In North Idaho, religious and secular activists work to fight Christian nationalism

by | Mar 8, 2023 | Religion

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (RNS) — Last month, dozens of activists packed into a small room in the Post Falls library for a board meeting of the Community Library Network. Some came to defend the library, but video of the meeting suggests most were there to condemn administrators for allowing children access to what they insisted were “pornographic” books.As at other protests, part of a nationwide conservative movement targeting public libraries, speakers at the meeting in Post Falls repeatedly intermingled their three-minute speeches with appeals to Christian faith, and to the Bible as the ultimate moral arbiter. One critic scolded the board for promoting content that affirms LGBTQ people instead of other books “such as the Bible, such as Christian things, such as American things, such as patriotic things.”
When Josiah Mannion, a local photographer and activist representing the newly formed Community Library Network Alliance, rose to speak in defense of the library, he cast his objections in terms of Christian nationalism.
“Those leading this attack on the libraries, both locally and nationally, can be directly linked to patriarchal white Christian nationalism,” Mannion began.
Suddenly, the room erupted into insults, with one person shouting “Shut the f— up!” A board member repeatedly implored the crowd to let Mannion speak. As others followed him to su …

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