I can't abide Christian censorship. Censorship bugs me, but Christian censorship really, really bugs me.
Let me state my position. I am a Christian. I think I am fairly conservative, but then I run into people who call themselves conservative, and find that I am not so conservative as I thought. I am homeschooling mother who would fight for my kids safety, but at the same time hope that I would have the courage to let them explore things that make me uncomfortable, rather than keep them huddled away in a sterile environment. And I am a member of the Board of Trustees of the Waterville Public Library. I value our right to read what we want to read as one of the most precious rights in this country.
So when Christians begin practicing censorship, I am angry and embarrassed.
Censorship is thought control by those who believe that their way is higher and better. It is an act of arrogance and fear.
There are certainly things that I am not going to expose myself to. I rarely watch a rated R movie... that is a thresh-hold that God and I worked out for me. Not something that my pastor told to abide by (in fact, my pastor - also my husband, has an incredible knack for watching rated R movies with discernment and wisdom - and delight). There are things I won't read, and I won't look at. There are places I will not visit. But by and large I will make those decisions on my own with the Holy Spirit as my guide. There are only a few people who have permission to say 'do not read (taste, touch, look)' to me(and they know who they are).
When Christian censors start their campaigns, several things stir up in me. First of all, I believe that all truth is God's truth. I believe that excellence reflects the Creator. I believe that God is not intimidated by the irreverence of authors (artists, readers) on a journey (I guess that that means that I also believe that artists of any sort are journey-people, how else could you participate in creativity if you aren't journeying).
When Christian censors start their campaigns, I wonder what they hope to accomplish. Nobody is forcing us to read things we don't want to. If we start a book or a movie, we aren't obligated to finish. If we find ourselves being challenged, we can leave, or stay and use our minds. God has given us wonderful minds, and the Holy Spirit, to guide us, instruct us, grow us. Christian censorship isolates, insulates, and alienates us from the very people Jesus challenged us to love and reach out to.... those Samaritans and Greeks.
If we allow censorship to prosper in our Christian circles, then I am afraid of all that we will miss, and how impotent we will become. There are some amazing ideas and thoughts that evangelistic atheists have that we need to consider and be challenged by. There are scientists that are pushing our comfortable understanding of our universe being flat, that can greatly enhance our awe of how great is our Creator God.
My most recent tangle with Christian censorship involved The Golden Compass, a movie coming out in December, based on a book by Philip Pullman. I read the book. There is comment on the church, on original sin, and science attempting to explain our fallenness in the book. But it wasn't threatening at all to my faith. Nor can I see how it would be.
One thing that particularly frustrates me about Christian censorship is that people pass on the censors 'opinions' without thinking for themselves. We are so quick to pass on emails (I hate forwards... ) or anything we hear or read from Christianity Today or Focus on the Family (for instance.... and which I also hold in low regard) without doing a little research. Even if I hadn't taken the time to read the book, I could have at least looked for more information. At HisDarkMaterials.org there are three sources of rebuttal to the Snopes review of the email that is being circulated. And I could have read the book and totally agreed with Snopes, but at least then I would have done my thinking for myself.
Finally, when it comes to what me and my family read, I would much rather read excellent work by an atheist than poor to mediocre work by a Christian.
For a list of banned books and authors go to banned-books.com