Are we called to be restricting people or freeing people?

Pastor Matthew Best
4 min readMar 27

“A Florida principal has resigned after students at a Christian charter school in Tallahassee were shown the statue of the biblical figure David by Michelangelo, prompting at least one parent to complain that the children had been exposed to pornography.” ( Source).

This might be one of the most famous pieces of art in the world. It was commissioned by the church and was considered too beautiful to remain in the church, so it was put in the public square for all to enjoy in Florence.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed a bill banning drag shows in public spaces. This comes after a picture surfaced of him wearing a cheerleaders outfit at a football game. “Lee says there’s a big difference between wearing a dress at a high school football game and drag queens wearing a dress on stage.” ( Source) He didn’t go on to saw what the difference was though.

Florida is looking expand its Parental Rights in Education law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in March 2022, often referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. “The law bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.” ( Source).

“For grades 4 through 12, instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited unless such instruction is either expressly required by state academic standards … or is part of a reproductive health course or health lesson for which a student’s parent has the option to have his or her student not attend,” according to the proposed rule.

That’s just three stories in the news right now around one theme. Don’t even get me started on the book bans. As someone who loves to read I have a few words that come to mind to those who think banning books are a good idea. It’s not going to work. I don’t even doubt that for one minute.

Here’s why. Because restrictions and bans and similar efforts to make people and ideas go away through force don’t ever work. Humans don’t like to be told what to do or what to think or what not to think. They will resist naturally to such things. “Don’t touch the stove.” You know exactly what is going to happen. Your toddler is going to touch the stove.

And when a book is banned, or art is banned, or drag shows are banned, or other things are banned because some people can’t handle dealing with them and it makes them uncomfortable for whatever reason, guess what happens. Those things will…

Pastor Matthew Best

My name is Matthew Best. I’m an ELCA (Lutheran) pastor who attempts to translate church and churchy stuff into everyday language.