*This is a continuation of a previous post found here.
My oldest son Michael (a recent homeschool graduate), had a dilemma in his World Civilizations course in college. Students were required to read a historical fiction novel that was sexually graphic (both hetero and homo).
We purchased the required book and I started reading it, with the intent to mark the offending parts for my son, so he could choose to skip over them.
Within the first 5 pages, a man’s genitalia was described twice - I marked those lines in the book. Later the same man tried to force himself on his wife with vivid description, as she begged him to go be satisfied by his “young boys” - I then started marking entire paragraphs. Soon thereafter, the same character then verbally assaults his wife and calls her horrid, foul and profane names, and was physically violent with his young son. By page 15, I had circled entire page numbers and I felt like throwing up. I have never read such filth in my life.
I forced myself to read through the 15 pages thinking I had to help my son with this because there was no way he was going to be able to read this filth. I was very upset when I had to admit there was no way this book could be edited to be a decent read. I grieved for our moral-lacking society and for my son, who was going to have to make his way in it. It took a couple of days for me to be more in control of my emotions to even talk to him about it.
I sat down with my son and told him what I had encountered in the book. I reminded him that he is an adult, I could not go talk to his professors and make things better. He had to decide what he was going to do about this situation. Immediately he said “I won’t read it! I’ll just take a bad grade.”
I was proud of my son, for not backing down from doing what he knows is right. However, I didn’t know what step he should take next. Should he write a paper based on the same figure but use a different book and hope his grade doesn’t suffer? Should he drop the class? Should he just not write the paper at all and take the failed grade on that assignment? Should he request an alternative book? Should he approach the teacher about it? This was not a simple choice, his academic scholarship could be affected. I encouraged Michael to pray and fast about it and do what the Lord wanted him to do.
Last Thursday, during World Civilizations, the professor encouraged the students to begin reading this assigned (required) novel. After class, Michael approached him and asked if there was an alternate book available since the assigned book was so sexually graphic. The instructor said he’d never had a student object to the reading but that Michael's request was reasonable and he would try to find a replacement for him over the weekend. We were hopeful.
On Sunday, Michael fasted and prayed that his instructor would be able to find a suitable replacement.
Today, he returned home with not one, but over 30 other book options. These options are now available to any student who requests an alternate book to read.
My heart is so full! I feel so blessed that my son stood strong and was willing to stand alone and take whatever the repercussion might be for not submitting himself to something he knew was not appropriate for him to read.