What are your thoughts on censorship?

Now, THERE’S a loaded question.  As writers, we all have opinions on this topic!

A Sherlock Holmes book was recently censored out of the 6th grade reading program in a school district in Virginia.  If you’d like to read the short article, complete with a link to a free download of the ‘offensive’ book, click here: http://bit.ly/qNHCEW

Okay, that’s about that one book.  Depending on a reader’s sensitivities, political and/or religious views, nearly every book out there could be banned by someone!

So, what about the topic of censorship in general?

Should be offensive books be banned?  Who decides what’s ‘offensive’?  What are the criterion?  Who makes the final decision? 

Isn’t it true that being ‘banned’ generally guarantees better sales of the ‘offensive’ book because everyone wants to know what made it so offensive?  Do some writers incorporate that fact-of-human nature to generate more sales for their books (a publicity stunt)?

Does censorship violate the Free Speech Amendment?  Should school boards and libraries bow to parental pressure to ban books or should they stand their ground based on the Free Speech Amendment?

Have you ever read a banned book?

As a writer, have you ever written a book that was later banned?

Tell me your thoughts on censorship as a comment.  I’ll select one random commenter to win a book!

Happy Writing!


PS: Please check out my newspaper:  http://bit.ly/pa5sXJ

Posted on August 18, 2011, in censorship, contest, opinion, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. You always think up such interesting topics. And this one can be argued either way. Hate it when I have to argue against myself. So instead I think I will just check back and see what everyone else thinks.

    • Hi Phoebe, and welcome!
      It can be difficult to come up with something to write about. Some days my muse fires topics at me left and right, but other days . . . well, she’s out of town. Actually, reading newsletters (I’m signed up for LOTS, in several areas of interest, but mostly writing-related) can generate topics. There is where I found the article on the censoring of a Sherlock Holmes story. It became my topic-of-the-day.
      Have a great day.

  2. I understand that some believe censorship is important, but I don’t agree. Why should a school or organization have to censor what your child/youth reads? Isn’t that part of parenting? Being aware of what is on offer and having a frank discussion about why it could be offensive? What an awesome conversation starter to talk about the real life our children/teens will have to face soon enough.

    Some parents seem to sometimes shy away from the hard topics, and I get that is because they want their children to stay children as long as possible. They are going to be exposed to offensive material, so why not do that in a more controlled setting where discussion can be led by responsible adults?

    I also agree that when we allow others to judge for us or our families what is considered ‘offensive’ we are welcoming the loss of freedom. My thoughts. ;o)

    • Hi Owen!
      EXCELLENT comment!! The phrase from the Star Spangled Banner “. . . land of the free, and the home of the brave” popped into my head as I read your comment. In America today, we are neither free . . . nor brave. We’ve allowed ‘other people’ to determine our futures, in part by censoring what we read or watch. We need to reclaim what is ours before it’s gone!
      Thanks for your thoughts!!
      Have a great day,

  3. Hi ahgooreview,
    Thank you for including my ‘Censorship’ blog post in your Related Articles on your ‘Book Banning’ blog post.
    Have a great day,

  4. Hi ‘alatterdaybluestocking,’
    Thanks for including my post ‘Censorship’ on your blog’s ‘Related Articles’ list for your post ‘Books Should Never be Banned, EVER!’ I agree!
    Have a great day,

  1. Pingback: Books Should Never be Banned, EVER! « A Latter-day Bluestocking

  2. Pingback: Book Banning


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