The local public library hosts an adult book club, so I thought it would be fun to share information about my debut novel “Who Brought the Dog to Church?” As someone who grew up in the area, I hoped the group would consider the title.
I delivered a promotional flyer showing the book cover. The next day, the librarian emailed, “It would be extremely difficult here to have a book with an overtly Christian message.” This decision was determined without reading a single paragraph or page from the novel.
The employee, who identified as “an evangelical Christian,” reached out to me through a personal channel to explain, with compassion, why my story wouldn’t be included as a choice—at all. “We just had a (staff) meeting last week in which we were told strongly to not talk about any religious or political issues at work.”
Didn’t see that coming. Rejected because the novel includes faith? From an “impartial” institution dedicated to knowledge and education?
In another nearby city, the librarian said she couldn’t support Christian works due to personal hurts she experienced from people in a church. “I read Buddhist spiritual teachings now and can’t support Christian texts because that would make me a hypocrite.”
Fortunately, a third county branch allows a group of Christian writers to meet in its facility and supports them.
All three city libraries are funded with local tax dollars through a county-wide system. All are located in what used to be known as the “Bible belt” of the southern U.S.
My novel has no profanity, pornography or graphic violence. How sad that messages of hope are being blocked by gatekeepers who fear reprisal from nonbelievers or advance their own agenda.
If polite conversation about faith is excluded, how can we ever address concerns?
Details about the contemporary fiction are available at
“Everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken,” Jesus told the disciples. “For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 13:36-37 NIV).
Dear Lord, please strengthen Christians to serve in positions of influence to combat ungodliness. Forge their resolve and fortify their courage to stand for truth. We pray for open doors and hearts to share Your Word. Amen.