If you haven't paid attention to what has been happening down south, Texas has been on a mission to ban books in schools based on all sorts of metrics. The long and short of it is any book that features plots or educational adult themes such as sex, sex education, LGBT/gay/queer topics, race and/or racial issues, critical race theory, and pretty much anything that the regulating powers see as a threat to traditional Christian values... but this also encompasses novel classics like The Grapes of Wrath and Fahrenheit 451... which is super ironic because it's about a dystopian authoritative government that bans and burns books.

Texas is a hot mess and it seems it's a trend that's going to burn north into Oklahoma.

As every news outlet has identically described as a "last-minute" move, there was a controversial bill added to the agenda and swiftly passed in both the Oklahoma Senate & House education committees. A bill aimed at banning books about sex and sexuality in libraries and classrooms statewide.

On the face of it, I think every parent would agree, they don't want their children reading about such adult things, especially at an early age... but in that collective thought, what our state senators and representatives have failed to realize is, it is up to each parent to decide what their child can and cannot read.

I remember my oldest sister was quickly grounded when she came home jamming to The Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff's "Parents Just Don't Understand" single. Mom & dad didn't like it, so it almost immediately went in the trash. She actually didn't get grounded until she argued her way into it, but that detail doesn't sizzle.

I'm sure your parents did the same with some aspect of your broadening life in those teenage years, and as you've become a parent you probably agree, that is your prerogative and your right as the parent of your child.

I'm sure if you called up your representative and senator they'd probably smooze you over about how this is aimed at protecting the innocence of a child... but we're all adults, we can call it what it is... This is a bunch of small-time government mini-tyrants attempting to change nature because they're absolutely convinced that reading these books makes people decide to turn gay... as if it's a personal choice.

Not a single one of these elected politicians will admit that, but that's exactly what it is.

There's a funny tell-tale sign that always pops up when the government is lying about something... They always say "It's for the kids..." You and I both know, while the intentions may be for the benefit of children, it never ends that way.

Case and point... "Tax and licensing revenues from (tattoo/casino/lottery/medical marijuana) will provide more than enough money for Oklahoma education."

There's no shortage of parents that will support such measures "for the kids..." but in an ironic twist, they'll often provide almost completely uncensored internet access to their kids... which has become the new provider of primary sex education well before the age of adolescents in today's average youth.

No government in the history of the world managed to ban books and be remembered as "the good guys."

So what do you need to do? Well, whatever you feel you need to do. If you want to contact your reps, do so. If you support banning books, I suppose you should do the same. You see, even if we disagree on something like this, we can still offer each other courteous respect and dignity... or at least that's how the story I read ended in a controversial book I once read.

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