HELENA — Helena artist Tim Holmes, who received veiled threats from the racist World Church of the Creator after announcing his plans to turn the group's books into an art exhibit, is assembling a panel to publicly discuss the role of dangerous ideas in a free society.

Holmes was the first artist to use some of the 4,100 racist books the Montana Human Rights Network bought from a defected church member. He turned the books into weapons by encasing The White Man's Bible in glass, by turning another book into a Molotov cocktail and by driving spikes through yet another.

His call for collaborators brought many inquiries from artists around the country, and veiled threats from out-of-state members of the World Church of the Creator.

But instead of tucking tail, Holmes said he wants to vet the issues publicly.

‘‘I would love it if the community could talk about these issues,'' Holmes said. ‘‘They are very vital issues to democracy.''

While nothing is scheduled yet, Holmes' has asked for space at Carroll College for sometime next week. He said he'll invite Sen. Ken Toole, D-Helena and co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network, a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union and others to the table.

If no public space can be found, he offered up his artist's studio in Helena.

‘‘This is a topic of conversation around the nation and here's a chance for people to get together,'' Holmes said Wednesday.

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