Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Old people are weak and need to be protected from books on sexuality

That's the example being set here in the town of West Bend in Wisconsin. A local bunch of old Christian codgers are seriously offended and distraught that the local library holds books that – *gasp!* – contain sexual education material, aimed at teenagers! Of course teenagers will never know or care about sex until or unless vile sexualized tomes call out to them and forever pervert their innocent little minds, so the Christian geezers are really actually helping to protect our youth! ... Or something.

They're actually focusing their efforts on one book in particular, Francesca Lia Block's Baby Be-Bop, a novel that dares to speak positively about young gay men – and to speak out about the evils of homophobia and gay-bashing. How improper and wrong!

They're actually suing the library, claiming the book is offensive whilst being readily available. The library has so far refused to remove it from its shelves. Well, there's one library that hopefully won't "Harry-Potter-book-banishing" on our asses.

The Milwaukee branch of the Christian Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) has filed a legal claim that says a book that is available in the West Bend Community Memorial Library is offensive.

Robert C. Braun of West Allis, Joseph Kogelmann of Milwaukee, Robert Brough of West Bend and the Rev. Cleveland Eden of Milwaukee, representing the Milwaukeebased group, filed the claim with the city of West Bend clerk's office.

Named in the claim are the city of West Bend, Mayor Kristine Deiss, the West Bend Library Board and Library Director Michael Tyree. The group is seeking $30,000 per plaintiff, Deiss’ resignation and a racist book be removed and publicly burned or destroyed as a deterrent to repeating the offensive conduct, the claim states.

Pursuant to section 893.80 of the Wisconsin state statutes, the claim says the Library is engaged in having books on display that the plaintiffs consider to be obscene or racial in content and promote violence. The plaintiffs question why a taxpayer funded library makes literature available that has damaged the plaintiffs, the claim states.

The book in question is “Baby Be-Bop,” by Francesca Lia Block, and should be removed from the Library, which is in the vicinity of a school, the claim states. It describes the book as being “explicitly vulgar, racial (sic) and anti-Christian.”

The plaintiffs, all of whom are elderly, say their mental and emotional well-being were damaged by the book at the Library, the claim states.

So they were "damaged", both mentally and in their well-being? Yes, that's quite the common phenomena – books that condone homosexuality emitting such powerful gay-rays that they imbibe the entire town and seriously damage the already severely wrinkled brains of the Christian uber-nutters who reside there. Hell, happens all the time.

(And why is it that whenever I see a group who's name or title contains both the words "Christian" and "Liberties", I have to try hard not to crack up? Is there possibly a deep-seated sense of irony about it?)

The old prudes have created a blog about their indignation, "Wisconsin Speaks Up", which details the events that go on as they try and ban any books that don't appeal to their Medieval-era Christian beliefs and values. It also demonstrates that they're not just against gay books, but are actually against just about anything remotely sexual, such as sex-ed books with illustrations for kids, novels about high-schoolers' experiences with sex and drugs (but no rock n'roll), and books about female sexuality. It's really quite pathetic.

Hell, as if that wasn't enough already for their crankery urges – now they're suing for the right to burn books! (Newsflash, geezers: you can just stoke your fireplace if you wanna burn something. Just don't get too close, though – you might go up as well, dry like you are.)

Really, they can burn all the books they wish, and I couldn't care less. Just don't try and burn others' books, or especially, mine – or else I might just have to throw you in a furnace myself.


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