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When Is it Censorship?

When Is it Censorship?

There is a battle royale going on right now in Virginia. They just elected a number of new state officials who are shaking things up quite a bit. One of the main drivers of this surge of conservative office holders was parents upset at the hateful and immoral policies that have been being foisted on their kids at school.

One element of this was the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the schools. Many school boards, school administrators, and teachers have, it seems, bought into the belief that there is systemic racism in American society, and that it must be excised by teaching white children that they are racist – just because they are white. And teaching children of color that they are oppressed by the dominant white society just because they are children of color.

Another driver of the parents’ rebellion has to do with the radical homosexual agenda. It seems that school administrators have been putting books in the school libraries that not only promote the homosexual agenda, but many of these books are graphically illustrated with pornography and the promotion of homosexual sex. And a lot of these books are even being put in the libraries of elementary schools.

Now it is pretty obvious that the teaching of CRT is, itself, racist and divisive. It teaches that assigning privilege and promoting discrimination based on race is proper and right – as long as it privileges and discriminates against the right races. And while there is obviously a lot of anger by parents, it also seems that there is a certain amount of blowback by the school authorities against the parents, and they are trying to stymie any attempted change. Still, this is so blatantly contrary to the American ideal of equality under the law, that it is easy to understand why Virginians have risen up the way they have.

But it is not just CRT. The attempt to excise books from school libraries has created a different kind of blowback. In fact, in spite of parental demands for Fairfax Public Schools to remove offensive content, they have basically doubled down and declared that the content of the books in question do not contain pedophilia or obscene pictures. This is not true, of course, by any objective measure. But they have declared it so in any case.

Now it seems that all of the news coverage of this fight is focused on what is going on in Virginia. But this is not just a matter that is confined to the Fairfax school system. In fact, I have seen numerous posts on social media recently that excoriates those who want to censor books from school libraries. They demand that these attempts at censorship be quashed. But the indignation of these people rings rather hollow on a couple of different fronts.

First, they are very selective when it comes to what can and cannot be censored. There are no shortage of demands for censorship (and actual cases of such) when opinions are expressed that promote traditional values, or beliefs that go against the relativistic values of those on the politically liberal side – whether it has to do with politics, medicine, or views about race. Somehow, it is not okay to promote traditional marriage and sexual morality, but it is proper and right to promote homosexual marriage and immoral sexual values. It is okay to push for mandatory masking and vaccinations, but it is not permissible to demand that actual scientific facts about those things be debated. Indeed, the censorship only goes one direction.

But back to the censorship of books: There is another matter that also comes into play as regards what should go into school libraries. There is such a thing as age appropriateness. Young children have not yet come to a place where they understand the implications of graphic sexuality, and they don’t know how to mentally process sexually explicit material. It is bad enough that school administrators want to expose the kids to these things in the first place. But even worse than that, they want to do it at a point when children don’t know how to process such information. This will be the root of many psychological, emotional, spiritual, and behavioral problems for these children for years to come.

Personally, I don’t have a whole lot of tolerance for the promotion of racism or sexual immorality of any type – at any time. But that’s just me. When people become adults, they have to make their own choices about these things, and deal with the emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences for themselves. But leave the children alone.

God has given us, as human beings, a responsibility to be good stewards of this world. Part of that stewardship involves protecting our children. That notion reflects the beliefs of a biblical worldview. On the other side, the promotion of hatred, bigotry, and sexual immorality is not part of a biblical worldview. These things reflect increasingly prominent values in modern society, but ones that come from an entirely different worldview platform – and they are destructive. Christians need to stand up against them – not as a political statement, but as a means of living out our relationship with God in the world.

Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.

You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.

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