Censorship | Teen Ink


February 8, 2010
By Chelsea Swiggett BRONZE, Avon Lake, Ohio
Chelsea Swiggett BRONZE, Avon Lake, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Censorship. By itself, it’s an ugly word. A censor (noun) means “any person who supervises the manners or morality of others.” That’s giving one person the power to say what’s right or wrong for another person.

Say the censor in question is pro-life and he or she reads a book that has an abortion in it and decides that it’s not suitable for “children”. So they take it off the shelves at their local schools or put in a complaint or make a petition asking the publisher to edit it out and make it prettier.

Say the censor in question is Christian and he or she reads a book where the main character is atheist and thinks it defies religion and isn’t suitable for “children”. So they take it off the shelves at a certain library. It could start small, at just one branch. But then parents hear about it and won’t allow their kids – whether they’re age 10 or 13 or 17 – to read it. Teachers can’t teach the subject because it’s controversial or they fear objection or yadda, yadda, yadda.

But how does one person get to decide what’s moral and right for an entire group of people? How can a library be forced to take a book off their shelves because of any certain reason, when that writing can benefit people’s lives? Who decides what’s wrong and what’s right for ME?

When you’re a teenager, you finally begin to question things. You question your religion, your friends, your opinions, and yourself. For me, when I began to question things, I headed to books. I read about hundreds of different situations and stories and then decided for myself what I believed was right and what I believed was wrong. Nobody in the entire world should decide that for you but yourself.

Censoring books, no matter the reason – sex, drugs, alcohol, abuse, rape, religion, abortion – is like putting a giant shutter over life. There are bad things in the world. It sucks. But they shouldn’t be shielded; instead, they should be learned from. Every individual’s opinions are important, and no two people are going to feel the exact same way about every single topic in the world. So why should one person, or a group of people, make the decision based on their own opinion, just so they can falter others in believing the opposite?

Censorship itself is pro-abortion. It kills minds before they’ve had the chance to grow. And I know there’s someone out there who disagrees with what I say. Good. If everybody agreed with everybody, this would be one heck of a boring world. But don’t censor me because of it.

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