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the family friendly library

By gtx in Culture
Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 06:47:15 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

Recently, there's been a movement to convert regular libraries into family friendly libraries. The name alone sounds makes it sound like something good, but making a library family friendly involves more than adding a childrens section. Interestingly enough, FFL is more about removing articles that they find inappropriate. To make matters worse, Dr. Laura is a supporter...

The whole idea behind the "family friendly library" is to make libraries more "family friendly." Apparently, ideas such as the concept of a non-traditional family are a threat to our children... a bigger threat, apparently than the restriction of information from library shelves. The FFL believes that libraries should not be neutral in their position towards sensitive topics and should remove books in order to strengthen the FFL's positions (or as they would like to believe, the correct positions) on political and ethical issues. I don't care what your beliefs are religion or otherwise, but it'd be pretty upsetting to have your children go to a library to do research on a certain topic for a school project, only to find that it's all been filtered to only allow the biased opinions of the FFL.

You can tell that they're pulling at strings with this whole idea in the way that they use semantics to protect their methods of censorship. They go at great lengths to explain why censorship is only censorship if it is done by the government. They also defend their practice using the first amendement. Kinda sick.

Apparently, Dr. Laura is a supporter as well, giving FFL space in her magazine to help spread their agenda. Hopefully people will notice how nutty Dr. Laura is and use this when making a decision about FFL.

I am a firm believer that every problem should have a resolution, and you shouldn't bitch and moan about anything if you don't have a plan to combat it. I think the resolution of this problem is quite simple. If you should see any attempts in your area to convert your library to family friendly status, speak out. Go to town meetings, educate your neighbors, etc. It's the least you could do.


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the family friendly library concept is:
o Good idea 2%
o Bad idea 50%
o Dr. Laura is a nut 30%
o gtx is a nut 2%
o i like pudding pops but they don't make them anymore 14%

Votes: 112
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o family friendly libraries
o "family friendly library"
o great lengths
o spread their agenda
o Also by gtx

Display: Sort:
the family friendly library | 48 comments (46 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Family friendly... (4.54 / 11) (#1)
by Signal 11 on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 12:06:07 PM EST

Well, it certainly is family friendly. There is, afterall, an ideal politicalized family somewhere that really does try to shield their kids from all of the potentially offensive parts of the world. Just imagine the monsters these parents are going to unleash onto the world... having no concept of what is wrong because they have never seen what wrong is, unaware of what the consequences of doing wrong looks like... and then suddenly being dropped into a world where the moral and social dimensions are unlike anything their parents showed them. It is like being thrown into a freezing cold water and not knowing how to swim.

What do you think they're going to do? The human mind can only take so much change at a time, and we should start aquainting children with what the real world looks like as soon as possible to help ease the transition. If it's too jarring, lots of psychological problems develop. Defense mechanisms are thrown up, people become close-minded, unwilling to change, clinging to their fantasy world where everything is perfect, nobody lies, and everybody waits until after marriage before having sex. If they do it at all. The tidal forces of change will constantly be ripping into that fantasy world, creating a layer of uneasiness, tension, irrational anger, depression...

Reality is vicious, and it doesn't give a damn about the beliefs of the self-proclaimed "moral majority" - No, it will happily show the kids of these families what reality looks like, in all of its many dimensions. It's a psychological shock which, for people who were never shown what the real world looks like ahead of time, echoes into adulthood for decades.

What monsters we will create by not allowing people to seek their own paths...

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

That text sounds familiar (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by roystgnr on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 07:55:09 PM EST

Do you read The Parking Lot is Full, by any chance? The relevant comic I'm thinking of is here.

[ Parent ]
The Sheltered Life (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by Mad Hughagi on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 03:56:35 AM EST

I find it very interesting to look at where a lot of kids who were extremely sheltered ended up once they got older. Of all the teen angst, I never observed more directed against parents than in the over-protective family types. Most of these people have since fell between the cracks or are slowly trying to re-attain their grip on things.

It's very true what you have said about the transition that one faces in life. Of most people who had a relatively moderate upbringing that I know, most are doing fine, it seems that the extreme ends are more susceptable to "falling off the edge" (either over-protective parents or non-existant parents).

Keep your kids ignorant and when they run into a situation where they haven't been programmed what to do I'm sure they will end up making the wrong decision. You can learn things by rote, but when it comes down to your understanding of a subject no amount of force-feeding will make up for a lack of being taught how to learn and reason for yourself.

It seems kind of odd that many people are trying to ban books and at the same time everyone complains that kids aren't interested in reading. If all I had to read was family-rightious propaganda as a kid/teenager I would have probably turned to more interesting things myself.

As someone else has pointed out, libraries aren't daycares. I agree with this whole-heartedly. Instead of forcing your concepts of what is moral or proper on others by restricting our information base, take the time out of your "hectic" day to go to the library with your children and show them what you would have them learn. I can't do anything about people being assinine parents, but I sure as hell don't want to be limited in how I want to raise my own offspring.

As a side note, I would think that over-protective parents and non-existant parents have one common theme - neither have time to properly raise their offspring through shared experience. My parents never told me what to do or what not to do... they either showed me or explained their reasoning as to how they would do it. Granted, I would never do something they would find totally unagreeable, but I think that is a result of my independant reasoning, not because of what they would have wanted.


We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

Ugh (3.00 / 2) (#2)
by regeya on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 12:09:50 PM EST

Okay, I'm a regular church-goer; heck, I was in church for over two hours yesterday morning for Easter, but I gotta say, I hate Dr. Laura. Listen to her call-in program sometime. She may think she's a good Christian role-model, but if you listen to her, she's incredibly judgmental and quick to jump to conclusions without all the necessary information, and good Lord, what an ego! I truly hope, gtx, that people do realize how nutty she is and stop paying attention to her.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Dr. Laura Christian Role Model? (3.00 / 1) (#3)
by MrAcheson on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 12:15:59 PM EST

Umm.... IIRC Dr. Laura is a Jew, so her being a good christian role model is basically right out anyway. As for her being nutty, not my concern, but she is definitely a hypocrit (ever watched a show on her love life) which really bothers me in a role model of any sort.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.

[ Parent ]
Dr. Laura same faith as Jesus of Nazareth (4.00 / 1) (#42)
by pin0cchio on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 06:46:04 PM EST

IIRC Dr. Laura is a Jew, so her being a good christian role model is basically right out anyway.

Not necessarily. Dr. Laura is Jewish. So was Jesus of Nazareth. No Christian disputes Jesus as a Christian role model. (Christians are those Jewish people who believe Jesus was the Messiah and think 'Christ' is more than just a surname.) So why dispute Dr. Laura?

[ Parent ]
Dr. Laura (none / 0) (#43)
by MrAcheson on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 07:25:40 PM EST

Unless someone is a Messianic Jew (a Jewish christian who maintains a foot in both worlds), being a "christian" role model is pretty much out. Being a devout non-messianic Jew basically involves an implied rejection of Christ. This is not to say that Dr. Laura could not be seen as a role model by some, but a "christian" role model would imply that the person should be a christian in some regard shouldn't it?

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.

[ Parent ]
A definition of "Christian role model" (none / 0) (#45)
by pin0cchio on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 11:17:41 PM EST

This is not to say that Dr. Laura could not be seen as a role model by some, but a "christian" role model would imply that the person should be a christian in some regard shouldn't it?

The term "Judeo-Christian" refers to the fact that the Jews and Christians share basic tenets (love the Lord with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself). 2/3 of the Christian scriptures come straight from Judaism, as do the ten basic rules (1. nothing comes before the LORD; 2. worship the LORD not an image; 3. God's last name isn't Dammit; 4. don't work on Saturday; 5. honor your parents; 6-9. don't murder, fornicate, steal, or lie materially; 10. keeping up with the Joneses isn't worth it) that introduce the Commandments.

Dr. Laura doesn't say much with respect to those areas in which her Jewish ideals differ from conservative Christian ideals. Thus she is also a valid Christian-ethics role model in those areas that do not involve a specific Messiah.

[ Parent ]
Dr. Laura's Jewish... (3.00 / 1) (#4)
by Electric Angst on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 12:19:39 PM EST

I think it's important to remember that not only Christians make up the political right-wing of this nation. Dr. Laura's Jewish, many modern anti-government hate groups consider themselves atheist, there are countless examples.

When we oversimplify an opposing side's position, then it becomes easier for them to defeat our opposition.

"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
[ Parent ]
Oopsie (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by regeya on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 12:39:43 PM EST

Soon as I posted the comment, in fact, I remembered what you pointed out. Heck, I even remembered pasting a bio on her onto a page at the last 'paper I worked at. D'oh! No more rants before the coffee kicks in, I guess.

I guess I fouled up because I've seen her advertised on a local Christian-oriented station . . . and her show gets way too much play locally. I've tried listening to it, but I just can't, for the reasons I listed in the toplevel comment (just ignore that bit about her being Christian. ;-) I'd call my mother if I wanted someone to make me feel bad. :-)

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Sorry (4.25 / 8) (#5)
by trhurler on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 12:24:22 PM EST

I couldn't vote for this, because there was no poll option that said "Dr. Laura, gtx, and the entire staff of the ATF are all nuts."

Seriously, this sucks wind, but it shouldn't surprise you. Crap like this is the reason I'm not "conservative." Crap like my state governor's attempt to jack up our taxes to rival what the feds take from us is the reason I'm not "liberal." The fact that I'm unwilling to adopt a cowardly compromise between one of these poisons and the other is the reason I'm not a "moderate."

In any case, I wouldn't worry too much. The Dr. Laura stamp of approval has already been the chain around the necks of several failed conservative stupidities, and I imagine it will help drag this one under too.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

hmm (4.00 / 2) (#7)
by gtx on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 12:37:23 PM EST

i never considered the possibility that dr. laura, the atf, and i could all be simultaneously nuts. i'll be sure to remember that next time :)

i don't have anything clever to write here.
[ Parent ]
Your reasons (4.00 / 3) (#9)
by weirdling on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 12:40:26 PM EST

Are the reasons I'm libertarian.
</shameless plug>

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Libertarians and their political quiz (3.33 / 3) (#15)
by br284 on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 04:16:03 PM EST

One of the things that I foud funniest about the libertarians is their "World's Smallest Political Quiz". The setup is as follows:

First of all, you start out as a centrist. If you vote Yes to any of the "Personal" questions, it moves you up to Libertarian and to Liberal on the chart. Opposite for the No answer - Conservative Authoritarian. Now, if you vote Yes to any of the Economic questions, you are moved in the direction of a Conservative Libertarian. Opposite if you vote No to any of them. The thing amuses me is its simplicity. The questions are phrased in such a way as to appeal to almost anybody taking the quiz. For example, "Military service should be voluntary. (No draft)". I guess as a propoganda tool to recruit new Libertarians, they need to make the questions appeal to everyone. I guess I'm amused at the simplicity of the questions. All the Libertarians I know seem to be much smarter and able to offer more complex justifications for these positions than what are given. I guess I just find it funny. It seems so contrary to the Libertarians I know.


[ Parent ]

The quiz (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by Miniluv on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 05:46:21 PM EST

Actually, I had around 20 people I know who're very aware of their political bent, and that test called every single one of them. Oh, and none were libertarian.

The LP webpage is not particularly sophisticated, but it is directed at unsophisticated citizens who're learning about new ideas. Seems reasonable to me.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

Same here (3.00 / 1) (#26)
by PresJPolk on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 08:18:39 PM EST

All my statist friends were shown as statist on the quiz. It's small, and biased, but it's not *that* bad.

[ Parent ]
Most Libertarians don't take it too seriously... (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by dragondm on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 11:45:54 AM EST

Yeh, I'm of a rather libertarian bent m'self, but I don't take the WSPQ too seriously either. It's mostly meant as an icebreaker, to introduce the idea that there's more to politics than 'left' and 'right'. As for it's simplicity, if I recall correctly, it was origionally intended to be printed out on a business card, and handed out. Thus somewhat of a space constraint.

[ Parent ]
Family friendly? Bah. (4.14 / 7) (#6)
by nurglich on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 12:31:27 PM EST

A good family is more than willing to allow, even help, the children in learning about outside views and issues, as well as making their own decisions about these issues. Besides, definitions of "family" and "inappropriate" vary widely. One major purpose of libraries is to provide reading materials, as well as other media, in order to teach and inform, not just reenforce old ideas. I believe it is horrible to forbid access to very real, very important, if somewhat "offensive" sources of information, as that simply leaves people ill-informed and unable to cope with modern situations. And it isn't always possible, especially if a person doesn't have the money, to get that information elsewhere.

Of particular note is the advocacy of eliminating books (children's books in particular) discussing homosexuality. Were I a parent, I would welcome a book written on a child's level as an aid in teaching about this somewhat sticky topic. Anything that can help explain why Johnny down the street has two daddies is good, in my opinion.

"There are no bad guys or innocent guys. There's just a bunch of guys!" --Ben Stiller, Zero Effect

Nietsche, Dr. Laura, and censorship (3.20 / 5) (#10)
by weirdling on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 12:46:27 PM EST

In his masterpiece, 'Antichrist', Nietsche argues that it is knowledge the Judeo-Christian mind is against, and, to a certain extent, every religion, because knowledge more surely destroys the superstitions religion feeds off of than any other thing. Witness the original sin: partaking from the tree of knowledge of good *and* evil.
Now, as for Dr. Laura. For a woman who is herself divorced, she has very little compassion for and understanding of others who divorce. I've listened to her show and she is devoid of both compassion and understanding, and is in possession of one of the most morally supercillious egos I've seen, dead certain her view of morality is correct, despite the *fact* that it didn't *work* in her case.
Anyway, I'm sure that one of the first things to go would be Nietsche, which is, indeed, something he has predicted.
If I ever have any kids, I'll have Christian literature around (I'm agnostic), but I'll also have Buddhist and atheist and anarchist and possibly even pagan, if I can ever find any that makes sense...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
I don't know about Nietsche ... (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by kostya on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 05:07:26 PM EST

but on the topic of ...

In his masterpiece, 'Antichrist', Nietsche argues that it is knowledge the Judeo-Christian mind is against, and, to a certain extent, every religion, because knowledge more surely destroys the superstitions religion feeds off of than any other thing. Witness the original sin: partaking from the tree of knowledge of good *and* evil.

I don't think that statement reflects a very solid knowledge of the text of Genesis and what it means. That passage, at best, is figurative language that represents some deep concepts. These concepts are based in early Jewish culture. To say that "the original sin was partaking of the tree of knowledge, therefore, Judeo-Christian religion fears knowledge" is simply false. I can post further on the commonly accepted meaning of the passage if you like.

Perhaps you were quoting Nietsche? If so, I can't speak to that since I didn't read the book. But if the conclusion of the quote is based on that understanding of Genesis, it is flawed. That isn't the meaning of the Genesis story of the fall. To use that passage as proof or evidence is to build on a foundation of misunderstandings and incomplete knowledge.

Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
I was quoting Nietsche (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by weirdling on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 07:15:26 PM EST

However, I am extracted from a rather odd religious tradition, the Seventh-day Adventists. What the standard interpretation of that text is to Seventh-day Adventists is that up until that point, Adam and Eve had no knowledge of evil, but by breaking the law by eating of the fruit, they became knowledgeable of evil and thus no longer fit for paradise. The fruit had no intrinsic value; it was their behavior that resulted in their new knowledge.
I'd appreciate any other view, though. I'm fascinated by religion in general, although not a religionist myself anymore.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
My Interpretation (3.50 / 2) (#30)
by Captain Derivative on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 12:06:25 AM EST

Actually, I sort of agree with that reading of it. The fruit had no value in and of itself. However, the important point is that they discovered it was possible to go against God's will (since he had told them "do whatever you want except eat that fruit"), and thus realized that they had free will. And perhaps more importantly, they discovered that going against what's right (clearly in the context of the story what God says to do is right) can still yield some benefit (the fruit), they became tempted to sin later on, or at least had difficulty deciding between right and wrong, and so the downward spiral from paradise began. The reason for the loss of paradise, of course, isn't God smiting us down for disobeying him, but rather the consequences of our choices, which we have to face. The price of free will.

The root of evil lies in the existence of our free will, because without free will it would be impossible to choose evil. Of course, in my opinion this is far better than the alternative of having no free will at all.

Hey! Why aren't you all dead yet?! Oh, that's right, it's only Tuesday. -- Zorak

[ Parent ]
OT: Knowledge and sin (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by bluesninja on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 10:02:10 AM EST

Something kinda strange (and definitely off-topic) about the whole "knowledge of good and evil" = "cast out of paradise" thing:

One of the things god inflicted upon Eve when they were cast out of the garden of Eden was pain during childbirth. So, why is there pain during child birth? Well, mostly it's because we've got such huge craniums.

So, knowledge = big brain = big cranium = pain during child birth. Betcha didn't know the bible was actually a textbook on evolutionary biology, with "god" as the Hebrew word for "evolution" ;)

The above is meant to illustrate that there are nearly infinite semantic interpretations on any given passage from the bible. Some are more relevant than others. Nietzche's interpretation is just as "legitimate" as the Catholic church's interpretation. We can't know what the original author's meant. So we have to figure out it's relevance to ourselves.


[ Parent ]

Your argument is self-defeating (none / 0) (#36)
by kostya on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 11:51:08 AM EST

As an English Literature student, I have heard it before. It largely comes out of postmodernism. It can be summed up as: if you can't know anything with certainty, all interpretations or opinions are then valid--therefore, all reading or interpretation of a piece of literature are equally valid and correct.

Which is just plain false. Especially when applied to literature, writing, and communication.

The above is meant to illustrate that there are nearly infinite semantic interpretations on any given passage from the bible. Some are more relevant than others. Nietzche's interpretation is just as "legitimate" as the Catholic church's interpretation. We can't know what the original author's meant. So we have to figure out it's relevance to ourselves.

If this is true, why is this communication even possible? The internet, of all things, proves that this is patently false. If I cannot know your intent--I don't know you, we have never met, we are only communicating based on written posts--how can we hold conversations or discuss issues? How can I post in a way that makes you actually respond? Clearly I said something that was understood. Clearly my intent was known to some degree or another. You read my post and then, based on your understanding of the language and the context, responded to it in kind.

Which means that you did know my intent. and I am able to know your intent. Which is why we are posting on K5. Sure, I can never know the true intracacies of you mental processes. But it appears that you found a way to coherently communicate the gist of them.

All postmodernism gives us is something that we used to have, but forgot in Modernism: humility. Postmodernism puts our own fallability, or own ability to be mistaken, back into the discussion.

Apply this to ancient texts: we now have a good dose of humility. We now try to be more reasonable in our assertions and open to the possibility of being in error. Both sides should now be more open. Both the "traditional" side and the new skeptic side. I think it is reasonable to consider that the Catholic or Orthodox church might have more to bring to the discussion on the meaning of Biblical texts. More than someone who hasn't spent much time trying to understand the context of these passages and the meanings in their original language. The church has been studying them and commenting on them for 2000 years. The Jews have been studying and commenting on the Old Testament scriptures for even longer. All these groups have tried to pass down what they have learned to the current generation. To consider the meaning of these passages in a vacuum that doesn't take into account this ancient knowledge is just foolish. Perhaps it might be useful as a mental exercise or a study approach, but true wisdom would realize one's own fallability and limits. Wisdom would dictate that we would compare our findings with the thousands of years of accumalated study and knowledge.

All opions and meanings are not equal in value or worth. Some better fit with meaning and the direction of the conversation or idea. If your assertion was true, then non sequitors would be just as valid a conclusion as conclusions logically followed the facts of the discussion. Which I'm sure you don't agree with.

<humor>Note, that if you reply to this post, you have basically proven my point about knowing author's intent</humor> :-)

Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
My Take (4.00 / 1) (#34)
by kostya on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 11:31:57 AM EST

I draw this take from my own studies and the studies of others.

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: the name itself is more of a metaphor or a description, but not the substance of it. In reality, Adam and Eve already knew at a certain level--obeying God is good, disobeying God is evil.

The true temptation of the fruit was quite simple: to be like God, to take his place, to be God.

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." The serpent was basically saying, "God is trying to keep you from being equal with him. Eat this and you will be just like God." Yes, she would now know both good and evil, but more importantly she will be like God, on equal footing with God. It is noted that she was allowed to eat of every tree but this one. Her needs were met, she had no beef with God or any complaints. There was no reason or motivation to not obey God's command. Why eat of it if you have no need to eat of it? (such a question could be asked by someone truly not tainted by sin)

But she did. And then she gave it to Adam, and he did as well. They both chose to eat, disobeying God. They both wanted to taste of the knowledge of good and evil and be like God. They wanted to rise above being the dependent, the contigent, the created. They wanted to be like God, not dependent, not contigent, autonomous and answering to no one.

Another poster mentioned that the true source of sin is free-will and that the fruit gave that. This wouldn't be accurate, since it is clear that Eve chose to disobey--and so did Adam. So free will was always present. Adam and Eve, however, were free from the taint of sin (sin being the violation of God's perfect standard). They were blameless in God's sight. By willfully disobeying him, they tainted themselves with sin. Note that the penalty of eating was death. God did not kill them, but put them out of the garden--and ultimately direct communion with himself. Sin was now present, and God was holy (i.e. separate, not sin). They could no longer have what they used to have--true communion.

It should be noted that a significant amount of Old Testament literature is dedicated to the virtue of knowledge and wisdom. Proverbs speaks of the value of wisdom and knowledge, and how a godly man or woman will treasure wisdom. It should also be noted that Proverbs also states what it regards as true knowledge and wisdom: the both are founded on "the fear of the LORD", which is more accurately rendered as the respect and reverence of the Lord God.

In the Judeo-Christian mindset, you are missing the point of it all if you don't realize and acknowledge the true place of God in your life. If you think about it from that mindset, it makes sense. How can you even claim wisdom if you are unable to acknowledge God? If God is the true purpose and cause of it all, if he is the creator and he has created us with the intent of being involved in our lives, how can a life lived in defiance or denial of him be called wise? From the Judeo-Christian mindset, it makes sense that knowledge and wisdom should be founded on the acknowledgement of God and the acknowledgment of his rightful place in your life.

I hope that helps or explains what I meant.

Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
[OT] Pretty much the same thing, (none / 0) (#40)
by fsh on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 02:58:53 PM EST

Just from different angles. Nietschze knew the Bible down cold, by the way. He was arguing that the *good* thing was eating from the tree, whereas the church argues that the good thing would have been to *not* eat from the tree. But, like all creation stories, it should also be seen (in my mind) as a continuing story. To fully believe in the stories of the bible, the scientific rational mind must have faith in the teachings of the church, which is, to some degree, a supression of knowledge/rational thought. This is basically what Nietschze was saying.

The serpent was basically saying, "God is trying to keep you from being equal with him. Eat this and you will be just like God."
From the standpoint of comparative mythology, it's interesting to note that the serpent in almost all myths (and in most dreams) is seen as the guardian of the threshold rather than as evil. IE, the serpent guards the door between uninitiated and initiated, between young and old. (cf Joseph Campbell). The Hindu religion is an excellent example, every village had their sacred cobra.

But of course Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, just like any child wants to be like their parents. And just like any parent has strict rules for the child, the child eventually grows out of such rules. One of the Popes (can't remember which one) had a vision along these lines, where he was chained to a rock for a certain amount of time, and then, when his time was done, the chains simply crumbled away (very similar to the myth of Prometheus, btw). He was able to ignore the chains/rules of his youth because he understood the greater truth they protected him from. But childhood is seen as a paradise, only hindered by the stupid-seeming laws of the parents, and children aren't born with the knowledge of good and evil - it's something that they must learn. Once you leave the protection of the parents, however, you enter the world of misfortune. That's my own take on the subject of this Judeo-Christian creation myth. If the 'original sin' is simply disobedience, or the questioning of authority,as this story suggests to me, then I'm proud to be a sinner.

Sorry for this offtopic stuff here, maybe this would be better in the Children's Myths thread.

[ Parent ]

Judeo-christianity vs Knowledge (none / 0) (#25)
by PresJPolk on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 08:14:14 PM EST

Genesis 3 shows that man's original sin against god was to acquire knowledge. He was to have everything provided for him by god, and to have a perfect world, but because he took the forbidden fruit, he lost his innocence, became knowledgable of wrong, and the world went downhill from there.

Seems to me that there's no question that there is a bias against knowledge, from the very start, for those who believe that text.

[ Parent ]
private ffls are ok, public arent (4.50 / 8) (#11)
by eLuddite on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 01:16:50 PM EST

From the FFL's Mission Statement

2. Increase awareness in the community that taxpayer funded public libraries belong to the local taxpayers and their local libraries should reflect their needs and values.

It is not the job of the librariarn to read and take offense. It is the job of the librarian to collect and catalogue books. That is the activity taxpayers fund, not censorship. If they want to fund public Bureaus of Censorship as well, they can elect representation to pursue that end.

But not in America.

In America, the 1st amendment would make a quick contradiction of such a frivolous exercise. How could a government collect taxes to subvert its own constitutionality? It cannot. The best it can do is rule restraint on a book by book basis as these books are brought to the Supreme Court's attention, State v Moral Indivual, lawsuit by lawsuit.

FFLs are a successful case of astroturfing originally financed by the moral majority.

God hates human rights.

What we really need... (5.00 / 4) (#14)
by rebelcool on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 02:32:20 PM EST

is the Masturbation Police.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

/me is scared (none / 0) (#17)
by Elendale on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 05:03:31 PM EST

If you have come here looking for Jokes or Humor about Masturbation, then you have come to the wrong place!

Then why can't i stop laughing? True, its the bad kind of "Oh my god, this can't be real" sort of laugh, but laughing still...


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 0) (#20)
by gtx on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 05:50:35 PM EST

i was almost convinced it was real, then i saw on their links page they had a link to the 'ban dihydrogen monoxide' paper, and a link to landover baptist.

i don't have anything clever to write here.
[ Parent ]
*giggle* (none / 0) (#29)
by Elendale on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 11:35:17 PM EST

My physics teacher convinced half his students (none of the physics class, but anyway...) that dihydrogen monoxide was dangerous to mankind and should be disposed of. That was almost as neat as my "switch the keyboards and the computers they are plugged in to" april fools joke about 3 years ago- ctrl-alt-delete gained a whole new meaning :)


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

[ Parent ]
I'm for Anti-Family Libraries, Then (4.00 / 2) (#16)
by fsh on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 04:45:40 PM EST

Having just read a bit through that site (not well organized at the moment, apparantly they're changing servers or some such), I am apparantly in support of an Anti-Family Library. Here's a bit from the 'Antifamily Library Association' (oops, that's the American Library Association) talking about the 'Banned Books Week', Sept. 22-29. Here's a link to their list of most commonly banned books. Some of these I just don't understand:
A Bridge to Terabithia
Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
To Kill A Mockinbird
Flowers For Algernon
A Light In The Attic
Brave New World
I only list the books on the list that I've actually read, I'm sure that others will have books on there that they think are even worse than these.

Of course, I can understand the reasons behind one of them, 'The Anarchist's Cookbook'. But most of these books seem to be banned because of two things, racist views or sexual views. High Schoolers (even middle schoolers, and to some extent, grade schoolers) have generally experienced puberty, and are experiencing sexual urges. Denying this fact doesn't change it, and repressing these urges and the means to find out about these urges by yourself (rather than risking public embarressment from friends/family) certainly doesn't help any. As for the racist views in many of these books, again, racism exists, and denying that doesn't change it. Toni Morrison in particular shows it like it is, and writes about it very beautifully.


"Banned books" (4.50 / 2) (#21)
by danb35 on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 06:50:20 PM EST

It's important to keep in mind that the ALA considers any book that has ever been challenged a "banned book." It doesn't have to be removed; if somebody has complained about it and asked that it be removed, that will qualify it for the list.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, it's a bit misleading (none / 0) (#38)
by fsh on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 01:23:13 PM EST

However, since challenging books and articles is all that the FFL organization is doing now, I don't consider it too much of a stretch. I just wanted to promote the week; I've been making a point of reading at least one of those books every year.
[ Parent ]
That list scares me (none / 0) (#27)
by a humble lich on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 09:15:02 PM EST

The one I don't understand at all there is A Bridge to Terabithia (which made *8th* in the list). Most of the others I can use some twisted logic to at least think about why someone would want it removed; A Wrinkle in Time talks about magic, Huckleberry Finn deal with racism, Brave New World has some radical political implications. Not that I agree with any form of censorship, but I can at least understand why someone could find them objectionable.

But from what I can remember the only objectionable thing A Bridge to Terabithia has in it is that it teaches that imagination is good. I don't want to meat the person who feels that this sentiment needs to be banned.

[ Parent ]

A Bridge to Terabithia [Spoiler] (none / 0) (#37)
by fsh on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 01:11:29 PM EST

Good gravy, someone actually dies in there! And it's very, very sad! We can't expose the children to that! Everyone knows that death is supposed to a happy occasion for young children. *rolls eyes*

[ Parent ]

your thinking is not "right" (4.00 / 2) (#28)
by coffee17 on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 09:18:17 PM EST

High Schoolers ... have generally experienced puberty, and are experiencing sexual urges. Denying this fact doesn't change it,

I don't think that the FFL is really against awakening awareness to sexual feelings, but rather that they portray such feeling as something other than the "abominal impure thoughts" which the FFL "knows" them to be.

I think it would be fun to write a book about a 12-13 year old boy entering puberty, and doing nice xtian things like flogging himself to take his mind off his impure thoughts (or maybe just "tame" stuff like eating graham crackers and taking cold showers). 'twould be quite amusing if it could get sold.


[ Parent ]

Heh Heh (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by fsh on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 01:36:36 PM EST

And then Johnnie Knew Britney, and it was Good.

Seriously, though, I haven't read any of these so I can't be sure.

I don't think that the FFL is really against awakening awareness to sexual feelings, but rather that they portray such feeling as something other than the "abominal impure thoughts" which the FFL "knows" them to be.
However, here's a list of some of the titles that seem to argue differently:

What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Sex by Madonna

Okay, maybe not that last one, and nevermind about 'My Daddy's Roommate' or 'Heather Has Two Mommies'. But these seem to be fairly straightforward. They must have some porno pictures inside, or don't specifically say that homosexual acts are not only immoral, but also *against the law*!
[ Parent ]

Gotta get all the hell-bound, not just some. (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by coffee17 on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 03:15:40 PM EST

reread what I said about the FFL not liking the depicting of the information as "something other than the \"abominal impure thoughts\" which the FFL \"knows=" them to be." A title like <u>Where Did I Come From?</u> probably dares to actually answer the question with just the facts rather than going into the "truths" of what is sin, why it's a sin to stick a penis on a vagina other than the penis owner's wife's vagina, and all the other "truths" necessary to properly inform one about where one comes from... Additionally, it probably fails to mention the cache of souls god keeps to distribute when mommies and daddies "love" each other... One needs the whole truth, or something twisted like that.

After all, it's not just the hell-bound homosexuals who are against families, it's the hell-bound fornicaters as well, and for now we'll try and not mention the beyond hell-bound practitioners of onanism.


[ Parent ]

children's sections. (4.50 / 6) (#22)
by taruntius on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 06:54:04 PM EST

...but making a library family friendly involves more than adding a childrens section.

I honestly can't speak for public libraries elsewhere in the country, but in the Seattle Public Library system, the libraries all have children's sections already. Even the tiny branch libraries. My wife works as a children's librarian in one of the smallest branch libraries in Seattle, which is located in one of Seattle's poorest neighborhoods. Call to mind your own vision of a one-story, one-room schoolhouse of years gone by and you'll have a pretty good idea of the size I'm talking about, and yet my wife's branch has a children's section.

So what's my point? Well, merely to edify, for one. But for another, to point out that libraries don't have a problem with family friendliness due to some lack children's sections. In fact, I think our public libraries are plenty family frendly already.

The family friendly libraries website (linked above) seems to talk a lot about "protect[ing] children from exposure to age-inappropriate materials without parental consent," "parental rights," and "parental concerns." Yet somehow I didn't find anything in there about encouraging parental responsibility.

This makes me think that the FFL crowd is laboring under the illusion that libraries exist to provide temporary, on-the-spot day care for their children, places where they can drop the kiddies off trusting that the librarians will somehow know what the parents find objectionable, and will enforce that on their kids. To those people, I would point out that babysitting their kids is not a librarian's job, and thus their perception of the family friendliness of libraries can only be a direct function of their own willingness to supervise their children when at the library.

Somehow, I have a lot of trouble feeling sympathetic towards people who want their "rights" honored and their children "protected" without themselves being interested in taking any responsibility for those things. (Note, for the clue-disabled: "rights" and "protected" are in quotes above because I don't actually think the things the FFL crowd are arguing for are indeed rights, nor do I think they protection they seem to want for their kids is actually protective.

--Believing I had supernatural powers I slammed into a brick wall.
Family friendly (3.00 / 1) (#32)
by pallex on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 08:22:57 AM EST

Does that mean `bring more children to the library`?

I dont know about you, but theres nothing i like less when i`m in a library (or restaurant, or...) than a bunch of screaming animals, often with their clueless mouth-hanging-open parents, and no idea that in some places its respectful to be quiet and let people think. "Would you mind... I`m thinking. You know, that thing you do when you`re not eating, or watching tv, or...oh never mind"!

Definitely. A Library is NOT a day-care center!!! (5.00 / 3) (#47)
by Kasreyn on Fri Apr 20, 2001 at 10:04:35 AM EST

My mom's a librarian and she complains of this ALL the time. People come in and drop off their kids AND THEN LEAVE, like it's the library's job to look after them! A library is a *public place*, a sex offender just off the bus on his first parole can walk riiiiight in.

Not to be a panic monger, which is what these people want. This whole issue means one thing: They're trying to change our CONCEPT of what a library's function is.

They want it to be a combination day-care and high school book report research center. Oh yeah, and a free video rental place. Not a bastion of knowledge and learning OF ALL KINDS. Not a place where you can go to learn the TRUE FACTS without bias from propaganda and special interest groups. (Well, if they're biased, at least a library has representations of most differing viewpoints and biases).

That thing about BNW requiring parental consent to read is just sickening. By all means, let's prevent the kids from learning to think for themselves. That way they'll be better drones when they grow up. Any child of mine won't have to rely on libraries; he'll have Emerson, Huxley, Steinbeck, Orwell, etc. to read whenever he wants. Limiting access to knowledge was NEVER what Libraries were supposed to do; their job has always been to make information widely and freely available. It's a travesty to change that.

I'm going to advise my mom to start reporting parents for negligence when they leave their kids in her library. She did not go to school for years to get her MLS just to baby-sit their brats.


"Intolerant people should be shot." - the best one-sentence troll I have ever seen.

[ Parent ]
Eventually most people will wake up... (4.00 / 2) (#44)
by DranoK on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 07:53:33 PM EST

well, many at least. OK, some. A few? *snicker*

I don't give a flying fuck what people believe, but when it comes to censoring *IDEAS* (let's not get into porno here please that's a separate issue) my skin starts to crawl.

Brave new world required parental permission to read when I was in HS, because it addresses such controversial issues. Same with Stranger in a Strange Land.

But why censor ideas? Do pro-censorship folks who want to ban books like Brave New World have so little faith in their beliefs? Do they think that simply by reading a book which talks about controversial issues their son or daughter, or their friends and family, their coworkers, etc, will lose their way?

I can walk into almost anything, read anything, listen to anything, and at least understand enough to 'see the other view'. Or even if not, I never walk in somewhere thinking, "Oh god I'd better not listen to this or I might become Chrisitian!" or "No, I won't read this. It'll turn me Republican". I mean what the hell? How is reading a controversial book going to poison anyone? Or your kids? Better ban "A modest proposal" because someone might take it seriously. *snicker*

Not to mention that humans, especially children, have an inate passion to explore the forbidden. It's called experimentation. You ban a book, he/she's gonna want to read it. You ban a movie, the same thing happens.

If pro-censorship advocates really wanted to be efective with book banning, they'd do exactly what I do when someone tries preaching to me about the evil sins of my way: smile an evil smile and *DO NOTHING*. Some people work so hard to entice a response from you, if you simply refuse to give it they may go insane =)

In short, these people freak me out. They have so little faith in their own morals that they refuse to let any other viewpoint get out, and they don't even go about trying to censor books right.

These are the things I think about when I'm stoned. Oh the endless laughter =)


Poetry is simply a convenient excuse for incoherence

Brave New World? (none / 0) (#48)
by scruffyMark on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 01:04:18 AM EST

Wow, that is pretty funny! I'd have thought you'd have to look pretty hard to find anything to object to there. But I guess that shows you what I know.

I suppose 1984 was OK though, because it criticized the standard Western caricature of socialism...

re your sig - there was a girl in my graduating class in highschool who wore shirts with slogans like "Nobody knows I'm a dyke" and "I fucked Marcia Brady" all the time, and had big red triangles posted on her locker, and gay pride slogans on her binders, and... She came to grad with her girlfriend, and shocked half the grads there. It wasn't that most of them were particularly homophobic - they just had no idea she was gay. I guess you're right - most people are asleep even when they look awake...

[ Parent ]

Give me back my family! (4.80 / 5) (#46)
by Perianwyr on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 06:07:22 AM EST

I cringe every time I hear the word "family" used in relation to any sort of activism, because it always prefaces the worst sort of Religious Reich foolishness.

A family is a group of people who live together, and share a personal bond that makes them help one another and support each other in times of need.

It is not always a Mommy, a Daddy, and 2.5 children who are "ON FIRE FOR JESUS!!!"

What should be one of the most unifying terms in a human language has instead, in America, become a terrible, divisive term, symbolic of overprotection and intolerance.

I want my family back! (Oh, and while we're at it, I want the rainbow back from the gay movement, too.)

the family friendly library | 48 comments (46 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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