Catholics Do What?,  Culture of Death,  Evangelization,  Homosexuality,  motherhood,  Parenting

The innocence of children

A couple days back, I nearly broke instagram with a little snap of a super special library book that snuck it’s way into our weekly haul without a proper parental vetting, and then all of a sudden I found myself snuggled up on the couch with a 3 and a 5 year old about to read them a heartwarming tale about gay penguins “whose love was just like the other penguin’s love, but different, you know?”

Whatever your thoughts on homosexuality in the animal kingdom and beyond, you have to admit it’s pretty clever to slip that into an endearing children’s tale to prove your point.

I had one commenter point out the story is based on “the true story of a gay penguin couple” and, therefore, valid and worthy of enshrinement in a taxpayer funded children’s institution. To which I raise my virtual eyebrow and ask, really?

The more disturbing and more common reaction from some of the dissenting Insta commenters, however, dealt with my own great sin: the desecration (actual word used) of public property.

In other words, it was more disturbing that a concerned mother would take a sharpie to a book jacket and issue a frank warning about adult content contained within then that a book promoting homosexuality to children was on the library shelves to begin with.

I can’t remember who said it, but one of the great thinkers of the last century – maybe Chesterton or Lewis – had something to say about how when the great things become unimportant, the little things become too important.

(Wait, I’m going to google it.)

Okay, that’s the first google fail I’ve had in years. 20 minutes and nada to show for it, except that a certain 2-year-old’s nap-aversion siren is going off like a tornado advance warning system.

But the gist of the quote I can’t remember by the great thinker I can’t think of is that when a society has degraded to the point where there are no – or very few – collectively-held incidences of grave evil or injustice, the little things take on a disproportionate great importance.

So when abortion is acceptable, promiscuity is lauded, and every kind of vice is celebrated and encouraged, it suddenly becomes very, very important to Recycle and Eat Local Food and Pick Up Litter.

Not that those things oughtn’t be done, when possible. They are goods in and of themselves! But they are not the greatest goods.

And it is a sad commentary on our collective state of affairs when the outrage my little act of civil disobedience produced was not primarily to do with there being harmful adult content in children’s books expressly designed to indoctrinate them, but that I drew on public property. (Raises taxpaying hand. Cough, cough.)

Anyway, the thing about the whole brouhaha which seemed so disconnected to me was that whether or not it was wrong for me to write a friendly warning in that kid lit volume about homo amorous aquatic birds, the outrage directed at my actions seemed to far outpace any real dismay over the fact that this was a children’s library book.

A book for kids. Meant to educate and inspire and encourage. Meant to feed the soul and enrich the imagination.

And while homosexuality has indeed become increasingly mainstream ala hollywood and prime time television, not everyone, contrary to the belief of the aforementioned media sources, is as gung ho about it as we’ve been led to believe.

It will no doubt get me promptly labelled as hateful and ignorant and prudish and a whole host of other buzzwords that mean “I disagree with your opinion and desire to punish you for it,” but I don’t want my children exposed to the idea that homosexuality is a valid, commonplace lifestyle choice equivalent to marriage.

I also don’t want them exposed to porn, which is why I flip the magazine covers in the checkout line, oftentimes in plain sight of the employees. If pressed, I explain that I’m protecting the eyes of my children, and any others who might come through the line that day. Every time I’ve had this conversation it has led to a sheepish, regretful and even wistful admission that “there’s nothing we can do about it because orders from Corporate, but yeah, we also wish they weren’t there.”

But here’s the thing: if adults do nothing to protect children, they will be victimized by this increasingly sexualized and demonic cultural milieu.

It’s not a matter of “might” or “could be;” they will be.

Sexual deviance in particular is everywhere we turn. And we’re basically, as a culture, in a frog in water situation because we’ve all – me, you, your dad’s friends’s boss – become incredibly desensitized to it by means of the sheer volume of material we’re exposed to every waking second of our lives.

If someone from 1930 could be zapped into modern day prime time and watch 4 minutes of any of our television programing, I think they’d faint dead away. Or maybe throw a hammer through the screen. It’s just that we’re so used to a constant stream of boobs and blood and sexual innuendo and rape scenes and every manner of cruelty and vice, we’re essentially numb to it.

Notice that my aim here is not to condemn the victims of pornography or homosexuality or abortion or any other grave injustice against the human person that we’re currently celebrating as progressive.

Rather, it is to protect my children. Our children. Children whose minds have not yet been formed, whose imaginations are tender and wide open. Who deserve to be filled with truth and beauty and goodness.

I don’t flip magazine covers out of hatred for the women exploited there, but to keep my sons from falling into the legion of men who could one day exploit them.

And I don’t take pen to library books to warn off other parents and young readers out of hatred for those who struggle with homosexuality, but to protect my children from the celebration and normalization of it.

Will we eventually have a conversation that some people struggle with same sex attraction and that their dignity and value is no less than yours, mine, or Mother Teresa’s?

Of course.

But not over a publicly-subsidized piece of progaganda aimed directly at their innocent young hearts, meant not to encourage and inspire but to indoctrinate and anesthetize.

Because I’m an adult, and one of my greatest responsibilities is to the next generation.

Rise up, grown ups.



    • Marge

      You are exactly right! It is up to us adults to stand up and try at least to reverse this culture of perversion. If not us, then who?

  • Cathy K.

    My children are grown (19 – 25), but I can’t tell you how much I loved this post and the truth in it. Very well expressed! A constant phrase I uttered as my own children were growing up: “just because it’s on TV, or other people accept it as “normal”, etc., doesn’t mean that it’s right, or that it’s the way God intended it to be”.

  • Ally | The Speckled Goat

    You’re a magazine flipper, too, huh?

    I don’t even have kids and I flip magazines. Why should I allow my good, honest husband be assaulted by attacks on his goodness and wholeness and purity? Nuh uh. This past summer, I told a summer camp counselor to go put on a t-shirt, even though she was off-duty and it was the weekend, because no one needs to see that much skin, especially not my well-meaning hubby who offered to fix her car (when she was fully clothed) and found her on the dock to return her keys.

    Maybe I’m a prude, but I really feel bad for the men. I have enough trouble with my own temptations, and they’re not blatantly dangled in front of me all the time.

    Anyway, I went on a tangent there… but I mean to say, “YES!”

    • JohnS

      Thanks for that. I know the modern idea is that a woman should be able to walk down the street naked and not be sexually harassed by ogling men.

      But the right not to be harassed does not excuse women from the obligation of dressing chastely, out of simple charity and solidarity with men, and in order to not create the occasion of sin.

      To say nothing about the inherent contradiction of dressing so provocatively as to overwhelm, then complaining when it works.

      I’m trying to teach my daughter the triad: chastity, elegance, grace. While a hard conversation to have, I have discussed with her that it is the boy’s obligation to control himself, but it is her obligation not to cause undue stress on that self control, and more to the point, a woman who wishes to be seen as more than just a sexual object needs to present herself in such a way as to encourage the men in her life to see the beauty of her mind and spirit, not just her body.

      • Leigh

        Maybe we should just let women dress how they wish and blame rapists for rape. Undue stress on self control? If you can’t control your sexual urges, then YOU’D be the one with the problem. When a man rapes a woman it doesn’t really have anything to do with sex. It has to do with control and you’re out here making comments on how to control women. Do you not see how that’s part of the problem?

        • Susie

          I did not feel control threat of any kind by his comment. He was simply thanking others for recognizing our sexed culture makes it hard to turn your head or be tempted to have impure thoughts. I agree with him. Feminism is also part of our cultures problem as evidenced by your own comments. As a modern woman, I am repulsed by this mindset.

          • Leigh

            So if your daughter was going through rebellious stage and wore something skimpy, would you blame her for her own rape? What if she was wearing something perfectly reasonable and was raped? Would you then sympathize with her? How is feminism part of our culture’s problem. The main goal of feminism is to give women equal treatment to men in jobs and every other walk of life. Who wouldn’t want that for their daughter(s)?

          • Susie

            Still trying to understand how you made the jump to rape, lol. I have three young daughters, thank you. I am trying to teach them exactly what this man is describing above about dressing in a way that preserves their dignity and helps the men in their live appreciate them for who they are. It’s tough in our culture. The mindset of ‘rights’ and not service to others is damaging. Screaming ‘rights’ is not selfless. We are called to be selfless. And be real. Does a woman deserve something just because she is a woman? Are things really that unfair? I worked in corporate America for years. Just now realizing what we are called to be as women. I do not feel opressed. I feel sad that I could not see my real vocation earlier because we live in a culture that tells us woman should be men. And it’s okay to silence the men by screaming ‘rights.’

          • Leigh

            Feminism is about choice. As a feminist I respect a woman’s right to choose to be a mother or choose not to be. I respect her right to have a career or to raise her kids. You clearly do not. Nowadays a lot of women work even if they don’t want to in order to make ends meet but our nation, unlike almost any other nation on earth, doesn’t mandate workplaces to have paid maternity leave. That’s the kind of unequal treatment I fight against. While you’r all busy yelling at women outside of abortion clinics you ignore the women who chose motherhood and can barely make it work under our current system. There are so many struggles still facing women today but instead you’re out admonishing books that teach children to respect gay people and pitying men for having to see women’s boobs. Classy.

          • Susie

            I do not believe it is a woman’s choice to be a mother, it is God’s choice to make her one. Rights, rights, rights. It’s hard to hear you admist all that selfishness. I respect the rights we are given as Americans. I do not feel that women are treated unfairly, I’m sorry. The fight ended a long time ago. We simply disagree.

            But this post isn’t about women’s rights, it’s about protecting our children. So can we please get back to talking about something that matters?

        • Susie

          One final note, I find it ironic that you’re screaming at this man about controlling his urges and telling him how acting upon them is wrong but you cannot understand how many of us feel that acting upon homosexual urges is the same kind of wrong.

          And by the way do you see any of us screaming?

          • Jenny Uebbing

            Dear Leigh, you are most welcome to the debate here, truly, but your trolling about “yelling at people outside abortion clinics” (where is that happening in this thread?) and your abortion apologetics are not. Peace to you, and prayers for a converted heart and mind.

        • Ally | The Speckled Goat

          I don’t know that this has anything to do with controlling women… it’s about women taking charge of themselves and respecting the dignity of our own bodies.

          I completely agree with John– “a woman who wishes to be seen as more than just a sexual object needs to present herself in such a way as to encourage the men in her life to see the beauty of her mind and spirit, not just her body.” To that end, do we really think that women WANT to dress that way? Most of those skimpy outfits are so uncomfortable-looking… and cold! They always look so cold! =)

          Why is protecting my husband’s purity a bad thing? I know he has self-control, and I fully expect him to use it- but I’m also here to be a helper to him. And if I can help him by reducing, even in my small way, a threat to his mental purity, I will.

          He does the same for me– I have trouble controlling my tongue. He knows I CAN control my words, and expects me to… but when he can step in during a heated conversation and act as a mediator, he does. It’s about helping one another toward holiness.

        • Therese

          So, instead of teaching your daughters how to minimize or prevent unwanted male harrassment (or worse), you seem to want to absolve them from any resposibility and let them suffer the consequences of stupid ideology. Well, this mother of six daughters sees it differently. What about empowering women to take control of their own lives, which includes choice of dress and environments, with full awareness of the seedier side of human nature.

        • A Catholic Mom

          I don’t see where Johns is saying anything about rape simply sharing his discussion with his daughter about some honest observations about the male psyche.
          Here is a great video I’ve shared with my daughter and nieces to help them decide how they want to present themselves to the world.

          By the way, I also have two sons and we discuss with them about controlling their “sexual urges” and how difficult it is in today’s anything goes culture. My husband and I also tell them those urges are not bad, but they are intended to bring him closer to his wife and ultimately help to bring new life into the world.

      • Jean

        I so agree with you! In our society sex sells because there are those willing to purchase in whatever form. My husband and I have stopped dining in a couple of restaurant chains because the waitresses dress in micro-mini skirts, very low cut tops and attempt to flirt – for larger tips? I don’t know, but when a very young woman hangs over the table, pointing in my husband’s direction and waggles her boobs whilst telling him “My name is (fill in the blank) and I’ll be taking care of you tonight” my reaction has had to be “No, sweetie, I’ll be taking care of him tonight and you’ll be taking our food order, that’s how it works”. Does the young woman have no self-respect? Is this what she absolutely must do in order to keep her job? Does she get a bang out of exciting male patrons and landing big tips? Very difficult to see the beauty of her mind and spirit when all we can see are her breasts in our faces.

  • Ann-Marie

    Wow. And if I had accidentally checked out that book after you and seen your note, I would have grabbed my own sharpie and written a note of thanks.

    • Cami

      Agreed! Let’s start a movement of flagging inappropriate books with our favorite Sharpie. It can be like an underground book club. Sharpie Moms unite!

      • Nicole

        And you will be amazed at how quickly the library will charge you for damaging the book. Continued “flagging” could even result in revoked check-out privileges.

  • Caroline

    How I wish the Catholic Church in America would be more vocal on this. But- when we have a cardinal (Dolan), publicly celebrating athletes announcing their homosexuality, and leading parades with a strong visible homosexual group, and covering up gay scandals in churches, it’s not a wonder that what- 50% of Catholics in America are in favor of homosexual wannabe marriage? It really is up to each and every parent to be ever so watchful.

    • Bart Vincelette

      Nolite judicare ut non judicemini in quo enim judicio judicaveritis judicabiminiet in qua mensure mensi fueritis metietur vobis… ex Biblia Vulgata. Some years ago, following the brutal murder of her 21 year old son, Matthew Shepard , a college student in Laramie, Wyoming, his grieving mother said she didn’t blame the young punks who murdered her so so much as society for giving them permission to do so.

      • Jenny Uebbing

        What a terrible, terrible crime that was. I remember it well (remember, Wyoming is close to us). However, the media created a martyr out of the poor kid, when it came out later that it was a drug deal gone bad and not a gay hate crime, as was so widely reported. However, the myth lives on because it’s culturally relevant, right? And people have no problem using this poor kid’s heinous death as a means to advance their cause.

        Rest in peace, Matt. And God bless his parents in their heroic charity.

  • Vivian

    I wholeheartedly agree! I am in my mid-twenties, single, and childless, and I cannot stand the amount of sexualized material rammed down my throat. I love to read and it pains me to damage a book, but I have been compelled to write in a few textbooks to contradict the nonsense. The first time I wrote in a textbook was in AP US History when the textbook whitewashed former President Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct with his subordinates. I filled future readers in on the details and honestly felt I was doing a small service to future generations. At home, I am the designated TV remote operator so that all explicit material can be edited rapidly. I get groans from people, but I do not want to watch explicit sexual material play across the TV screen. Likewise, I do not want to read about it either. Whatever names you were called, Mrs. Uebbing, you provided a moment of sanity in an insane world when you wrote in that children’s book.

  • Karyn

    I had the exact same thing happen to us, except it was a book about a gay pride parade (complete with transvestite nuns known in real life as Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence or something like that). I didn’t go the sharpie route. I wrote a letter to the director and said that it would have been better to have books that were at least family oriented and that the book should at least be in the juvenile non-fiction with the other sexuality books. In this way, at least the parent would be more likely to be on alert about content. The director did call back and surprisingly thanked me for my input. They’re not getting rid of the book but they are at least moving it out of the picture books and into non-fiction. In our culture, all of our children will be exposed to homosexuality, just like they will be exposed to all the other sexual issues. Does this mean we have to expose them through picture books and such?

  • Angela

    I’m also a magazine flipper (and have complained to some stores as well) and ABSOLUTELY you did the right thing. I’ve worked at book fairs and have hidden books too! Thank you for this post!

    • Nessa

      Why do you feel the need to censor what other people are reading? How would it be if I went to a book fair and hid all the Bibles because I don’t agree with them?

      • Jenny Uebbing

        If the Bible were objectively harmful and promoting self-harming behavior, I wouldn’t fault you. But it’s not. It’s the inspired word of God. Of course, we may disagree on that, but it doesn’t mean that one of us isn’t right; objective truth exists, even for those who deny reality.

        • Leigh

          Deuteronomy 28:30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit.

          Genesis 19:34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

          • Jenny Uebbing

            You do realize that those are curses, and that rape, sodomny, etc. are all explicitly condemned, right?

          • Leigh

            Wearing mixed fabrics is also condemned. And touching a woman when she’s on her period because she’s unclean. There are also some great teachings on slave keeping.

          • Susie

            What I love about being Catholic is that I also have a Catechism that explains the Bible and Tradition to teach me when I don’t understand something. I do not need to try to discern what each passage means. Nor do I want to try. A whole host of wise people appointed by God have already done that for me. Also, we do not need scripture or even the commandments to know right from wrong. We are all born with a moral compass.

          • Colleen

            Leigh we know you love and care about women and all of us here do too. We are not enemies. The Bible is not on shelves in the children’s section because they are not able to read at that level. There may be “Children’s Bibles” but they don’t cover the passages you just cited because it would be preposterous to publish those for children. If they were put into children’s books there would be a backlash the likes of which have never been seen. Which goes right back to the point of Jenny’s post. Adult situations are NOT appropriate for children’s consumption.

          • Lara

            @ Leigh: The “wearing mixed fabrics” is an example of ceremonial law (changeable with times and society). It is not a moral, unchangeable law. Instruction around women’s menstrual cycles and slavery also fall into this type of discussion around changeable teachings. The Catholic Church is beautiful in that it both can and cannot change … in fact here is a book dedicated to that very topic (much focuses on the discussion of slavery): A Church That Can and Cannot Change: The Development of Catholic Moral Teaching by John T. Noonan, Jr. If you’re not ready for the investment in this book … here’s a review of it that covers some relevant discussion: Leigh … give the Church a prayerful chance … I did and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. People sometimes do, but just because there are some counterfeits out there (and who among us is perfect anyway) doesn’t mean the whole thing is a write off. Peace to you and your family.

          • Lara

            A clarification on my post (and an error on my part in my enthusiasm to respond) … the book cited reflects a truth of the Church being continuous and changeable, but the as the review (which I linked) points out, the author is misleading in his use of facts at times to support his own conclusions. The linked review is an excellent discussion of the point that you raise, Leigh, regarding slavery. Please give the link a read.

    • JohnS

      Our Lord and Master reached the masses through stories (parables.)

      Never forget who it is that controls the American story telling machine in today’s America.

  • Mona Olszewski

    Thank you so much for this post and the Instagram pic you posted. It is increasingly difficult to protect our children from the world and I believe no one should fault you for following your conscience.

  • Jen Buckley

    This reminds of the quote, ” The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” –Edmund Burke
    We must be vigilante as parents, sometimes even with our own family, in the protection of children. I recently had a family member expose almost her entire breast on FB, calling it Bohemian art. I quick sent a request to have her take the profile picture down arguing that what if by chance I were showing my sons something funny from my newsfeed only to have them blindsided with nudity, an image they may never be able to get rid of. I was given an earful about her rights as a grown woman, to which I replied, “Having the right to do something, doesn’t make you right in doing it.” It was a sad day for my family to see how far some have gone to justify their pornographic mindset. However, I could never sleep at night if I ignored it and let it pass by. Not only for her dignity but the purity of all those men who lusted after it albeit for a brief couple of hours. We need to do more of these “little” things as loving as we can but firm in the truth.

  • Laura

    Go Jenny! I flip magazines, romance books (seriously, their covers are pornographic), and have left notes on 50 Shades of Grey before. I also might have taken Walmart’s whole stack of 50 Shades and hid it behind a shelf before…. Not only is it our duty to protect children, but to safeguard our own hearts as well. I don’t want to be more desensitized! Thank you for the reminder, and being a mom fighting for the goodness of your kids.

  • Mary

    Amen. So glad you are brave enough to respond to this stuff publicly. This sort of thing is why I would take the “Benedict Option,” if I could, at least while raising my kids. It is so hard to avoid this stuff and impossible to have a conversation explaining all of the issues to them at their young ages. I really fear for the next generation that is growing up with all sorts of perversions normalized!

  • Katy

    Thank you for this post, Jenny. The “normalization” of homosexuality is something I have been struggling with for quite some time, since my brother shared that he is gay. I am so grateful I found your blog a few months ago; your posts have really helped me keep the Catholic and faith-filled perspective that I was in danger of losing. Thank you.

  • Erin

    Any other parents have problems at Barnes & Noble? We’re usually just going in to play with the trains or Legos if we’re on an extended outing and need a kid-friendly activity, but the kids’ section is always in the back and some of the displays we have to go past, with the books right at 3-footer eye level, leave my husband and me feeling like we need to hustle our children back to Thomas with their heads tucked inside our coats…

  • Mary Wilkerson

    oh man. I have all the complicated feelings on this. On one hand, when I first saw the post about the book, I was like, ‘man, that would be a bummer to run into with my kids’ (Because I am sure I will). I get the outrage, that it was just hanging out at a public library- no warning about the content and clearly with an agenda. On the other hand, it was a public library. Not a Catholic Library, not a friend/family’s house, but a public library. I have friend, who is gay. She has a son and a partner. I bet they would be overjoyed to see that book in their library. I know they would love that it wasn’t in a special section, it was just part of life, as they see themselves. And the thing is, Public Libraries are for all of us. For me, with my orthodox Catholic leanings, and for her with her progressive, liberal, marriage equality leanings. I guess I feel we are living in a society where we can’t demand any more, or should I say expect anymore, that people will live up to, understand, celebrate or even acknowledge a traditional family as the ‘right way’. And so, I think we need to be ever more vigilant with our children in terms of looking over everything they read, write, see, are exposed to.. in order to offer than a different view than what the world is celebrating. But I think that’s gonna have to be on us, we can no longer expect it from society. In practicality, I have no idea how this is going to play out. I am well aware unless I choose to homeschool, seclude my children, etc.. they will run into alternative family structures waaaaaaaaaaay before I am ready to discuss these things with them. I don’t wrestle with whether or not libraries should have books like this, they will have books like this in today’s society. I wrestle with how to age-appropriately discuss with my children why we choose to believe differently about marriage- but not just when it comes to the lgbtq community, but divorce/unmarried couples, fertility methods, etc…
    I think your experience shows that are children are growing up in a very different world than we did. The only thing is going to change that world is our witness that somehow the lives we are choosing to live offer more freedom, more happiness, deeper joy. No amount of sharpies is gonna fix the mess we are in- and the question of innocence will be trickier and trickier to answer when it comes to engaging with the culture.

      • Alissa

        I really love this. My favorite uncle in the world is gay. I have seen him grapple with it for years and it almost pushed him to suicide. I recently spoke to one of my old teens (I was in YM for 12 years) of a very Catholic family (as if there is some scale of Catholicity)–he is gay and because his family is so staunchly Catholic, he has felt unloved and as if he doesn’t belong.

        I sure do hope all these people who talk about homosexuality as if it is some virus to be dealt with don’t have kids who end up being gay. How we tenderly react to things such as gay themed books in public libraries will be remembered.

        • Jenny Uebbing

          Of course we are called to gentleness and tenderness and charity and oh, my God, mercy, so much mercy, for each and every one of us.

          But as a parent, my primary commission from God is to form and nurture my children, and to protect them from harm. And that comes before any potential deficit in tenderness I show towards public library books. Does that make sense?

          Matthew 18:6, you know? “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

          • Patty

            How is reading a book about nature, something real that happens in nature (which God created) cause your kids to sin? Doesn’t it just make them smarter and more understanding of the world around them? Censorship leads to ignorance. Teach them instead. you can instill your values and make sure they understand what your religion believes, but they need to know that there are people in the world who are different and have other types of faith and living.

          • Jenny Uebbing

            Well of course, this is true. But there are other things in nature which animals participate in that are not worthy of human emulation or admirable, would you agree? And if humans practice them, we call them scary things like cannibalism and incest. So no, just because something occurs in nature doesn’t mean it’s good for every member of the natural world. Humans are quite a different kind of animal, possessing a rational soul and all that.

            And it’s not, as I’ve mentioned a couple times now, a matter of “belief;” rather, it’s a desire to see what is objectively true, good, and beautiful presented to kids – everyone’s kids, not just mine, that would be so silly of me. The Catholic Church is not, contrary to popular belief, alone in Her recognition that homosexual behavior is damaging to the human person and represents a deviant and damaging form of sexual expression. This is not a condemnation of “different beliefs” because my God, we can certainly all live harmoniously with our competing world-views and be respectful and civil. But when there is an objectively self-harming behavior being promoted to kids, embraced by the media, and sold by a very, very powerful lobby as a new and equally valid norm, of course parents and other adults who know better must say so.

            Thanks for your contribution to the conversation.

    • Cory

      I agree with you. These are complicated issues that at some point we have to talk to our children. My brother in law is gay, has a committed partner and is a huge part of my chidlren’s lives. We have to talk about being gay, and we can’t make it sound like something awful. I think our culture’s preoccupation with sex has made for Catholic culture to also be preoccupied with sexual sin. There are so many hard things we have to talk to our kids about.

  • Michelle

    I love this! I would be horrified if I opened the penguin book and found that story. I agree with you so much. I feel like if I try to teach my children any sort of right or wrong then I’m viewed as close- minded or hateful. It’s so sad how far our society has fallen. Good for you for taking a stand to protect our children!

  • Catherine

    So true about the inundation of the demonic! Just a scroll through Netflix kids brings up all kinds of garbage, like the bratz monster highschool show.

  • Michelle

    Yes, rise up indeed!! I hope everyone hears your plea to stick up for what is right. I think so often people remain quiet and don’t stick up for anything deemed controversial out of fear. We have to most past the fear of hurting someone’s feelings or fear of being called a bigot or hateful because we aren’t! We most definitely are not hateful. Some extremists ARE. Some hateful people ARE and I think some of us who mean well get lumped in with those folks. As long as we do this in a loving way, I don’t see how we can be seen as hateful. We need to stick up for our views on traditional marriage, on the dignity of human life in all stages from conception to natural death, on educating our children about chastity and the beauty of the conjugal union in marriage and not be afraid to be called “old fashioned and archaic.” 🙂

  • Katie

    We got the same book because my 6 year old son loves penguins. As soon as I realized what it was about I stopped reading it. I love your idea of putting a warning on it, I sure would have liked to see your warning before I checked it out.

  • Kathleen

    I agree with you 100%, Jenny, I’m just wondering if the library made you buy the book after you wrote on it? That would defeat the purpose of a warning note. I ask because my kids’ sticky fingers have caused damage to books and our library has made us buy them. But I agree wholeheartedly with all your points, especially as a mom of two boys and wife of a recovering sex addict. I’m hypersensitive to our over sexualized culture & constantly focused on trying to preserve our kids’ innocent minds.

  • April

    Thank you. This is excellent. I long for more, many more posts on this subject. Please continue to strongly express these truths. If everyone who is truly appalled would act in some way as you did, and I have many additional ideas how, then slowly our secular, perverted American world would take notice. This isn’t a matter of just a few scattered folks turning around magazine covers, which I do nearly every time I am out, but rather every person who is scandalized by all that is out there needs to take some sort of action. Throw away the 80’s film videos and dvd’s and everything since that has helped to desensitize you and me, and everyone else (please break them, first). Casually “lose” or drop the questionable dvd’s and books behind bookshelves at the library. Every action will deter further scandal, even temporarily, and sends a message to the librarians. Let store managers know how you feel about the displays and the magazines. If everyone acted upon their disgust, things might actually change. We shouldn’t think that anything we do just doesn’t matter. It will. If nothing more, it matters to God. No action taken, means no change possible. Let’s face it. The daily child abuse of our world needs to stop.

  • Sr. Athens

    Thank you for speaking on behalf of the last, the lost, and the least– the children in every corner of the world– we need to protect these our children from the dangers of the ‘wolves’: hungry for sensual pleasures alone, and the governments that legitimize unnatural forms of unions.

  • Marisol

    I’m sorry, but am I the only one that thinks that frantically pulling out a permanent marker or flipping over magazines in a grocery store is kind of ….er…overboard? Not that the act of “fixing” these wrongs is in some way immorally graver than the book itself, or the magazine cover, but why stress out about it? To me, and this is just my opinion, giving these instances of unjust exposure to impervious sexuality more time of day than necessary actually gives kids the idea that these things ought be mulled over for days in an almost unhealthy way. I guess my honest question is, why not just move on and talk about it with your kids when nevessary?

    • Michelle

      At first glance it might seem overboard but when all you see is the sexualization of everything from books to magazine covers to movies and tv shows, it’s hard to NOT see it. I had posted something similar when 50 Shades came out, saying if I had daughters/children, I wouldn’t want them to see this movie at ANY age and think, “This is what a healthy relationship looks like.” Boy, did I get chastised by my Catholic and non-Catholic friends, saying I was overreacting and “It’s just a MOVIE, it’s not REAL.” A year later, most of those friends now see what I was trying to say. What happened to morals and promoting virtues? THATS what I think Jenny meant to put forward here.
      As for turning covers of magazines, I actually work a part time job that requires me to put those magazines out and let me tell you, it’s disgusting to see women half naked (and men!) on a cover of a magazine that supposedly promotes “health.” I find it sad that we as a society feel we need to sell our bodies to make a buck. I know a guy who’s a sex addict and always turns over those covers to prevent the temptation to lust. I’m half tempted to flip those covers when I’m at work too! But I kinda smile to myself as I see others do it.

      In the end, of course talking to our kids/youth to educate them about what we believe to be moral and virtuous behavior will go further than anything else. But we need to arm them with these “weapons” of faith, virtue, and chastity…because once they’re on their own, the world will try to lie to them and their beliefs will be challenged. I find that young people today aren’t prepared for that and that’s when they fall away from their faith (that’s when I did). But if we speak up and “rise up” as Jenny said, we can prevent that.

      • Mary Wilkerson

        While I don’t think Jenny was ‘frantically pulling out her marker’- I do agree with you, in the end. movin’ on, learning that we really have to carefully look over any show our kids are watching, any books our kids are reading, and any teachers our kids are listening to…we are living in a post christian world, whether or not people want to believe that, so the age of being able to shield our kids from alternative lifestyles, in my opinion, is gone. I think we we ought to do is to be introducing our kids to the life giving freedom that comes from following a different plan for sexuality and hopefully witnessing a different type of joy through our example.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      I guess because I was thinking about other kids, too, and other parents and caregivers who might be unwittingly bringing the book into their homes and possibly not present when it was cracked open and read. That’s my same reasoning for grocery store clean up – it’s not just my kid’s eyes and hearts I think about, but everyone’s kids. All children deserve a childhood, and for their innocence to be prolonged as long as humanly possible. God knows I fail in this a million ways by my own shortcomings when dealing with them, but it’s no excuse not to try.

  • Laura

    “Warning: book promotes a message of love!”

    The nice thing about the Internet is that I can just unfollow your blog if I want to protect my mind and heart from people who lead me away from the Gospel. Continued prayers for all those who think this is the message of Church.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      Prayers for you too, Laura. I’m sorry the debate and discussion got to be too much for you, but I certainly respect your decision to walk away. Hope you find what you’re looking for.

  • Patty

    Thank you for this article. I am so sick and tired of the homosexual agenda to make and their evil act “normal” and acceptable. This indoctrination comes from people who insist on TOLERATION but NEVER return it. Such books, movies, tv, etc. is all propaganda. Glad you stood up to this mind trash—and protected the innocent children they are recruiting.

  • Zuzanna

    Hi, I’m from Poland and I’m extremely proud of Polish people…They did more than flipping covers-thanks to big protests and other actions it’s became a law in Poland, that pornographic materials cannot be presented (in shops etc.) in the way that they are visible to young customers. I wish pornography was totally banned, anyway.
    Thanks for another inspiring post:)

  • Donna

    Well said!

    Here’s the quote I think you were looking for.

    “When you break the big laws, you do not get freedom; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.” – GK Chesterton, Daily News, 7/29/1905

  • Jake Huether

    Thank you so much for your post! I too flip mag’s at the store, and I will stop at nothing to at least try to protect my 3 girls as long as I possibly can. It is assuring to know that there are people like you out there. God bless and keep up the good work.

  • Tia

    I agree that sexualized content is just overflowing in our culture and I would hate if it warped my innocent son’s view of sexuality and women. But I don’t know that flipping covers is the best way to deal with it. That seems like it would draw a lot of attention to it, making the kid curious about its content, and making it glamorous through its forbidden nature.

    Personally, I’d try to minimize their exposure in unobtrusive ways and then deal matter of fact-ly with the content if it does come up. That actually gives the kids a tool for counteracting the content’s pernicious effects.

    I grew up on a diet of junky TV, and what I wish is not that my parents had censored it (although I do wish they didn’t let me watch hours and hours a day). Instead, I wish they had given their take on more of the content we encountered. For instance, I remember watching an episode of Roseanne back in elementary school, in which her sister counted up her past partners. It was a disturbingly high number. As an eight-year-old, I basically had no concept of what was normal in that area. So my mom didn’t say “turn off the TV, this is trash, horror of horrors!” She just very straightforwardly told me that that wasn’t normal, and when I asked her how many partners she “had” she said just looked at me like I was an idiot and said “one.” Let me tell you, that un-hysterical, clear response stuck with me a whole lot more than if she’d turned off the TV, forbidden me to watch these things, etc.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      yeah, I think that’s the case for older kids and as they become increasingly curious and aware. But my guys are so little, their only context for boobs is nursing, and their only experience of the naked human body is seeing mom or dad getting out of the shower. Will I have to change tactics as they mature? Absolutely. One of the best things I ever heard about protecting kids from porn was explaining to them that “some pictures are designed by smart businesses trying to make money and get you hooked on something that, while very bad for you, might make you feel something good. It might be attractive and shocking at the same time. If you see a picture like that, tell a grown up you trust (hopefully mom or dad) and we’ll talk about it. It’s called pornography, and it’s very addictive and very damaging to your brain and your soul.” <--- paraphrase mine, but that's the gist of it. I also grew up on a steady diet of trashy tv and movies, at least as a teen (not my parent's fault but I was plenty rebellious and sneaky and frankly, they were tired.) I don't fault them, but I also will strive to the best of my ability to protect my kids from seeing and experiencing the things I did for as long as I can, because there are some images that you can never completely banish from your imagination. Just because porn is everywhere doesn't mean we have to surrender to the inevitability and do nothing (not putting words in your mouth here, just explaining my rationale) - it may not help a lot of people, but if I can prevent my kids and the next person in line behind us from seeing a particularly lewd Cosmo cover, that's not a bad thing.

  • Lindsay

    I have to say, I’m so curious to see your Instagram post now! But I can’t find your Instagram! Did you make it private or something?

    That would really bother me to unknowingly bring home a book that very clearly had an agenda. I think that is so morally wrong to attempt to subtly influence kids like that, but I only foresee this problem getting worse and worse. It’s not so much a matter of IF we come across this stuff but WHEN. As much as I wish someone would warn or protect me and my children before that happens, as you have tried to do, it’s simply not something I can avoid forever. I guess I need to figure out what I’m going to say to my girls (2 and 3) when that day comes.

  • Hermione

    Thank you for writing this, thank you for articulating things that are difficult for some people to say but are actually the things they believe. And you’re right “rise up, grown ups”.

  • CMerie

    Once when my oldest was very small, we checked out a bunch of library books including a couple different ABC books. One ended up going something like “A is for the apple my mothers give me everyday. B is for the bed my dads sleep in.” Including a picture of two men waking up in the same bed. I tore the library book up and threw it in the trash. Of course I had to pay a fine for it, but my hope is such a book rarely gets requested to be checked out so maybe they didn’t purchase a new one.

  • Susie

    Thank you Jenny for clearly articulating the importance of protecting our children and for pointing out you are not condemning individuals. In our culture, relativism has become such a threat to our religious freedom. Just read another article this morning about this important issue and was surprised to see the few number of states where we are still free to express this moral view. We are increasingly becoming silenced by our own democracy. God Bless you for having the courage to speak up.

  • Caroline

    Have times really changed? The slide is just more slippery. I wonder when the slide will finally end? God is awfully patient to let us ride it so long!

    ANYTHING GOES, from 1934 -Cole Porter
    In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
    Was looked on as something shocking.
    But now, God knows,
    Anything goes.
    Good authors too who once knew better words
    Now only use four-letter words
    Writing prose.
    Anything goes.
    If driving fast cars you like,
    If low bars you like,
    If old hymns you like,
    If bare limbs you like,
    If Mae West you like,
    Or me undressed you like,
    Why, nobody will oppose.

  • Susan

    Gay parents have children who go to the library. I think the library system is big enough for them and you.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      well of course it is. But should there be harmful material there directed toward anyone’s children, regardless of their parent’s lifestyle choices? Obviously we disagree on the nature of homosexuality and whether or not it is intrinsically harmful to the human person. I don’t know that we can have a reasonable conversation, given our positions.

      • Susan

        True. I think you are hurting your children (and others) and you feel the same way about me. Hard to reconcile that.

  • Ari

    I’m not sure what you did to the book, since there’s no link to your instagram from this post (and the one at the top of the page is broken.) I’m not sure I would do the same, but this is scary world for our kids. I have many gay friends. I used to support the lifestyle 100% until digging deeper into our Catholic faith. I understand God wouldn’t ask anything of us (such as chastity) if it were not for our best good. I pray for my gay friends now. It is a cross to have same-sex attraction. I’ve been reading the blog of Joseph Sciambra, a man who came out of the lifestyle and is a fully practicing Catholic now. He would say there is nothing happy about it, nothing innocent, nothing life-giving. ( Our world needs Jesus.

  • Dawn

    Well stated! I, personally, don’t think it’s necessary to excuse the adult relationship behaviors of ANYONE in a library book outside the adult self help section. I agree that the goal is to “indoctrinate and desensitize” AKA brainwash our children. I also turn the magazines around. I don’t understand why some of those magazines quit being behind the cigarette counter with cardboard covers over them! It makes me really sad that kids can’t focus on being kids. They have to waste their childhoods being indoctrinated into “adult” life 🙁

    • Nessa

      Brainwash kids? So you just have to pretend that gay people exist to preserve your children’s narrow minded view of love? What if there are gay parents at their school? This is why I’m happy to have left the Catholic Church years ago. My stepdaughter’s mom is gay and we teach her to love her mother because her sexuality has no bearing on who she is as a person. She’s still her mom. You sanctimonious religious people are a riot. We raise my husband’s daughter to be loving and accepting of all people. And you know what the Catholic kids at her school tell her? That if she doesn’t believe in God she will burn eternally in hell. Grade A parenting right there. Your religion is slowly dying and this is why.

      • Jenny Uebbing

        I’m so sorry you’ve felt unwelcome in the Church, and that you’re away. You are always, always welcome back, as is anyone who struggles with any kind of sin, always. There is room for every single one of us, and all our complicated and messy problems and shortcomings and failures. Never, ever believe that there isn’t still a place for you there, or that God can’t heal wounds that other Christians have knowingly or unknowingly caused to you and your family.

        Gay people are equal in dignity and human worth to every other saint and sinner in human history. So are adulterers. Alcoholics. Prostitutes. Post-abortive women. There is nothing that God cannot reconcile, and there is no sin that can permanently sever you from His mercy except our own free choice.

        Please, please try to understand that condemning a sinful and harmful behavior is NEVER the same thing as condemning a person. That’s the antithesis of Christianity. He came to rescue us from our sins and invite us to a full life, not to condemn us in them and leave us there. But neither do we celebrate and encourage the sin. That’s where the problem of homosexuality becomes so convoluted in our present cultural situation: we’re expected to celebrate and encourage someone in their brokenness. It’s a lie.

        (And so is the hateful and immature reaction of the kids are your daughter’s school, by the way. And I’m so sorry for that. Hell is reserved for people who choose to go there, it’s eternity without God. He doesn’t “send people to hell” – there’s nobody there who doesn’t want to be there.

        • Susie

          Well stated, Jenny. I too, am sorry you have left the church, Nessa. I will pray for a deeper understanding of the faith for you. I too, teach my children to be loving and accepting of all people including family members and neighbors who are gay. Please don’t make assumptions about how my kids and I treat others because we are Catholic. It is because we are Catholic, that we love all and treat all with dignity and respect. It is not a narrow minded view of love. Is it a narrow minded view of love to say it is a sin to commit adultery? Or polygamy? If you could only understand God’s love in a deeper way, you would see that through our struggles and sufferings is how we come closer to Jesus. It is how we understand his love for us. I feel sad that you have left the church and I personally apologize for any hurt the Church may have caused you or your children. I do not agree that the Church is dying. I feel sad that our ‘progressive’ society believes we should base all of our decisions on feelings instead of God’s word and truth. God Bless.

      • Dawn

        I did not mean to shun anyone. I absolutely teach my children to love people without consideration of their circumstances. I also teach them that God loves ALL His children, and we should too. That is really different than condoning a behavior I believe to be sinful. This topic leads to a lengthy discussion on love and compassion. Is it loving and compassionate to allow someone you love to continue down a path that you know will lead them to ultimate destruction and destruction without at least presenting them with another option? This is a topic worth looking into, though, before an assumption is made about what the Church teaches on the subject. People who really study The Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality might be surprised. The Church has never taught her children to hate others. On a side note, I don’t read stories to my children that discuss heterosexuality either. I don’t think it’s appropriate subject matter for children. They don’t have to worry about that yet. I sincerely pray that your husband’s daughter is loved by everyone. None of us deserve to be treated differently because of our parents actions…good, bad or neutral.

  • Isabelle

    Not sure if anyone has said it before (too many comments for my postpartum brain to handle) but I think the quote you had in mind is this one :

    “If there is one thing worse than the modern weakening of major morals, it is the modern strengthening of minor morals. Thus it is considered more withering to accuse a man of bad tastes than bad ethics. Cleanliness is not next to godliness nowadays, for cleanliness is made essential and godliness is regarded as an offence. A playwright can attack the institution of marriage so long as he does not misrepresent the manners of society, and I have known Ibsenist pessimists who thought it wrong to take beer but right to take prussic acid.”

    Chesterton On Lying In Bed

    I always wonder with Chesterton, how did he KNOW already? The only possible explanation has to be a TARDIS…

    • Jenny Uebbing

      yeah I had to jet, it was getting too out of hand and too weird and I felt like I was overexposing the kids. Bummer though, cause I love IG.

  • Katherine

    For all of you magazine-turners out there:

    Twice I have asked to talk to the manager at alocal grocery store and waited in front of the offending magazine, then I just said to him, “What would you do if I lingered around your check-out line dressed like that, staring at all of your customers with the same expression?” And twice I’ve had the manager say that he would ask me to leave. If you say it in a funny, kind of ironic way, it makes the point. Then just whisper, “That’s because it is pornography. Thanks for taking my complaint.”

  • Jason Miller

    Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that those “gay” penguins are no longer together because one of them found interest in a female penguin. I never understood the ridiculous rationale that if the animals do something, then it is proof that it must be ok for humans to do. Some other things various animals do: eat their young, eat other found dead animals on the side of the road, poop in the park, bite people, etc. Following the rationale the rationale around the penguins, all these things must be perfectly fine to do.

  • Mike

    Way to go, mamma! Stand strong in your beliefs and do it with love. Jesus flipped tables in love. You can mark up a book in love as well.

  • Christine

    Thank you so much for your courage as a mother doing your job and being open about it! All of the haters are gonna hate…But real vigilance about false messages is necessary from all mothers and fathers with convictions and beliefs in natural law and Truth. It’s interesting how people who claim victim hood are such bullies. It is the law of the land to be tolerant of anything except traditional beliefs. What we hear from teachers and school officials on a regular basis is, “you’re the only one” when we are protesting something immoral or scandalous. Funny and yet sad how many other people have been told that! Kudos and God bless

  • Brad

    I would suggest to people that they purchase and donate to their local library
    Dr. Miriam Grossman’s The Black and White Puppy, which refutes the whole Same Sex Attraction is ok myth.

  • Angie

    First, I love you, thank you for beautiful and courageous witness. Second, please come back to IG. i can’t take losing you and camp patton blog in the same year. 🙂

  • Amy W

    Not sure who said the quote originally, but my husband laments that same sentiment all of the time! Planned Parenthood might sell baby parts, but look! They recycle! Or something equally assinine. Nothing is “bad” anymore, just in the eye of the beholder.


    For the last 20 years, I’ve been a contract writer for children’s school and library book publishers. I have 158 non-fiction books in print, mostly on science topics, and mostly K-6. Over the last few years, the work has grown increasingly unbearable–political correctness, pressure to paint a particular subject or person one way or the other, adherence to ever-changing gov’t recommendations (today it’s Common Core; tomorrow it’ll be something else), shorter deadlines, more responsibilities, lower pay. Still, in my books I have managed to squeeze in some paragraphs here and there that are pro-life or pro-morality. Like in my book on skin, a sidebar on fingerprints that starts with “Long before you were born…” to make it plain that you were not just a clump of cells.

    During my last assignment, I said “That’s it. No more.” By then, I had read too many blog posts and comments by parents and teachers who are sick of agenda-driven kid books, the deceptions, the not knowing who you can trust, the indoctrination, etc., and have decided to strike out on my own. Self-publishing is growing all the time, but this is a whole new arena for me and it’s going to take some time and effort to get going. I wouldn’t mind if some of you would just mention to Mother Mary that that gal who’s trying to do the right thing sure could use some help. Thanks.

    • Angie

      Let me assure you of my prayers. I’d love to know when you get something going, as I would be interested in supporting self-publishers like you!

      • SMTHG

        Thanks so much, Angie. It’s still months away. But I plan to advertise on Catholic moms’ websites and home school sites. My dear, dear, funny sisters have already given me some great slogan ideas: Books that educate, not indoctrinate! No PC, we guarantee! and Books that delight, not start a fight! So I’ve got great family support.

    • TAG

      SMTHG, interesting. I’m also a science writer by trade, and I’ve found it increasingly stifling to write about certain topics, such as sexuality and gender (which I am always assigned even though I hate writing about it, ugh). For Father’s day one year I wrote about how dads’ parenting styles differ from moms’ (in general, obviously exceptions). One person made the point that hundreds of studies suggest both moms and dads tend to bring different parenting strengths to the table. But my editor added in a line to the effect that “two moms or two dads are equivalent,” in order to avoid the impression that we were saying, however obliquely, that two same-sex parents do not equal two opposite-sex parents. Why are we, as a society, so afraid of saying the obvious — that sure, same-sex parents can be super loving and responsible and wonderful and conceivably even better than straight parents on average (esp. all the dysfunctional ones), but that their family dynamic will intrinsically be at least a little bit different from one with two opposite sex parents married to one another? Now I have to worry about whether I use the word “men” or “women” and be so precise about the difference between gender presentation and sex, it’s all just so blah. I am actually a liberal, I believe that, given the modern definition of marriage, same sex marriage should be legal. Yet even I find this new ultra-thought policing environment to be stifling.

  • Christy

    Loved, loved, loved this post!!!! What is it about penguins? We had the same issue with a book up here at the public library!!! Thank you also for talking about preserving the innocence of our children!

    Wanted to let you know about an eye opening document from the World Health Organization regarding Standards for Sexual Education in Europe. It will be well worth your time and the time of your readers to see what is being promoted in Europe and is invading the U.S. as well. These “standards” begin at ages 0-4 with early childhood masturbation and have first sexual experience under the 12-15 age group!!!! The “Sexuality Education Matrix” begins on page 40.

    Thanks for your awesome blog Jenny!!! You are changing hearts!!!!!
    Turning magazines around too up here in Thornton!

    • Amy

      That document is scary! I went right to the matrix on page 40. One of the disturbing things is that even if we, as moms, can protect our own children long enough to raise them with Catholic values, the kids around them will accept this indoctrination as the way things should be since they’ve been taught it in planned, increasingly disturbing steps since being very young! What a difficult life for our children in the future. The mention of respecting others’ beliefs comes after some very age-inappropriate content. Also, this respect seems directed outward not at the children who will be impacted. It leaves me with a feeling of, “Respect the people in Africa (who apparently don’t know any better) and be glad that you know and can live by these ways.” There is a piece about 6-9 year olds being non-judgemental about others’ choices, but we know how quickly that can lead to not having the freedom to disagree, voice your beliefs, or live according to those beliefs. To speak or act against a gay lifestyle is viewed negatively nowadays to say the least. To teach the things in this document to children, especially when so young, is truly trying to eliminate God’s design of sexuality.

  • lee


    It’s sad how Roman Catholics don’t really deserve to be called catholic in their views anymore. The word means accepting, broad, open-minded, and generous, but here you are deciding that, because you want to raise your children to believe that they’re better than other people, my children don’t deserve to use the public property that my taxes paid for too to learn that not everyone is the same.

    I can’t imagine more selfish behavior and, honestly, your sense of entitlement is the sort of thing I want to protect MY children from.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      I’m so sorry that is your understating of religion. Prayers you find what you’re looking for. Or that He finds you, rather. He’s pretty good at that. 😉

  • Splashy

    I would like to point out here that in many states defacing library property (such as taking a sharpie to it) is a misdemeanor. You’re also teaching your children that it’s okay to break the law, if you don’t agree with it.

    Due to your actions, the library will spend more money on the same book. As a librarian, I understand that you’re a little upset but as another comment on here said – public libraries are considered neutral places. In every community, there are many types of families and there are many different belief systems and lack of belief systems. Libraries must fulfill the needs of all their patrons to the best of their ability. We don’t censor, we try not to let a bias for one belief or another interfere with our ability to give families what they need. Which means that there will be books on alternate lifestyles for all ages – without any sort of warning (that’s censorship!) because there are families out there who face discrimination and hate because their family is different. Kids need to be able to see themselves in books, so just like your children would enjoy seeing a book with a mom and a dad, some children want to see books with their mom and mom or dad and dad.

    If you’re afraid of getting books like that, ask your local librarian to recommend some books to you that are appropriate for your children and your beliefs. They will assist you and you won’t have to worry about anything “sneaking” in. Don’t deface library property or hurt other families by labeling their lifestyle as inappropriate or wrong. That’s not showing kindness, grace, or “what Jesus would do”.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      I’m 100% certain Jesus would not be in favor of exposing children to adult sexual behavior of any flavor. Which is the entire point of this post. My hope is that we can come to a collective understanding that disagreement does NOT equal (contrary to our tiresome national narrative) “hate.” It is possible for adults to disagree deeply over something without resorting to hating one another.Thanks for your contribution to the conversation.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      nope, just the ones dull enough to resort to profanity and name calling. If you can control yourself, you’re more than welcome to comment.

      • Dora

        Why won’t you allow any comments that mention the Catholic priest scandal? That directly affected the lives of thousands of children, perhaps hundreds of thousands, and they weren’t reading about “adult sexuality,” they were being molested by adults! How do you reconcile your involvement with the Catholic church despite the fact that it protected these sexual predators for so many years, allowing them to keep on offending with the most innocent population, children?

        • Jenny Uebbing

          I’ve directly addressed that in comments again and again. It is a terrible, terrible evil when an adult sexually offends on a child, and it is inexcusable no matter what position the adult holds. I am so sorry if you were hurt by a priest, and offer you my sincerest apologies on behalf of the Church, if I may be so bold. Pope Francis has led the charge for greater transparency and immediate action when abuse is revealed – which should have always been the case, and in many dioceses, was. Unfortunately it was not the case across the board.

          As for how I can be Catholic despite there having been some evil men in positions of power? I guess I’d have to ask the same question of you: how can you be human when other humans have committed acts of great evil? There are terrible people in any population. It is far worse when a priest commits such a horrible act of evil, of course. But it’s also the case that a comparatively small percentage of the total population of priests have done these things. Smaller than the percentage of school teachers or ministers of other faiths. Do you feel the same way about those populations?

  • Laura

    As a Catholic, mother, and a librarian, this horrifies me.

    In one awful move, you taught your kids it was okay to destroy books, to disrespect public property, and to have no appreciation for public libraries or the people who work for them.

    Furthermore, regardless of your beliefs, acting out in this way is the way of the Pharisees. That self-righteous, “I believe I have the moral high ground so I can behave however I want” attitude is what led Jesus to be killed, nazis to round up Jews, KKK members to hang people of color, and terrorists to fly planes into buildings.

    It’s not just being a bad example of Christianity, it’s being a bad human being.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      this is probably the craziest comment I’ve read on this thread, so I’ve got to hand it to you.

      Putting a written warning label in a book warning other parents about the presence of adult sexuality = the holocaust. Just gonna let that settle in…