Perils of the Public Library

WARNING: DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE. "Picture this. You are a librarian who sees a ten- year-old boy not two feet from a man viewing a full screen of sexual intercourse. Or you see a young woman, who happens to walk by a porn-viewing Internet user, become visibly upset, throw down her books and run from the library. When you retrieve the books, you find they are on recovery from rape." These are the heartbreaking words of Heidi Borton, who resigned from a Seattle library because she could not stomach the library's policy of open access to Internet porn. Heidi was one librarian the American Library Association wasn't able to brainwash. The past two days, I've described how the ALA, along with radical groups, has been working to make Internet pornography freely available in libraries everywhere. They insist that everyone, minors included, has a constitutional right to Internet porn. The ALA's dirty little secret should light a fire in every community. Grassroots groups should be indignant that their tax dollars are subsidizing, not only pornography, but a left-wing agenda bent on turning our moral standards upside down. But what can you do? Well, first, find out if your local library has open access to the Internet, but you should know that the ALA trains its members to evade these kinds of questions. You may be told, for example, that the Constitution doesn't allow computer software that filters pornography. That's not true. No law has ever required a library to include smut in its collection. Librarians make judgments every day. Some libraries, as you well know, ban Christian books. And indeed, librarians have the right to screen out vulgar websites, just like they screen anything else. You might be told that filtering software is unreliable, that it can't distinguish between legitimate health information, like breast cancer, and pornography. But a study of Utah public schools that use filtering devices found only one site in a million was ever blocked in this way. Some libraries that do reject the ALA's dictates are already banning obscenity from their computers, while maintaining legitimate links to the Internet. If your library insists on an open-access policy, I suggest you organize your friends and neighbors and church and take action. Library boards are usually appointed. Some communities have successfully lobbied to get intransigent boards fired and replaced with citizens who understand the social consequences of taxpayer-financed smut. The ultimate answer, of course, is in the state legislatures. To date, only a handful of states have laws mandating that tax-financed libraries install filtering devices. When such bills are proposed, state library associations encouraged by the ALA work hard to defeat them. And too often, citizens don't get involved -- but we need to. The American Library Association, and its supporters in libraries across this country, has perverted the meaning of free speech. Too often, they block books that portray Christian values and beliefs while defending with all their might the right to view obscene and immoral material. If Christians don't stand up against such decadence, then we become willing slaves to the counter-cultural values of the American Library Association and its friends.


Chuck Colson


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