Beside the Holm Oak Tree

Why I Will Continue to Buy Books

I know this is going to sound like the latest conspiracy theory but I think relying only on electronic information has some implications that will affect you.

Everyday, you can find stories where schools or other organizations are debating whether to allow certain books.  I recently saw a school district that was going to disallow, To Kill A Mockingbird, because it was offensive to someone. This is just one of many books that are being debated. How can we learn about the past and how things were viewed from that perspective if we don’t read about it? Sometimes, being offended inspires us to act. I am horribly offended to read the details of the hatred, persecution and murder of Jews, Catholics and many other groups by the Nazis during WWII.  But, by reading about it, I can come to realize the extant of the depravity of man when unchecked.  I can recognize oppressive talk that only allows one viewpoint that led to this type of power.  

Humor me for a minute with this story.  When I update my phone or other electronic devices, I am allowing many things to be altered.  A few months back, I read where the emoji of a pistol on my phone was going to be replaced with an image that looks like a squirt gun.  I didn’t even know my phone had an emoji of a pistol.  Apparently, some people were using it along with one of the smiley faces.  It was to represent someone saying, “duh” and pointing a gun at their head indicating they had done something really dumb.  Harmless, maybe. But if you know someone who has committed suicide, it was offensive.  I agree, it was insensitive and thoughtless. I really didn’t care they removed the pistol because I had no use for it. Removing the gun isn’t going to stop insensitive or thoughtless symbols with the emojis.  People will just come up with some other combination of symbols to express their thoughts.

But, it got me thinking. I have many books on my e-reader including the Bible, Catechism, books by saints and popes and other Catholic books.  The Church is under serious attack for its centuries long teachings of Jesus Christ.  The era of modernism where everyone creates their own truth sees many of the teachings as hatred and intolerance.  

What will stop the updates to these devices from omitting words or entire passages of the Bible or other books? Maybe entire books will be deleted because some group doesn’t agree with them. How will anyone know if they are reading the Truth of Christ or an edited version from the politically correct and intolerant of Christian values policy makers? You could lose total access to many books if you only have them on an electronic device.

I remember many years ago, the sci-fi book, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  Instead of putting out fires, firemen burn books that special interest groups find offensive. Writers began to write books that were so benign that no one would be offended.  To solve the problem of which books were offensive and which were not, all books were ordered to be burned.

Doesn’t sound like sci-fi today.  It sounds prophetic.  All information is controlled and anything that may offend someone, (which is impossible not to offend someone) are banned.

So that’s why I own several printed copies of the Bible, a Catechism, and books on spirituality and prayer.  I also own some of the classics that may soon be banned or altered if on electronic media.  In fact, does anyone have a copy of Fahrenheit 451?  I want to read it again.

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