This Is Some Messed Up Christian Logic…

LifeWay Christian Resources, a Southern Baptist-owned chain, had been carrying a special edition of the Bible in their stores… but not anymore.

Here’s Hope: The Breast Cancer Awareness Bible mixed testimonials from breast cancer survivors with passages from the Bible.

So why is LifeWay no longer selling it?

Because $1.00 from each purchase was going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help find a cure for breast cancer.

What…? That doesn’t make sense. Really, why is LifeWay no longer selling it?

Because the Komen Foundation gives some money to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening and awareness programs. And I guess breast cancer screenings make Baby Jesus cry…?

When our leadership discovered the overwhelming concern that some of Komen’s affiliates were giving funds to Planned Parenthood, we began the arduous process of withdrawing this Bible from the market. Though we have assurances that Komen’s funds are used only for breast cancer screening and awareness, it is not in keeping with LifeWay’s core values to have even an indirect relationship with Planned Parenthood.

What are LifeWay’s other core values? “Force children to remain in foster homes rather than let loving gay parents adopt them”?

How irrational can you get…? They admit that the money won’t go toward abortion services, and they still don’t want the money going to Planned Parenthood.

Here’s a completely accurate statement: LifeWay is removing Bibles from its shelves because some of the proceeds will go to saving women’s lives.

Why more Christians aren’t up in arms about this is appalling. They’ll boycott stores because employees say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”… but they won’t boycott LifeWay despite the store doing something actually awful.

(Thanks to Daniel for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

    Here’s another completely accurate statement: Planned Parenthood prevents more abortions than LifeWay and its affiliated churches ever will.

  • Griffox

    Well, I don’t give money to the salvation army, even though they do some good, because they don’t support LGBT rights. Some would call my reasoning flawed. I really can’t criticize a Christian group for doing the same with an organization they disagree with.

    • Griffox

      Just to clarify, I don’t find their justifications for opposing Planned Parenthood at all reasonable, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.

    • Spencer

      Can’t say I disagree, actually. If they truly believe abortion is wrong, then it’s easy to see how they wouldn’t want to give money to help an abortion-providing organization, even if the specific donations are going to fund something else. That doesn’t mean it still isn’t stupid, but I think the logic is pretty sound — it’s the premises that are the problem.

      • Demonhype

        Well, they’re not giving money to an abortion-providing organization.  They’re carrying books that, if the particular consumer decides to purchase it, will have a portion of the profits given specifically to the breast-cancer prevention programs of an organization that also provides abortions to those who choose to have one.  Doesn’t that mean the customer is the one making the decision and ponying up the dough that will be given, and not the store, technically?

        That doesn’t exactly line up with “I don’t personally give money to the SA because…”  A better example would be if you had a store and refused to sell a particular book or version of a book because some of the profits of that book will go specifically to the charity aspect of the SA, and is guaranteed only to pay for providing food and clothing to the needy and nothing else.  If that was the case, we’d be hearing about those “evil atheists” who “hate Jesus” so much that one of them wouldn’t even carry a book that had some of its profits going to the SA’s specifically charitable causes  just because it’s a Christian organization.

        • Spencer

          Forgot about that; that’s true.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/ferulebezelssite/ Ferule Bezel

          The problem is that the money is fungible.  Any organization with multiple programs, projects, whatever, is going to have an idea of the proportion of their resources they want to spend on each one.  If they receive money earmarked for one they are just going to reallocate the flexible funds towards maintaining the proportions they want.

          • http://crissa.twu.net/ Crissa

            So you’re saying paying for low cost breast cancer screenings lets the one offering the service to offer more family planning?

            That a higher incidence of cancer is better because those nasty poor people oughtn’t get another service from another place?

    • Anonymous

      I agree. I’m also a non-supporter of the Sally Ann* and as long as Foundation Beyond Belief has a Challenge the Gaps (i.e. though we say we’re beyond belief, we’re going to support it with our cash) option, I’d never donate to them either.

      It can get a little ridiculous though–how many degrees of separation do you need between your donation and the immoral** enterprise? This seems kind of overkill for me. It’s a store (1) not carrying a book (2) that donates money to a charity (3) which supports an organisation (4) that also does something they find immoral (5).

      *Though with a bit of pressure I think I could bring myself to donate to the annual Toy Mountain campaign that they do in concert with CTV–but I’d make sure to donate something subversive.

      **Of course, on this point I couldn’t possibly disagree any more vehemently.

    • TheBlackCat

      If I could actually have assurances that the salvation army would not use the money for things I am opposed to it I would be more inclined to give it to them.  But considering that they would rather turn down a new building than give assurances that it won’t also be used as a church then I think this is unlikely.  From the sound of things, this group did have that assurance, so I think the situation is quite different.

    • http://crissa.twu.net/ Crissa

      How is that even comparable?  They aren’t paying Planned Parenthood for abortions, after all, or even helping Planned Parenthood do any.

      You’d not donate to some place that received blankets or hire the Salvation Army do provide assistance?  I wouldn’t.  That’d be cold.

  • Eric K

    This strikes me as similar logic to why some donors with FBB don’t give to the religious but non-proselytizing charities. As strongly as I disagree with it, the messed up logic here isn’t unique to Christians…

  • Heidi

    “Christian Logic” LOL.

  • Anonymous

    Christians have so much potential to do good if only they could get their heads out of their own arses long enough to take a good look at the way that they act.

    That may be something of a sweeping statement to make as not all Christians are like this but Christians asshattery just seems so ubiquitous that it’s just so difficult to even notice the ones who aren’t so bad.

  • http://www.diannaeanderson.net Dianna

    The Evangelical American church’s maligning of Planned Parenthood is one of the most baffling things I have ever been witness to (and I’ve seen a lot of baffling things). It just does not make sense, and is an example of propaganda working its magic. Every time I’ve spoken to someone opposed to Planned Parenthood, they’re opposed based on things that are either misinterpretations of PPFA’s stances (ie, Sanger was a eugenics proponent! [misleading at best]), or outright lies about what PPFA does for women (they’re an abortion factory! [again, that doesn't even make sense! a factory, by nature, produces something...]).

    The fight against PPFA has, of course, only made me more adamant that I will use nothing but them for my female needs, even if my insurance won’t cover it. My hope is that by having someone in their life who says, “Oh, hey, I go there!”, it might make them stop and think that, “oh, they do more than abortions.”

    • Miss M

      Dianna-
      I totally agree with your last paragraph, well actually your whole statement. I use Planned Parenthood for ALL my female needs and then I have a family doctor for everything else just to support them. We need more females like us. Thank you.

      • Patches

        Indeed! I too go to PP for all my female doctor needs. I like knowing I am supporting the organization.

        I also like wearing my shirt that has a picture of the pope with the phrase “Make More Babies You Can’t Feed” when I go so all the protestors (mostly Catholic it seems in my area) can see.  The ladies ushering women in love it :)

  • http://twitter.com/Three_Star_Dave Dave Hill

    Okay, consider me a Christian up in arms over it — though, sadly, I never patronize LifeWay (and I donate to Planned Parenthood, so LifeWay probably doesn’t want me as a customer, either).  This kind of ritualistic purity (“We don’t want to give money to someone who has worked with Planned Parenthood in the past, even if it was for a good cause, because we might get abortionist cooties!”) is silly at best, but when it results in hurting efforts to save lives, it borders on un-Christian (e.g., Luke 14:1-6).

    It’d even be dodgy logic if the Bible sales were donating directly to PP, rather than to an organization that has worked with it. The argument that nothing the PP does can be good flies in the face of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (though that’s precisely the illogic that’s used in calling for eliminating governmental funding for PP).

  • SJH

    Giving money to Planned Parenthood for procedures other than abortion simply allows them to move money around and fund abortions from other resources. By providing them with $1.00 for pregnancy tests (or whatever) is, in all practicality, equivalent to providing them with $1.00 for abortions.
    What is ironic is that the Susan G. Komen Foundation so willingly gives money to an abortion provider when it has been shown that abortions greatly increase the chances of breast cancer.
    You commented about the Baptist Church and their views towards gays and adoption. What does this have to do with abortion, planned parenthood and SGKF? They are two separate issues and deserve two separate forums. To cross the two is simply distracting from the actual discussion. Perhaps their views on homosexuality may be flawed though this does not imply that their views towards SGKF and Planned Parenthood are also flawed.

    • Anonymous

      Feel free to provide evidence that abortions increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

      • TheBlackCat

        He or she can’t, it is an outright lie, albeit an extremely common one amongst the anti-choice crowd.

      • Nicole

        Total nonsense.  It’s like cutting your hair increases the change of getting restless leg syndrom!

        • Nicole

          sorry mistake chance not change

    • TheBlackCat

      This operates under the frankly bizarre assumption that the only thing they could increase or decrease is abortions.  If every dollar they get goes to additional breast cancer tests that they would not otherwise be doing, then that means absolutely none of the money is helping abortions in any way, because there is no moving of funds around. 

      If they increase the number of breast cancer tests at all, then that means not all of the money could possibly go to abortion.  Every dollar that goes to increasing other services besides abortion cannot, mathematically, be aiding abortion.

      • Kevin S.

        Actually, it operates under the assumption that Planned Parenthood is a rational agent and doesn’t discriminate its sources of income, but rather it will spend its money in the way that’s most effective for its mission.  Let’s simplify this and say that PP has two things it spends its income on, abortions and breast cancer research, and lets say it values those two things equally.  If it receives $100, it’s going to spend $50 providing abortions and $50 funding breast cancer research.  If it gets $10 from the sale of those Bibles, that specific $10 might go towards research, but the next $10 it earns from other sources would go towards abortions, so that it’s spending $60 on each activity.  The $10 they got from the Bibles allowed them to increase abortion funding by $5.  That’s fairly basic economics, and it’s why federal laws banning abortion funding are a joke, so long as federal dollars still go towards health care providers who pay for abortions.  If the fundies want to twist themselves into knots over it so they don’t think the government is funding abortions, that’s fine, but it still is.

    • http://twitter.com/Three_Star_Dave Dave Hill

      It seems unlikely that an organization that spends all of 3% of its money on abortion services is champing at the bit for more breast cancer exam funding so it can push that figure up to 3.1%.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JBAMPHNDKNSKDNVTY3VRYGWMYQ Jack

      http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/abortion-miscarriage

      “… the evidence overall still does not support early termination of pregnancy as a cause of breast cancer…”

      “The newer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk.”

      Cool story, bro.

    • SH

      For the millionth time, Abortions DO NOT INCREASE THE RISK OF BREAST CANCER.  Can we please put that to rest? Even C. Everett Koop has stated that abortion does not cause breast cancer.  I am so tired of repetition of lies becoming truth.

    • Demonhype

      Planned Parenthood does more to prevent abortions than all the anti-choice crowds put together.  Every $1.00 they get to provide comprehensive sex ed or provide contraceptives prevents an abortion because those are proven methods that reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and therefore the number of potential abortions.  They don’t make profits from abortions, and if they profit from anything they profit from the many other services they provide, including health services and the aforementioned pregnancy preventions they offer.

      The only thing the anti-choice crowd cares about is lying to enforce their views that unwanted children need to be inflicted upon “sluts” and “whores” as a punishment for having sex–as far as they are concerned, women can either “close their legs” or suffer and to hell with things like rape or with children who go hungry because mommy can’t afford food and these “compassionate” jerks have dismantled every social safety net.   They are not and never will be concerned with the real-world results of their views or the pain they cause untold women and children, because they only care about triumphing over uppity women in the name of God.

      (That and ensuring a large amount of desperate low-income fodder to fight their profitable crusades for them.  They are vile beyond description.)

  • Anonymous

    If “god” is so great, why can’t he prevent things like breast cancer in the first place?

  • Andrew

    I’ll comment as an avid Christian (a confusing term these days, so I’ll clarify that I follow the teachings of the Bible and do my best to live a life after Jesus’ example).  To put it simply, Lifeway (of which I know nothing about other than what is in this story) pulled out because they were not willing to support an organization that donated to another organization which is in complete opposition to Christianity (i.e. abortion).  Why does that surprise so many people here?

    Suppose that you are an advocate of gay marriage.  You support the Boys and Girls club and think it’s a great organization.  Until you find out that the B&G club is giving money to the Club of the Sanctity of Marriage (this doesn’t actually exist).  Now, they are only giving the CSM money for their battered women and children’s housing, but they still stand in absolute opposition to your cause to make homosexual marriage legal throughout.  You can say all you want that you would still have no problem supporting them, but I think you would be lying if there wasn’t some part of you that felt jaded and wanted to pull out.  Now, Lifeway is a huge organization and have to think about those that support them.  If they don’t pull out, then they can be openly accused of supporting an organization that supports abortion, something that they don’t want, so they stay clear of the situation altogether.

    You really don’t see the logic to that?  I admit, the politics is ugly, and it creates an easy target for ‘friendly’ atheists to bash them mercilessly (and unfairly, IMO), but that’s the world we live in.

    QUOTE: ‘Here’s a completely accurate statement: LifeWay is removing Bibles from its shelves because some of the proceeds will go to saving women’s lives.’

    There’s nothing fair or friendly about this statement, which is obviously not Lifeway’s stance.  Lifeway would never pull funds from this group BECAUSE it is saving women’s lives.  Logical fallacy obvious, mate.  They pull Bibles from shelves because they don’t want to come within a stone’s throw of supporting abortion as many would see this as.

    • Aaron Scoggin

      This DOES make a lot of sense. It’s not as if they were like, “Oh, they’re going to help women? Well screw that!” They just don’t want to be affiliated with a group who is affiliated with another group that is in opposition to their cause. It’s the whole “guilty by association” thing. 

  • Sue Blue

    One of the problems I see with drawing similarities between atheists not donating to SA or supporting BSA or GSA and christians not supporting Planned Parenthood is this:  If I don’t want to give to the Salvation Army, even though they do some good, because they are anti-LGBT, I can give to a secular charity that helps the poor.  I can support the Boys and Girls clubs which aren’t christian, anti-choice, or anti-LGBT, and rest assured that my money is being used to help someone.  However, for many poor women, Planned Parenthood is the only option for any kind of female healthcare.  If PPA is gone, many women have no alternatives.  I don’t see these christians saying, “Okay, I don’t want to fund abortions but I’ll give money to this other charity that helps women.”   They’d rather see women suffer from undiagnosed and untreated breast and reproductive cancers, unwanted pregnancies for lack of affordable birth control, and undiagnosed HIV infections than have one cent get near a possible abortion.  To me, this is just thinly-veiled misogyny.  They’d rather not help women at all, really.

  • Nazani14

    Anyone who actually wants to fight cancer of any variety will get more bang for their buck by fighting to get carcinogens out of the environment, food packaging, etc.

    @Kevin S:  I think you ought to read PP’s statements on how they allocate money, rather than posting a speculation that will probably be chopped up and quoted out of context by anti-women trolls.

  • Anonymous

    Christopher Hitchens’ words are ever more true…..” Religion poisons everything”.

  • Anonymous

    I, OTOH, do not support the Komen Foundation because I don’t like their pinkwashing tactics.  I don’t like it that they like to sue small charities, that they have ties to big pharma, that they promote questionable and dodgy “pink” stuff (like perfume with questionable chemicals in it; and at one time, Kentucky Fried Chicken in pink buckets, never mind that there appears to be a link between breast cancer and obesity), that their attachment to screening is dubious while they do little or nothing to actually try to stop or cure breast cancer in the first place.  I’ll put my money elsewhere.

    http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/

    http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/cancerland.htm

    Google komen foundation lawsuit

    Gayle A. Sulik, PhD, MA, “Pink Ribbon Blues” for info on big pharma ties


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