I browsed through Facebook a week ago and saw an interesting cancellation from Crawford County Library District. The cancellation concerned a story hour offered through the library by patron and responsible member of the community, who bought a copy of a book that the library had on the shelf.
The patron, also an employee of the library, offered to purchase and read the book during a special story hour to children on her own time; that is, not on paid time. The subject of this particular story is tolerance of lifestyles and acceptance of differences among people.
Members of the community and patrons of the library heard about an additional story hour with interest and asked about special reading, the content of the book, and times scheduled at each of the three branches. When learning that the book contained lifestyles that were not heterosexual and that those lifestyles should be considered with respect a public outrage followed.
An outrage so great library personnel received death threats from members of the community and the possibility that violence would follow if the story hour was held. This threat of violent action by a group of Christian enthusiasts resulted in the library board cancellation of the presentation.
I am not a preacher, my knowledge of God, Jesus, the Bible is more limited than many. I know Jesus, the man from whom Christianity arose had one commandment: “Love one another.” 1 John 4, 13 John 34.
The Gospel of John is a teaching gospel and John’s interpretation of Jesus’ word on how people should get along is clear. No threats of violence were involved. No threat of violence. My concern is how to believe in Christian faith and threaten your neighbors. Consider Jesus’s one commandment “Love one another.” In other word revert to the 1990’s WWJD.
The library offers diverse content on many subjects. That is the purpose of a library to make reading materials available to a large and diverse audience. The library receives monies from the same audience that is a large and diverse group of people.
The library is a center of free speech in very difficult times to help educate, enlighten, and communicate ideas to lead to a greater understanding of all others. The threat of violence to freedom of speech inhibits all people’s rights.
Deborah K. Dicus