Bookstore Chain Pulls Magazine for Cover Showing Female Ministers

The mullahs in Iran have nothing on us. The Southern Baptist convention has ordered a book chain to remove a magazine for its shelves as offensive because of its cover showing female ministers. If you want to see a picture of female ministers, you will have to go to somewhere other than Lifeway Bookstores. The offensive magazine was none other than that notorious libertarian rag Gospel Today.

Lest you think that the magazine featured “Bible-Thumpin’ Baptist Babes” or some other racy headline: Gospel Today merely showed their pictures over the headline “Female Pastors.” It is enough to have Larry Flint rushing to fill his trunk with copies.

The convention owns Lifeway’s 150 stores. The Southern Baptist leadership was appalled to see women (real women) on the cover as ministers. However, the Southern Baptists aren’t unreasonable. You can still purchase the magazine by asking for it. It will be hidden behind the counter so not to offend the eyes of customers like a porn magazine. Presumably, purchases will be handed over in a brown paper bag after sufficient condemning eyes have scrutinized the customer.

For the full story, click here.

13 thoughts on “Bookstore Chain Pulls Magazine for Cover Showing Female Ministers”

  1. The difference is one of degree, not kind. It would only be a matter of time between the establishment of a Southern Baptist theocracy and what the mullahs of Iran and Saudi Arabia do today. The ony reason they’re not already doing such things is because the ACLU and the federal government would step in, one of the reasons they don’t like either organisation. Thank God for the separation of church and state(wry smile).

  2. LJM,

    There are real differences as you point out betweeen mullah’s and the southern baptists but there are real similarities to consider. As rafflaw pointed out there is the censorship, basically of reality. Southern Baptists as a group do not approve of women as ministers any more than the catholic church approves of women as priests. The inequality of women and men in the church or mosque is something held in commom by all these groups. All fundamentalist authorities, whatever their religion, hold to the inequality of women and men. This enforcement of inequality has real effects on women’s lives (especially), but also on men’s. It affirms a destructive control of women by men. It sanctions the abuse of women by men. These similarities are there and have terrible consequences in everyday life.

  3. Sexism is alive and well in religion. But hey, at least the female pastors weren’t fired, humiliated or threatened for being who they were. That’s progress already.

  4. Do you know how hard it is to become a minister if you happen to be female? I wasted nearly two decades in my efforts to ‘persue the call,’ before I finally realized it meant nothing to my ‘enlightened’ denomination. Unless I was willing to work for free, of course, and didn’t expect to have any real authority. It was like asking an architect to be happy with toy building bricks.

  5. rafflaw, I agree 100% with you regarding censorship, where the government is concerned. But these are private (though ignorant and backward) individuals making decisions (poor ones, to be sure) about their own businesses. The mullahs, on the other hand, work closely with the Iranian government and preside over the executions of homosexuals and imprisonment/execution of many others for a variety of “offenses,” so I just thought that it wasn’t really accurate to compare the (ridiculous) private actions of ignorant businessmen to the very public atrocities of Iran’s mullahs.

  6. If one’s faith is so tenuous that you must ban something to protect it, then to me that isn’t faith. I’ve known more than a few pious people in my life and although of different faiths, they all shared the ability of not judging others. They were truly holy people and not fakers for whom religion is used as a power trip and not a celebration of the ineffable.

  7. LJM,
    Any type of censorship is abhorrent to a Democracy. That is something that the Mullahs do in Iran, but it is not supposed to happen here in the U.S. in the 21st century. When I first read this article I thought that this magazine must have had a picture of these ministers without clothes. Why else would anyone ban a picture of fully clothed ministers??

  8. Now, Jonathan, even if the folks at the Southern Baptist Convention are acting like the Neanderthals they are, unless they call for an execution or imprisonment, comparing them (let along us!) to Iran’s mullahs is a bit much, isn’t it?

  9. These people don’t believe in their bible:

    “And if your eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you…” I’ll believe in the faith of these southern baptists when I see a bunch of eyes lying on the floor of Lifeway Stores. You don’t just hide a magazine like that. What if girls think they can be ministers? This must be stopped.

    Of course there’s that other heretical verse about, in Christ there is no male or female, but I wouldn’t put any stock in that part of the bible.

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