Amazon and The 1st Amendment

…with liberty and justice for all. But the question is—justice for whom?

The self-published book The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-lover’s Code of Conduct is available on Amazon. Despite the cyber-wide calls for a boycott of the online megastore, Amazon has decided to keep the book available for purchase, citing the author’s 1st Amendment rights.

Now, I’ll start by mentioning that I’m a doting mother and have a law-enforcement background, so those two factors play a strong role in my disgust with the situation. Child molestation is a crime—legally and morally. The young victims are scarred mentally, emotionally, and often physically, for the rest of their lives. As far as I’m concerned, the rights of innocent and helpless children should ALWAYS come before the rights of anyone who seeks to exploit them for money or for prurient interests.

I don’t believe an “author” should have the right to promote, instruct, or encourage pedophilic acts. And I’m pretty sure the founding fathers of this country would drop their fountain pens and load their muskets to protect their children from pedophiles, no matter what the 1st Amendment says. And I would be right beside them with my Beretta.

Now, that being said, I’m also in the publishing industry and this situation raises serious concerns about censorship. September 25 – October 2 was banned books week when millions of readers (myself included) embraced the 1st Amendment and celebrated the freedom to read what they choose. And, as writers, we celebrated the freedom to write without fear of being censored.

So, I guess the question is—where is the line between social justice and personal liberty? On which side do you stand?

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Write and Give a Voice to Poverty – Blog Action Day ’08

Today, I’m dedicating this post to Blog Action Day. One of the things we have to remember is that, as writers, we have the ability to draw attention to important causes, inspire action, and demand change. Our words add to the collective voices, speaking out and raising awareness, calling for something be done to end domestic and world poverty.

I don’t want to get political because that’s not what this blog is about. Beyond the obvious failings of our government to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, we must remember not to discount the power of people who care. Please visit this list of organizations who are actively working to end hunger and poverty around the world. Give and participate in any way you can. These people are fighting and speaking out to end poverty and they need our help. Today, more than 11,800 bloggers are making their voices heard in support of the fight against poverty.

There is wealth in this world—money and heart. By sharing resources and educating those who are less fortunate, we can end poverty, but it will take nations of people working together to make it happen.

Poverty is everyone’s problem. Think about that the next time you say, “I’m starving. What’s for dinner?”