Saturday, April 07, 2007

Part two: “Please don’t burn my Book!”

By Keith Fisher

A few weeks ago I started a two-part blog. Since part one only drew one comment, perhaps I need to spice it up a bit.

I was drawn into an argument at work the other night. The subject was homosexuality and whether is should be shown in an LDS novel. The comment was this:
“You mean a person can’t show real life in a book?”

Do I have your attention yet? Or are you yawning with anticipation, preparing to skip over my thoughts to laugh at the great humor of C.L. Beck? I don’t blame you, but since you’ve read this far, you might as well read on.

I was going to include quotes from JK Rowling, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and others but in the interest of shortening the subject and finishing the promised two-part blog, let me just say:

I know there will be a time when my children read other works, written by authors who for whatever reason, find it necessary to use language or describe situations that are not needed to tell the story. When they do, I hope they will be able to understand, without embracing those lifestyles but for now I will privately ban certain books in my family.

To sum up, I would never publicly ban a book. Banning only increases sales for undesirable literature and burning a book is so adversarial to me; I would be tempted to take retribution if I witnessed a book burning.

There is some bad Literature out there. There's a lot of good also. My suggestion is to leave the bad alone, and keep your standards, both in reading and writing. Try to convince other writers to write good stuff, then someday everyone will write books that we wouldn’t be afraid to let our children read.


G. Parker said...

Good blog, Keith. I feel the same way.

Keith N Fisher said...

Thanks for the validation.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Here's my comment on homosexuality in an LDS book:

1. More and more persons who are LDS are coming out and so it's becoming more common.

2. Sometimes they choose to stay LDS and other times they leave the church altogether.

3. Parents are struggling to balance their deep beliefs and their children's lifestyles.

I think this: If you write a book about a character who has come out, it is appropriate to show it from the standpoint of the caring parents who want the best for that child. It is not appropriate to show the person in their homosexual relationship or to discuss it in any way, other than to say it exists. All effort should be made to show the situation through the light of the Atonement and in adherence to gospel standards.

It's one of those issues we can't ignore. But we can handle it to the very best of our ability and to use integrity as we do it.

Will I ever write a book about it? Probably not. Would I look down on an LDS author who did? If they handled it with integrity, with the goal of educating and uplifting and not just trying to go for the shock factor, I'd be proud of them.

As far as restricting what books will go in your home, Keith, that is 100% your right and your duty. Someday, your family will grow up and go out in the world and make their own choices, but you control what comes into your house and no one can take that right away from you.