Neither rain nor wind stopped Kirk Cameron’s fans from coming to his last appearance at the library.
Patrons lined up in the rain Saturday to hear the Christian actor read his children’s book “As We Grow” at the Placentia Library in Orange County, Calif., in the first West Coast event of his Anti-Awakening Library Tour counterculture.
He ended up reading his book five times to the satisfaction of all the parents and children who came to hear him, said Erin Kukowski, public relations coordinator for Amplifi.
“I’m so excited to join forces with you, so keep up the good work guys!” Mr Cameron told the crowd.
Mr. Cameron has is drawn full houses since he began his book tour last month, renting conference room space after more than 50 libraries turned down or ignored requests to host the former teen star despite previously hosting events Drag Queen Story Hour.
“You’re welcome! What a wonderful day at the Placentia Library!” Brave Books, the book’s publisher, tweeted. “Thank you to all the parents, children and grandparents who came out today to make this event a smashing success!”
Wow! What a wonderful day at the Placentia Library!
— BRAVE History Hour (@BraveBooksUS) January 14, 2023
Among those promoting the event was Chino Hills Calvary Chapel, a prominent megachurch that encouraged its members to participate by tweeting, “The family of faith will no longer be shut out of the public square!”
On the other side was the LGBTQ Center of Orange County, which released “call to action” for his supporters, noting that Mr Cameron “recently spoke out publicly against the Drag Queen stories”.
“We call on our network to come together in support of LGBTQ individuals/youth and show that this kind of rhetoric is damaging to our community,” the center said in a social media post.
A small group of protesters took to the demonstration, as shown in the photos. Drag Story Hour chief executive Jonathan Hamilt said he did not support the protests, warning they could fuel a “right-wing media” narrative opposed to Mr Cameron.
Like the other libraries that lease space to Mr. Cameron, the Placentia Library released a statement that distances itself from the reading, emphasizing that “Mr. Cameron’s Reading is not a library program and, as such, is not sponsored by or partnered with the Placentia Library District.”
“Use of the room does not constitute an endorsement of the policies or beliefs of the group or individual using the room,” library director Jeanette Contreras said Thursday.
The library, located about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles, appeared to be expecting a large audience, warning that parking is limited and that “[d]It is expected that, depending on the capacity of the halls, the groups of visitors will change throughout the event.”
Brave Books estimated the crowd at 1,000, while the library administration recorded attendance at about 700. The space was $250 to rent, Ms. Kukowski said.
Mr. Cameron, who has drawn crowds at previous readings in Indianapolis, Scarsdale, New York, said he wants to take his free library readings to as many cities across the country as possible, citing overwhelming public enthusiasm for his book’s message. on a Christian theme.
“I don’t think any of us really realized how powerfully the message of wanting to return to biblical wisdom and the fruit of the spirit would resonate in the hearts of these moms and dads,” Mr. Cameron told The Washington Times in an an interview last week.
He added that “my book should not be controversial.”
“We talk about teaching children about love, kindness, gentleness, loyalty and self-control, but we’ve been turned down by more than 50 libraries that have Drag Queen story hours,” he said.
Mr. Cameron’s next reading is scheduled for Jan. 18 at the Williams Public Library in Williams, Arizona, according to the Brave Books website.