Some public libraries inviting drag queens to read to children aren’t willing to extend the same courtesy to Kirk Cameron, a well-known actor active in Christian causes.
Mr. Cameron said more than 50 libraries rejected his request to hold a public reading of his newly released children’s book “As You Grow,” published by Brave Books and illustrated by Juan Moreno.
“It’s a book that teaches biblical wisdom through the seasons of life to children and the value of growing the fruit of the spirit, like love, joy, kindness, patience, gentleness, self-control,” Mr. Cameron said Wednesday on Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “I wanted to do a book reading at a public library and was denied by over 50 woke libraries that have hosted drag queen story hours.”
He urged parents and grandparents to push back by contacting their local libraries and ask to host events reading their favorite children’s books.
“Call your local public library that has hosted a drag queen story hour and say, I’d like the chance to read my book in the library,” Mr. Cameron said. “And if they say no, they’re likely breaking the law and violating the Constitution, and they can contact Bravebooks.com. We’ll give them free books and all that they need to turn that denial into a revival in their community.”
His experience has already sparked outrage from conservatives who accused left-tilting public libraries of viewpoint discrimination.
“If Kirk Cameron dressed in drag could he have [a] story hour?” asked Twitchy.
Podcaster Matt Walsh tweeted: “If only he was dressed in women’s underwear and reading a book about sexuality for five year olds, then he’d have libraries lining up to host him.”
In a Facebook statement, Brave Books said: “Isn’t it funny how drag-queen story hour is celebrated, but a book about the Fruit of the Spirit is banned?”
Mr. Cameron cited the Alameda County Library system, located east of San Francisco, saying he was told “they didn’t want that book teaching biblical values while at the same time they’re hosting a gender name-change clinic.”
“I’m thinking, wow, if we’re so committed to diversity, why am I being excluded? Why can’t I use your facility to read my book? You’re a library,” Mr. Carmeron said.
The library’s San Lorenzo branch held Tuesday a free “Gender Marker and Name Change Clinic” with Bay Area Legal Aid to update “identity documents,” including birth certificates, driver’s licenses and passports, to “support Trans and Gender Non Conforming folks!” as advertised on Facebook.
The Washington Times has reached out to the library for comment.
Time to have our own BRAVE Books story-hour! https://t.co/KsHmvGfNbB— BRAVE Books (@BraveBooksUS) December 8, 2022
Mr. Cameron also cited the public library in Providence, Rhode Island, which held a Drag Queen Story Hour in July featuring Ms. Naomi, shown in a black evening gown slit to the upper thigh. The event, open to kids of all ages, was billed as a way to help children “learn about gender diversity and difference.”
Community Libraries of Providence posted a statement Thursday saying that it turns down most requests to co-host events, but that “Brave Books is free to request a meeting room space to hold an event at one of our libraries.”
“We receive many unsolicited requests from individuals groups to co-host events, which we are always happy to consider,” said the statement. “In the vast majority of cases, they do not result in partnership. Typically, as with Brave Books, we suggest that the inquirer considers holding their own event in a bookable meeting room space.”
The library also said that Brave Books “mentioned no particular author or book in their call.”
His critics on social media reacted by accusing Mr. Cameron of being a “Christian extremist” and “preaching intolerance.”
“Kirk Cameron wasn’t denied story time at libraries because he’s a Christian, it’s because he’s a dangerous right-wing bigot,” tweeted writer Glenn Dallas. “He’s a bigger threat to your children than a drag queen reading a story.”
Since disclosing the rejections Wednesday on Fox News, Mr. Cameron said that he has received emails from hundreds of parents and librarians “saying we want your book and we want to host our own Brave Books story hour.”
He encouraged Christians not to accept the status quo.
“To Christians particularly, we often get told ‘no’ in the public square,” he said. “We go home with our tail between our legs crying in our Chick-fil-A soup, waiting for the Rapture, rather than getting on the offense and saying, let’s invest in our children and teach them the values we want them to learn.”
Launched in January 2021, Texas-based Brave Books said its purpose is to “honor God by shaping a future generation of Americans” and “help parents instill a love of truth in their children so that children will withstand harmful progressive influences.”
• Valerie Richardson can be reached at email@example.com.
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