By Lynn Woolley
That would, of course, be them. And don’t forget that libraries should be considered as “safe spaces” for certain “under served communities—like LGBT. Essentially, conservatives were told they should sit down, shut up, and allow “trained professionals” to decide what library displays should contain.
All this from a community meeting about the library in Temple, Texas where, last June, the trained professionals promoted the American Library Association’s LGBT book month.
On the other side, a group called Concerned Christian Citizens took a conciliatory stand, simply urging the Library to be neutral on sexual and moral issues.
Is that what we’ve come to?
An America in which a library can’t stand up for traditional marriage, the nuclear family, and sex between a male and a female? This country is in trouble.
emple, Texas is a generally conservative city of about 80,000 people. However, some of the strangest statements made came from people who live outside the city and who, presumably, do not have any of their tax money going to fund the Library. They should have been ushered out the door – but they were allowed to speak.
Quoted in Cody Weems’ article on the front page of the Temple Daily Telegram, Tracy McLoud of Belton was all about right-wing censorship, serving gays and lesbians, how awful religious groups are, and safe spaces.
“To put in a policy or practice guidelines that inhibit a librarian’s ability to provide information to the public or to allow for the censorship of such information through an approval process would go against the ALA guidelines. Stifling the representation of the LGBT community or pairing the information with information from religious or activist groups which might slander this community would contradict the librarians’ efforts to create a safe, inclusive space that provides information to the entire community.”
McLoud seemed to be saying that the Library should serve the homosexual community – but the religious people of Temple, Texas can go to hell. The “ALA” she mentions is the left-wing American Library Association – which is no doubt following this story with great interest.
While McLoud joined with the ALA in supporting displays that promote certain forms of what was generally considered to be immorality just a few years ago – she was outdone by another out-of-town voice.
Bob Blair of Killeen told the crowd that just because the Library was promoting the gay lifestyle, that doesn’t mean the library was promoting the gay lifestyle. That’s left-wing logic, I suppose, but it was Blair’s sanctimonious statement that followed that got my attention. He told the crowd that librarians are professionals and the community members ought to pay up their taxes – and then shut the hell up.
“Librarians are professionals and they require a professional level of training to carry out their duties. Normally, we wouldn’t consider substituting our own judgment for those who have been trained professionally. There are some who might make this a political issue. It is not one.”
Oh, yes it is.
This entire meeting was a classic clash of liberalism versus conservatism.
It was Age of Obama “inclusiveness” against American traditions that sustained this country for 240 years. Witness this little jewel from Blair, arguing that the Library is not guilty of promoting the gay lifestyle:
“The state, county and cities recognized Confederate heroes a week and a half ago. Does that recognition advocate armed rebellion, treason or slave holding? Of course not.”
Earth to Bob Blair.
You must have missed the entire news cycle of Confederate statues and memorials being removed from parks, universities, and government buildings. Liberals told us they were symbols of hate – and demanded with a fevered outrage that they all be removed. Most were. That the generic Confederate Heroes monument at the Bell County Courthouse in Belton still remains is as tribute to the Bell County Commissioners who didn’t give in to political correctness.
The Concerned Christian Citizens (CCC) didn’t ask for much – and they didn’t get it.
Joe Goodson, a pastor who heads this grassroots, community-based organization, simply asked for fairness.
“We’re talking about an agenda that wants to force its values on me and my children in my taxpayer-funded library. If we’re going to put up a bulletin board that is telling my children to celebrate something that I am telling them to avoid, then we need to balance it.”
Goodson was being a gentleman – which he always is.
Someone else might have been a bit more blunt, expressing outrage that taxpayer money is used to promote the LGBT agenda, pointing out that AIDS was spread from gay bathhouses, that the suicide rate within the community is high, and that trying to change one’s gender is nothing more than surgical mutilation. Someone else might have done some fist pounding and demanded a new librarian with a traditional moral outlook and a better grasp of community values.
But Goodson only asked for an equal shot.
In a letter [see full text below] to new Temple City Manager Brynn Myers and City Attorney Kayla Landeros, he stressed the Library’s need to be “neutral on sexual and moral issues going forward.” He asked who would get to define “neutral?” He pointed out that one member of the Library Board was clapping for LGBTQ advocates – but not for speeches on his side of the issue. Goodson is right; the bias is palpable.
State Representative District 55 Republican candidates speak out.
Candidate C.J. Grisham, of Open Carry Texas, was there to say that public funds should not be used for political advocacy:
“It’s the agenda we have a problem with. We are being forced to accept an agenda and a lifestyle that we disagree with. Because the library is taxpayer funded, it shouldn’t be pushing any agendas.”
Candidate Brandon Hall, a local pastor, disagreed with the idea that library directors know best.
“To say that this issue is not political is to be blinded as to what is going on. By allowing the display, the library unintentionally endorsed these ideas and these beliefs.”
Incumbent State Representative Hugh Shine who is running for reelection, was not present but sent a prepared statement:
“If I had been a member of the Temple City Council and learned of the LGBT display in the Temple Library, I would have insisted on its removal immediately. I do not support the display, which is contrary to Central Texas’ foundation of faith and family.”
What does all this mean?
First of all, the Library staff knew what they were doing.
They were consciously and aggressively promoting the ALA’s special gay-book week. Second, the ALA and the Library staff are not in synch with the community-at-large or with elected officials. Third, this dispute could have national ramifications as left wing librarians try to do in full public view what many university professors do in their classrooms every day – promote (and indoctrinate) the left-wing agenda.
Is that what libraries are supposed to do? Is that what the taxpayers are footing the bill for? The Temple City Council may ultimately have to decide. Leaving it up to the trained professionals has not worked so well.
Joe Goodson’s letter to City Manager Brynn Myers & City Attorney Kayla Landeros:
Ms. Myers and Ms. Landeros,
It was my wife’s and my privilege to meet together with you last week and to share our concerns regarding the Library’s need to be neutral on sexual and moral issues going forward. We appreciate your affirmation in the meeting that this summer’s display was not neutral and did, in fact, cross the line into advocacy. We also appreciate your assurance that the proposal for display guidelines that you are now crafting will not allow for that in the future. We believe your assurances to be sincere.
As we processed the meeting and all that was said, we have one lingering concern: who will get to define “neutral” going forward, and will neutral really be neutral? Objectively speaking, neutrality in our Library will simply not allow one side of such a loaded moral issue as LGBTQ to be given representation on displays, to the exclusion of the counter view – especially when so many of us in this community hold to a Biblical worldview. So as I mentioned at the end of our discussion that day, those who want the Library to put up pro-LGBTQ displays are already claiming that this was just “information”, not advocacy, and that it is “censorship” to do anything less than what was done this past summer. Clearly, that is an extremely biased viewpoint, and one that refuses to embrace neutrality.
Bottom line: for the Library to in any way suggest to our children that they must “Celebrate Gay Pride” is NOT neutrality, and we will not have reached a solution if that happens. A lighter shade of the same thing is unacceptable, and we need to make that clear from our standpoint in case there was any question after our meeting. Again I am speaking for many local residents, including the 966 who signed our petition as it was presented to the Library Board today. Our many testimonies given today at the Meeting clarified this concern, as well.
It was observed today, by the way, that at least one Library Board member was clapping for the LGBTQ advocates after their speeches, but not for the speeches on our side of the issue. This suggested a bias that gives us reason for concern, as does a FB post today from one of the Librarians’ FB page (attached above) – seen by some residents and reported to us – that is heartily congratulatory of our opponents and their “help.” Additionally, one of the Board members was apparently interviewed on local news today with a similar bias. We hope these examples of non-neutrality will not interfere with your policy.
Finally, I’ve attached a brief description of the extreme sexual agendas of some of the NCAC’s members referenced on the sidebar of the letter you received from them. Certainly this highlights the problem of politically powerful organizations from outside of our community trying to direct our City’s policy for its own taxpayer-funded Public Library.
So we thank you so much for listening to us and making time for our concerns, and we must and will remain watchful as this plays out.
Joe Goodson for Concerned Christian Citizens
Bcc’d to several local leaders