[Fox News] ‘Bring back wholesome, traditional, patriotic values’: Why 3 groups are heading to the library on Saturday

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For one ministry group in El Paso, Texas, this Saturday’s “See You at the Library” nationwide book reading event on August 5th is all about the expression of closely held values that are critical to their mission. 

We wanted to “bring back wholesome, traditional and patriotic values to our libraries and be part of the first national ‘See You at the Library’ event,” said Elizabeth Estrada of JEM Ministries to Fox News Digital on Wednesday.

JEM Ministries “is committed to share[ing] God’s love with people of all cultures and to help them in areas where needed most,” the group’s website notes. It’s a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group in Texas, founded in 1996. 

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“My husband and I decided to support this event because we want our children to grow up with good, wholesome, family values,” said Estrada. “This national movement is taking place on my birthday — a great day to have a double celebration.”

Inspired by actor-writer Kirk Cameron, who has appeared at numerous public libraries across the country for the past year to share books and stories that are faith-filled, family-focused and firmly patriotic, Americans across 44 states now have booked rooms at some 260 libraries to conduct readings themselves this Saturday.

Earlier this summer, the American Library Association (ALA), based in Chicago, shared techniques and tips with member libraries allegedly advising them on ways to “block” the Kirk Cameron-encouraged event this Saturday. 

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The methods included permitting rooms to be booked only by local library cardholders as well as offering “alternative,” diverse programming on Saturday at the same time as the “See You at the Library” events. 

An ALA executive, in a live-streamed presentation on June 8, suggested that members hold a “library-sponsored Pride festival the same day and fill the library with rainbows” to share messages of “inclusion and diversity.”

Fox News Digital received a statement on Monday from the ALA.

It noted, in part, “ALA has been very clear that, just like all other policies, library policies regarding meeting rooms should not be prejudicial or discriminatory; rather, they must be inclusive and follow a reasonable content and viewpoint policy that benefits all members, as well as ‘user behavior policies that protect library users and staff from harassment, while maintaining their historic support for the freedom of speech.’”

Fox News Digital also reached out to the ALA for further comment, specifically about the federal funding it receives and about the letter sent on July 28 by three GOP senators asking for an investigation into the ALA’s activities. 

Cameron told Fox News Digital in a phone interview this week that the Saturday events to be held by numerous Americans nationwide are about “passing the baton to the people.”

Estrada of JEM Ministries in Texas also told Fox News Digital, “As an organization that helps people in need, JEM Ministries serves both the El Paso, Texas, community and our border city of Ciudad Juarez, Chih, Mexico.” 

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She said “many families are helped and encouraged spiritually along with food, clothing, toys and other materials.”

The group’s purpose, in part, she said, “is to advance the message of Christ, through ministries that educate, build character and show people there is hope in the midst of their problems.”

Marcia Watson, executive director of the Williamson County branch of Citizens Defending Freedom in Texas, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday morning why they, too, are supporting the library event on Saturday.

“We’re gathering at our local libraries to celebrate our Christian family values, despite the fact that the leftists at the ALA despise our values and tried to stop us,” said Watson.

Citizens Defending Freedom is a national nonprofit that helps American citizens defend their faith and freedom, the group said. 

It also focuses on parental education and election integrity as well. 

“We have an agenda to our Christian values and to our Constitution,” said Watson on Wednesday to Fox News Digital in a phone interview.

“Hundreds of members of Citizens Defending Freedom plan to attend the events” on Saturday, Watson’s group said in a press release. 

She added, “They’ll host perverted drag queen story hours for men dressed like women who dance for children but seldom host everyday American Christians.”

Said Watson, “Our events are not only a celebration of our values — but also a protest of the far-left agenda that has overtaken our public institutions.”

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The group on its national website notes, “We are fighting a battle of good versus evil, a battle for the soul of America, and a battle for the future of our children and grandchildren.”

It also says, “We stand by, feeling powerless to affect change, feeling silenced by a deafening minority and feeling helpless next to the monumental corruption and violence that is reported on the news every day.”

It adds, “Politicians will not save us. The government will not save us. It is up to us, the citizens.”

Cameron and Brave Books team members will appear at three of the library events this Saturday, including one in Taylor, Texas, at the Taylor Public Library. 

He’ll be accompanied by Riley Gaines and others.

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The Right to Win Ozarks community group is also holding “grassroots events” in southwest Missouri on Saturday.

“These are citizen-led initiatives taking place this Saturday at all four branches of the Christian County Public Library, in Clever, Nixa, Ozark and Sparta. The times vary by location,” said a spokesperson from the group to Fox News Digital on Wednesday. 

“As passionate supporters of our public libraries, we believe in their fundamental role as knowledge repositories that spark imagination, learning and intellectual growth.”

The Right to Win Ozarks spokesperson also said, “We are excited to be a part of the work happening under the library mission, priority No. 1 for access.”

She also said, “We are striving to create a welcoming event and offer books and stories that reflect the community. It’s about reigniting the community’s love for reading and emphasizing the crucial role [that] libraries play in offering enlightenment and education to everyone.”

The spokesperson added, “Parents and volunteers are coming together to offer story hours, activities and more to teach kids about faith, hope and love. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating and sustaining the essential service our libraries provide.”

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