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Saturday, August 1, 2009

B&S points out "analogy fail" of West Bend pastor

Was going to blog this, but Owen beat me to it.

By the way..never said there are not good kids in West Bend. In fact, we have AWESOME kids in West Bend. We sure would like to keep it that way, wouldn't we?


Curtsy to Boots and Sabers:

A West Bend Reverend wrote a guest article to the West Bend Daily News regarding the library issue. She’s basically arguing that the books should be left alone and that kids are good. Whatever. I just wanted to point out her analogy FAIL.

West Bend would never allow a small group of people to decide which guns to pull off the shelves. Ten-year-olds can hunt with deer rifles. Books then must be very dangerous indeed.

___________________________________________________

Here is WHY the analogy fails...

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

I applaud this pastor! I was so happy to read this, especially discovering it was my pastor! awesome, just awesome! conservatives need to get a life, and drop this. you are wasting taxpayer money!

Anonymous said...

If this is a sample of how your Pastor employs annalogy. It would be interesting to see how your Pastor presents the message to the congregation or how hermanutics or exegesis is handled.

SafeLibraries said...

The entire opinion piece stinks right from the head. Third sentence: "However, in this community where individual rights and less government intervention seem to be an extremely high priority, doesn’t it seem ironic how willing people are to allow a few self-appointed sex, sexuality and homosexuality obsessed 'morality police' to make universal 'right and wrong' decisions for us all."

No one is allowing 'morality police" to "make decisions for us all." The people making the decisions for us all (except me-I'm in NJ) are the people enforcing the library policy that anything goes, despite legal means to protect children from inappropriate material. They are the self-arrogated "censorship police,"--they are not "morality police."

Further, neither is Ginny and the hundreds who support her (though the CCLU may be, but that's another story, and Ginny opposes them). Ginny is not suggesting people should or should not read certain material (she may have in the past but dropped those claims long ago when she realized the error of her ways). Rather, she is suggesting parents may have their own public library act in a manner that supports parents in their efforts to make informed decisions about what reading materials are best for their own children. It's a public library, not an American Library Association library.

Suppose, for example, there is a large collection of material inappropriate for children in the library. That's not hard to suppose--libraries are filled with such material, and rightfully so, and such material is not served on a silver platter to children, and rightfully so.

But suppose such material *is* served on a silver platter to children. Suppose the easy accessibility of such material to children effectively prevents their own parents from providing effective guidance. Suppose such inappropriate material is made available to children, not though inadvertence, but through unshakable adherence to policies of some out-of-town library association or civil rights group despite what the citizens of the community actually wish. Suppose those librarians claim that so long as a single person in the community wants children to have access to inappropriate material unfettered by even their own parents, such materials must remain fully available to children.

That is, for the sake of argument, exactly what is happening in West Bend.

Given that, someone who says that is wrong, parents need to retain the right to make informed decisions for their own children, such materials should be kept from children unless and until his parent approves, that person is *not* the "morality police."

It's amazing how the anything-goes people push inappropriate material on children despite legal means to stop it, and they change the whole framework, the whole vocabulary, to cast people trying to restore control back to the community that used to have that control as "morality police" and as "censors" and as other very unflattering things (blogslut, for example). Who gave them the right to change the language?

So when you hear about "a few self-appointed sex, sexuality and homosexuality obsessed 'morality police' [who] make universal 'right and wrong' decisions for us all," you know right away that the language has been changed to benefit the out-of-town anything-goes approach, to put you on the defensive, to make you look like the bad guy.

The reality is you have the power to apply legal means to protect your children, and you have the means to inform people exactly how those who believe in anything goes will say and do anything to hide the truth of your own power to act to do the right thing.

Don't let them do that to you. You are in the right. You have all the power you need. For example, the US Supreme Court said to the ALA in a case the ALA lost and lost big (since it cost so much and only won the ALA a slight gain):

"The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree."

Non-Censor said...

Of course, the West Bend Library does NOT have an “anything goes” policy, nor even close to it, just a policy that goes places YOU don’t approve of. And of course the library has materials that are “inappropriate” for children, but what does that hopelessly vague word mean? And if you try to pin that down, who decides? How does it help ME decide what books my child can read if YOU put a warning label on it according to your standards and your standards are not my standards? Why do pro-censorship activists continue to insist that everybody agrees with their peculiar definition of appropriateness?

SafeLibraries said...

As usual, Non-Censor attacks the person (with a capital YOU, no less) and ignores the issues.

I am not the standard, the US Supreme Court and other cases, law, and common sense are the standard. So let's rephrase Non-Censor's statement to address the real source for the legal means to protect children in public libraries.

Non-Censor, if he addressed the real authority, not the strawman, would say something like this:

"Of course, the West Bend Library does NOT have an 'anything goes' policy, nor even close to it, just a policy that goes places THE US SUPREME COURT don’t approve of. And of course the library has materials that are 'inappropriate' for children, but what does that hopelessly vague word mean? And if you try to pin that down, who decides? How does it help ME decide what books my child can read if ACTING UNDER LEGAL AUTHORITY PEOPLE put a warning label on it according to the law's standards and the law's standards are not my standards? Why do pro-censorship activists like those on the US Supreme Court continue to insist that everybody agrees with their peculiar definition of appropriateness?

"'The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree.' So what? The US Supreme Court doesn't rule me. It doesn't define inappropriate. Therefore the whole thing is stupid and should be ignored.

"For the record, I do disagree with the Supreme Court's decision in this case. I side with the District Court and the three dissenting Supreme Court Justices who found that internet filters for adults do amount to censorship. I feel that the court applied very crabbed logic to permit federal authority over local library content, with the effect of restricting free speech."

"The crabby US Supreme Court, who needs them. Our children can decide for themselves if inappropriate material is inappropriate for them."

"Our librarians are right to make inappropriate material available to children. Thank goodness we have people like them to protect children from the US Supreme Court and common sense. Thank goodness they are led by the ALA who fought the US Supreme Court on this very issue and knows the Justices are stealing the First Amendment rights of our children."

Loki Motive said...

That case was about Internet filters. What does that have to do with books?

Marjorie said...

The problem is that most of the materials that you say are inappropriate for minors are NOT inappropriate, except for narrow-minded bigots and prudes.

Marjorie said...

Also, I want to second, that the Supreme Court case is about hard-core porn on the Internet, not elementary school sex education texts.

Also, it's only about the ability of Congress to make decisions about grant money to be given to libraries. It wasn't saying it was RIGHT to do so, just that Congress had the right to do so--a majority of justices noted that the filters were a bad idea, since they block so much constitutionally protected material.

Non-Censor said...

I’m getting used to this. I address SafeLibraries’ logic and ideas, and he calls it personal attack. And then puts quotation marks around things I never wrote or said.

Safelibraries writes that the West Bend Library policy “goes places the US Supreme Court don’t approve of,” showing quite clearly that he is living in a world of fantasy. That’s not a personal attack, that’s an assessment of the information he provided. The Supreme Court has made no statements approving or disapproving of any particular library content, and policy I was addressing was his alleged policy of "anything goes."

It would help if the would-be censors like SafeLibraries and others would drop the vague hyperbole and get down to operational details so people can actually see the implications of their plan. Explain to us exactly what books will have a warning sticker put on them and why. On an ongoing basis, EXACTLY what criteria will define what gets shelved where and what books will be labeled. It is not enough to say “inappropriate,” since the word means so many different things to so many different people. How will children’s use of re-shelved and labeled books be controlled?

Marjorie said...

Yeah...I hear there's a list of 82 books, but it's not here. I would really like to see what 82 books they have already determined are verboten. Anyone have the list?

SafeLibraries said...

Loki Motive said, "That case was about Internet filters. What does that have to do with books?" You read the case, then answer your own question.

Marjorie said, "The problem is that most of the materials that you say are inappropriate for minors are NOT inappropriate, except for narrow-minded bigots and prudes." There she goes making it personal again. What I think is irrelevant. Instead, I point out what the US Supreme Court says about inappropriate material. Are the Justices of the Court "narrow-minded bigots and prudes"?

She also said, "a majority of justices noted that the filters were a bad idea." You read the case, then answer your own question.

Non-Censor said he doesn't personally attack me, then went on to personally attack me as a "would-be censor,"--obviously he's reading from the ALA playbook. The remainder of what Non-Censor said is Non-Sensical, as what I think West Bend should do is irrelevant.

The point of what I do is to balance out the Non-Sensical info from Non-Censor and the like with requests that citizens get educated for themselves and read legitimate sources of information, like US v. ALA. I provide such links. I have never seen the ALA itself do that, except as part of a general library law list.

Non-Censor said...

SafeLibraries again ignores the specific, detailed, and important question: exactly what criteria will be used to determine which books get shelved where and which books will get a warning sticker?

I think the question is fair and also is critical to understanding the proposed reshelving and labeling.

Marjorie:
A list of materials objected to by Ms. Maziarka is included in a PDF file on the library's website at:

http://www.west-bendlibrary.org/alahandout.pdf

There are duplications on those pages, and I have no way of knowing if those lists represent the present position of one or another person or group.

Parents of Gay Children said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Non-Censor said...

OK, Safelibraries, let's suppose you're completely right. Let's imagine US v. ALA says what you believe it to say, and also that the law has the "standards" in it that you allude to. What, exactly, are those standards? In which legal code are they described?

This is not a broad question, but a practical and specific one. A librarian has a book in hand and is deciding whether or not it gets a warning label and whether or not it can be shelved in the Young Adult section. What are the practical criteria the librarian is to use? And in what law code is this set of criteria specfied?

Please be specific.

SafeLibraries said...

No supposing is needed. Anyone can read the case for themselves.

As to what librarians should do, I have no idea. I'm not suggesting I do. But if no one does anything, then that effectively nullifies any US Supreme Court case, any law, any community standard, any common sense. Anything goes.

Non-Censor said...

Perfect. Thank You.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Some clarification here:

1. We did not ask for books to be banned from the "library" per se; we asked for removal of the books (ban was a poor choice of words on my part in the beginning, but I have readily admitted that) from the youth section of the library as well as reclassification.

2. There is no list of books that we are requested for banning. In fact, the lists we gave were for examples, which we tried to share with our librarians. Key word "tried."

3. I have not told others (or their children) what they should or should not read.

4. Marjorie, I will ask that you refrain from name calling.

5. The request(s) for me (or others) to lay down rules, guidelines, and formats for the library concerning labels, reclassification and the like are absurd and silly. I will not respond to questions such as these. When we met with the librarians, we asked them for their professional expertise in coming up with a plan or idea that would work for them and for the community. We do not discount the educational backgrounds of our librarians and feel that, if presented with a request such as what our community is asking for, they would have the training and support system to be able to comply with those wishes.

5. NonCensor: Please refrain from name calling and/or harassing. Keep your responses on topic. Thank you.

Local MLIS student said...

Maziarka: "When we met with the librarians, we asked them for their professional expertise in coming up with a plan or idea that would work for them and for the community."

Why, then, do you seemingly get so enraged that the local librarians, who haven't dealt with these kinds of demands before, contact their professional organization, the ALA, for help?

Maziarka: "We do not discount the educational backgrounds of our librarians"

Why, then, do you disparage the UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies, where a number of the WB librarians received their training. For example, you've connected the presence of the BookSlut link with the UW-M School for some reason, and haven't provided an explanation despite my multiple requests.

SafeLibraries said...

Non-Censor said, "Perfect. Thank You." Non-Censor, this is not a game. The safety of children are at stake. As to what librarians should do, I have no idea, but that is limited to the four corners of your hypothetical.

Loki Motive said...

SafeLibraries: "Loki Motive said, 'That case was about Internet filters. What does that have to do with books?' You read the case, then answer your own question."

Okay. I read it.

The court case repeatedly makes distinctions between "traditional" collection development and Internet access, supporting its decision on the basis that librarians "cannot possibly segregate, item by item, all the Internet material that is appropriate for inclusion from all that is not."

It seems clear to me that the only thing being considered in that case was the Constitutionality of Internet filters.

The oft quoted "The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree," in my opinion, quite specifically regards the hardcore pornography and other obscene material that is available on the Internet.

Are you assuming that the material present in some of the Young Adult books at West Bend is the type of material that CIPA was designed to protect children from? That seems a bit of a stretch, but it hardly matters considering, again, the case is quite specifically about Internet filters.

So, regarding your reply requesting that I read the case then answer my own question, I suppose the answer to, "What does that have to do with books?" is quite simply, "Nothing." I assume that's not why you linked to the case and have brought it up in this discussion, however.

It's entirely possible that I've completely missed the point. Such a thing is not unusual. I'm not a lawyer and such language tends to make my eyes gloss over. Nevertheless, I really can't see the relevance.

So, let me restate my question: "What, in your opinion, do the findings in the aforementioned case have to do with limiting minors' access to physical material that cannot be blocked by Internet filters."

Marjorie said...

Wow. That is the list of someone who really hates gay people. I didn't know how bad it was--there's a book about Torah teachings on homosexuality on that list!! What an incredibly dishonest discussion all of this is. Why won't you admit it's not about sexually explicit material, and it's about the fact that you hate gays? You hate for them to even be characters in books?

Would you put your little sticker E.M Forster's Maurice? On Oscar Wilde's poetry? On everything from ancient Greece? You want to talk abstract, I prefer specific--which books, and who makes the decision?

From the titles, it even looks like some of them are ex-gay titles.

Also, Dan, you keep talking about the Supreme Court case--I don't think it means what you think it means. I didn't see anywhere in the decision where it said 'oh yes, and Congress can make laws to keep kids away from queer stuff.'

I don't think any of these books would meet the generally excepted 'harmful to minors' standard.

Anonymous said...

Marjorie, are you from the West Bend area?

Paige said...

Loki--

Why don't you just give the power back to the community and let the parents reconsent?

astudent said...

Anon, does it matter? SafeLibraries is not from west bend, but he seems to know a whole lot about our community standards...

Marjorie said...

Nope, I am not from West Bend. I am from the Internet, where this blog resides.

Anonymous said...

Loki- Read back I explained it before.

Just curious. There are a number of people not be from WB the comment.

The libraries policy was to "uphold community standards". However, everyone seems to be in disagreement on what exactly that is. In order for the library to "uphold community standards" we, as a community need to figure that out.

Loki Motive said...

Considering you and a number of other people post anonymously, and considering there are well over 400 posts on this blog and quite a bit more comments, it would really be helpful if you could at least link to the blog post where you explained this.

astudent said...

But haven't we realized that the generalizing the moral beliefs of almost 30,000 coming from various religious, ethnic and sexual backgrounds is an absurd notion?

Paige said...

"But haven't we realized that the generalizing the moral beliefs of almost 30,000 coming from various religious, ethnic and sexual backgrounds is an absurd notion?"

Of course not, astudent. Only the people with the *right* religious, ethnic, and sexual backgrounds can determine the "community standards." Haven't you been keeping up with this blog? Ginny speaks for the majority.

Anonymous said...

Marj- Paige -Loki -Nonsense- or anyone else. You all seem to back the books that are in question. Would you read these books out loud to a group of children in a park?

Loki Motive said...

Probably not, but I wouldn't read The Odyssey in the original Greek to a group of children in a park, either. Yet I still "back" it.

Paige said...

Firstly, these books are intended for individuals that are old enough to read to themselves. Secondly, because they deal with personal topics I would rather the reader discovered the book's content by him or herself. Finally, as Loki said, there are a number of books that I wouldn't read aloud to a group of kids but I have no problem with.

Anonymous said...

So you would not read them because they are too personal? What exactly makes them personal?

Paige said...

The "personal" aspects are those dealing with things like homosexuality, teenage sex, etc. I would not have a problem with my children reading these books themselves, but I feel that me reading it to them would give the situation a feeling of uncomfortableness--much like watching a steamy scene in a movie with one's parents in the same room. I'm 26 and I still get embarrassed by that even though my parents don't do or say anything to make me feel that way. I would definitely be open to questions from my child after he/she read the books themselves; I just don't feel that reading the book aloud TO him/her would be the best way for my child to experience it.

SafeLibraries said...

Marjorie said, "Also, Dan, you keep talking about the Supreme Court case--I don't think it means what you think it means. I didn't see anywhere in the decision where it said 'oh yes, and Congress can make laws to keep kids away from queer stuff.'"

Marjorie, did making false, personal smears about me make you feel good? Did it advance the issues any? Are you happy you planted in people minds that I oppose "queer stuff"? I absolutely do not. Indeed I have even supported Fireside Books and Gifts in West Bend, WI. You have no clue what you are talking about, yet you make defamatory statements about me, in my opinion.

What you have done is the dirtiest of dirty smears. You have falsely labeled me. You may have committed libel. Should I ever call you libelous in the future, it'll be because of this statement of yours. If any harm comes to me due to what I believe to be libel, I may have grounds to sue you. Your comment will be the evidence.

Libel is not a joke, Marjorie.

Anonymous said...

Ginny - Some here use the ol' saying...do I say not as I do.

We don't know if Ginny speaks for the majority...she may. However, if the library has their way we will never find out.

They don't want to let the community decide because Washington County is the most conservative county in Wisconsin.

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

So, Marjorie said, "Also, Dan, you keep talking about the Supreme Court case--I don't think it means what you think it means. I didn't see anywhere in the decision where it said 'oh yes, and Congress can make laws to keep kids away from queer stuff.'"

And Dan considers this a "false, personal smear".

Huh?

Dan, can you please explain how Marjorie stating that she doesn't comprehend your interpretation of a ruling rises to the level of libel? Those are some harsh words you just tossed at her.

SafeLibraries said...

Her words speak for themselves, as do mine.

Your interpretation of her words, "she doesn't comprehend your interpretation of a ruling," are merely your interpretation. Your misunderstanding of mine, "Huh?," is your misunderstanding.

Why don't you ask *her* to explain?

You are worried I "tossed harsh words at her," yet you do not seem concerned with her, in my opinion, libelous remarks. I guess this is another "attack the messenger" moment in its incipient phase.

Marjorie said...

Dan, you need a bit of a thicker skin. You dissolve into righteous indignation at the smallest slight. Threatening commenters on the Internet with lawsuits because they hurt your feelings is patently ridiculous.

And no, I didn't engage in libel. Before becoming a librarian, I was a reporter, and am well-acquainted with libel laws.

When you come out in support of someone like Ginny who engages in a jihad against books that mention homosexuality, don't get surprised when people infer that you are uncomfortable with gay people.

Marjorie said...

I would read the books in question out loud to children in a public park. The topic of sex doesn't make me uncomfortable, which is why my three-and-a-half year old already has a pretty good idea about what sex is and how it works.

I don't understand how people can get so squirmy about such simple, basic stuff. But of course, I spent my summers on a farm as a kid, and you get a little less weird about the facts of life when you watch them play out in front of you day to day...

Anonymous said...

Marjorie- If someone were to read these books out loud to children in a park, they'd be hauled away in cuffs, name splattered all over the evening news and name dragged through the mud.

Loki Motive said...

I still don't see what that has to do with anything. As stated before, a book not being designed to be read aloud in a public place, for children or otherwise, does not negate the appropriateness of its presence in a library.

Anonymous said...

It means that if it's too obscene to read out loud, it's too obscene for someone who is 11.

Paige said...

And we're back to arguing in circles. Thanks, Anonymous, knew I could count on you!

Let's just throw in a plea to "reconsent," while we're at it.

Loki Motive said...

That's not what it means. It means that it's inappropriate to read it aloud to children in a public park. At least that's what it means to me and you're not really providing any insight into your contrary position.

Speaking of which, did you find, assuming you're the same person, your interpretation of US v ALA?

Anonymous said...

Not the same person.

To me, it means that parents would call the cops because someone is reading obscene materials.

We always argue in circles...it's just our thing. We will not agree, that's the way it goes.

WestBend451 said...

They can call the cops all they want, but the books don't meet the legal definition of obscenity, so no one is getting "hauled away in cuffs"

SafeLibraries said...

WestBend451, I like your name.

Loki Motive said...

That's possible, but you seem to be ignoring my point that that has nothing to do with the appropriateness of the material. Would you read the Yajurveda to a group of Western children in a park? Does that negate the value of the sacred text? What about Leviticus 12-13 without the context of a new covenant? What about the Song of Songs without an allegorical interpretation?

The questions are irrelevant. Perhaps we could stop arguing in circles if we actually listened to each other, which is not to say that I'm innocent of uncritical readings and responses sometimes, but to dismiss the possibility of mutual understanding is unreasonably pessimistic.

Anonymous said...

WB451 - Let me know when you reading is. I like to witness it to see what happens to you.

Anonymous said...

If I read "Leviticus 12-13" someone would call me in. No doubt.

Anonymous said...

The problem is when you use the Bible as your example.... See, the Bible is read with a parent or an adult to answer questions and explain things. It is very complicated to a young child...just like the books in question.

This is all we want for the books that are in question. Make it so these books are read with an adult/parent, not alone.

Nathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loki Motive said...

That's the whole point of using it as an example!

Would you put The Bible in the restricted area to force people to read it with an appropriate guide?

Of course, part of the problem is that I disagree with you on the importance of reading these books with a child. At a certain point children need to learn how to process information for themselves. Readers of books in the Young Adult section should not need to have books read to them anymore. Parents should be there for clarification afterward if necessary. If they're not, then all the more reason for children to have access to all the information they can. If they're not going to get clarification from their parents then they need to find it for themselves somewhere else. Fostering that curiosity and independent investigation is what open access is all about.

Does that make sense?

WestBend451 said...

Anon: "See, the Bible is read with a parent or an adult to answer questions and explain things. It is very complicated to a young child...just like the books in question. ...This is all we want for the books that are in question. Make it so these books are read with an adult/parent, not alone"

A-ha! Now we're getting somewhere. So, it seems you want any book that is "complicated to a young child" to be sequestered so that they can only be read with an adult/parent. Fine. Then, just as you say, we better move the Bibles out of the YA section and label them as well.

That is precisely what you are saying.

Paige said...

"This is all we want for the books that are in question. Make it so these books are read with an adult/parent, not alone."

No, I thought all you wanted was for the parent to know what his or her child was able to check out. Where did "read these books with your children" come into the equation?

Paige said...

"It is very complicated to a young child...just like the books in question."

And, again, many of the books in question are not intended for young children.

Anonymous said...

If there not intended for young children then why are they in the YA Zone, geared for children 11-17?

Paige said...

*sigh*

Your First Grade Grammar Teacher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I guess we can agree to disagree.

Mandy said...

11-17 year olds are not young children.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Mandy,

LOLOLOL!!!