Did you hear about the escaped lion that recently kept an Italian community on its toes for eight hours? The carnivore was not a threat, an animal handler with the Rony Roller circus said. Instead, it was a tame animal. 

Except it's still a lion, with instincts and urges that, in the wrong circumstances, mean swift and certain death. Thus, I’m sure the community’s residents were relieved when the lion was sedated and caught. 

But that lion made me think about Alabama, which has lions of her own – figurative lions – requiring taming. Lions such as out-of-control libraries, which terrorize Alabama's communities with their persistent push to keep pornographic material in the kid's section, despite what citizens want. Libraries that bow to no one because of “censorship” – even though censorship wasn't the issue. Decency –moving books from one area to another – was … and still is. 

The good news is that plenty of citizens are actively taming those beasts.

Dauntless men and women are refusing to back down in the face of fierce threats hurled from a committed LGBTQ library community – people who will do anything but move vile books out of kids' sections because of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Yes, they're fighting for filth. That means they're good with it – why do we have to think otherwise? 

But it also means that despite the mountain of work left to be done – hello, North Shelby County Library and other insane library fights going on around the state – Prattville's Hannah Rees and other groups like Local Alabama and Eagle Forum pulled off something extraordinary. Monumental, even. As 1819 News reported in October: 

"A recent letter from Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) director Nancy Pack announced that the APLS would discontinue its membership with the American Library Association (ALA) and offered guidelines for libraries to address sexually explicit children's books." 

Dissolving ties with the American Library Association? Who would have ever thought that something so big could happen here? 

Yet it did. 

And even if Nancy Pack goes back on her word (is that a surprise?), remaining with the American Library Association, we know that change, though tenuous, is possible, if we’ll only commit to taming the crafty cultural beast that the library system has become.  

So, how can we do that?  

Quite simply, by getting involved. And to that end, I’ve compiled a list of ideas born out of questions I’ve recently encountered.  

The first happened at Caldwell Mill Animal Clinic when I brought our kittens in for a check-up. A man in his 30s asked me: “What can we do? We're fired up, but don't know where to start!" 

Then, one of our favorite Alabama Unfiltered callers inquired about the same thing: “What can we do?” 

Then this article was coming due and it was suggested that I write about – you guessed it – “How do we get involved? Are there examples of what we can do?” 

And so, with those questions – and with the reminder that the lion was eventually ushered back where he belonged, his eight-hour reign of terror over – and with those in the library group serving as our example, here is my list. 

First, pray.  

Not in the classically southern stall tactic kind of way. I mean, pray. God put you where you are for a reason. He will use you in ways unimaginable if you'll let Him direct your footsteps. So, ask Him for direction and opportunity. 

While I'm at it, do you have a Bible-believing church home? Not the kind that makes up what it says, either. Get involved there. 

Then, what are your interests? Pro-life? Education? Prison reform? Policy? Health care? The poor? Consider what sets your heart on fire and ponder what issue causes you to talk back to the TV or radio. What do you naturally want to tell people about? Because that's your answer. That’s your issue. 

Once you know that, find your people, because a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Get plugged in. 

Many groups are taking on hot-button issues and educating Alabamians about what's happening, equipping us to fight back. Groups like LOCAL Alabama, Eagle Forum of Alabama, and Clean Up Alabama take people to the capitol during legislative sessions to observe the process, lobby legislators, and work on bills. These groups are also excellent resources for learning about your state party or when the city council or school board meets. 

After learning about those latter meetings, grab a friend and attend one. A quick online search will show when your local school board or city council meets, along with instructions on offering public comment. Your attendance at these events matters. 

If that doesn't work, write letters or send emails about issues that concern you. The KwikLetter app enables you to send letters to your elected officials quickly from your phone or computer. It’s as simple as entering your address and writing and signing your letter, letting KwikLetter do the rest. Yes, it's that easy. 

Or call your House or Senate member's office and let them know your thoughts. The Alabama State House number is (334) 242-7095. The U.S. Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. The operator will connect you with your official's office. 

And here's a wild idea: Host a worldview Bible study at home or online. Summit Ministries, R.C. Sproul and Ligonier ministries, Sean McDowell, or Nancy Pearcy's Total Truth are all good resources with which you can start. Knowing how to think, learning to reason, and applying logic is a lost art. You can bring that back to your community, starting in your home. 

Finally, contemplate a run for office. 

Yes, you. It's not for the faint of heart, but it is worth it. And even though qualifying for this go-around wrapped up, think about it for next time. Remember the groups listed above? They can point you in the right direction. 

It’s obvious that our state is in an all-hands-on-deck situation. If you believe that the lions have terrorized us long enough, then we need your help to tame them and then preserve what’s best about Alabama.

Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House District 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].

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