When I was very young, our household library included a Vatican-approved volume about the lives of various saints, and it was one of the books that helped me learn how to read.
Perhaps as appropriate for the historical eras during which they lived, the lives of these Saints were rather short and unfailingly violent. Each of the chapters ended with graphic descriptions of how the subject was martyred, and many drawings provided ample visual reinforcement.
We weren’t a religious family, to be sure, but I can recall no qualms about letting me peruse this book. After all, it was approved by the Church.
I can’t remember having nightmares, although I occasionally was scared. I recall thinking that saintliness sure did involve a great deal of pain, suffering and death ... and that I'd rather be a cowboy, instead.
Here’s a story from yesterday’s Tribune:
Greater Clark keeps scary book; Grandmother tried to get book series pulled from school libraries, by Joseph Lord (News-Tribune).
This summer (Beth) Dorsey launched a campaign to ban the “Scary Stories” series from Greater Clark elementary schools, but her effort was killed after school leaders decided to keep the books …
… Dorsey said her two granddaughters had read books from the series and since had suffered from fear and nightmares, and other students had similar reactions.
Her 6-year-old granddaughter, Tiffany Svoboda, has been “imprisoned by fear” after reading one of the books from Utica Elementary’s library …
… She said the books also go against Christian values she is teaching her grandchildren.
“This is against everything we believe,” Dorsey said.
If censorship is a Christian value, then I hope I’m not alone in feeling somewhat “imprisoned” by it.