Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ban 'vagina' and 'penis' - Censorship in Christian lit

 I found this article on  Rachel Held Evans's blog.from which I have quoted below:


A lot of folks have been expressing outrage and surprise over the fact that LifeWay Christian bookstores recently banned the movie "The Blind Side" from their shelves due to language and objectionable content.  The 2009 biographical film about a black high school student adopted by a white Christian family is rated PG-13 and became something of an evangelical darling when it released, receiving endorsements from Christianity Today and Focus on the Family.
But Florida pastor Rodney Baker of Hopeful Baptist Church submitted a resolution to the Southern Baptist Convention, demanding that LifeWay pull the film. Lifeway bowed to the pressure from Baker, and removed the movie from their shelves—a response that Baker saw as obedient yielding to the Holy Spirit.

Those of you who followed “vaginagate”—in which I was asked to remove the word “vagina” from my upcoming book in deference to Christian bookstore standards—will know that I’m not at all surprised by this story.
For all the amazing people who work in Christian publishing, and for all the amazing books they produce every year, there is this undercurrent of fear and insecurity that undoubtedly stifles our collective creativity. And this fear and insecurity is a direct result of the unreasonable standards held up by Christian bookstores.
But here's the thing...
Christians are not called to create a subculture untouched by the beauty and ugliness of this world. No, Christians are called to speak the truth, even when it is uncomfortable....especially when it is uncomfortable.

 Here's another comment form another blog   her.meneutics  at    http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/03/when_christian_bookstores_ban.html

The problem with Vagina-gate and similar forms of “censorship” is that, in an attempt to protect customers, publishers and bookstores are making it a lot harder for writers to tell the stories God has called them to write. And when Christians are barred by other Christians from serving God, it dishonors God. In fact, it’s sin.
I found the arguments interesting because I am in the process of writing what I would describe as a Christian novel. I plan to put it out as an ebook on Amazon, so I won't get into any hassles with bookstores, but presumably I would want to attract a Christian readership and if censorship is such a strong part of the culture,(the articles mention other taboos) then I know I won't be getting any readers there.

Strangely, I didn't see 'penis' mentioned. Presumably Cristian writers don't write about penises OR maybe only vaginas are evil.

Anyway, the argument reminded me of a personal experience.

Many years ago, when he was alive, my husband developed a problem with haemorrhoids.Too embarrassed to go to the doctor, he asked me, when I was going in for my checkup, to ask our family doctor to send a prescription for him.

I duly made the request and the doctor was immediately annoyed. I still remember his response. "If his elbow was hurting him he would come in. I don't understand why people behave as if God made only some parts of the body and Satan the rest."

He gave me the interim prescription with a strong message to tell my husband to "get his___ into the office for examination and treatment."

The doc's statement stayed with me and with this as the premise, I wrote a story which I called Version OR the Devil Made Some Parts published in my collection of short stories  Singerman by Peepal Tree Press some years ago.

It is a version of the Adam and Eve story. If you are squeamish don't read it. Naturally, some readers were not happy with it.One man observed: why does it always have to be sex. You couldn't choose something else? Others simply said that it gave them a problem. Really, it calls for an examination of this attitude that makes parts of our bodies taboo and unmentionable . It's not as if we are using street names or writing pornography.

Anyway, if I am fearfully and wonderfully made; if I am made in God's image; if He knew me before I was born and in my mother's womb, how come He used these parts to initiate me. Are we saying He should have chosen some other way of getting us here OR some other parts? (which we would then have quickly made unmentionable anyway).

Found this listing for the genre on Amazon

  buy a copy of my ebook on amazon My Darling You (love stories-sort of) by Hazel Campbell