Monday, November 15, 2010

Taking A Stand for Morality

Most of you are aware of the scandal plaguing Amazon last week. For those of you who might have missed it, Amazon came under fire for selling a book entitled, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct".

The book really is as awful as it sounds. They featured the story on my local news, where the author had been tracked down and confronted about his thoughts on a potential boycott of Amazon, and his thoughts on his book. He was as morally depraved and disgusting as you'd picture such a person to be. 

Twitter was on fire with this story. My stream alone was with filled with people calling for a boycott. 

Originally, Amazon refused to remove the book, stating that they didn't believe in censorship. Eventually, someone with a moral compass in their inner circle convinced them to bow to the pressure and remove the book. Either that, or they realized they couldn't afford the terrible press prior to the holiday season. Regardless, the book has been removed. 

As a kid, I always dreamed I would grow up to be a journalist. I mention this because I do not believe in censoring books, either. One of the people I follow on Twitter stated that a boycott of Amazon was inappropriate because it is a case of "killing the messenger." She rationalized that you can't punish an entire country if their dictator does something bad, etc. 

Except, for all the attention drawn to this book, Amazon got publicity. And every time the book sold, Amazon made a profit.

Let me reiterate: every time a book that instructs child molesters on how to victimize children (and get a lighter sentence if convicted) sold, Amazon made a profit.  

After thinking about the issue for several days, I am calling BS. 

This is not a case of censorship. This is a case of profiting off of victimizing children. I don't care if Amazon only earns 1 cent for every book sold, that is a cent earned off of a book encouraging crimes against children. 

During the interview the author spoke candidly about his stance that child molesters should not face criminal charges, and that they should be embraced the way people of other "odd sexual preferences" are. He also spoke on the need for children to learn tips on how to navigate these "relationships."

At what point do we, as a society, stand up and say that protecting children is more important than protecting this disgusting creature's freedom of speech? When was it determined that his needs or desires are more important than those of the children who could be harmed as a result of this book? 

This is not about censorship! This is about children. Helpless, vulnerable children. And it's about the monsters who want to harm them and are looking for information on how to do it. 

I am sick of the right to freedom of speech being manipulated to enable criminals and vagrants to terrorize and harm others. I am tired of censorship being used as a crutch to promote morally corrupt songs, books and the like. 

We need to stand up for what is ethical and moral, even if it is unpopular. We need to stand up for people who cannot defend themselves (like children.) We need to take a stand as a society and say we are not going to tolerate people manipulating us into thinking their immoral behavior is acceptable simply because they have free will to choose to do bad things. I'm not going to condone someone's behavior simply because they have a "right" to be who they want to be and act the way they feel like acting. 

The time to stand up for morality is now. I don't care if I am never popular, I will make a vow to myself to stand up for what is right. Promoting pedophilia or companies like Amazon that profit from it, is not right for me. I am not a good fit for their company values. 

To be fair, I must disclaim that I have not purchased anything from Amazon before. This is directly correlated to my lack of internet-savvy, and not a prior incident. I don't make a lot of internet purchases but in the future I will not be buying from them. 

Here is Amazon's official statement:

"Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable," it reads. "Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."

"Objectionable" is putting it lightly, to me. 

I'm glad they support my right to not give them any of my money, now or ever. 

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