By Jonathon Van Maren
It is somewhat strange that the conservative civil war currently raging between the classical liberals (represented by the National Review’s David French) and the “illiberals” (represented by the New York Post’s Sohrab Ahmari) seems to be largely centred around Drag Queen Story Hour (colloquially referred to as DQSH). While it is not surprising that Ahamari calls it a cultural crisis—Al Mohler and a string of other high profile religious figures fully agree with him—it is shocking that many conservative figures seem so blasé about the whole thing.
To be totally fair to David French, he obviously finds Drag Queen Story Hour repulsive, and a sign of a culture in decline. He just believes that DQSH is the price a free society pays for its liberty, and that any attempt to have these events banned from public spaces constitutes a violation of the First Amendment, as well as an encroachment on “viewpoint neutrality,” which ensures that Christians, too, can use these spaces for Bible studies. While that analysis is, by itself, a scathing condemnation of where we’re at—we have to accept drag queens reading stories to children in order to get a Bible study in the same space?—I do not want to get into the substance of the French-Ahmari debate over the role of the state at the moment.