Discussions Only We Know
So last week we discussed keeping your blog family friendly. Today's topic going to be a tough one for me. Today we're discussing standards--moral standards.
We all have one, right? Even if they're not the same. What do you do if a book you're reading discusses or touches on something that goes against your moral standards? Do you DNF? Or do you keep reading? Do you address it in your review? Or do you ignore it? Do you finish the book but not review it? Do you avoid the controversy, or do you face it head on? I need your help on this one.
Most people have some moral standard that they adhere to: don't lie, cheat, or steal, don't murder, etc etc. As a Christian, I have a standard that I adhere to as well, it's called The Bible. But as such, there are often subjects that come up in books that don't live up to my moral standard that many people don't see a problem with and just consider to be outdated.
The easiest solution is to avoid books that are outside of my moral compass, but that's not always possible. Book blurbs rarely cover every possibility that you might find offensive or against your own standards so I can't always know which ones to avoid. But sometimes what to avoid is obvious. That's not the issue. The issue comes when the "offensive" subject is slipped in and you've "come too far" to turn back.
Truthfully, The Bible is full of stories that break the standard. There's all of the things mentioned above: lying, cheating, stealing, murder, rape, etc. You don't have to read far into The Bible to come across stories that go against the morals God set up. These are usually used as examples of what not to do. And I think we can get the same results from literature today.
Just because I read a book about murder doesn't mean I condone murder. Just because I read a book about rape doesn't mean I condone rape. Just because I read a book where a character curses doesn't mean I condone cursing. But I know that what we feed into our minds and hearts stays there as well. I can read books about these subjects and know that I'm seeing what I should not do or how I should not behave.
But here's a kicker for myself: I've become desensitized to some things that "go against" my moral standard. While I don't do those things myself, it's nothing for me to read about them, such as cursing or premarital sex. But there are other things that I'm not desensitized to. I think each person is in charge of what they get out of each book--whether they walk away thinking "that's how I want to live my life" or whether they put the book down and think "I don't want my life to be like that."
What about you guys? How do you handle reading a book that involves something that goes against your moral standards? Does it matter what the point of the book is if something you disagree with is thrown in? Do you feel like you need to discuss these things in your review of the book? Or do you avoid them? Do you try to avoid books that conflict with your standards? Or do you just take each book as they come? Are you a reader that tries to learn from each book you read? Or do you just read for the sake of experiencing a story or escaping reality for a bit? I'm really curious what everyone else thinks about this topic. What are your thoughts? Let me know!