April 27, 2007
Satan stalks the shelves
In today’s internet age, books are almost a forgotten commod-
ity in public libraries, but if you look hard enough you can still find some gems. For example, two teenage boys in Bentonville, Arkansas unearthed a hefty tome entitled “The Whole Lesbian Sex Book” while “brow-
sing for material on military academies” — or so they told their father. Although the sex guide by Felice Newman has been “deemed suitable for all public libraries, according to the Library Journal,” the dad, Earl Adams, was so perturbed by its contents that he is suing Ben-
tonville for $20,000.
According to Adams, his two sons, ages 14 and 16, were “greatly disturbed” by their discovery and apparently underwent “many sleepless nights” as a result. In a letter faxed to Mayor Bob McCaslin, Adams himself wrote that the book pushes “an immoral social agenda.” He is seeking $10,000 per son — the maximum allowed under the Arkansas obscenity law — and has also demanded that the library director be fired.
According to reports, the library’s advisory board has voted to remove the book from circulation and replace it with one that is “more sensitive.” Though still seeking monetary retribution, Adams has taken credit for the removal stating, “God was speaking to my heart that day and helped me find the words that proved successful in removing this book from the shelf.” He added that “any effort to reinstate the book will be met with legal action and protests from the Christian community.”
… [I]t seems somewhat out of place for a citizen to use their religious convictions to pass judgment over the contents of a public library. Though he was within his rights to do so, obscenity by its definition is a matter of perspective, on which all faiths differ greatly. It is for that very reason we have secular standards in place to determine what is and is not okay for public consumption. After all, America is not a Christian nation anymore than it is a homosexual nation or a Hispanic nation. It is instead a diverse nation of multitudes, and our public libraries, if they are to have any relevance, must reflect that.
Those “many sleepless nights”—what exactly were his kids doing while they lay awake thinking about lesbians? I only ask.
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