Letter: Banning books

April 29, 2014 

I seem to remember footage in history class that would warm the hearts of whoever is thinking about banning books. It is of a great bonfire with people throwing what they considered "trash" into it. Curiously, I also remember raised arms with outstretched hands with funny little crosses bent at right angles upon the arms of these mindful people. Why did these people burn their books? They knew the power writing has to change and open minds. They wanted conformity, universally, and deemed these novels, essays and stories to be a danger to that goal.

A lot of people who wish to ban books in the present also raise their arms with outstretched hands, and though they wear no bent crosses upon their arms they do wear straight ones around their necks and kneel in front of them as well. They too want conformity to their values, universally. I shudder to think what knowledge might be lost were they to get their way.

I, too, wish to protect my children from filth, but not by denying the reality of the world. Let us not have theocratic minded people get their way, or our accumulation of knowledge will suffer.

JONATHAN RING, Boise

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