Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Educating The Library

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Last week we learned an Alabama public library is violating the constitutional rights of Kirk Cameron and Brave Books by blocking an upcoming event.

This is not the first time this has happened. I've written about it here and talked about it on our radio program. 

Here we go again. This time in Alabama.

Kirk Cameron's publisher, Brave Books, is sponsoring “See You at the Library" events at libraries across the U.S. 

This past Saturday, they were scheduled to have an event at the Huntsville-Madison County Library. 

The meetings include a time of  “praying, singing, and reading books” by the publisher.

Three days before the event, the Library canceled it, citing concerns about security and capacity.

However, that's not the last page of the story.

So-called "public" libraries nationwide are receiving a formal education on freedom and liberty.

And the Constitution.

Be informed, not misled.

The library flunked the freedom test.

Jeremy Dys, senior counsel at First Liberty, sent a letter to the library Thursday, urging the library to reverse its decision. The letter says the library is violating the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent.

The letter also said, "The library canceled the event upon learning that Cameron and Gaines would be attending in person." 

“We write to inform you that, should you persist in the cancellation of this event, you will have engaged in unlawful and unconstitutional religious viewpoint and content discrimination in violation of the Alabama Constitution and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Dys wrote.

A lawsuit is possible if the library does not reverse its decision, Dys said.

“Your actions unconstitutionally censor our client’s speech through your unbridled, unilateral decision-making,” Dys wrote. “The gathering of citizens to hear authors read books at libraries is hardly a novel invention. Further, the exchange of ideas at libraries — including the exchange of ideas that some deem offensive and even dangerous — has been a staple of our American experience and long protected by the First Amendment.

“Citing mysterious, undefined concerns about security is further misplaced when Mr. Cameron and Brave Books have made clear their intent to provide personal private security for the duration of the event. While no private citizen should be compelled to provide for the security of the general public to access public resources, surely their provision of the same for them, their guests, and your staff should assure the safety of all concerned and allay any legitimate concerns of your own.”

If the public library's function is to provide information to the public---who pays for the libraries? They have miserably failed the test by selectively choosing who can and who cannot use public libraries.

It's beyond ironic that these same libraries are more than willing to accommodate perverted men dressed up like women performing for and grooming children as young as 5 years old. 

The library retakes the test and gets it right.

After it abruptly canceled a planned event, the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library System in Alabama reversed the course and allowed Kirk Cameron, Riley Gaines, and Brave Books to hold the planned book reading.

The letter said in part: “Upon learning that Mr. Cameron and his friend and Brave Books author, Riley Gaines, will be attending in person, you abruptly canceled the event citing ‘security concerns’ from a potential protest of Mr. Cameron and claiming the event exceeds the library’s capacity.” 

The lawyer also stated any refusal to overturn the cancellation would be seen as “unlawful and unconstitutional religious viewpoint and content discrimination in violation of the Alabama Constitution and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Apparently, the library people had an epiphany. Suddenly they understood that Kirk Cameron's people understood exactly what they were up to.

Senators Demand Investigation into American Library Association’s Religious Discrimination.

Additionally, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida—along with Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana and Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota—also sent a letter recently to the Institute of Museum and Library Services demanding an investigation into the American Library Association’s (ALA) potential misuse of taxpayer dollars to silence Brave Books.

In June, an ALA official provided guidance on how to prevent story hours held by Brave Books from happening at libraries. At the same time, however, the ALA has continued to promote “Drag Queen Story Hours” that expose minors to sexual topics.

I wrote about that in this blog.

The senators’ letter comes less than a month after attorneys first sent a letter calling for an investigation of religious discrimination by the ALA, after ALA leader Deborah Caldwell-Stone targeted Cameron and his publisher on their religious beliefs.

“As a recipient of federal funds, the ALA is prohibited from using taxpayer dollars to violate the First Amendment,” the letter states. The senators also make clear that religious groups and organizations deserve equal treatment under the law.



“While claiming to promote equality and diversity, the ALA is conspiring to deny access to thousands of citizens based upon open intolerance of their religious beliefs,” said Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for First Liberty. “Such actions are blatantly unconstitutional. Federal taxpayers should not be required to fund such bigotry and intolerance.”

It’s unconstitutional to deny people of faith access to a public library meeting room. But those in charge of our nation’s libraries do not appear to be getting the message that excluding religious Americans from using library facilities is wrong and illegal. Federal law expressly prohibits discrimination based on religion. Public libraries and other government agencies must treat religious individuals and organizations the same as everyone else, including equal access to public spaces.

Freedom is a fragile thing and it's never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.

January 5, 1967: Ronald Reagan's Inaugural Address. 

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.