In his February 1, 2024 letter to the editor entitled “In response to accusations against DCC4D,” Daviess County Citizens for Decency Chairman Jerry Chapman states, “We are not to judge,” yet in a preceding paragraph says, “As far as any group being marginalized goes, if they are marginalized (and it could be argued they are not), it’s by their own hand. We are prepared to accept you into our community the moment you express remorse, show some respect for our faith and leave our children alone.” Taken with the context of the rest of his response, this position seems to imply he and his group believe that those from minority and marginalized groups are not only “groomers” by nature, but that they should grovel at the feet of the DCC4D for acceptance into Daviess County society. This is an incredibly self-righteous and judgmental view for a group that claims to represent Christian values.
This isn’t the only example of this group’s hypocrisy. As I am writing this, the DCC4D Facebook page contains a May 31, 2023 post sharing a repost of a comment from Representative Matt Gaetz (R.-FL). Gaetz is currently under a House Ethics Committee investigation regarding the alleged sex trafficking of a minor. DCC4D is so worried about what the library is doing they can’t even moderate their own content.
DCC4D’s mission is not unique to Owensboro. According to 2022 reporting from the Kentucky Lantern, challenges to books and materials in Kentucky tripled that year, from 23 titles to 70. PEN America released a report noting that during the 2022-2023 school year, book ban/removal requests increased 33% over the previous school year. DCC4D also failed to register a web domain in their name, so it was purchased by a counter-protest group. That site lists persons who have signed onto past communications from DCC4D, including citizens and faith leaders who don’t even live in Daviess County. So does this group really care about this community, or are they merely jumping on a national bandwagon?
The webpage linked in Mr. Chapman’s letter also provides interesting insight into DCC4D’s mission. In the “Our Story” section, it states, “We are the voice your pastors have had taken from them.” This is a bold assumption to believe they speak on the behalf of every Christian. But reading deeper into this webpage as well as posts from their Facebook page, a theme emerges – “…our local, state, and federal governments have lost their way.” There are reposts of Canadian “Freedom” Tiktok infuencers on their Facebook page, including one from account mamaof4forfreedom, a self-described, “Conspiracy Realist.” Viewing this content, one can conclude DCC4D’s mission goes beyond “protecting children” and in fact aligns with the larger movement of so-called “Christian Conservative” groups seeking to gain influence at various levels of government.
As of last fall, DCC4D had a fundraiser page on the crowdsourcing site GiveSendGo. This page has since been deactivated, but the goal was $25k. What did this self-described “small group” need that kind of money for? The organization’s most infamous expense is the glossy-full color mailers they sent to every household in Owensboro last year featuring a picture of a drag queen. In their efforts to protest adults-only shows at the Ghostlight Lounge, they likely exposed more children to drag queens than the shows themselves.
I believe the vast majority of citizens of Daviess County, including our library employees, feel it is important to protect children from harmful and dangerous content. However, based on the organization’s own words and actions, DCC4D is unfit to make these decisions for us.