Kirk Cameron vows to hold American Library Association accountable for 'religious discrimination'

Kirk Cameron on Friday, Feb. 22, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

FIRST ON FOX: Actor and writer Kirk Cameron is taking a stand — and not just for his popular children's books, two of which he's published recently with Brave Books, with more on the way.

Cameron is working with First Liberty Institute, the nonprofit Christian conservative legal organization based in Texas, to attempt to hold the American Library Association accountable for what he believes is discrimination against him and his pro-faith messaging, judging by its recent advisories to libraries across America to explore ways to "block" his upcoming nationwide story event on August 5.

Cameron told Fox News Digital about the issue, "While I’m trying to encourage thousands of Americans to visit public libraries and read wholesome books to their children, the taxpayer-funded American Library Association is not only criticizing me, they are teaching libraries to break the law and conspiring to prevent thousands of families from visiting their own community reading rooms," in a statement. 

"Rather than being an example of genuine respect and non-discrimination, the ALA is the champ in excluding viewpoints it disagrees with and [is] preventing families from using libraries to read to their children about faith, hope and love."

He also said, "ALA, why all the hate? I thought you wanted diversity of thought in the public square? What happened to equal opportunity for all?"

Cameron said that he and First Liberty "have launched an investigation with the federal government to hold the American Library Association accountable for their religious discrimination, willful violation of the Constitution and the ALA’s own internal rules to allegedly protect all people’s access to public libraries."

Cameron concluded, "Accountability is coming."

Jeremy Dys, senior counsel at First Liberty Institute, based in Plano, Texas, told Fox News Digital in a statement, "While claiming to promote equality and diversity, the ALA is conspiring to deny access to thousands of citizens based upon open intolerance of their religious beliefs. Such action by any public library would be blatantly unconstitutional. Federal taxpayers should not be required to fund such bigotry and intolerance." 

First Liberty Institute is the nation’s largest law firm "dedicated exclusively to defending and restoring religious liberty for all Americans," the organization says.

Cameron and his publisher recently announced an upcoming "See You at the Library" book event for Aug. 5, 2023. 

The goal of the Aug. 5 event, they said, is to encourage faith-focused and family-first Americans around the country to come out to their local libraries — and hold book readings or story time events for friends, families and neighbors. 

Usually, community members and others can reserve rooms at local libraries for events, including book readings.

However, Cameron told Fox News Digital he was "shocked" to "see (on video) ALA staff, funded by its $250 million budget, use those hard-earned taxpayer dollars to train librarians to discriminate against God-loving families and secretly sabotage a return to wholesome, patriotic community gatherings like ‘See You At The Library’ on August 5."

He added, "Historically, the local library was created to be a safe place for all people (of all race, economic status, religious affiliation, political persuasion, and sex) to read about all topics — including God’s good design for the family, nations and the world."

Fox News Digital earlier reached out to the American Library Association for comment, but was told the group was holding its annual conference during the last week of June in Chicago and that a response would be delayed. 

Fox News Digital reached out again for comment regarding Cameron's pairing with First Liberty.

Cameron and Brave Books referred to a recent speech they watched on video — reportedly delivered on June 8 — by American Library Association leadership at a "worldwide virtual conference" for libraries.  

Part of the presentation involved telling attendees "how to prevent Brave Books story hours from happening at libraries across the country," they said. 

"You can limit access to meeting rooms to persons eligible to hold a library card in your community. You could make a priority for library-sponsored programs," said the director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom in a virtual June 8 presentation posted on Library 2.0.

Beginning in December 2022, Cameron has traveled to libraries across the country, conducting a story hour tour during which he's been reading from his books "As You Grow" and "Pride Comes Before the Fall."

First Liberty wrote, in part, in its letter this week to the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C., "On behalf of our clients Brave Books and Kirk Cameron, I write to request that the Institute of Museum and Library Services ('IMLS') open an investigation into whether the American Library Association ('ALA') has violated federal law protecting religious liberty and failed to comply with the assurances of nondiscrimination required as a federal grant recipient."

It also said, "Brave Books and Kirk Cameron partner with local communities to read books at libraries."

The letter said as well, in a copy shared with Fox News Digital on Thursday, "Our clients author and publish faith-based children’s books. As many authors and publishers have done throughout the history of the United States, our clients partner with individuals at the local community level to read and discuss their books. The practice is quite simple: Individual members of the local community request the use of rooms their local public libraries designate for community use to host a story hour."

Added the group in its letter, "Despite the effort of our clients to encourage thousands of Americans to visit America’s public libraries, the ALA strongly criticized our clients’ encouraging local community members to use libraries to read books. More concerning, ALA’s director for its Office for Intellectual Freedom, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, appears to base the ALA’s opposition to our clients upon their religious beliefs."

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