I was dismayed this morning to read about St. John’s store Downhome Shoppe and Gallery’s decision to ban Littleseal a children's book by a St. John's author Morgan Pumphrey because it has an anti-sealing message. Banning books is patriarchal, oppressive; it is the foundation of intolerance. It pains me to see people on the Rock take this backward approach. It remind me of how the Church handled The DaVinci Code - slagging it because it did not represent their version of historical events. Their loud protestations fueled the publicity machine; the controversy it created propelled the book into the stratosphere of billion dollar book sales. How many more people read the book because of the controversy? The best way the Christian churches could have handled it was to say “What a creative work of fiction! Well done!” and then used the book as a springboard to talk about their version of historical events as they see fit. If the intent was to stop Littleseal from reaching public hands, this move was the very definition of counter productive. Realistically how many people would have ever heard of this book, never mind buy it, before this hit the papers?
When asked about their decision the president of Downhome Inc., Grant Young, replied: "We're pro-sealing and this is an anti-sealing book. Maybe some people could call it censorship, but we call it standing by our beliefs..."
I call that pretty slippery.