Flexing your freedom

Censorship…it’s a tricky topic. And yet, every day our freedoms are infringed upon due to someone determining what it is we have the right to know. So how do we find the fine line and tread somewhere between our freedoms allowed by the Constitution and mass chaos?

Some deep thoughts for a fall day, isn’t it?

Yet, these are the issues troubling my mind today.

It started off as a blog post by a dear friend of mine. She was checking into what her son was reading for his sixth grade requirements. He wasn’t answering her questions as thoroughly as she would have liked, so once he went to bed, she read the book he was reading.

She was shocked, to say the least.

The book was about a teenager giving birth to a child, abandoning it by a river bank, and the physical changes and complications that arose from the situation. And it was labeled as a sixth-grade-level book.

My friend had trouble sleeping that night. She knew that her son was confused by what he was reading, but since he was on a deadline to finish the necessary points for the quarter, she allowed him to finish reading the book. But she did speak to the school administration about the book. It is no longer labeled as sixth-grade appropriate.

But is that censorship?

In my mind, no, it’s being a responsible parent…and looking out for others as well. The book is still available at that particular library, it’s just not available to a crowd that would not understand the touchy issues involved. And all it took was a concerned parent to actually read what their child is reading.

Reading is important, but knowing what your children are reading is even more important.

Reading is important, but knowing what your children are reading is even more important.

Some would say that we should be able to read whatever it is we want. That we should be able to have answers to all our questions and nothing should be kept from us…and to a point, I agree. But the problem arises when others start flexing their “freedoms” as well.

I have the freedom to write what I like…at least on my blog, within reason. I do not have to check my facts, I do not have to support my suppositions, I just need to write. And if someone wants to come along and accept what I have to say as fact, that’s their right as well.

Can you see where the problem can arise?

We are bombarded daily with things that people claim as “fact.” We want to know the answers to our questions, but we don’t know where to go for the right answer, and we don’t know whom to trust. And when it comes to things such as the food we eat and how I raise it, I can’t help but wish that we could censor just a bit more.

Much like a sixth-grade boy, not sure what to do with the information provided to him in a book, my friends and neighbors are being bombarded with information that can either answer questions with the truth, or spread fear and misinformation.

For example, many assume that our cattle spend the majority of their life in a feedlot. When, in reality, they spend the majority of their life on grass.

For example, many assume that our cattle spend the majority of their life in a feedlot. When, in reality, they spend the majority of their life on grass.

So, although I will defend your right to share what you wish, I will also exercise my right to share my own story. And perhaps, between the two, we can find common ground.