The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and self-control. But the fruit of public libraries is faux diversity, drag queens, and rejection of the sexes — which is why the taxpayer-funded cesspools are “not interested” in giving Kirk Cameron a storytime slot to read his new children’s book on the fruit of the Spirit to kids.
The actor, writer, and producer “has not gotten a single ‘yes’ from the 50-plus public libraries his publisher has contacted so far,” Fox News reported in a Wednesday exclusive. According to Cameron’s publisher and Fox’s scouring of the libraries’ websites, “Many of the same libraries that won’t give Cameron a slot … are actively offering ‘drag queen’ story hours or similar programs for kids and young people.”
It’s not only drag queen story hours, where adult men derive pleasure from strapping on prosthetic breasts, painting theatrical contour all over their masculine faces, and sporting fishnet tights for an audience of children. These libraries reportedly host queer book clubs, a series called “Every Month Is Pride Month,” and so-called “get free help” events where attorneys and other volunteers help patrons fill out legal paperwork to change their names, record themselves as the opposite sex (or sexless entirely), and alter birth certificates, Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, IDs, and passports. But if you want to read to kids about gentleness, goodness, and kindness, it’s a hard no.
How does it go again? … Something, something “blessings of liberty”?
The self-important and self-appointed “principled conservatives” have expended much energy lecturing right-wing culture warriors who resist this debauchery. When conservatives took offense at libraries using their tax dollars to sponsor sexualized events that spit in the face of their deeply held religious beliefs, The Principled Conservatives™ were there with a finger wag and a condescending, First Amendment! Tsk! Viewpoint neutrality!
Drag queens reading to innocents is just one of those great “blessings of liberty,” went the spiel, and the right couldn’t possibly ban provocative cross-dressers from reading to kiddos in public spaces or else Christians would soon be banished from those same spaces.
Here’s a snippet from The New Yorker summarizing such an exchange from the debate between Sohrab Amari and David French (Mr. “Blessings of Liberty” himself):
Ahmari kept returning to the extremist complaint that Drag Queen Story Hours are being staged for children in public libraries. To him, these were a sign of “a five-alarm cultural fire.” … The same First Amendment principle that allows drag queens to read to children in public libraries had also allowed Christian groups to flourish, French said, by permitting them to organize in universities and other public spaces. “So you would undermine viewpoint neutrality in First Amendment jurisprudence?” French asked. “Yeah, I would,” Ahmari said. French raised his arms in exasperation. “That’s a disaster, y’all!”
By “viewpoint neutrality,” French means the First Amendment’s right to free speech or freedom of religion applies evenly to different groups regardless of the viewpoints they espouse. But the idea that the American founders meant for the First Amendment to allow people to advocate for civilization-destroying behaviors is obscenely false. Nobody is morally obligated to be neutral about the gross immorality of discussing sex with other people’s kids, and the law should not be either, in theory or in practice.
Barring people from doing sex shows for kids in publicly funded venues is not against the Constitution, and it’s specious to argue that if you insist there are constitutional limits on speech and this is precisely one, that you’re somehow a proponent of “big government” or “against the free market.” There is no free market for children. And there are ways to establish reasonable and constitutional limits on speech — such as withholding government funding from events and venues that peddle books and activities about sex for children — something many conservatives are striving to do even if the self-described principled wing is too lazy or too cowardly to do that intellectual and ground-game work.
Furthermore, several years have now passed since the aforementioned “principled” prognosis, and the five-alarm cultural fire has consumed the public square; LGBT ideologues who have never cared about viewpoint neutrality dominate every government institution. If you haven’t noticed, drag queen story hours are only getting stronger, and Christians are still being barred from the public square.
Case in point: When Cameron’s publisher asked the Indianapolis Public Library about hosting a story hour with the author, a library employee replied that those types of events are “coordinated through our departments. We really have a push. We have a strategic plan in place, so we are really looking at authors who are diverse. Authors of color. That’s really been our focus.” And when the publisher countered that Cameron’s perspective contributes to a diversity of ideas, the library reportedly replied, “Well, we are focusing on racial equity.” In other words, the activists who staff government libraries work together to impose their cultural narratives and exclude those that are too white, too male, too straight, or too Christian.
At this point, the only way Cameron stands a chance of equal access to public libraries across the country is if he dresses up like a prostitute, gyrates around a reading room, and prods children to shove singles in his underwear.
The thing people like Cameron — or Jack Phillips or Barronelle Stutzman or Lorie Smith — understand but many establishment Republicans and “principled conservatives” don’t is that the left hates us and all the values we claim to be conserving. They don’t care about playing by a certain set of rules because their method is lawlessness (see: unpunished Black Lives Matter riots, brazen election meddling, illegal student loan bailouts, or unconstitutional vaccine mandates, to name a few). They scoff at viewpoint diversity because their aim is groupthink (consider: Big Tech suspensions for dissenters on a number of topics, or mass firings of health-care professionals who held unfavorable opinions about the jab). And they laugh at appeals to the First Amendment because they abandoned it long ago.
That’s why real conservatives groan when spineless Republican lawmakers drone about “robust” religious liberty protections in a tyrannical anti-speech bill promoting same-sex marriage. And it’s why they can’t bear to hear one more so-called conservative defend state-sponsored depravity with some appeal to “liberty.”
It should go without saying that conservatives should and do care more about the Constitution and other norms than their leftist counterparts, but there are indeed limits on the First Amendment. The Constitution is not a suicide pact.
And the reality is that “The same First Amendment principle that allows drag queens to read to children in public libraries” is not “allow[ing] Christian groups to flourish,” as the Frenches of the world claim. It is not “permitting them to organize in universities and other public spaces.” After asking more than 50 libraries across the country to permit his Christian views, not a single one accommodated celebrity Kirk Cameron.
As my colleague John Daniel Davidson recently wrote in these pages, “[A]ccommodation or compromise with the left is impossible. One need only consider the speed with which the discourse shifted on gay marriage, from assuring conservatives ahead of the 2015 Obergefell decision that gay Americans were only asking for toleration, to the never-ending persecution of Jack Phillips. The left will only stop when conservatives stop them.”
Standing athwart history, yelling “stop” — or “viewpoint neutrality” or “free speech” — might have been enough to preserve liberty in the ’50s, but it’s almost 2023. If you want to know how well it’s working today, ask Kirk Cameron.
Buy Kirk Cameron’s book “As You Grow” here.