A Few Thoughts on the Library Controversy of Lafayette

In my city, Lafayette, LA, the news has been dominated in recent days about a proposed event at the Lafayette Public Library. The advertised event had the headline, “Drag Queen Story Time.” If that isn’t eye-catching enough, the advertisement also reads, “Recommended for Ages 3-6.”

The library’s position is that this is an event focused on the opportunity for families who might be seeking the opportunity to educate their children that some people may be different from them.

The pushback has been quick and strong. The Mayor has issued a press release today indicating his request for the Library Board of Control to review how programming gets decided and that he is working on getting the event canceled.

Pray for Mayor-President Joel Robideaux. He faces a firestorm of letters, including one from me, which I will share at the close of this article.

This matter draws attention to how we are supposed to respond to such matters as Christians. People quickly rush to Ephesians 4:15—“But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ.” Though we are to speak the truth in love to all people, my reading of this context is that the specific instruction in Ephesians is within a church body.

A better instruction to us in this particular situation is Colossians 4:5-6. “Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”

Folks on the other side of the debate than I am on quickly suggest that any criticism is filled with vitriol and hate even if the individual is just presenting what he or she believes to be truth. So, the truth part gets lost because the manner in which it is perceived. Some on my side of the argument say we can’t say anything lest we push people away from God so they remain silent.

What are we to do? I can’t speak for everyone, but on this issue I can’t be silent. I pray that my speech is gracious, seasoned with salt.

How do you think I did? Here’s my letter.

I write to voice my concern regarding the advertised “Drag Queen Story Time” slated for Saturday, October 6. The listed recommendation that this is appropriate for ages 3-6 is incomprehensible to me, but I realize that this is my opinion formulated by my Christ-centered, Biblically-centered, and traditional family-centered worldview. I realize that a public library is indeed open to the entire public, but that does not negate my strong objection to the public library hosting this event.

Whereas I realize that families have a right to expose their children to this form of educational experience, I believe that the library should also realize that the majority of families in Lafayette do not want to expose their children to this kind of experience. Suppose I do not know this event is going on, and I bring my 7 year old to the library that same afternoon. As a parent, I know he is not ready to process seeing men dressed in drag. If this is the sort of thing that the public library is going to sponsor, I am going to be hesitant always to bring my child.

What comes across to some as being educational, informative, and helpful also comes across to others as being very agenda-driven. I do not believe it is the purpose of the Lafayette Public Library to promote one specific moral worldview over another. This is precisely how I see this event.

At the least, I would ask the library board to consider removing their name from the sponsorship of this event and require the presenting organization to bear the responsibility of being the sponsor.

Sincerely,

Now, let me close with this. I wrote my letter but there is something more that I should do. I must remain focused on evangelism and discipleship. That’s where I am headed now—to train a new group of folks who want to learn to share their faith. The ultimate answer to all of our social problems rests in more people discovering a relationship with Jesus and growing as His disciple in every area of life. I want to spend the bulk of my energy there, because this is the most efficient manner of addressing all that divides our world.

 

6 Replies to “A Few Thoughts on the Library Controversy of Lafayette”

  1. I thank you for your letter and the stand you take in this situation. I agree with you 100%. I know this is a public facility but I think discretion should be used about what takes place there. There are many venues in this town that would be more appropriate. I think this group chooses things like this just to upset Christians. As far as educating the children, I think they would be more likely to think it is Halloween. Would it be possible for our church members to sign a petition and present it to the board that governs the library and how our tax dollars are spent?

  2. Well written letter that is gracious. I like the hypothetical scenario you use about bringing your children to the library on the day of such an event. I agree with you that we must allow the love of Christ to shine through our actions in all areas of life and especially when dealing with issues such as this. Christ calls us to be the light and salt to the world. This is impossible on our own and only possible with the Holy Spirit in us and through us. We must speak with courage, wisdom and grace. And without question Acts 20:24 points us to our mission in a lost world!

  3. Steve the first thing that comes to my mind is, If we don’t stand for what’s right, we will literally fall for anything!

  4. Thank you, Bro. Steve, for addressing this very aggregious matter, in such a calm, Christian manner! It is so important that church leaders and members become involved in community and civic issues in order to present Christian beliefs and principles and keep them in the forefront!

  5. So proud you are our Pastor and taking this position. How can we BeIieve our Faith and Not take a stand. I am Praying for you and Lafayette.