Friday, September 12, 2008

Palin plays Librarian?

Currently, the Republican campaign seems to consist of blowing irrelevant things out of all importance (like 'lipstickgate') while also trying to dismiss important things as 'minor flipperies' - like Sarah Palin's impractical suggestion to declare war on Russia.

One such 'non-issue' is Palin's former quest to ban certain books from the Wasilla, AK, public library.

When Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, she approached local librarian Mary Emmons on three separate occasions to ask the question: "What is your response if I ask you to remove some books from the collection of the Wasilla Public Library?"

Mary Emmons immediately answered: "The books in the collection were purchased in accordance with national standards and professional guidelines, and I would absolutely not allow you to remove any books from the collection."

As it happened, no books were removed from the library - but Mary Emmons found herself fired a few weeks later for her refusal to go along with Palin's hypothetical demands.

She was only reluctantly restored to office by Palin after the people of Wasilla protested vehemently against the popular librarian's dismissal.

Now people are asking: What books was Palin thinking about banning?

According to the Republicans, Sarah Palin never had any intention of banning books from Wasilla public library. It was a purely hypothetical question.

However, Paul Stuart, a reporter for the Frontiersman newspaper, has a different story: "Mary Emmons told me directly that Palin asked her to remove Pastor, I Am Gay from the shelves."

Pastor, I Am Gay is a book by controversial local pastor Howard Bess. He wrote it while a churchman in California, in response to what he learned dealing with gay parishioners. The book was well known in Wasilla because Bess lived in the neighbouring town.

Pastor, I Am Gay examines the misconceptions and intolerance the Christian community has for it's homosexual members and (this is where the controversy comes in) suggests that Christians should act a bit more 'Christian' towards them.

Wasilla, being a rather conservative town, was no fan of this liberal pastor's book or it's ideas. No book store in the little town would stock the book and the two copies donated to Mary Emmon's library conveniently disappeared. Bess donated a further two copies about the same time Sarah Palin started asking Mary Emmons about banning books.

The controversy here is two-fold.

First off, no Vice Presidential candidate should be going around banning books. It's not just unconstitutional - it's wrong. Censorship and book-banning is the stuff of fascist and communist regimes and a fundamentalist mindset.

Secondly, it neatly reveals that Sarah Palin isn't the fluffy 'gay friendly' candidate she claims to be ('I have gay friends,' she claimed, despite changing the Alaska constitution to limit marriage as 'between a man and a woman.') Pastor, I Am Gay was controversial in conservative Christian circles because it challenged the bigoted status quo and forced 'good Christians' to actually start looking at their own behavior and exactly how 'Christian' it was.

The 'Moral Majority' have a long history of repressing any such self examination, because what it reveals is never pretty. In trying to get Pastor, I Am Gay banned from Wasilla public library, Sarah Palin reveals just where she stands when it comes to the choice between The First Amendment and 'good, old fashioned family values.'

Of course, there is the possibility that this is just a manufactured 'non-story' like the Republicans claim. Maybe Paul Stuart is lying and Sarah Palin never intended to ban any books from the Wasilla library.

But in politics, just like in everything else, there's a a certain wisdom in remembering: 'Where there's smoke, there just might be somebody burning books.'

16 comments:

Reverse_Vampyr said...

The anti-gay bias on the right is one of my big sticking points. I really like Sarah Palin, but if she tried to get a book removed from the library just because it clashes with her religion, she was dead wrong. There's a lot of stuff I dislike, but I can't go along with government censorship.

Thanks for blogging this story, I'll definitely be digging deeper into it.

Tom said...

And maybe, this time there really is a wolf. But given how many bogus attacks there have been on Palin in the past few weeks, I'd be a little wary.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me thirty-seven times, I'm working for the media.

Coffee Bean said...

Tom made me laugh!

Anonymous said...

Here is where I part ways with my Christian experience...since I believe it is a choice and a sin to practice a homosexual lifestyle (according to what I have been taught)...then what makes homosexuality any different than adultery? Or prostitution? Or lying? Or cheating?

Banning someone from a privilege because they are "in sin" is nuts.

Homosexuals should be welcomed into a congregation with open arms...shown the love of Jesus...and accepted. Do I have to endorse their lifestyle or their sin? No.

But to chase every sinner out of church...well, we'd have empty pews.

I say let the homosexuals come in and sit next to the adulterers, the liars, the cheaters, the prostitutes...isn't that what Jesus would do?

And as far as Palin goes...well, I am just one person, but I am sick of the attacks on her faith.

Stick to the issues...I feel the same way about Barrack...stick to the substance and stop attacking the person.

Writer Seller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roland Hulme said...

Hi Anonymous! Thanks for dropping by.

I think you've got a great attitude towards gays and Christianity and I wish more people were as open to that as you are.

One point - I don't think anybody except the conservatives believe that homosexuality is 'a choice.' People are naturally born that way - hardwired. It happens in nature, it happens in humanity. If you believe in God, God made them that way (and since man was created in his own image, logic suggests there's nothing unGodly about being gay.)

ck said...

Roland, calling your bluff.

There is no proof of a 'gay gene' or being 'born gay'.

Its been looked for over and over and over again. Its not been found.

People are born male or female. Designed to mate with the other. I was not born strait, I was born male.

Roland Hulme said...

Don't need to worry about calling my bluff - I'm actually going to look into it and do a post about it.

Apparently, a lot of gay guys say they were born gay. Apparently, some lesbians say they chose to be gay.

I'm going to see if I can get to the bottom of it.

ck said...

Understand my reply to you, I don't think anybody is born gay or strait. I think (well... I'm dealing with fact here... so instead of think, lets say I KNOW) we are born male or female, designed to mate with the opposite sex.

So if a person is born gay or not, isn't even a valid argument in my book.

However for the sake of the Christians that read your blog. Does it matter? It can be argued (scientifically) that I was born with a temperament to be angry. Does that make it OK? No. The Bible calls that a sin and is something I have to choose to fight, even though I was 'born that way'.

Same thing with homosexuality. The Bible teaches it is a sin, so even if you are 'born that way', isn't a reason to make it 'OK'.

But then comes the argument, well if they were born gay... God wouldn't 'create' something sinful!... well that's why the argument of being born gay or strait is a non-starter for me anyways.

I was born male.

Plus people that think they were 'born gay' really are to stubborn to see what really could have caused their sexual orientation... even somebody like myself learns stuff all the time.
http://www.ckurl.com/lifeblog/post/2007/12/18/How-to-Really-Love-Your-Children.aspx

Roland Hulme said...

Homosexuality used to be seen as a sin because the prerogative of man was 'go forth and multiply' and that was impossible with same sex couples.

Now, the world is full to bursting with 6 billion people - approaching the limit of the planet's resources. The LAST thing we need is for people to 'go forth and multiply.'

Maybe, if you believe in God, he's helped encourage society's gradual acceptance of homosexuality as way to help people find satisfying relationships with other human beings without adding to the world's overpopulation crisis.

Hmmm. Just a thought.

ck said...

Hmmm or we could just do another genocide the likes of Hitler.

Or allow murder.

As both of them would help control population.

Roland Hulme said...

Wait... You're equating a monogomous sexual relationship between two consenting adults with GENOCIDE?

Erm... Seems a LITTLE extreme to me.

ck said...

Thats my point. Its a dumb argument either way. Not comparing the two in any other way.

Using 'human reasoning' to ignore sin, is never proper justification. Because human reasoning is why, IMO, we are just a decade or two away from 'aborting' senior citizens.

Roland Hulme said...

Wow, that's a whole other kettle of fish. Is volantary euthenasia acceptable?

What about Terry Shiavo?

I know I'd HATE to be reduced to a vegetative state and would happily okay people switching off my life support - but that's a personal choice. Terry wasn't exactly in a situation to express her opinion, was she?

ck said...

Terry Shiavo was a unique case.

In the end there, I do believe the husband should have been the one to decide what happened there.

If it were me... I'd like to be left like that for a reasonable amount of time, to many stories of people coming out of that stuff... but in the end, if I didn't awake and my wife wanted/needed to move on from that part of her life... I'd hope she'd let me die. And I recommend you do what I'm in the process of doing. A will. I will express my desire, but also have a... 'this person is the ultimate decision maker' in my will. If you don't have that, as she didn't... you are leaving your fate up to judges.

Assisted suicide OK? No. Doctors are under an oath to not harm folks, and while the people may be in pain or discomfort... its not the certain 'harm' that is killing somebody.

PQG said...

.. we are born male or female, designed to mate with the opposite sex.

I'm going to get somewhat graphic here so don't let your kids read.

From the We'll Always Find A Reason Department

Three things we were designed for...

1. Hetrosexual oral sex that results in ejaculation into the mouth (or thereabouts).

2. Heterosexual anal sex that results in ejaculation into the pooper (or thereabouts)..

3. Women giving men hand jobs that result in ejaculation into the palm (or thereabouts).

Three things we were not designed for....

1. Homosexual oral sex that results in ejaculation into the mouth (or thereabouts).

2. Homosexual anal sex that results in ejaculation into the pooper (or thereabouts)..

3. Men giving men hand jobs that result in ejaculation into the palm (or thereabouts).

See you can throw God out and still have nature to back up your bigotry!