It’s December 2022, and the winner of this week’s woke Olympics goes to the nation’s public libraries.
Here’s how news outlets across the country are reporting the story.
“’Growing Pains’ star Kirk Cameron has a new Christian children’s book out, but he’s being banned from hosting story hours at publicly funded libraries across the nation. Cameron‘s book, ‘As You Grow,’ teaches the value of producing the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.”
This has to be satire, you say. Surely this can’t be true.
Well, think again. Consider just a smattering of how libraries from coast to coast are responding to the publisher’s request for a public reading of the Christian actor’s book.
In Providence, Rhode Island, librarians said, “No, we will pass on having you run a program in our space. … Our messaging does not align.” At the San Diego library, the response was essentially the same. When asked about having a public reading at their facilities, they simply answered: “This likely isn’t something we would do.” Down the road at the San Lorenzo, California, Public Library, they were even more blunt. Their reply? “Not interested.” End of conversation. And lest you think this is just an East Coast-West Coast phenomenon, let’s go to the heartland, where the Indianapolis Public Library declared that Mr. Cameron‘s book did not comport with its “strategic plan” to “contribute to a diversity of ideas focusing on racial equity.”
So, under their placard of “diversity of personal views,” our public libraries from Rhode Island to California and everywhere in between now admit that they have no interest in anything that diverges from their personal views. They openly boast that their commitment to “inclusion” excludes anyone they don’t wish to include. They are no longer afraid to just say it — they hate everyone they’ve deemed hateful. They don’t love anyone they consider unloving. And as for “patience and kindness,” well, that’s all divisive intersectional rhetoric, especially if it’s coming from the likes of Kirk Cameron, St. Paul or God.
This nonsense is schizophrenic. It’s duplicitous. It’s self-refuting and hypocritical. It is pablum on parade.
For years, any schoolboy could see that the left doesn’t really care about diversity of thought, but now, they’re actually saying that they won’t allow a public reading about something as essential to the public’s well-being as “faithfulness and self-control.” They brook no dissent. They openly shut down any discussion of anything and everything they don’t like.
The answer is quite simple. The progressive march for “tolerance” has never been honest. It has always been little more than window dressing for an ideological dominance that accepts nothing but complete submission. These self-styled advocates of “peace” are proving that they were never truly interested in anything but gaining crushing power.
The images are pervasive. The smug “fact-checkers” from Twitter and Facebook and now even at your library cancel all who do not believe everything they believe. No differences and no diversity. It is the rule of the gang — a worldview of unquestioned and unchallenged authority. Their bumper sticker is “Conquest,” not “Coexistence.” They are interested only in lockstep compliance, not reasonable conversations. There is no intellectual freedom. It’s all about pedantic fascism and academic dystopias.
Charles Dickens once said that we live in the best of times and the worst of times. His message, of course, was timeless. But perhaps we should also be talking about end-times: an end to manners, politeness, courtesy, dignity and mutual respect. An end to tolerance under the banner of “tolerance.” An end to feminism under the banner of “MeToo.” An end to women’s rights under the banner “trans women.” An end to children’s rights under the banner of the “right” to abort children. An end to adults under the banner of “adulting.” An end to love under the banner of “love is love.”
The story of librarians denying Mr. Cameron his “story hour” is not just his story. It’s a story about a country that has lost its way, an infantilized nation where self-appointed thought police dominate the public square, even at your library. It’s a tale not of our culture’s best of times but of its worst; a time when perpetual adolescents refuse to let a thoughtful adult teach little children that a mark of adulthood is bearing the fruit of maturity. It’s a story of when a once great people proved they had lost their minds and damned their souls by not even allowing a man to read a book to kids about “joy and goodness” just because he is a conservative Christian.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host.