“Free access to information is a core American value that should be protected,” said Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “Not every book is right for each reader, but an individual’s interpretation of a book should not take away my right to select reading materials for my family or myself.”
This quote comes in an article headlining the fact that “And Tango Makes Three” was the most challenged or “banned” book last year, and I think this may highlight our argument for Banned Books Week. How does “free access to information” apply to children’s stories or any story for that matter? If parents believe a book, which the librarian believes with worth reading, should be placed in a somewhat restricted access section in order to guard young reader, do that bar anyone from access to whatever information is in it? Of course not.
But as readers of this blog have said before, the best parental guard against children reading inappropriate material is parental involvement and moral instruction. Children can understand a good bit with loving instruction. Where “And Tango Makes Three” is concerned, it may be a good idea for children to read it, ask questions about what makes a family, and receive thoughtful answers from their parents. Perhaps a book like this makes the top of the challenged list because some parents don’t want to face uncomfortable issues.
I believe we live in difficult times, and I don’t think Christians and god-fearing people will gain any ground by trying to shut out bad ideas or “information” from their libraries. We have to know the truth, love our neighbors, and speak appropriately about issues wherever we can–to speak as a humanist. To speak as a Christian, we should love our Lord with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and then know the truth, love our neighbors, and speak appropriately.