Home / Religion / Fahrenheit 451 2.0: Censorship In The Age Of Google

Fahrenheit 451 2.0: Censorship In The Age Of Google

As I was browsing the Huffington Post the other day, I came across a rather disturbing article regarding the New York Times bestseller “The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. It is a biography about Henrietta Lacks, the woman who unwittingly donated her immortal “HeLa” line of cells to science that have been used in research for everything from HIV to cancer.

On Amazon, the publisher describes the book as:

a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.

Jackie Sims, of Knox County, Tennessee has a much different description of her own: Pornographic. It is so disturbing to her “Christian” sensibilities, that she simply cannot allow her precious 15 year old son, or any student in Knox County,  to be exposed to such filth.

What is so offensive that she is leading a censorship effort to ban the book for the entire school district? Skloot’s fictional imagining of the moment when Henrietta first discovered her cervical cancer was just too much for her to bear:

With the door closed to her children, husband, and cousins, Henrietta slid a finger inside herself and rubbed it across her cervix until she found what she somehow knew she’d find: a hard lump, deep inside, as though someone had lodged a marble just to the left of the opening to her womb

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to those of us grounded in reality, that right wing Evangelicals live in a parallel universe tailor made for them by Fox ‘News’. Yet, somehow it always does.

Unfortunately, according to The American Library Association, Ms. Skloot’s book isn’t alone. Between 2000-2009, there were 5,009 censorship challenges reported to the office of intellectual freedom:

  • 1,577 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material;
  • 1,291 challenges due to “offensive language”;
  • 989 challenges due to materials deemed “unsuited to age group”;
  • 619 challenged due to “violence”‘ and
  • 361 challenges due to “homosexuality.”

Further, 274 materials were challenged due to “occult” or “Satanic” themes, an additional 291 were challenged due to their “religious viewpoint,” and 119 because they were “anti-family.”

Sims is truly delusional if she, or any of the other conservatives making challenges, believe that passages as innocuous as those in Ms. Skloot’s book will lead her teenage son down a path of sexual depravity. In fact, if he is like most teenage boys at that age, he will find most any book assigned in class to be boring!

Besides, gone are the days when guys my age were 15 and had to look under our older brother’s or parents mattresses to find Playboy’s for our ‘entertainment’. I can assure you, Ms. Sims, when the urge strikes, your son will not be searching biographical novels. He’ll be searching the Google.

Unless Fox ‘News’ can find a way to toss Google into a e-Bonfire, I’m afraid your silly efforts to ban literature you find objectionable will be futile.

While you wait, I suggest that you and all of the other sexually repressed ‘christian’ conservative women spend their time looking into the activities of their sexually repressed or serial pedophile ‘christian’ husbands.



About Michael Brewer

Michael Brewer earned his degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh but learned to love politics from working on local campaigns and LGBT Equality activism. He is a full time small business owner and part time Blogger. His most recent venture is The Liberal Brew - A Progressively Liberal news and opinion blog devoted to equality for all, returning sanity to our political discourse and restoring reason in America.

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