(Note: I can say from the beginning that my thoughts on war are not complete. Rather, they have been transforming since high school, when I wanted to go to the Naval Academy and eventually be a Marine sniper. Once I realized that someone with 20/400 vision (me) was not a good candidate for a sniper and the Spirit began to invade all parts of my life – a rupture began happening. However, the story of me going from being a “war eagle” and shouting at the anti-war protesters in Los Angeles in 2003 to becoming adamantly against war is for another time.)
I read a story yesterday about LifeWay Christian Resources pulling charity based bibles from several stores, like Wal-Mart and other retailers, due to a controversy over how the money was being spent by the charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. To summarize the article, some anti-abortion organizations had caught wind that the Komen Foundation had donated money to Planned Parenthood. The Planned Parenthood website states that “Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.” Because of the relationship between the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and Planned Parenthood, Thomas Rainer, president of LifeWay, decided to pull the bibles (which were actually geared toward people suffering with cancer) from the stores on grounds that even an “indirect relationship” with Planned Parenthood would be a violation of LifeWay’s core values – values that do not support abortion.
Meanwhile… back at your local LifeWay bookstore, sections of the store are dedicated to “current events.” Translation: many books dedicated to the justification of war in the Middle East. Now, not all of these books scream “pro-war” but whether direct or indirect, thousands upon thousands of pages are used to supply readers with rhetoric to support the on-going wars in the Middle East. Ironically enough, much like the “cancer-bible”, there are bibles themed for people of the armed forces and their families. A quick search of the word “military” on the LifeWay website delivers several pages of results including Bibles with camouflage covers and a book titled, “American Heroes: In the Fight Against Radical Islam” by Oliver North.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I am anti-abortion, but you don’t have to be in a pew every Sunday to know that there is something wrong in our country when faith-based organizations, like LifeWay, can rip products and/or services from their shelves over possible “indirect relationships” but yet fail to see how they are directly responsible for producing literature that directly supports the death of hundreds of thousands of people (citizens and soldiers of both sides) and ultimately the hatred of our “enemies” across the ocean.