other Christian parents personally would not approve --such as The Invisible Man, the one which starts out with the incest and 3 in a bed. And that dreary book we all had to read before college featuring the debauched and jaded and mixed up Holden Caulfield -- books with profane language. Depressing books with suicide and death themes and occultic themes. I'll bet they have The Golden Compass Trilogy by the atheist promoting atheism to kids. Teachers showed R-rated films to kids under 16 --kids in 8th and 9th grade when my children were in school. Books featuring native American religious beliefs were common.

But when it comes to something wholesome and of the Christian religion, we are more worried about the appearance of state endorsement of that --than about state endorsement of atheism, loss of faith, bad language, immoral conduct, or other religions, etc.

Judy Blume books are in our libraries for children and are an example of themes that Christians object to. There is the one wherein a boy is a peeping tom --and at story's end, isn't sure if he'll quit that behavior or not. "Maybe I will; maybe I won't." And the one where the child is encouraged to "choose" her religion as though religions were just another life option. Yes, religion is a life option, but that's not the way parents who really believe want their children to see it. We devout people teach our children that our religion is Truth. We don't appreciate books and faculty who take our money to undermine or erode our religious teachings. In fact, it's because schools do this that so many parents are either home schooling or sending their children to religious schools, at great personal expense.

The school principal and I agreed that he would round up all the back issues if the library kept them and make them available for summer reading for the Campus Life Club attenders through the club. Meanwhile, I need to write the board of education and donate the magazines to the school library and give them sample copies and reasons why I think they should approve the donation. I think the libraries can rightly have Catholic Youth publications, Muslim Youth publications--or whatever religious youth magazines people want to donate. There aren't so many wanting to do this that it would overflow the magazine racks. And then I'd let the students take them at the end of the school year.

Campus Life
helps students deal with real issues like parents' divorce, breaking up with steadies, drug and alcohol abuse and temptation, peer pressure, study techniques, friends, moral issues, fashion, Christian music, religious questions and they provide college guides to Christian schools. They also have a lot of humor and practical helps pertinent to a teen-ager's life.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


Barb said...

I should have clarified --I wasn't donating issues of the magazine --but subscriptions for both the jr. high and h.s. libraries.

johnnypeepers said...

It gets real complicated with the First Amendment issues Barb. If they stock Campus Life, then they also have to stock Jihadi Youth, Zionist Kids Weeky, Hindu Vishnu Youth Times, Isis's Pagan Weekly, and The Church of Satan's Little Kid's Primer.

As a state actor, school boards do not want to get caught up in this never ending appeasement charade. Sure America is a predominately Christian nation, but that pesky 1st Amendment prevents the government from endorsing any one religion. As a result, providing copies of Campus life, and not alternative religious periodicals, could open them up to legal entanglements.

The best thing is to be a good Christian parent, relative, or friend, and buy the child a subscription. That way the leviathan (the government) does not forcibly extract tax dollars from hard-working Americans to buy religious materials. It isn't their Constitutional role.

Barb said...

I realize this argument of yours:

FIrst of all, I'm not suggesting the school buy the magazine, but receive the donation and make them available--especially in a school where most students ARE nominally Christian or of no faith. I expect to find SOME Muslim materials in the Detroit school library where most of the football team and student body are Muslim --wouldn't you???? again, as donations from the Muslim community.

2ndly, some of the magazines you suggested would be advocating breaking the law, advocating evil as generally understood and defined by American people. The school has an obligation to be 'postive' and 'wholesome' and advocating of good citizenship in their library magazine offerings, in my opinion, and Campus LIfe magazine is all of that.

As it is, some of the schools still have Bible Clubs for elem. and high schools --IN THE BUILDINGS --and also God-respecting scout troops --from the outside and made available to students and known to their parents. Most public schools are "community buildings" on a first come/first served basis.

I have no problem with the little Koran students having such a club on school grounds as long as they aren't excluding Jews and Christians from attending and teaching racism --not that I'd want my little Christian attending--I would not. But I recognize that if the Bible followers can have a kids' klub to reinforce faith and morality and Bible knowledge and magazines in the library available for all, the other religious groups could do likewise. I myself would want to read these other magazines for youth, out of curiosity, to see if they even have an approach to youth and their problems like the Christians have.

From what we hear about Saudi text books, I don't think the Muslim Youth Times would qualify as positive in message, promoting law-abiding behavior and respect for all peoples, regardless of their beliefs.

As for Satanists, Satan is a personification of evil, the enemy of God and Christ, the seducer and temptor toward sin and violation of goodness and law. No way should such a club or publication be made available in school libraries. (One person defended Satanists to me by saying they don't really believe in Satan --just as they don't believe in God and Christ. That's beside the point --they still are worshipping the icon of evil.)

The law says no individual CHURCH can be in cohoots with running the gov't, not that religious people can't hold office and represent their faith while in the conduct of that office (by what they wear or keep on their desks for personal reading --or by the morals they support as public policy.)

The Law also defends majority rule with respect for minority rights and liberties. it does not say that the majority of the people will be denied any influence on public policy that stem from their religious/moral views of right and wrong and denied religious freedoms on public property. It says that the state won't establish a CHURCH to be partnered with the administration of the gov't as in Eurasia in the past. And no one is asking the state to do that--not even by opening activities with prayer and inviting in various clergy. It does not say that the gov't has to behave as though God does not exist --as though all gov't employees were atheists.

It's time school officials and librarians quit treating Christianity as a subversive, undermining ideology.

What will follow in the vaccum when public Christianity is abolished and suppressed completely, will not be to anyone's liking.