Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Free to Censor?

Roland S. Martin recently wrote an op. ed. piece for CNN in which he chastises Lifeway Christian Bookstores for removing an edition of GospelToday magazine that featured a cover of women ministers, from its shelves because the Southern Baptist Convention, with whom Lifeway is affiliated, has officially sided with the school of thought that scriptures indicate that only men can be ordained ministers.

My main problems with Lifeway's actions are this:

  1. They did not give the magazine any warning. The polite thing to do would have been to issued some sort of statement to GospelToday saying, "We are sorry but our views on women in the pulpit have led us to pull this particular edition of your magazine from our shelves, etc. etc." You get the idea. But they took the measures without warning or any contact.
  2. Pulling the magazines in such a secretive way also pretty much hindered the possibility of a healthy discussion of the issue. Roland Martin puts in his 2¢ on the issue, but it is sort of awkward and ill-placed. It is not a forum for healthy discussion on the topic. And when a topic is shrouded in an unhealthy controversy such as this, healthy and educational debate becomes nearly impossible.

See Earlier for Cross Application: A Kingdom Divided

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