Interesting post “Sunday Meditation: Librarians and Religion” by Will Manley:
“I have always thought that one of the most interesting aspects of Christianity is the very last responsibility that Christ put on the shoulders of his apostles: ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.’ (Matthew 28:19).
The irony here is that many people have rejected Christianity simply because they do not enjoy being recruited into the faith per Christ’s instructions. That is particularly true in this country where people savor their freedoms and don’t appreciate being told what to do, especially by clergymen waving the sword of hellfire and damnation.
Those who are on fire for Christ, however, feel that they have divine authority on their side to preach ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ to non-believers. Although they are often looked at as self righteous scolds who are trying to impose their belief system on others, these proselytizers of the faith for the most part feel that they are actually showing their love for others by trying to share with them the spiritual treasures of their religion.
Librarians get pulled into the middle of this cultural tug of war when the proselytizers either ask that a book be added or removed from the collection in the name of Christ. When you throw in the pressures of local politics (especially if your library is located in the Bible Belt) the resulting stress on the library staff can be very upsetting. Librarians have lost their jobs fighting attempts to censor books that are ‘anti-Christian.’
As a result, there is a very uneasy relationship between religion and librarianship in this country. In my four decades in the library profession I have picked up a very strong vibe that a good number of librarians are anti religion because they resent being dictated to or pressured in the name of God. The temptation is great for librarians to paint all strong believers with the broad brush of intolerance.
The other side of that coin is that I have also picked up a strong vibe that librarians who are devout Christians feel very uncomfortable about bringing up the tenets of their faith within the library profession. They are afraid of being ridiculed or worse being lumped with the censors. A number of librarians have told me that they feel ashamed that they are afraid to claim their Christian beliefs among their professional peers. Instead of following Christ’s directive to ‘make disciples of all nations‘ they go underground with their faith.
This is one of those taboo subjects that we never talk about in librarianship, and that’s precisely why I have recently introduced ‘Sunday Meditation’ as a regular feature of this blog. I am fascinated by the relationship between religion and librarianship and feel that this is as good a place as any to explore its many issues.
What are your thoughts on the subject?” – Will Manley
The Lone Wolf Librarian’s response: A Rationale for Integrating Christian Faith and Librarianship