Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dropping the Ball......again

We live in a very small town.  Our previous town was about 12 times larger than where we live now.  When we lived in the larger town, our family had close relationships with many librarians.  The children joined book clubs, story time, took computer classes, etc.  All of their library activities were ran by library staff and I didn't attend with my child.

The programs were wonderful and obviously the staff had spent much thought and work preparing for each event.  After picking up the children, I would learn about what they were reading or what movie was watched or see the various crafts that the children had created. 

When we moved to our current village, we checked out the library.  It's small and the staff is adequate.  We have had a hard time getting used to the short check out period and the fact that every card at the same address is connected.  If my 8 year old owes 20 cents on her card, the 25 year old isn't allowed to check out materials until the fine is paid. 

I don't use the local library much because of those factors.  The adult section is very small and doesn't have much to offer me as a reader.  My school-aged children have participated in a couple of programs at the library and my 14 and 16 year old children joined the teen book club.  The club meets each week and discuss the chosen selection.  After completing the book, the group watches the movie based on the book. 

The first book that the club read was Hunger Games.  Now what I would consider great literature, but appropriate for the age group.  The next few books were similarly appropriate.  Life got busy and I stopped asking as many questions about the group.  The book that the group just finished was The Perks of Being A Wall Flower.  One day, a friend of my children's recommended that I watch the movie.  My older son (not part of the book club) stated that I wouldn't like the movie.  So I looked it up on the internet.  Not something that I would recommend for my 14 year old to read or watch with out some conversation.  Supposedly, the teen book club leader received a "nasty email" about the book selection from one of the homeschooled book club members.

Last week at book club, my 14 year old came home with the new selection.  I looked up the book on Wikipedia for a synopsis.  It's a book that glamorizes a teen realizing he is gay and how wonderful it is that he had accepted this part of who he is as a person.  I asked who picks out the books and learned that the group makes suggestions, but the 20 year old library staff member has over-ridden their choice.  There are 5-7 teens in this group.

I don't have a problem with my children reading about tough subjects or about different perspectives.  It's important for children to ask questions and learn to think about issues for themselves.  My preference is for them to discern what is good and what is sinful.  Homosexuality is sinful.  So is premarital sex.  So is gossiping about my neighbor or stealing.  I'm tired of all the promotion for sinful life styles on television and in books.   As human beings, no one deserves to be bullied, physically hurt, or treated poorly.  I am a sinner and as guilty of sin as everyone else.  I don't have the right to tell someone else how to live in our society.  On the flip side, my children shouldn't have to be constantly told that a sinful lifestyle is appropriate.  That they should rejoice when someone makes the choice to live contrary to what God demands.  I don't want my children to rejoice about sin.  I want them to repent and receive forgiveness. 

My teens will be missing out on book club for this round.  And the next time a book is selected, I'll be checking to see what it is that the group is reading to determine if it is worthy of my children's time. 

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