Thursday, August 18, 2022

Teach children to make good choices

| June 30, 2022 1:00 AM

An open letter to Boundary County Library:

I want to support our library director, staff and board — because I am so sorry that some unreasonably fearful mother has been raising a mortal fuss, and that she wants to ban books from our county's library in order to protect her children's delusion about an innocent world that doesn’t exist.

After following these articles in the Herald recently, I noticed other articles, from another source, that may address this matter, and I wanted to share them with you.

Please see and the article entitled “Everything Will Not Be OK: You Can’t Protect Your Children from Tragedy” and other links. Plough is the publishing house of the Christian Anabaptist Bruderhof community.

I am a believer, and I have read "The Kite Runner" and have seen the film. Both were brilliant and deserving of positive attention. This story is very compelling. The theme has to do with childhood friendship growing over many years in a Middle East country under a very evil and corrupt dictator — and the separation of these friends when one's family can afford to immigrate to safety, and the other one's cannot.

And then there is this amazing desire in this young man, the one who escaped to safety and privilege, to return to very dangerous territory in order to save his friend. In this story, it’s too late for that — but he can try to save his friend's son — which requires an even more dangerous journey deeper into enemy territory.

Out of love and loyalty, this young man risks his life for another. That is a story I would want my children to hear and understand — even if it contains a description of child exploitation and rape. Because, yes Dorothy, it is an evil world out there, but good eventually triumphs — if we are willing to face the danger and act on behalf of the oppressed and defenseless.

If some super-religious parents don't understand this, I would have them turn to the Bible for guidance — where they will encounter stories of rape, incest, betrayal, death threats, murder, wars, beheadings, injustice, exploitation, trafficking, adultery, unjust imprisonment, persecution, slavery, crucifixion and worse. What's the point of all that awful stuff?

Good prevails — if we stop deluding ourselves about the nature of this world, prepare ourselves to face the danger, and with the help of the Spirit of Christ, roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty in repairing the damage caused by delusion, selfishness and violence. Of course, the place to begin is in our own minds.

See also the Gospel of John 16:33, where just prior to his death Jesus tells his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble.” This is Jesus most unpopular promise. But he continues, “But take courage. The victory is mine, for I have overcome the world.” We can join our teacher in his courage. We can teach our children to be resilient — by having open eyes and steady hearts when facing the danger.

As for banning books, September is Banned Book Month, and is an opportunity to become acquainted with some of the best literature our culture has produced. Why were these banned? Who was offended? Why? Who was in power and had control of printing presses? These are complex questions, because it is a complex world filled with fiery opinions and reckless actions.

As for directing our children and their choice in books? Teach them to make good choices while they are at home, and do so based on your most cherished and wholesome values, but please don’t teach them to hate.


Boundary County

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