Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Freedom of Speech (Part Two)

As a follow up to part one, about the South Park writers getting threatened with death by certain Muslim factions, here is part two.

This part is more author based, that is, speaking more about books that get banned for whatever reason.

Now, don't get me wrong, some of the books that do get banned, I can completely understand. For instance, Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot' being banned in some schools because it was too violent.

I can understand the banning of Hitler's novel (at the time) because of the extremist nature of the novel and such. I can understand why people would not want others to read it and such.

But, in B.C, Harry Potter was banned. Why? Because it promoted witchcraft. Personally I don't think any child (or adult) is going to seriously attempt witchcraft after reading Harry Potter. Dan Brown's 'The DaVinci Code' was also banned in some areas because it was offensive to Christianity.

It's examples like the two above that make me shake my head and wonder where people's minds are when they make that decision. As authors, we are given a certain right to be able to express ourselves in the way we see fit.

Banning a book just because you do not like it's ideals or like what it may or may not teach is wrong. Again, if it's too violent (or too offensive) then yes, ban it. But if not, leave it alone.

Now, there is a difference between Dan Brown's 'Da Vinci Code' and Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'. Brown did not kill thousands of people based of the 'ideals' in his book. Brown did not try to take over parts of the world. Yes, some of the clues he laid out ARE true but that does not mean people are going to stop believing in Christianity because of it.

To summarize, book banning should be looked at more closely. That is, those who wish to ban a book, should take a good hard look at it and really determine if it is going to make someone offended. Most of the books banned, won't do that.

I did end up writing a whole other explanation on book banning and censorship. If you wish to read it, go to my website ( and head off the the F.A.Q.

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