Censorship Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old censorship quotes, censorship sayings, and censorship proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

The prime goal of censorship is to promote ignorance, whether it is done via lying and bowdlerized school texts or by attacking individual books.     

Felice Picano

There is a fine line between censorship and good taste and moral responsibility.     

Steven Spielberg

Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself.     

Potter Stewart

Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind.     

William Westmoreland

Censorship, like charity, should begin at home, but, unlike charity, it should end there.     

Clare Boothe Luce

The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.     

Henry Steele Commager

The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen.     

Tommy Smothers

We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.     


I am thankful for all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.     

Nancie J. Carmody

Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.     

Alfred Whitney Griswold

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.     

Judy Blume

It's not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship.     

Judy Blume

Censorship laws are blunt instruments, not sharp scalpels. Once enacted, they are easily misapplied to merely unpopular or only marginally dangerous speech.     

Alan Dershowitz

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.     

Thomas Jefferson

All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequentlythe first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.     

George Bernard Shaw

If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.     

Benjamin Franklin

Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.     

Heinrich Heine

Information is the currency of democracy.     

Thomas Jefferson

If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.     

George Orwell

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.     

Oscar Wilde

We all know that books burn, yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man's eternal fight against tyranny of every kind.     

Franklin D. Roosevelt

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.     

Salman Rushdie

Imagine books and music and movies being filtered and homogenized. Certified. Approved for consumption. People will be happy to give up most of their culture for the assurance that the tiny bit that comes through is safe and clean. White noise.     

Chuck Palahniuk

Every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.     

Oscar Wilde

There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance.     


I hope people realize that banning the truth, as well as fiction, is proof that ignorance is dangerous to freedom.     


You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.     

John Morley

One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.     

Golda Meir

Did you ever hear anyone say, 'That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me'?     

Joseph Henry Jackson