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A church in Cedar Rapids opens a “Free Little Library” of banned literature



Cedar Rapids, Iowa – On Sunday, a Free Little Library including books that are outlawed was opened by a Cedar Rapids church.

About a year ago, Bryan Davis, a Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist, claimed to have been among the first to propose the idea.

“It occurred to me that this would be a project that the church might want to do because of the suppression of ideas that we see going on in our society today,” he said.

Last year was also when Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law requiring schools to remove any literature that included “descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act.”

“Unitarian Universalism believes that people have the right and responsibility to choose what it is that is meaningful in their lives,” said Rev. Carin Bringelson, the minister at Peoples Church.

Additionally, gender identity and sexual orientation education for pupils in kindergarten through sixth grade was forbidden in schools by this regulation. Additionally, if a student wishes to use a different name or pronouns, schools are required to notify the parents.

The new Little Free Library has a large number of books that address LGBTQ topics.

“Everyone in the congregation is in support of LGBTQIA+ rights, and the right to love. Love is actually the center of our faith,” said Bringelson.

In December 2023, a judge declared that the book prohibition was “incredibly broad” and temporarily suspended key sections of the statute.

Leaders of the Peoples Church have made it clear that they support the accessibility of publications that some people find objectionable without waiting for a court ruling.

“It’s fine if they object to them. But we don’t believe that that means they can make that decision for everyone. And so this is why we started that little free library,” said Davis.