A man—wearing a red wig and dressed as a woman—exposed innocent children to books, with words and illustrations, at two Reno libraries in June.
It was a literary massacre. The horror, the horror!
At least that’s the way the Washoe County Republican leadership sees drag queen story hour, the subject of Zoe Dixon’s story in this issue of the RN&R. GOP bosses spurred protesters to attend local government meetings, even though those panels have nothing to do with library events. Some of the demonstrators at a June story time cited Old Testament references to bolster their objections.
While it’s their constitutional right to tout their spiritual beliefs in the public square, the same First Amendment also separates church and state. We have no official religion. All Americans have the right to worship, or not, as they please.
More than 100 parents and their kids flocked to the summer’s first drag queen story hour. Parents make the decisions to attend; someone else’s interpretation of their own religion isn’t relevant. That goes double for abortion, birth control, LGBTQ+ issues and other secular political debates.
Polls show the American people agree. A PEW Research Center survey in 2019 that found nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults believe churches and other houses of worship should stay out of politics. Individuals, of course, are free to express any political positions they want, but people shouldn’t delude themselves in thinking that their faith should be imposed on anyone else.
In this country, whether you are an evangelical Christian or have taken solemn vows in a convent populated by drag queen nuns, you have zero standing to demand that others believe what you believe, or live the way you do.
Here, freedom from religion has equal footing with freedom of religion. Those who favor a theocracy can move to Afghanistan.