Makes an interesting read.
What to comment?
On Evangelists who are supposed to have gone ‘beyond lust’?
Or how they look at the lighter side of Life, which is ought to be?
Or the prudish Book Stores who sell Porn Books occupying a Moral High Ground?
The insensitivity of the Evangelists?
Just ahead of the book’s release Oct. 30, evangelical author Rachel Held Evans announced that LifeWay Christian Resources had refused to stock her second work, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, which describes her humorous year-long attempt to follow the Bible’s rules for women. LifeWay, which is operated by the Southern Baptist Convention, gave no official reason for the censorship, but it wasn’t difficult to guess. Just a few months earlier, Evans had revealed a tangle with her publisher over the word “vagina,” the inclusion of which they feared would be too offensive for Christian bookstores. Evans had allowed other mild profanities (“damn,” “kick-ass”) to be stripped from her manuscript, but she drew the line at “vagina.” Her publisher, Thomas Nelson, allowed her to keep it in, but their fears proved correct.
Ask almost any evangelical writer, musician, or artist who came of age in the past two decades, and he or she will have a similar story. Thanks to a combination of evangelical prudery and corporate anxiety, popular Christian books, music and films have been part of a totally sterilized landscape. Curse words or mentions of female genitalia weren’t the only things off limits: so was any serious portrayal of evil, suffering, anxiety, or doubt that wasn’t presented in a carefully-calculated formula where good and bad were always clearly distinguishable, where pain was always resolved in redemption and hope.
Countless evangelical artists have chafed at the sanitized version of reality imposed by recording and publishing gatekeepers who seemed to live in fear of the waves of Victorian outrage they imagined would come hurtling their way if a single “damn” slipped through the cracks. (LifeWay immediately pulled the 2009 film version of Michael Lewis’ The Blind Side, a hit with evangelicals, when a lone Florida pastor complained about its vulgar language. Other authors faced questions over “masturbation” and “crapshoot.”) To many Christian writers and musicians, this extreme sensitivity seemed like a capitulation to a few overwrought objectors. But with very few exceptions, evangelical cultural producers had no choice but to surrender their creative vision to the censors and conservatives if they wanted to reach a significant audience.