CONWAY, Ark. – A “Pastor Story Hour” event is being met with backlash from some of the Conway community for the event’s discussion of gender and sexuality.
“That design has become very controversial today, it’s very nearly the most controversial thing to discuss in our society,” Dr. Owen Strachan said.
Strachan is a theologist and professor at Grace Theology Seminary. Saturday, the pastor will be hosting “Pastor Story Hour” at the Faulkner County Library.
Pastor Story Hours have been held across the country to combat what the group says is an increase in “Drag Queen Story Hours.”
During the event, Strachan says he will read books about faith and more specifically about “God’s design for man and woman.”
“God made there to be boys and girls, men and women, and there’s a tremendous amount of confusion in our time,” Strachan said.
Leah Bilokury with Faulkner County Coalition for Social Justice said they’re against the event and have decided to host their own event at the same time, called “Inclusive Story Hour.”
“This is a public space that’s being used for anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, and this is not the kind of world that we want to foster,” Bilokury said.
Instead, the social justice group said they want to encourage books about being different.
“We want to read stories that have black characters, queer characters, transgender characters,” Bilokury said.
Strachan said he’s not surprised about the counter-event.
“I expected that to be the case because America is a very divided country,” Strachan said.
Both groups said that despite being in a common time and place, they both want this weekend to be peaceful.
“We want to be loving and kind and welcoming to everyone,” Strachan said.
Both events will happen at the Faulkner County Library Saturday at 10 a.m.