RE: Christian videos

Charles Ebert (ebertch@oplin.lib.oh.us)
Wed, 22 Sep 1999 10:19:06 -0700 (PDT)

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My question would be: Where do you shelve creationist materials? Do you =
put them in the 500's with the science or the 200's with religion? To =
my mind they belong in the 200's, in spite of the fact that these people =
have gotten very good at packaging their beliefs in the guise of =
science. I know a lot of very intelligent and even well-read people who =
buy into this, some of them work in libraries. =20

Cataloging meets politics.

Charles Ebert
Head, Audio-Visual Services
Muskingum County Library System

-----Original Message-----
From: Mary Gontarek --- Owatonna Public Library =
[SMTP:MARYG@selco.lib.mn.us]
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 1999 8:25 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Christian videos

I'm a media specialist in a medium-sized public library. Lately we've =
noticed
a rather subtle campaign to get certain Christian materials into our =
collection.A donation of the complete Veggie Tales series - which we did =
add by the way -=20
and lately, and not so subtle, brochures from the Moody Bible Institute =
pushing
science videos with the Christian creationist viewpoint lying open on my
desk. Most of these titles have sweet names like "God's Rockin' World" =
and
"Newton's Workshop". My concern is that some librarians will fill their
shelves with these titles, they're inexpensive and often free, in a good
faith attempt to provide materials for their Christian population. I =
checked
our regional database and found that several of these titles are in =
library
collections. I believe, as do most professional librarians, in providing =
a
balanced viewpoint but in this case I think we must be very, very =
careful not
to bend over backwards so far that we can no longer see straight. My =
question isjust how far DO we go? Given recent events such as the Kansas =
Board of Education
not requiring the state's 304 school districts to teach the concepts of
evolution, I think librarians must be more vigilant and outspoken in =
this
confrontation. It seems that too many of us are afraid to speak out on =
this
topic. Among the many things creationists believe is that when God =
created
the earth app. 9,000 years ago, he also created fossils - I suppose as a =
sort
of test? How can we possibly put materials on our shelves that propose =
such
a theory? Creationism is NOT a science, it is a religious theory, plain =
and
simple, and it isn't even a theory that is adopted by most religious =
groups.
Pope John Paul II and many other religious leaders do not teach this =
concept
of creationism as proposed by evangelical religions. Another patron in =
our
community recently wanted to donate a 10 volume series on the =
creationist
viewpoint and we said thanks, but no thanks. I'd be interested to hear =
from
other librarians on how they're handling this problem - and I do think =
it's
a very serious problem.=20
Mary Gontarek
Owatonna Public Library
Owatonna, MN

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