"Where They Have Burned Books, In the End They Will Have Burned Human Beings."~ Heinrich Heine(1)

Essay by admittimngmandaCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2004

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In this country, it is all to common that we want to filter our thoughts to make them appear more presentable to others. However, banning books is one of the most terrible ways to filter ourselves. In earlirt times, book burning done by the Nazi's in WWII. It was a popular idea that by all concealing faults that humans had, you must first conceal the evidence they ever existed.

This isn't a problem that happened only in WWII, it still happens. The most shocking part, is why they are still being challenged and banned in libraries and schools across America.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." (2)

The first freedoms guaranteed in this historic document were articulated in the 45 words written by James Madison that we have come to know as the First Amendment.

The First Amendment secures that religious minorities shall not be persecuted, the government will not establish a national religion, protesters shall not be silenced, the press has the right to criticize government, and citizens will be given the right to mobilize for social change. As our design for personal freedom and the token of an open society, the First Amendment protects our ideals and actions to pursue personal freedoms.

However, Americans forcefully debate the application of the First Amendment when it comes to censorship. Many feel the system is forcing their evolutionary values or lack of values on society. Many even feel that school libraries should censor and ban a lot the literature that passes through the hands of youth. Common notions that...