Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Lackwits Try to Argue

Worldview Weekend, put out by American Family Online, sent me this little gem in my email -- not once, but six times -- it case I didn't get around to opening it the first five times, I reckon:

Recently Brandi Chambless was told by a Bartlett, Tennessee branch library staff member that she could not use a public shelf to display a Nativity scene along with an announcement about a Christmas concert at Broadmoor Baptist Church.

The shelf is open to the public for advertising upcoming community activities.

The library official told Brandi that a donkey, sheep and other farm animals, along with a Shepherd boy, could be displayed but the Wise men; Joseph, Mary and the Baby Jesus were inappropriate "religious figures" and must be removed. The library official sited a written policy that does not allow any display in the library that was religious. This policy of the Memphis-Shelby County Libraries deems "any item which promotes a particular religion or sectarian religious belief" to be unacceptable for display in the library.

If this is truly the policy of the Memphis-Shelby County Library then they need to remove every book and resource from every shelf and leave them completely and totally empty.


Because Webster's dictionary defines a religion as a collection of beliefs, therefore, every book in the Memphis Library system is promoting someone's religious belief.

We can thank the wise man that is the Mayor of Bartlett for over-ruling the Memphis-Shelby County library's ridiculous policy.

However, this incident brings to light the need for our local libraries to be influenced by the community and not the liberal American Library Association of which the Memphis libraries are members.

The American Library Association has a long history of being hostile to Christian values including suing to stop the enforcement of a federal law that would withhold federal funds from any library or school that does not filter internet pornography from children. Judith Krug, of the American Library Association, bemoaned internet filtering software for libraries saying, "blocking material leads to censorship. That goes for pornography and bestiality too. If you don't like it, don't look at it."

Well, two can play that game; if the Nativity scene at the library offends you then don't look at it.

Note that there is no huge freedom of speech crisis in Memphis -- some staff member wanted to advertise a religious service, some other staff member objected, a mayor settled the issue in an appropriate fashion. (Because this is, after all, a public space the staff member wanted to advertise in, not a state space, so it is, in fact, appropriate for her to advertise religious services there -- duh.)

So what we've got here is the American Family Online whipping up a hissy fit over nothing -- no shock there -- and attempting to demonize librarians while they're at it. How dare librarians be against censorship! Those evil librarians!

I really love this definition of religion, while we're on the subject. A collection of beliefs. Yes, right. You do realize that makes pornography and bestiality religion, American Family Online folks, don't you? And therefore, under your definition of the term, something that has to be protected by our Constitution? And given special rights and tax breaks?


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