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Cover of Irreversible DamageRegnery

May 5, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — For the last several years, media outlets have been openly campaigning for censorship and digital book burning on behalf of the trans movement. The New York Times does it; most recently, the Seattle Times expressed disappointment that Amazon declined to pull Abigail Shrier’s recent book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.

A particularly egregious example of this showed up recently in the Halifax Examiner in a column advocating that Shrier’s book get pulled from library bookshelves. With the ludicrous title “If the library is safe for transphobia, it’s not safe for trans people,” the 2,600-word screed calls for Irreversible Damage to be removed from Halifax Public Libraries after trans activists were “shocked and hurt” to discover its availability.

More disturbing to some is that while Halifax Public Libraries owns two copies, 21 people have it on hold — no surprise considering the fact that many people’s daughters are being seduced by the transgender craze. Mothers of children who identify as trans promptly pulled up a letter written by one censor asking that the Ottawa Public Library decline to carry it, claiming that Shrier’s book “has the potential to cause great harm.” They then cite stats that Shrier takes pains to respond to and rebut in her book. (My interview with Shrier can be found here.)

One activist mother went so far as to write: “It surprises me that our library would carry a book that would risk the lives of trans youth simply for the sake of intellectual freedom. It is incredibly irresponsible, especially given the fact that the book in question has little to no scientific ground to stand on.” Which is an incredibly irresponsible statement to make considering the fact that the book is very well-researched and that sacrificing intellectual freedom for ideology has a dark and sordid history.

According to CTV, the parent of a child who has “presented” as “gender non-conforming” since age three is trying to get the book, which the parent has obviously not read, pulled from the Ottawa Public Library because it “builds its ideology on hate speech.” A petition of 204 signatures was sent stating that the book “is NOT neutral and ‘intellectual freedom’ is different than hate speech.” Further, the parent said: “As somebody who identifies within the trans spectrum and as somebody who has a trans child as well, it hit pretty close to home and I was really outraged about it.”

While there is more than a little to unpack there, the Ottawa Public Library is not backing down. Ann Archer, the program manager content services at the OPL stated that upon reviewing the complaints, they have decided not to remove the book as it “comes from an authoritative publisher [and] was chosen as one of the top books of 2020 by The Economist and there is a public demand for it.” In fact, six people had requested its purchase and more than thirty people are currently on the waitlist for it.

“There needs to be a legal reason at this point to remove the book,” Archer stated. “We don’t remove it because people don’t like it. There’s something to offend everyone in the library.” One suspects that the popularity of Shrier’s book — which is packed with damning evidence of the destruction of transgender ideology — is precisely what has critics so worried.

It is both encouraging and fitting that one of the last holdouts against a culture of growing censorship would be library staff. The Toronto Public Library faced enormous pressure and massive protests in 2019 when trans-critical radical feminist Meghan Murphy was invited to speak, but they held their ground nonetheless. With Amazon refusing to pull Shrier’s book and Canada’s libraries thus far following suit while dozens of people sign up for the wait list, perhaps glimmers of truth are getting out.

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.