From children being told their “Drag Queen Names” in 2017, to Pizza Hut pushing a “Drag Queen” book for kids in 2022, many Americans (and Canadians) have witnessed the bewildering and unsettling sight of grown males in drag engaging in uncomfortable – often lewd – interaction with small children in locales such as public libraries and even in bars.
But now, conservative people are pushing back in a different way, a way that not only shows the inventiveness of folks who want to offer a positive alternative to what they correctly view as a destructive movement, but which also can help observers learn some powerful lessons about public property.
Mark A Kellner writes for The Washington Times that a pair of preachers have started their own opportunities for parents and kids to join them for fun reads, creating what they call “Pastor Story Hour” in Ohio and Arizona.
“The Story Hours in Batavia, Ohio, near Cincinnati, and Cottonwood, Arizona, about 105 miles north of Phoenix, drew as many as 35 children and parents but no protesters, the pastors involved said.”
The idea of competing with the Drag Queen idiocy, of offering an alternative, served at least two purposes.
“The Rev. Michael Foster, pastor of East River Church in Batavia, said ‘men in lingerie, reading books to little kids and twerking things is super disturbing and twisted.’
The Community Reformed Evangelical Church pastor said protesting the drag queen readings did not ‘lead to much good effect.’ He decided to take another route.”
And so, as Kellner reports, Foster thought:
“‘You know what, we should just do our own, we should just go to our libraries and do a really good job at telling good wholesome Bible stories,’ he said in a telephone interview.”
Foster’s motivation stems from what he recognizes as a growing moral void in American society:
‘Nature abhors a vacuum, and we’re living in a country that’s fatherless,’ Mr. Foster said. ‘And someone’s going to step into that vacuum to speak into young people’s lives. We can let it be men in lingerie or it can be us,’ he said.”
His Arizona ally appears to have been guided by the same instincts and Christian principles.
“The Rev. Dale Partridge, pastor of Reformation Fellowship in Prescott, Arizona, said he held a ‘Pastor’s Story Hour’ at the public library in Cottonwood, about 40 minutes away from his church.”
The Reverend plans to move to Cottonwood, and:
“He read to the children from ‘Jesus and My Gender,’ a children’s book he wrote and published.
‘It’s just a kid’s book that doesn’t speak to the transgender issues,’ Mr. Partridge said. ‘It just essentially affirms boyhood and girlhood to children that God made you this way. And it’s a great thing. So it’s a pretty simple book.”
It’s laudable that these men have tried to solve the "story time" problem by adding work outside of church, and that parents and their kids are responding. In fact, Reverend Foster noted:
“How about we curse the darkness by lighting the candle?”
However, it’s likely that leftists soon will protest these clean and Christian events at public libraries. The protesters could be leftists, atheists (often one and the same) or any others who don't want their tax money used to pay for a public library that would act as a venue for religion.
The Tragedy of the Commons will rise up, once more, because, even as the pastors strive to offer a competitive alternative in libraries, that public sphere (i.e. anything run by the polis and supported with tax money) cannot handle all the demands and varying interests of taxpayers. It is not scalable -- not proportionately expandable -- to service the varying desires of potential customers.
Only the market can do that, allowing free people to spend or hold their earnings based on their wants and satisfaction, and, in the process, allowing potential providers of services the opportunity to see demand – demand for readers, demand for reading spaces, and demand for messages that parents might like their children to hear.
This is a valiant effort, and realism requires observers to recognize that these noble people might encounter pushback. But in that potential, one also can recognize the inherent lesson: the trouble with the public sphere, which is, itself, a bastion of immorality, because it only functions by forcibly taking people’s tax money away from them.