LIBRARY TRUSTEES: Do not deter from U.S. founders’ intention
This is an open letter to the Community Library Board. The following quotation is from the Treaty of Tripoli (1796) between the U.S. government and the Bey of Tripoli.
“…the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
The surpassing uniqueness of this nation was that it was founded on reason, which is a grounded process of concluding and generalizing that builds upon itself. This is what is to guide us as we govern ourselves. Our history shows that over time we do come to conclusions that are long-term trustable, despite seemingly endless amounts of refusal, ignorance and abuse. This happens if inquiry and thought are free.
A public library is a public commitment to this process, and so should first refuse any effort to limit what can be learned. Abuses can and do occur, but remedies for them have been found. So please refuse to limit collections based on private or religious belief. Instead, provide what reason requires and follow out the intention of our founders.
Thanks for your attention,