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"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmund Burke
January 9, 1795

The Most Important Message You Will Ever Read. . . More Info
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16 And Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
- John 14:6

VOLUME 18  |  NUMBER 9| SEPTEMBER 2008 |  ONLINE EDITION   |  (636) 936-8119

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Who's Controlling County Libraries: Taxpayers or the ALA?
Commentary by Dan Kleinman

     Teen readership in public libraries has been declining for decades. Libraries have responded appropriately by engaging teens in various ways. Gaming, for example, is the latest trend. (1) But some efforts to reach out to teens have caused people to question their library’s tactics.
    When the Daniel Boone branch of the St. Louis County Library (2) was remodeled, a section of the library devoted just to teens was created.  So far, so good. But, as St. Louis County resident Laura Kostial and her eleven year old daughter found out last summer, sexually inappropriate material for children was part of the teen collection. (3)
    According to Mrs. Kostial, many of the books contained “explicit instructions on how to engage in heterosexual, homosexual, and monosexual activities.” One book, Making Sexual Decisions: A Teen Guide provides teens with advice on how to know if they are ready to become sexually active. The book instructs children as young as eleven that if they can “do the Hokey-Pokey, naked in front of your partner (not while high or drunk) and have a good time doing it, then you might be ready to have sex.” Another title, Growing Up Gay in America, provides children with step-by-step instructions for engaging in homosexual sex acts and how to surf the web for homosexual pornography among other things.
    Mrs. Kostial and other members of the St. Louis community requested that the sexually graphic and age inappropriate material be moved from the teen section to the adult section. They did not ask for the material to be censored, removed from the library’s collection, nor placed under lock and key.
    As a result, St. Louis County Library Director Charles Pace, who is also an American Library Association (ALA) Councilor, said he would set up a review committee to look into the placement of the materials in question.  Mrs. Kostial offered to fill out a form that’s part of the official procedure for requesting such an action but Pace told her that wouldn’t be necessary because he knew which books were of concern.  Although the library’s process for requesting reconsideration of the material was not strictly followed, the library did offer to conduct a reconsideration. (4 & 5)
    The following month Pace denied most of Mrs. Kostial and the other citizens’ requests but stated that he “might” move two titles, Growing Up Gay in America and What are the Causes of Prostitution, to the adult section.
    Unfortunately, to the best of Mrs. Kostial’s knowledge, none of the books she had questioned were removed from the teen area.  Pace did however indicate that a book entitled What are the Causes of Prostitution was moved to the adult section.  Strangely enough, that was not one of the books Mrs. Kostial had asked the library to review.  She asked them to review a similarly titled book, Prostitution and Sex Trafficking, which (at press time) still remains in the teen department along with Growing Up Gay in America.
    In response, members of the community attended the St. Louis County Library Board’s annual tax assessment meeting on August 18th in the hopes of reaching an agreement with the library board and county administrators to establish an adult advisory board to help aid in the selection of material for the teen department. At present, the library relies on an advisory board comprised of teenagers to aid in their collection development process. (6)  Certainly adult citizens should have input as well. [MetroVoice will report on the outcome of the August 18th meeting in our October issue.]

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Can You Be a Christian and Democrat?
By Matt Friedeman

    “You’ve got to help me with a question,” said the caller. “Tell me now, can you in any way be a Christian and vote Democrat?”
    I have been doing talk radio for 15 years or so, smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt.  Believe me when I say that, through the years, my listening audience has considered the social agenda of the Democrats and voiced the same question on the air at least a couple of hundred times.
• Abortion on demand
• The homosexual agenda
• Slow dismantling of the Judeo-Christian tradition, not the least from left-wing judicial nominees
• Public monopoly of education and a secular humanistic curricular emphasis
• Welfare dependency (government is your “daddy”)
    This is not the stuff of Jesus, I dare say. So, can you be a Christian and vote Democrat?
    My question for the caller. “Hey, man, what does it mean to be a Christian -- to be saved?”  There was momentary silence on his end so I just continued.  “We are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.  Period.  The Republican Party cannot save, although that is news to some.  The Democratic Party can’t save, and that is obvious to most.  But politics or political positions cannot and will not save us.  For we are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.”
    This columnist started paying attention to politics sometime during the Nixon years.  Last time I checked, there was still a sign in the basement of our old house in Kansas that declared, “Nixon’s the One!”  But it would take some pretty rose-colored glasses not to see that the GOP and its players have transgressed legally and in the realm of common sense just as much as their counterpart Dems.

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