'Keep removing them': Arkansas GOP rep’s wife shredded for 'swapping' library books with Bibles

'Keep removing them': Arkansas GOP rep’s wife shredded for 'swapping' library books with Bibles
Arkansas State Rep. Stephen Meeks (R), Image via Facebook.

Arkansas Republican State Representative Stephen Meeks' wife Jennifer Meeks is receiving backlash after setting out to replace free neighborhood books with Bibles, Newsweek reports.

Faulkner County Coalition for Social Justice (FCCSJ) recently called out the congressman's wife via Facebook, saying "she has been busy posting about the little free libraries across Faulkner County and the 'group of leftist[s], who are very active in keeping little libraries stocked.'"

Per Newsweek, Meeks took to Facebook to write, "I have been swapping out books in little free libraries for awhile. Recently I have been picking up free Bibles at flea markets and thrift stores. Sometimes I find good devotion books or kids' Bible stories at a good price to add. Or just great books, and a gospel tract is a nice idea too. From what I have seen, a lot of these books and other things don't align with our Christian values. Today I saw a bunch of Pride stuff in one."

READ MORE: 'Get this porn out of our schools': Parent challenges Utah book ban by requesting the Bible be removed

According to the report, "Little Free Library is a nonprofit that promotes neighborhood book exchanges and American literacy through public bookcases that have a 'take a book, share a book' honor system, where people are encouraged to borrow and donate books as they choose."

The GOP leader ran to his wife's defense claiming "her words were being taken out of context and clarified that she did not take out any LGBTQ-related materials in exchange for the bibles she has added to the libraries, nor would she advocate for others to do something similar."

He told Newsweek, "Somebody on the left took that and interpreted it as my wife going all over central Arkansas, pulling Pride books out of these little libraries and replacing them with bibles and nothing is further from the truth. My wife would not do that. She would not advocate for that. She would be opposed to that."

Facebook users slammed Jennifer's efforts under FCCSJ's post, writing, "So conservatives are essentially stealing books they don't like and destroying them. Isn't one of the ten commandments, 'Thou shalt not steal?'"

READ MORE: 'Just absurd': Shakespeare is latest casualty of Florida’s book ban law

Another user wrote, "This upsets me. Why is it so hard for some people to understand that freedom means letting others be free. The hubris and arrogance of assuming your way is 'the right way' is appalling."

Little Free Library Executive Director Greig Metzger told the news outlet, "When an individual removes books from a Little Free Library that don't match up with their personal beliefs, they silence critical voices that deserve to be heard. Sadly, this kind of behavior overwhelmingly targets BIPOC and LGBTQ+ authors. We encourage Little Free Library stewards to curate their book-sharing boxes in a way that best serves their community. We applaud the Little Free Library stewards who offer books that enlighten readers, nurture empathy, and open up a world of diverse perspectives."

Additionally, FCCSJ emphasized in its post, "Keep removing them, Jennifer. We won't stop. We've received $1,000+ to supply our community with food, toiletries, reproductive care items, and naloxone. These materials are saving lives. The lives of queer kids who aren't out to their parents, to the teen that needs Plan B to avoid having a forced pregnancy, to the good neighbor preventing an overdose. The Meeks' voting records and actions speak for themselves. They can remove as many books as they want but we will never stop coming right back there and showing them that love and decency will always win."

READ MORE: 'Restore a biblical standard': Texas mom demands mandating the Ten Commandments in classrooms

Newsweek's full report is available at this link.

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