The Shocking World of Librarianism

Dear Laurie Higgins, cultural analyst at the Illinois Family Institute,

I have just read your article about the scandal of some librarians in the US choosing not to stock books that present heterosexuality as the only correct way of living, and I felt I simply had to write to you to say how incredible your writing is.

You begin the piece with a paragraph denouncing the “self-righteous, dissembling” librarians who are fomenting “hysteria” through their “annual dishonest Banned Books Week campaign”, and you go on to drill down into the main issue; which is that “parents who…don’t want their six year olds seeing books about children or anthropomorphized animals being raised by parents in homoerotic relationships” are being ridiculed for holding this view.

[I must say before I go on how refreshing it is, finally, to see someone call out those seemingly mild-mannered, quiet, studious librarians for the “hysteria-fomenting” criminal masterminds they really are! I’ve always known that a special kind of evil lurks behind those horn-rimmed spectacles and the sinister ‘shushes’, but no-one has ever dared to put it into print before. Possibly because they fear that the deadly librarians would silence them instantly by slapping a ban on them. Or by melting them with their laser eyes.]

Anyway, back to the article. I don’t have time here to pick out every part of it but I thought you might appreciate it if I highlighted a few of your incredible points. They are as follows:

1. Some libraries are refusing to stock books that present heterosexuality as the ONLY NORMAL way of living and are daring to stock children’s books that portray homosexual relationships as OK. That’s NOT FAIR because good Christians DON’T LIKE homosexuality and don’t think that books presenting it as normal should be in libraries. And they should get their way. Because they’re Christians.

2. See point number 1.

3. Ditto.

4. Er…that’s pretty much it.

Does that sum it up succinctly? I do hope so. I really want to do justice to your argument. I know there’s a lot more detail in your article than I’ve managed to mention in the above points but we’re all prone to waffling so I cut a lot of yours out.

To conclude your article, you mention the plot lines of several fascinating books that you think librarians who claim to be opposed to book banning should also be stocking on their shelves, in the interests of fairness (and in the interests of hardline Christians, who are always right).

The books you mention include:

– Young adult books about “teens who feel sadness and resentment about being intentionally deprived of a mother or father and who seek to find their missing biological parents”.

– “Dark, angsty novels about teens who are damaged by the promiscuity of their ‘gay’ fathers who hold sexual monogamy in disdain”.

– Novels about teens who suffer “because of the harrowing fights and serial ‘marriages’ of their lesbian mothers”.

– “Picture books that show the joy a little birdie experiences when after the West Nile virus deaths of her two daddies, she’s finally adopted by a daddy and mommy”.

– Books that show the horrible slide into drugs and depression of a little girl who foolishly chooses to pursue a career instead of becoming a devoted housewife and learning how to put her husband first in everything.

– Graphic novels about the joy a little boy feels on seeing his daddy punch a black child in the face as she attempts to enter a formerly whites-only school and how he learns that spitting at black people and providing them with inferior, segregated facilities is good Christian practice.

[Oh wait, I may have gotten a bit confused with the last two. They’re not plot lines you mentioned. They’re ones I’ve created to put in an ironic letter I’m writing to an ignorant homophobe. Not sure how they slipped in here]

The crux of your concluding argument is, of course, that the “ideological ‘progressives'” (i.e. evil librarians) will not be asking for books about how bad homosexuality is to appear on their shelves. Truly shocking. What next? Librarians supporting restricted access to other books that glorify inequality and the degradation of one group of people for who they are?! Children not being allowed to read Mein Kampf or A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality in third grade? What is the world coming to? Without books in libraries explaining how horrible homosexuality is, how else will young children in America learn about the awful dangers of acceptance, tolerance and loving people for who they are – except in church?

Your article is very timely. The American Library Association’s Banned Books Week begins on 21st September and those pesky librarians are organised and on the move! And they’re daring to say that it is OK to have books that are positive about homosexuality available for children. You, Laurie Higgins, are a passionate woman and I can tell that you want to do something about this outrage, and do it you must. Libraries have already managed to slip pro-racial harmony, pro-female equality and pro-disability books onto the shelves over the last 30 years. If you’re not careful, pro-homosexuality books could be joining them, and Christian children could find themselves growing up as rounded, caring individuals who love people regardless of the colour of their skin, their sex, their bodily abilities and their sexual orientation. And what could be more terrible for a God-fearing, hardline Christian such as yourself than that? I hope I have highlighted the dangers for you, Laurie, and given you a renewed passion to act. Go on, do it, write another article telling librarians how naughty they are. Or something.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my letter and my comments of sincere support for your work.

Yours bookishly,

R

P.S. I’m thinking of putting some of my previous letters into a book. Take a look at some of them. I think they’re quite apt for you and you’d really like them, especially Maybe She’s Not a Homophobe and Homophobia or gayism? It’s all a question of fear.

P. P.S. The image of librarians as quiet and studious, wearing horn-rimmed spectacles and shushing people is a stereotype, and I do not believe that all librarians dress and act in this way. Although I do think many of them have deadly laser eyes.