“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” ~ Constitution of the United States

I’m going to take a stand this morning, though it would be much easier to let the topic slide.

Twitter blew up late yesterday with tweets about boycotting Amazon.com for allowing the sale of the book, “The Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct.” Serious outrage ensued, and as I’m writing this post, is no longer for sale on Amazon.

The book’s topic is obviously a very sensitive one, and coming on the heels of Oprah’s recent show about 200 men who were sexually abused, I’m having a hard time ignoring the subject. I’m a mom of two boys, and it’s heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and disturbing to know this occurs – every day. It terrifies me to think my boys may one day be exposed to a predator. It was late last night before I got a chance to check out the book sparking the outrage, and some of the text made me sick to my stomach. Physically ill. The subject is a horrific and illegal one.

But, the call to remove this book deals with censorship. It’s a slippery slope. Objectionable material is subjective. I promise my books contain material that will offend people. My characters participate in sinful sex, and I use language not appropriate for all audiences. Freedom of Speech means being able to say what you want, though it may offend, disgust, or defend questionable acts. 

Our founding fathers thought it so important they put it first, before being able to defend our families.

Honoring the first amendment means allowing your neighbor to spout divergent opinions, and they yours. EVEN WHEN YOU DISAGREE. If we allow the censorship of this book, will the book burning begin next week? There are books on bomb building, taliban assembling, and the photo books? Wow, there’s a can of worms. 

What about Sally Mann’s books – art or pornography? Immediate Family

Family Nudes How about Ralf Mohr’s?

What about mine? 

Freedom of Speech is one of the greatest benefits of living in this country. It is a God-given right, and one few countries allow. Was the pedophile book disgusting? Without question. Did it create an opportunity to talk to my boys about their bodies and who’s allowed to touch them? Yes. Does it make me more diligent as a mom? Yes. Will I ask for the censorship of this book? I won’t.

But you know what? You don’t have to agree with me.