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‘The Blind Side’ removal brings backlashcomment (0)

July 19, 2012

LifeWay Christian Resources’ recent decision to no longer stock “The Blind Side” DVD on bookstore shelves has struck a nerve with Christian authors.

Rachel Held Evans, who was asked by Thomas Nelson Publishers to remove a word describing the female anatomy from her upcoming book “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” in deference to Christian bookstore standards, said it points to a “chokehold” the stores hold on the Christian publishing industry.

Evans said Christian bookstores have developed a reputation for “a highly sanitized customer experience.”

“What most people don’t realize, however, is that the problem of sanitized Christian bookstores extends far beyond the inventory on the shelves to create an entire Christian subculture that is so sanitized and safe it often fails to produce art that is relevant to our culture or our lives,” Evans wrote in a recent blog posting.

Eric Metaxas, author of the New York Times No. 1 bestseller “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy,” described a Christian publishing industry that is “heading for cultural irrelevance.”

“For outsiders looking in, the moral of the story is that: ‘There is no pleasing Christians. They always seem to be looking for something to be mad about,’” Metaxas wrote. 

“It’s difficult to imagine how we Christians can hope to be taken seriously in cultural discussions and debates with this kind of an approach.”

Marty King, director of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) publisher, said officials have heard different perspectives from customers about the decision to remove the movie.

“We agree the movie as a whole promotes Christian values and a redemptive message, however it does contain instances of street language and racial slurs against African-Americans,” King said.

King said LifeWay decided in June to stop selling the movie after nearly two years because of likelihood it would become a focus of debate and division at the recent SBC annual meeting in New Orleans. “We were electing the Southern Baptist Convention’s first African-American president, and did not want to distract from that historic moment,” he said.  


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