When a religiously motivated group expressed outrage over a few nude illustrations at the Ashland Public Library’s monthly Board meeting, I couldn’t help but think, gee, they sure think they know what’s best for me and my kids!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being told what to read, how to dress, or what music to listen to.

I don’t like private clubs harassing public servants. I don’t like changes made for no clear or convincing reason. And I don’t like really judgy people.

But Andy, they say, would you want your 5-year-old to see these pictures?

This is merely hypothetical, of course, so here’s an example:

Let’s assume your 5-year-old stumbles on a picture of a naked person. Maybe little Sally or Johnny gets ahold of my National Geographic magazines or coffee table book on Renaissance art.

Even if we agree there are practical reasons for placing such images on a higher shelf (conceded), the religiously-motivated complainants’ argument completely unravels at this point.

Because, to be blunt, seeing images doesn’t make you gay. Or trans. Or a pedophile. These are each, of course, separate issues and shouldn’t be conflated.

Fortunately, books like Robie Harris’ “It’s Perfectly Normal,” exist to explain these differences for readers older than 10.

Images don’t “pollute your mind” and cannot — at least in any direct, observable way — cause trauma.

So once we move the nude illustrations to a higher shelf, I suggest we all get back to expressing our freedoms and liberties: listen to whatever music you like, get a tattoo if you want one, and just be yourself.

Then come to the next library Board meeting on Aug. 11 at 4:30 p.m. to show your support for freedom and liberty.

And remember, reading a “bad” book may be a waste of time, but it’s not a sin.

Andrew Kinney

Savannah, Ohio

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