The Waltons speak up about book burning.

Don't worry, I will do a Mockingjay post, but organizing my thoughts was a lot harder than I thought. Come back on Saturday for the first of a two-part Mockingjay discussion.

In the meantime, I'd like to remind you of the Banned Book Challenge, which is still going on. Here's the invitation from the website:

Since 1990, according to the ALA Challenge Database, over ten thousand books have been challenged in our country. These include The Diary of Anne Frank, The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien,1984 by George Orwell, the Bible, and the dictionary.

The last week in September is Banned Book Week, a way to celebrate and highlight these and other censored books.
In honor of Banned Book Week, a community of writers and readers have decided to be part of the Banned Book Challenge.

 The Challenge is simple: Read one or more banned or challenged books during the month of September, and post reviews  of them. The reviews will be collected and posted to a central site so that people can find out more about these books.

If you're interested in being part of the Challenge, you can sign up HERE. 

Please join us to spread the word about these books. Thank you.

I could go on all day about what it means to limit people's access to books. But I don't have to, because an old TV show called The Waltons does it for me. This is the scene I always think of when people talk about  banning (or burning!) books.

(The book scene starts about 1 minute in.) 

Ugh, the video was taken down and I can't find a transcript of the speech he gives. But part of it can be found here. 

The appropriate or inappropriate content of books is a sensitive issue, I know that. But taking away other's freedom is a very slippery slope.

Any thoughts?


  1. Wow. What a powerful message. My family and I love to watch the Waltons at night instead of some of the other stuff on TV these days, but we haven't gotten to this episode yet. I love the messages that these shows portray though; thought provoking and powerful.

    My thoughts on this matter are pretty simple, I think. Everyone is entitled to his or her own oppinion and an author is entitled to write what he or she will.

    For example, J. K. Rowling. Now, I don't look fondly on the thought of witches in the comunity or any of that (I'm more leniant with Wizards though... :D), but I have read one or two of her books. Many churches preach that her books are pure evil, but I don't really think she intended people to read them like that. She was entitled to write what she wanted to, and just because she wrote about witches, warlocks, ghosts, and magic in a way that kids might enjoy the story, doesn't give anyone to burn or ban "her oppinion".

    I am a fantasy writer, and I love to write what I do. But I have an older friend who is completely against magic or anything to do with it. When she asked me why I write what I do, I tried to explain but it was in vain. She is set in her own oppinions and had as many contradictions to my answers as there are stars in the sky. I'm not saying she's wrong or right; she is entitled to think that way, but on the same note she doesn't have a right to tell me what I should and should not do because I am my own person and my outlook is different than hers.

    I know another man who believes that all fiction is evil because only God is right and only what is real and what God created could possibly be truth; if we are charged to seek the truth, then he believes that writing or reading anything that isn't truth is a sin. Maybe to him it is. But my outlook is that God created everything from the vast depth of his own imagination, and He made us in His image. If we are made in His image, then it stands to reason that we should have imaginations as well, and that He would expect us to use them.

    Now, all that to say that I agree with the Waltons. Phew! I'm a little long-winded today! :D

  2. This is precisely why I love you!

  3. Star- I agree with you,people are entitled to their opinion. The fantasy issue is a big gray area for a lot of people of faith. As you pointed out, there's a wide range of opinions on that.

    I try really hard to tell the truth in my stories. To be honest about how the world is, how good and evil interact, how hard it is to be human and flawed. Sometimes I do that in a fantasy context, sometimes not. I don't worry about it.

    For me, you write the story you were given and do the best you can with it. That's being a good steward of your talent. :)

  4. Lianne- Yah! I knew you'd like that. :)


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