When Kirk Cameron and Brave Books first launched their book reading plans for public libraries across the US last fall, over 50 libraries pushed back, denying them access outside of room rentals. This from many libraries that routinely and proudly host Drag Queen Story Hours.
“I was excluded from over 50 libraries initially,” Cameron told The Post Millennial, “who had previously held these community Drag Queen Story Hours.” After the backlash, Cameron launched the tour anyway, and undaunted, thousands of families showed up to libraries from California to DC and everywhere in between to hear positive messages on values, family, and community.
Fast forward to this coming Saturday, when more than 280 libraries across the US will see book readings of children’s books that focus on Christian values, such as Cameron’s books, and others from Brave Books authors.
“These are organized and led by parents and grandparents, teachers, pastors, librarians,” Cameron said, “and we have 45 states represented. State senators, state governors, Marco Rubio, Governor Ashcroft, Kramer, Huckabee, and others, along with pastors, mayors, county commissioners are all in full support of this event and their communities and they’re participating.”
Cameron will be attending three of these events in three states, and what makes them remarkable is that these are not events put on by the publisher, but by local parents and community groups that want to see more wholesome values at their local libraries. He will be in Hendersonville, Tenn., Huntsville, Ala., and Austin, Tex. Riley Gaines, the former college swimmer who spoke out against men competing in women’s athletic events, will join Cameron.
The events, however, were not without backlash, and that backlash came from the highest echelons of the library world. The American Libraries Association, under the guidance of Deborah Caldwell-Stone, tried to block the See You at the Library events from going forward. She recommended that librarians book all the public meeting spaces at their branches for August 5th, and prevent groups from booking space to host the events.
“We’re seeing groups that seek the censor LGBTQA materials or disparage or silence LGBTQA library users exploit the open nature of a public library to advance their agendas,” Caldwell-Stone said.
Cameron blasted the ALA’s undertaking to silence the readings, saying “the ALA is funded with millions of dollars from the federal government, in the form of taxpayer grants, to encourage people to come to local libraries and read books to children so that they can learn all kinds of great stuff. And they’re using these dollars to teach librarians how to block Christian families from coming to the libraries on Saturday, while simultaneously promoting and paying for Drag Queen Story Hours.”
Drag Queen Story Hour was founded in San Francisco as part of an effort to “queer” early childhood education.
Cameron has no problem speaking out against men in fishnets reading sexualized books to toddlers and instead speaking out in favor of faith, hope, love, family, country and God.
Cameron and his attorneys have sent a letter to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, asking for an investigation into why the ALA is essentially engaging in religious discrimination in violation of the Constitution. If they are doing that, Cameron said, the ALA should not receive government funds. Marco Rubio has doubled down on that, and asked for an investigation as well into potential First Amendment violations.
Those values from the ALA, and from the librarians across the country that have been opposed to the book readings, are “out of sync” with their communities’ values. Many libraries, Cameron said, are worried that they won’t have enough space to accommodate all those who wish to attend.
Some library locations will be protested by Drag Queen Story Hour devotees and activists who feel that children should be exposed to adult sexual fetishes.
“This is really showing that the battle is here,” Cameron said. “I think we’re over the target because this is really about the hearts and minds of children.”
“I am confident,” he said, “that good will triumph over evil.”
“What we’re seeing here,” he said of the grassroots organizing of parents and families coming together at the libraries this weekend, “is not something new. It’s actually a waking up and remembering first principle, and what the left has been doing, what the progressives have been doing with regard to community organizing and grassroots effort, to bring about wholesale transformation, from the bottom up, is really borrowing from our conservative religious playbook.”
“The Founders understood that when you want freedom, and you want a republic that is governed by ‘we, the people,’ you have to build it from the bottom up,” Cameron said, “and it has to start from the inside and work its way out meaning the inside of your heart and your home, your family, your community then all the way out to the edges of the country. Change has to begin at your house, not at the White House. If you start at the top, now you’ve got an authoritarian style of government.”
Cameron shared a quote from Noah Webster, saying that “‘every civil government is based on some religion or foundational philosophy.’ And he said ‘the education of that nation will promote and propagate the religion of that nation in America.’ That foundational religion was Christianity, and it was sewn into the hearts of people for two centuries through the whole public and private education.”
That, for Cameron, is the driving force behind the story hours. “It’s not to push a personal agenda. It’s not to hijack all the fun for the drag queens, it’s to promote, through education, the foundational philosophy that has led to our liberty, our success, and our unprecedented growth as a nation and I want to continue that.”
See You at the Library will be happening across the country, and a full list of locations can be found here.