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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Repression Started

Received an e-mail from Smashwords today. Pen Pal has given them a week to delete all stories in the erotica genre that have elements of children in sexual situations, bestiality, rape and incest.
Smashwords has no choice but to comply since Pay Pal handles all their payments even processing credit cards. Smashwords alread has a prohibition on minors involved in or being present in sexual situations. I removed one of my flash stories upon publication dealing with a 16 year old boy and an older woman. Can't write The Summer of 42 anymore.
Did anyone vote for Pay Pal to be the arbiter of public morals?
I know some of you are saying what's wrong with censoring these abominable items. And they are, but what's to now stop them from censoring political comments they don't like, anti-war stories, or a children's book that puts a bad light on lumberjacks (The Lorax- now a movie).
They've qualified the ban on rape as that which is tittilating, whatever the hell that means. This is the one item that affects me.
In my novel Human Sacrifices my heroine is raped by her husband the first time she says no to sex after they're married. Her husband quotes scripture saying that the woman's body belongs to her husband and she doesn't have the right to deny him. It is essential to my story to show the fundamentalist belief in women being subject to their husbands as explicitly stated in the Southern Baptist Conventions revision of the Faith and Message Statement in 2000. I don't believe the way I wrote the scene it would be of purient interest to most readers, but I can't vouch for every reader particularly one looking to be offended.
For my snarky take on this I'll post on my Captain's Log further steam.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Goodbye Old Friend

When I was 14 a friend started to lead me astray. Mike was a year behind me, but lived down the street. We became friends because all his life he had the ability to make good friends instantly. He got me smoking cigarettes which led to jumping a wall at the school into the backyard of an empty house and smoking during lunch. We were caught and suspended for three days. My parents went ballistic, but I was struggling with smoking before this. My brother the year before set the school record in the 600 yard dash and received a trophy at the awards ceremony. I vowed I'd break his record and I knew that there was no way I could do that if I smoked. Being suspended gave me the excuse to stop smoking. Mike and I hung around for a few weeks after that, but I refused to light up with him. When basketball season started I had practice after school and that was when we stopped hanging out together. I set the school record in the 660 yard dash winning the city championship the next year.
Two years ago we started attending a home church. At her work my wife made a friend whose husband pastors the church. Steve and I became friends and when I retired he asked if I would help in his law firm. It came as a surprise when Mike and his wife showed up to church. We hadn't seen each other in forty years. He spent time in the military, found the Lord, was baptised and ordained as a minister. Everyone who knew him before and after conversion witnessed first hand the transformation in his life. The one thing he couldn't shake from his old life was smoking and it killed him. Yesterday was his memorial service. It was the first time in over 40 years I said hello to his older brother and younger sister.
I've searched my heart for the past two years knowing how his health was failing what I could have done for more of a difference when we were younger, if my stopping smoking and moving away provided influence that later led to his conversion? On only one occasion we talked about God because he knew I went to church with my family every Sunday morning and night as well as Wednesdays. I'm afraid I wasn't very articulate in answering his questions.  I do know his conversion made a huge impact to those around him and many now know Jesus as their savior because of him.