Let Free Speech Decide Issues

By and

Editor:

The Oct. 7 letter to the editor, “Censorship Not All That Bad” uses an example that contradicts the actuality of the situation and the arguments that call for removing material from public schools that few, if any, would consider inappropriate.

Jonathan Richardson tries to show how objectionable material can be forced on a person when it is unwarranted and undesired. He talks about the availability of objectionable material in schools and the need for censoring the “free speech” lobby.

However, the existence of a book on the shelf does not mean that the casual browser must stop, read, then believe all the material in that book. The assertion is that all books that contain sex, vulgarity or religion should be edited or removed from public schools.

But to remove all such books from the shelf would mean to remove most of the classics in literature. If you don’t agree with the material in the book, don’t pick it up and read it. Why does it need to be pulled from the shelf if some people don’t like what it says?

Furthermore, to understand and fully appreciate English literature, one must be familiar with the culture and symbols used therein?this being Christianity. In my public school experience, I have also read literature that uses Jewish culture and symbols to convey its message.

In my private reading, I have read books that are based on Buddhist culture and symbols. Simply studying those things does not force a person to believe a certain way.

Especially in some parts of Utah where the racial, cultural, religious and economic diversity is almost zero, study of other races, cultures and religions should be encouraged. Any one person is entitled to be as closed-minded as they want but they should also respect the desire of others to be as open-minded as they want.

Bill Rounds

Junior, Business