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Over 15,000 Christians Sign Open Letter Slamming Mississippi Mayor For Censoring LGBTQ Books

Over 15,000 Christians Sign Open Letter Slamming Mississippi Mayor For Censoring LGBTQ Books
Faithful America; Mississippi Public Broadcasting/YouTube

Amid a wave of conservatives and evangelical Christians banning scores of books about race, gender, and sexuality from school systems across the country, one group of Christians in the Deep South is fighting back.

More than 15,000 Christians in Madison County, Mississippi signed their names to an open letter excoriating the mayor of the town of Ridgeland after he called for a ban on LGBTQ-themed books from the county's libraries, citing them as against "Christian beliefs."

The 15,000 Christians disagreed, and have demanded that Mayor Gene McGee release the $110,000 of library funding he has been holding hostage unless the libraries agree to ban the books.

According to Madison County library director Tonja Johnson, McGee told her the books "went against his Christian beliefs, and that he would not release the money as the long as the materials were there" and that "the library can serve whoever we wanted, but that he only serves the great Lord above."

Christians in the community were unsparing in their criticism of McGee's astonishing overreach. In the open letter and petition they assembled, they sharply criticized what they described as his misunderstanding of what it means to be a Christian.

The letter reads:

"As your fellow Christians, we object to your decision to withhold taxpayer funding from the Madison County Library System over its display of books that tell LGBTQ stories, including books by Christian authors."
"Reading about LGBTQ issues is not a threat to Christianity nor to patrons of a public, secular library. All people, including our LGBTQ neighbors, are made in the image of God, and we are to love and include them just as Jesus did."

The citizens also expressed anger over the way McGee was making Christianity appear to people in the community.

"Moreover, as a public servant, you make our faith look mean and short-sighted -- pushing people further away from Christ -- when you claim that serving God means you cannot join the library in serving all Ridgeland residents as mayor."

They closed by accusing McGee of censorship and saying it was his "civic duty" to reverse his ban.

On Twitter, people applauded the letter, and it soon gained nationwide attention.

As McGee's antics continued, citizens in the area also launched a fundraiser to replace the withheld $110,000 in library funding. It exceeded its goal within days of launch.