Words are not dangerous, but zealots, censorship are

George Smith's column in the Central Maine Morning Sentinel:

Upon reflection, I wondered why my conservative brethren get so bothered by words that they resort to censorship and taking books from a library. We ought to defend all words and condemn censorship, particularly the censorship by one zealot like Karkos who believes she knows better than her community what is acceptable to read. Words are not dangerous. Zealotry and censorship are dangerous. Karkos removed the book. Simple as that. She got herself a $100 book and probably increased readership of the book manyfold.


Censorship must be governmental or organizational, I cannot censor the public library anymore than any other person can.

Stealing books because you don't like them is not censorship. It is theft, it is stupid, and it is childish, but it is not censorship.

Given that she stole the book to prevent others from reading or borrowing it, on the grounds she thought it was obscene, I'd say it falls under the small "c" version of censorship. If she'd swiped the book for her own use, I'd agree it was "simple" theft.