This Christian Preacher Has No Idea Why His eBook’s Cover is Unintentionally Hilarious…

Here’s some helpful advice: If you’re a fundamentalist Christian, and you’re writing a book about the Bible Principles of Child Discipline (such as “You cannot raise the kids without a paddle”), and you’re looking for a perfect family to put on your book’s cover, you should do a little bit of research when picking a photo…

That, of course, would be one of the families featured on the ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” a show that several religious groups love to hate because it features a homosexual couple (with an adopted child, no less) and was once touted as the “next big thing for gay rights”:

Author and “Old-Fashioned Bible Preacher” Doug Sehorne has no idea, does he…?

***Update***: Doug Sehorne has responded to his book’s cover on Facebook:

Well, I just got a phone call about the picture I used on my Book on Child Discipline. Evidently, it is from a wicked TV show involving a gay couple! Here is the situation.

1. I do not even have a TV and have not for 35 years.

2. I never heard of the TV Show.

3. I got the image from a search on Google Images, which I assumed were not copyrighted, etc.

4. Anyone who knows me, knows I would never condone such wickedness as sodomy or even TV.

Your friends will warn you and your enemies will attack without knowing all the facts.

I am in the process now of removing the book and changing the cover.

Thanks for the friends who warned me. ~ God bless you!

(via Stuff Fundies Like. Images by ABC’s Bob D’Amico.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • flyb

    No way.

  • Sam Black

    Wouldn’t unauthorized use of a copyrighted image violate the commandment to not steal?

  • Raymond

    You’re assuming that they didnt get permission…fact not in evidence…

  • Spazticus

    Wouldn’t that just fall under “stealing for Jesus”?

  • 3lemenope

    Yeah, OK. I also don’t know for sure whether the universe existed prior to when I woke up this morning. But it wouldn’t exactly surprise me.

  • Obvious Fake name

    It is also Hilarious because Phil is the “cool dad”. Shame on Doug.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

  • anon101

    I thought it was because of the peace sign on the girls shirt.

  • Lewayne L. White

    Presumably, if they had gotten permission, that would have meant they sought it out, and would likely have discovered what that photo actually represented… Since they included it anyway, I suspect they were ignorant of the context, and, I would guess ignorant of the proper use of copyright protected images.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    This is from his book: “Number three, you need the paddle. We’ll talk about that through out this booklet. You cannot raise the kids without a paddle. I don’t care what Doctor Spock says.”

    As a child who was spanked I can inform you it does nothing to prevent further outburst or correct ones behavior. Even the threat of being beat with a belt never stopped me from doing stupid shit as a kid and yes, the belt did come out.

    After my parents divorced the spankings stopped though because my mother realized they did nothing, instead she stuck me in the corner, which I hated but even then I still did stupid things. I spent a lot of time in different corners, no wonder I don’t fear spiders.

    And to others that where spanked. Did your parents ever use the line. This is going to hurt me more than it is going to hurt you.

  • Anna

    This would be hilarious, were it not for the fact that the subject matter of the book is so sickening and disturbing.

  • KevinKat

    Why wouldn’t he use a picture of his own family?

  • Silent Service

    Didn’t they just steal a copyrighted photo?

  • C Peterson

    The black eyes and contusions that result from not sparing the rod are unphotogenic.

  • DesertSun59

    This is such an awesome epic fail.

  • RobMcCune

    I’m sure ABC wants their hit show associated with this maniac’s self published manuscript.

  • Maleekwa

    Hehe.. I just googled “picture of a modern family” and guess what image was in the top results!
    I’m guessing he just wanted to get a generic stock photo of a “modern” family. Hilarious.

  • Guest

    I wonder if any of those children are his…

  • Jay Calendine

    The actors could sue for non-compensated use of their photos, and ABC could sue for copyright infringement.

  • Dawn Cadwell

    I wonder if anyone told the actors via Twitter, etc

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    And since he (presumably) didn’t pay them even the standard fees at the time, they can justifiably ask for very large amounts of money.

  • Oranje

    A photo used like that would almost certainly require a caption citing the source. Those intellectual property rights must be taken very seriously; if they aren’t defended, they could lose some of those rights.

  • jdm8

    That always bothered me. I don’t think parents would take up offers of reciprocation to prove that their pain is worse.

  • jdm8

    Pish, that’s why make-up and Photoshop exists.

  • The Captain

    I can assure you that networks do not give out permission to use promotional stills from a show for anything but promotion of that show.

  • BobaFuct

    His first name is “Evangelist”? Were his parents big Bunyan fans?

  • Carpinions

    F*** me they are troglodytes.

    I don’t even have a TV and I recognize those people. How cloistered do you seriously have to be from even Christian media (all the whining about homosexuality being the “new norm”, bad parenting role models, etc.) NOT to recognize those people? This tripe already has 2 1-star reviews on Amazon, both of them pointing out the obvious pop culture problem.

  • UWIR

    That and the whole “graven images” thing.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Let’s see… my house did not have a paddle. My father’s mother’s house had a large, permanent paddle on the wall beside the door. Her children were made to sign it every time it was used on them. It was almost black with signatures. It was never used on me, though I don’t remember a single word she ever said that wasn’t about what she would do to me with it if I was HER child. Twelve years and that’s all I remember about her. Great legacy.

    When she died, we just threw it in the trash can.

    Nope, mine didn’t have a paddle. Mine had belts to bare legs, hands to the face, and closed fists to the face, and hair being ripped out, and “I have to love you, but I don’t like you”. Oddly, I never got a “this is going to hurt me more…” speech. As with many families, that treatment came from his rage at having been punished all the time, probably for the same reason I was: a parent that didn’t grasp autism and tried to beat it out.

    But! Back on topic, no, it doesn’t change behavior. The best result is that you’re lucky enough that it doesn’t worsen your child’s expectations of you.

  • MargueriteF

    Dumb. Self-published authors need to know they can’t just swipe any image off the internet they find; they should always use a stock photo site and pay for it. He’s asking to be sued (and I have to admit I’m not gonna cry if it happens).

  • UWIR

    It was a little confusing how you switched from a quote to your own words without any quote marks.

    One of the most disturbing things, IMO, about paddling/spanking is the whole blurring the lines between discipline and simply working out one’s aggression.

  • Chimako


  • Carpinions

    I was, but it was used sparingly from what I can honestly remember. I can’t say they didn’t use the “hurts me more than you” line, but also can’t say that they did. Mom was bad at spanking, and dad made it bad enough that you (or at least I) wanted to avoid it as often as possible. But my parents never, ever used objects like belts or spoons on any of us 4 kids, even my younger siblings, who were far more difficult to raise personality-wise.

    We did get the go-to-your-rooms, groundings, corners, wait-till-your-dad-gets-home, stuff taken away, etc. that most people are familiar with.

    In hindsight, it seems even the spankings we got paled
    in comparison to what I very often hear others talk about, like welts,
    pain sitting down for days, etc. I don’t recall that ever happening to
    me or my siblings.

  • averydashwood

    If you spare the rod, your kids might steal copyrighted images when they grow up. Gotta nip these things in the bud.

  • The Other Weirdo

    They will anyway, because they’re rebellious little shits.

  • Know

    OH WOW, that is sosososososo funny!!!

  • GeraardSpergen

    Author’s Twitter account – in case anyone wants to clue him in.

  • Stev84

    I didn’t even need to read the book to know that it is about beating children.

  • The Other Weirdo

    But you’re paying attention. You’ve probably seen the still-image-and-quotes from that series. You’ve potentially been on Imgur. You have to be aware of the wider culture in terms other than “we are God’s children but all that other out there is of Satan”.

  • baal

    Trademark takes defending. Copyright less so. Regardless, it’s really poor form and plainly illegal to take a non-public domain image and use it. Real publishing houses have folks whose sole job in hunting up rights owners and clearing the images for use.

  • Olive Markus

    I’m watching this play out with my nephew now. He doesn’t respond to spanking and it only makes him act out worse, but he does (usually) respond to being validated, heard, noticed and respected. Imagine the fucking horrors of that!! You can have a very pleasant day if you simply acknowledge his intelligence, his desires, his shortcomings, and his learning disabilities (I think he may be autistic, though his parents prefer “demonic” X( ) and work with them. We’re the adults, aren’t we? Shouldn’t we learn how to use critical thinking?

    Last year when I had him for awhile, his parents told me I could spank him whenever and however I pleased. I told them I’m not a monster, and I won’t be spanking anybody. They didn’t like that very much.

    I will admit, though, that once I truly, and with every ounce of my willpower, had to keep myself from beating him. The rage I experienced was like nothing I had ever felt before. It scared me. And that is when I knew that anybody who spanks/hits/beats/berates children is incapable of controlling their own, completely unrelated emotions. It has nothing to do with the children, it is simply a socially accepted outlet for your own rage and need to control. There is no excuse for it. I have to stop and think why I’m reacting so negatively to children acting out, and it never has anything to do with them. It’s all about me.

  • Alice

    Sometimes fundies “borrow” popular images just to grab attention. Look at all their cheesy t-shirts based off of logos from soda, candy, and social media companies.

  • Alice

    And their puppy-dog “SAVE ME!” eyes.

  • JaketheAtheist

    Found the guy on facebook and sent this to him. Can’t wait for a response, hahahaha.

  • Detryck Von-Doom

    -booming voice-


  • Patrick James Bayham

    love the peace sign made from feathers of a dream catcher …PAGAN OVERLOAD!

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    When my landlord dropped dead a few years ago I needed to find a new place ASAP and a former co-worker opened his door. He and his wife are very religious and I lived with them for over a year. I witnessed many beatings, not so much saw them but I heard the boys screaming. His wife even told me one day she knew how to hit them without leaving marks.

  • Psycho Gecko

    That’s a horrible book cover! If he wants to draw in readers, he needs something to catch the eye. Like Jesus riding a flaming motorcycle off the edge of the moon while wielding diamond scythe to cut down Satan sitting on a pile of bleeding skulls.
    While he’s at it, he can release a tie-in heavy metal album.

  • Christopher Borum

    Which causes a new problem for him. “Evangelist” is a title and precedent now dictates that it cannot be used as a given name. He’ll be Sehorne Ichabod Douglas from now on.

  • MBear

    actually, the line my parents like to use was “I gave you life and I can take it away”.

    They took out a lot of frustrations on us.
    Some people should never have been parents.

  • ShoeUnited

    And here I wanted to leave a comment that it was atheists who pointed it out.

    To quote:
    Evangelist Doug Sehorne · 38 followers21 minutes ago ·

    Well, I just got a phone call about the picture I used on my Book on
    Child Discipline. Evidently, it is from a wicked TV show involving a
    gay couple! Here is the situation.
    1. I do not even have a TV and have not for 35 years.
    2. I never heard of the TV Show.
    3. I got the image from a search on Google Images, which I assumed were not copyrighted, etc.
    4. Anyone who knows me, knows I would never condone such wickedness as sodomy or even TV.
    Your friends will warn you and your enemies will attack without knowing all the facts.
    I am in the process now of removing the book and changing the cover.
    Thanks for the friends who warned me. ~ God bless you!

  • ReasonableRob

    He obviously just google image searched “modern family” and picked the first result he liked the look of. Lazy, but hardly funny or particularly ironic.

  • MargueriteF

    So he’s not sorry he used a copyrighted picture without permission and broke a commandment; he’s just sorry he seemed to be condoning wickedness, sodomy, and television. Nice.

  • Spuddie

    “. I do not even have a TV and have not for 35 years.”

    Wow he really was living in a cave!

  • Spuddie

    Shit, the image is from ABC TV. That means its DISNEY COPYRIGHT LAWYERS!!!

    Animals hide from their presence!

    Skies darken!
    Milk sours at their mention!

    Priests lose their faith in God by the mere mention of them!

  • Spuddie

    We are talking about a Disney owned media property. It would be stupid to assume he got permission from them. Disney gets injunctions against preschools with Mickey Mouse painted on it.

    Nobody fucks with Walt’s people!

  • Spuddie

    ABC is Disney. They don’t ask for peanuts and standard fees. They shut you down for copyright infringement.

  • ShoeUnited

    “Priests lose their faith in God by the mere mention of them!”

    That’s because you can expel a demon. How do you expel a contingent of corporate lawyers? Even counter-suits can’t scare them off!

  • Mick

    He’ll change the cover but the instructions for child beating will remain.

    I wonder why god allowed him to use that picture in the first place? Maybe god is trying to send him broke.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Indeed. I had in mind the recent Pink Floyd kerfuffle. The kids who were filmed for the video of The Wall were never signed or paid. As adults, they came back and were able to demand huge amounts because they had been exploited without theirs or their parents’ consent. I don’t know if that’s been resolved yet.

    Certainly Disney would go even further. When you keep lawyers on retainer, you want to make sure you use that retainer every year. :P

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    He seems to be more sorry that he got caught stealing, even by accident.

  • Dan Wilkinson

    So Google Image Search isn’t evil, but TV is?

  • Dan Wilkinson

    We’re missing the bigger story here: he also edited a book called The Beard Debate: A Scriptural Defense for Christians who wear Beards:

  • lymis

    Fact is in evidence. The author has acknowledged that he lifted the image from Google Images, on the assumption that anything a web search turned up would be copyright free. By his own admission, he didn’t get any permission.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Corporal punishment just creates gay masochists at least in my personal experience.

  • CoboWowbo

    “And to others that where spanked. Did your parents ever use the line. This is going to hurt me more than it is going to hurt you.”

    I heard that often, as well as, “We do this because we love you.”

  • Michael Destefanis

    It doesn’t work for every kid. My brother who was never hit and always encouraged and defended grew up to be a monumental asshole. Not only does he constantly disrespect our mother, he also has no fear put in him. He feels immune to liability, already has a felony charge at 17 and is a general wash out in school.

    There is a time to bring out the paddle and there is a time not to. The problem with some parents is they get their poles reversed and paddle the kid when it’s not even necessary and fail to do so when it is. But seeing it in my own home and her changing from spanking myself and my other brother to this 3rd one getting the treatment you’ve described has not worked out for him. One does not stroke a child’s ego as a form of discipline when they are doing wrong. Also, to make a note about truly autistic children (too many appear to be getting that diagnosis as an explanation for odd behavior. One aspect of autism is a child’s inability to from a bond even with their own parent.

    Autistic children for example do not say they love their parents. But in any event, with a truly autistic child yes a spanking may be needed at times as well but some parents are quick to give them lashings over poor performance in school or not answering the parent when spoken to which is not really a time to bring out the paddle but install other forms of punishment. But sometimes a kid needs a few good slams on the ass to let them know you mean business. It keeps their ego from getting overinflated and puts a bit of fear into them when it comes to stepping out of line.

  • MargueriteF

    It’s okay to break the first ten commandments, but you should NEVER break the eleventh!

  • spookiewon

    No. Copyright doesn’t require defending. Trademark does.

  • Alice

    “Whaaaat, the images on Google are copyrighted?!”


  • spookiewon

    I believe the courts only object to titles as names if you haven’t “earned” them. LOL

  • spookiewon

    None of the children are his, FFS! Do you not recognize them? Did you not read these comments?

  • Alice

    There is a big difference between not hitting kids and letting them do whatever they want with no logical consequences.

  • Michael Destefanis

    Of course. She did use other forms of discipline that were widely touted by those who advocate against a proper spanking. Ironically these children do tend to be more out of control in larger terms. But, in the end discipline is up to the parent and I do not buy into the notion that kids getting their egos stroked vs whoopin’ tend to be ‘better’. Instead I’m rather confident a good number of them will wind up being disciplined as adults by our penal system where rape and torture is commonplace. All of a sudden that spanking doesn’t quite look so bad for children that wind up on that path. But there is also a difference between a spanking and flat out beating a child as well.

  • Oranje

    I had no idea who they are, nor have I heard of the show. It hasn’t come up in the media I consume (no television, sporadic internet).

  • Oranje

    Apologies to you and baal. It’s been more than a decade since I took media law, and I sure as hell haven’t used it since then.

  • East_Hastings

    So fucking what? Your point being? Honestly, love, we really couldn’t give a shit about your media ‘consumption’. Jog on.

  • rtanen

    Autistic commenter here, and my parents definitely know I love them. Stop making over generalizations about us autistics.

  • SeekerLancer

    This is wonderful.

    Yes parents, take advice from a man who has been living under a rock for over three decades.

    I’m amazed he even knows how to use Google image search, but not surprised that he doesn’t understand the results aren’t public domain images that he can just steal.

    I’d say I wish the actors would file suit but if they saw this they’d probably be too busy laughing to bother.

  • onamission5

    Why yes, yes they did.

    For me there reached a point that I knew no matter what I did it was going to end with some form of spanking. Take an extra potato chip? Two swats. Hit your sister? Five swats, no pants. It’s impossible for a child to be that perfect so why try? Oh but then I’m rebellious, so moar spankings.

    And the cold, clinical approach doesn’t make it any better. Even as a kid I could understand and empathize with someone lashing out in anger, but I could never wrap my brain around hitting your kids by design. So lazy. So ineffective at actually teaching them anything. And the hugs afterward? So much like grooming your kid to be accepting of abuse, both at that point and later. So long as he says he loves me, it’s okay if he hits me…

  • SeekerLancer

    Yes, Disney is ferociously protective of their intellectual property. He’d better hope this little “mistake” flies under their radar.

  • busterggi

    When you have the net to access all the free porn in the world, as the good preacher does, how does a television come across as evil?

  • busterggi

    Ah, the fond memories of “Don’t make me get the strap.”

  • babsbeaty

    I wonder what his book tells parents to do when their child makes similar excuses.

    “I didn’t know smoking was wrong. I don’t even own a cigarette lighter.”

    “I have never heard of pot.”

    “I just saw that money on the table. I assumed it was free to take, etc…”

    Everyone who knows me knows I would never condone sex before marriage”

  • Anna

    I think this cold, calculated, ritualized approach is infinitely worse. At least with anger, you can understand why the parent is lashing out. Being angry or frustrated is not an excuse for hitting a child (or anyone else), but at least it’s a relatable emotion. I can’t even fathom the mindset it would take to perform the type of ritualized “loving” violence that conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists promote. Think about the whole host of psycho-sexual issues that are being inflicted on those poor children.

  • Anna

    These evangelical training manuals generally teach parents how to maximize pain without leaving marks or bruises. And even that’s not universal. Some of these people believe they should be allowed to beat children until there are bruises, no matter what the law says. That’s where the “modest” clothing comes in handy.

  • Icebiker3

    Can you say PTSD? Therapy? Spit on Grave? Lifetime to deal with it?

  • Icebiker3

    Well, he seems to use the wickedness of Facebook. Did anybody tell him that the internet if chock full of atheists?

  • Peter Callan

    Please. I’m an actor and I can tell you what will happen. He’ll claim, as a member of a “recognised” church, that it is for charity and therefore outside the normal laws concerning copyright and intellectual property, and that Disney and the cast members depicted should be willing to give of their time and talent gratis for the glory of his own personal sky fairy. Disney will still sue and will still probably win, closing him down and possibly winning the right to claim all his profits. This “minister” will declare bankruptcy, and set up his evangelist scam under another name, and Disney will get cents in the dollar if they’re lucky. Whatever the result the actors will get nothing. The minister, through donations from the sheep at his next revival tent show, will republish the book and his sordid little message will still get out. Disney will go on to make another several billion in profits.And before anyone says “well, the actors are making millions anyway”, I can tell you, no, not really.

  • Dale

    Why didn’t he use a photo of his own family?

    “Anyone who knows me, knows I would never condone such wickedness as gluttony….”


  • Michael Abracham

    Sodomy and wicked TV? Where can I sign up?

  • Brian J Henry

    “I got the image from a search on Google Images, which I assumed were not copyrighted, etc.”
    why would you assume that

  • MorganGuyton

    He looks so much nicer in the original picture than the obese bald man with the beard.

  • John Small Berries

    “I got the image from a search on Google Images, which I assumed were not copyrighted, etc.”

    So he’s going for the Idiot Defense, then.

  • Devient Genie

    What i find most disturbing, is the first thing people are focusing on are copyright violations.

    This worthless old pile of DNA is a bigot, and a child abusing loser, and any parent who buys his book is the scum of the phylum chordata :)

  • sherman

    In all fairness, I think the majority opinion here is that he is an idiot.

  • TheG

    You forgot the part where it makes Fox News under the headline:
    “Gays Persecute Christians Yet Again!”

  • Rosa

    Amazingly, most imprisoned people report having been disciplined with hitting of some sort.

    There’s no discipline method that guarantees a good outcome.

  • HorrorChan

    Not only did they use that line but they said, “If you keep crying I’m just going to spank you harder and I won’t stop till you shut up.” After a while they realized it didn’t stop me from doing things.For a long time they never hit me with anything till my second or third year of high school.

  • Don Gwinn

    “Also, to make a note about truly autistic children (too many appear to be getting that diagnosis as an explanation for odd behavior. One aspect of autism is a child’s inability to from a bond even with their own parent.”

    That’s simply not true.

    “Autistic children for example do not say they love their parents. ”

    Again, that makes as much sense as “Neurologically typical children, for example, love their teachers.” Some do, I’m sure some don’t. I have not personally encountered a child with autism who did not express connection or love for his parents, though I’m sure there are examples out there, in years of working with kids with autism in public school classrooms.

    “But sometimes a kid needs a few good slams on the ass to let them know you mean business. It keeps their ego from getting overinflated and puts a bit of fear into them when it comes to stepping out of line.”

    If you can’t figure out how to get your point across without hitting someone, I guess it’s easy to feel like you’re out of other options. Again, my experience has been different. And as Alice points out below, you’ve set up a false dichotomy here. In the world you describe, if a kid fails math, you can either A) hit her so she learns that math is serious business, or B) tell her it’s not her fault, blame the teacher and demand that the grade be changed.
    But what’s wrong with Options C through Z? Why couldn’t I express sympathy and ask her how she expects to pass the class next time? Why can’t I ask her what she thinks she would have to do differently to earn the credits? I used to get big lectures from my boys about how “all the other parents” would go to the school and threaten someone’s job and make sure their kids didn’t get into trouble for what they did wrong. But that didn’t mean I had to do it . . . they could try to cajole me, but I was in charge of my own actions. I didn’t have to constrain myself to choosing between two failing methods.

  • MichaelL65

    Wait a sec? This guy hasn’t had a wicked TV fr 35 years, but he’s on Facebook?

  • Redmond Jennings

    Rightwing pastors are too holy to be bound by the laws and rules of us poor sinners.

  • Crazy Russian

    Click on any image on Google Images. Go on, try it. Read what it says at the bottom. Didn’t read it? Your own fucking problem.

  • Timothy Ware

    tax evasion took down the mob. Maybe a copyright suit can take down this guy’s ministry.

  • Monica Friedman

    He assumed that something he found on GIS wasn’t copyrighted? Why would you assume that? Even when I take an image off of Wiki Media Commons, I pretty much only choose from stuff in the public domain. Everything is copyrighted.

  • Devient Genie

    Maybe they can give me immunity for the first heterosexual male to sodomize an old bigot :)

  • Devient Genie

    You unwittingly posted a picture that came from a show that is Not bigot friendly, you are accused of being a misinformed idiot, there is Nothing false about that accusation :)

  • Mark Burns

    WTF! Who writes a book and puts less effort into the cover than I put into one of eight posts I share on Facebook in a day?

    “I got the image from a search on Google Images, which I assumed were not copyrighted, etc.”

    I need to channel Seth Myers here: Really Doug Sehorne? Really? I mean, really. You’re selling a book, and randomly selected a photo off the internet where you have, IDK, about a 100% chance of finding someone else’s intellectual property, and you didn’t think to yourself, “Maybe I should go to one of about a million stock photo websites and purchase the rights to use a happy family photo so as to be sure that I don’t pay to print box loads of books that advertise a copyright infringement RIGHT ON THE FRONT COVER!”

    With this display of genius, I can only sit in wonder of what gems of advice lay within the pages.


  • Mark Burns

    Closet homosexuals, suppressed by unfathomable amounts of religious dogma from birth, rarely have families suitable for such a photograph.

  • wmdkitty

    Uhmmm… how about NO.

    There is absolutely NO JUSTIFICATION for hitting a child.

    Restrain them (gently)? Discipline them (wisely)? Set and enforce rules and expectations appropriate to the child’s development? Teach and guide them? Yes.

    But NO HITTING. Or other violence, physical or otherwise.

  • Mark Burns

    Doug, the legal shit storm heading your way can almost be metaphorically represented by the animals running away from a massive forest fire in “Bambi”. (A film which very well may be the last visual media you’ve ever seen from beginning to end… in the movie theater when you were seven years old.)

  • Mark Burns

    No. They aren’t using the copyrighted material for profit. It is being used as a news story and no one is profiting from its use.

  • ardegas

    No. You won’t find the concept of copyright in the Bible.

  • Mark Burns

    Sorry. Pay per view.

  • wombat

    I have precisely no need to put fear into a child. If they only behave because they’re scared of you, what are they going to be like in the real world? It doesn’t teach self-control, or empathy, or the ability to think through possible consequences. There’s a whole lot less to fear in the real world, and many consequences are delayed, so you can end up with young adults who don’t know how to regulate their own behaviour, and who aren’t getting the immediate consequences that kept them in fear at home.

    Also, positive parenting does not equal ego stroking. I’ve seen the consequences of catering to a child’s every whim, and that’s ugly, but it’s perfectly possible to raise a good kid without ever hitting them.

  • wombat

    Same here. It’s quite easy to have no idea about a TV series if you don’t have a TV. I’m the queen of missed pop culture references.

  • wombat

    Only if you use SafeSearch. If not, all bets are off.

  • wombat

    I’m just not sure that constitutes a defense

  • wombat

    The way my parents saw it, TV was a pipeline for demons, but the internet could be filtered. Or something. They still had a TV though, but we kids weren’t allowed to watch it. Christian Logic!

  • no

    I hope his kids chew on his dick while teething

  • ᒍOᑎ ᔕᕼᖇIᐯEᖇ

    How ironic! I don’t think this is an “attack,” bro. No, we’re just laughing really hard at you…

  • LizBert

    I love shit like this. My family’s evangelical church featured an image from Angels in America during their Christmas program. Bet the pastor’s not a fan of that one…

  • Steve Miller

    That was Bill Cosby’s line. I used it for years. Never hit, though. Didn’t need to.

  • Cory M. Warren

    My god (ironicly, of course, since this is an athiest blog), couldn’t he have bothered to create a cover that did not look like it was done in MS-Paint? I find how cheaply this was done to be just as hilarious as the choice of photo. It reminds me of how Fox News put a picture up on their website touting it as an example of traditional marriage, not realizing it was a picture of a lesbian couple. Evangelicals are idiots.

  • Helen Curtis

    Anna, if that’s the case, PLEASE do not lump all evangelicals into that basket. I assure you, we are not the same. Yes, we do ‘spank’ on occasional times when other options are not valid – yes, there are times when we believe it is necessary, but in all honesty, for my boys, taking away computer privileges works far better! Kids absolutely need discipline, meted out in love and for a purpose, not just bashings because of some misguided interpretation of the Bible (which I also believe, as it happens. Well, correctly interpreted at least! Don’t hate me though :-) I’m actually a really nice person! :-D ).

  • shellgirl

    I would like this comment 1000 times if I could. Few things make me angrier than people assuming if you don’t want to do one extreme thing you automatically want the other extreme. IMHO, hitting kids for ANY reason whatsoever is child abuse. Only ignorant (not stupid, but uneducated, uninformed) weak people resort to physical punishment.

  • shellgirl


  • shellgirl

    So sorry for what you endured. Every child deserves a loving mother. So sad you didn’t have one. Sending you comforting hugs.

  • John Edwards

    Hitting kids is cowardly, pointless and weak. However, certain Evangelists could do with a thrashing…

  • shellgirl

    People should have to get a license before they become parents.

  • indorri

    You know, I was just mildly annoyed at you for advocating assaulting children. Now I flat out think you’re disgusting for trying to make a dichotomy between “spank now or rape later”.

    Fuck off.

  • wmdkitty

    My abuser was spanked growing up. That didn’t stop him from being abusive and rapey.

  • Olive Markus

    I never said I advocated stroking their ego as a replacement for … Anything. That’s just asinine.

    Bad behavior and disrespect isn’t ok and I don’t believe it should be accepted. I just choose not to deal with it using bad behavior and disrespect myself.

    Besides, read what I said, re: he never responded to his parents’ spanking. It only made him act worse and never corrected his behavior long term. I truly believe it has caused him emotional problems. Why should I advocate the abuse of a child for the sake of discipline when it doesn’t even work as discipline?

  • Olive Markus

    Mine, too. I was going to say the same thing myself but got distracted.

  • Jason Higginbotham

    Good to see someone giving advice so in tune with modernity.

  • midnight rambler

    Everything on Wikimedia is free for all use though, including commercial, as long as there is attribution. They are annoyingly picky about verification as well, flagging pictures I had uploaded from my own website (listed in my WP profile) as copyvio.

  • Mark Burns

    Yes. TV and the internet are two different things.

  • GW

    What an ignorant putz. He is so focused on making a buck, he not only steals an image, but picks one antithetical to his beliefs. I think God sent a message, but the recipient is too busy bowing to his true lord, Mammon.

  • Len

    I like the part where he says “I would never condone such wickedness as sodomy or even TV.” [emphasis mine]

  • KeithCollyer

    There’s a lot of evidence that children who are punished severely, especially for minor transgressions, tend to become much more plausible liars and far less likely to own up to misdeeds. so, ideal politicians and pastors

  • Stev84

    It’s not really a book, but a 20 or so page “booklet”. It probably took a few hours to write and he had two typos in his Amazon description before he took it down.

  • Summer Seale

    I have to sympathise somewhat with not owning a TV as I haven’t owned one since December 2001, and couldn’t be happier. I’ve also never heard of this TV show, nor could I care less about it.

    However, when using pictures found online, I tend to do research on them. I’ve never, ever, published a picture online which is contrary to the point which I’m trying to make. So yes, he’s a complete and utter idiot for doing so and his ignorance is risible.

  • NotThatGreg

    Because you don’t need to have a single clue about the world we live in, to write an advice book. Not when you have The Original Terrible Advice Book.

  • M Hans Liebert

    He also said, “I got the image from a search on Google Images, which I assumed were not copyrighted, etc.”, which makes him lazy, which is related to sloth — Another sin. This guy is on a roll!!!

  • Goape

    Presumably, because you likely have the same parents as your brother and you’re also an asshole, you weren’t beaten either. When are you due for your next ass raping?

  • Jan Kafka

    Wouldn’t they have to demonstrate that their properties have a relation to the intellect? Just sayin’…

  • Ann Golub

    Hemant, you’re gorgeous! Hello from Sydney’s atheist!

  • Ann Golub

    thank you. so very well written and so correct. i will sign under every word.

  • bruceedelman

    Graven images are only proscribed in Judaism. Don’t accuse him of that!

  • bruceedelman


  • bruceedelman

    Double excellent!!

  • bruceedelman

    You are a survivor. There is a special place in helI for people who mistreat children and a darker hole for those who abuse children with special needs. May you find peace and happiness always.

  • Martinrc

    I am sure it was his friend “Amazon” who warned him that he couldn’t sell books using copyrighted images without permissions on his books.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Ha ha ha!

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Thank you. I realize I was unclear. I do have a loving mother. She was just withdrawn and scared herself back then, and didn’t realize what her husband was doing to her kids. She’s very hard on herself about it now.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Most of those apply for sure.

  • Anna Redsand

    Haha. And oh, my!

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Thank you.

  • Anna

    That’s why I said “some.” I’m well aware that the majority of evangelicals do not believe in leaving marks or bruises, but these manuals teach parents how to maximize pain and humiliation. It is not just the people on the fringe who promote these things, either. Well-respected leaders in the evangelical movement, such as James Dobson, advocate beating children with implements until the children are properly remorseful and submissive.

    I believe the ritualized form of violence practiced by evangelicals is psychologically and physically abusive. By mainstream standards, it is extreme. Setting the bar for abuse at bruising is too high, in my opinion. There are many countries which outlaw hitting children with implements, and there are many which have made it illegal to hit them at all.

    I don’t know your family, but if you are engaging in any of these practices, then I’m afraid I would not agree with your assessment of yourself. It’s not a matter of “hate” or you not being a “nice person.” People with good intentions can do bad or harmful things, and in many cases good people are being told to do terrible things by their religions.

  • Kodie

    “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.”

  • allein

    TV is easily filtered. Just change the channel. My parents didn’t even have all the fancy channel-blocking technology that’s available today and they managed to keep us from watching things they disapproved of (mostly, anyway ;); then again, they weren’t that strict and we weren’t into anything overly objectionable, either.

  • Klypto

    A little investigation would have helped. Assuming things is not the way to go if you don’t want to be embarassed.

  • Olive Markus

    Thank you :)

  • UWIR

    So why do Christians keep going on about “the Ten Commandments”, if they apply only to Jews?

  • willow

    “the next big thing for gay rights” made me laugh.

  • Sam Black

    I don’t see how that would matter since the commandment doesn’t forbid copyright. It forbids theft and this is very clearly theft.

  • Helen Curtis

    Absolutely NOT! I’m not sure where you are from; I’m in Australia, and I know there are differences between American and Aussie evangelicals, and I would strongly suggest that this is one of them.

    In every church that I have been a part of in my life, kids have been celebrated, not tortured. In my current church this is most definitely the case! We would never, ever tolerate someone using the above methods of humiliation and pain; in fact, if I heard of anyone using such methods I would seek advice from senior pastors and/or the police!

    God loves kids! They are the apple of his eye, and we as parents need to nurture them, guide them and yes, discipline them. That’s the sucky part of parenting. But NOT showing discipline is proving to be so much worse than any smack on the bum. We are seeing a generation of kid without boundaries running rampant in our communities. Schools are powerless, some no longer even using detention as a punishment; parents are becoming increasingly powerless to displine their children – can’t smack, can’t ground, can’t ‘take away their rights’ and so on. But it’s the parents, and the schools, and the ‘system’ who get the blame when these kids, desperate for some sort of boundaries, get into trouble. We’re seeing 8 and 9 year olds committing crimes that back in my younger days I would never have even known about.

    I guess I feel that there has to be a middle ground; somewhere between showing no discipline at all, and using the methods you have heard preached; neither of these show kindness to the kids at all.

    If you’ve made it this far, well, thanks for reading what I have to say. Blessings to you.

  • Ogre Magi

    So he is stupid as well as violent

  • ClaraB43

    Probably not from Disney lawyers.

  • LadySappho

    You will, however, find the concept of OWNERSHIP in the Bible and that’s all copyright is – the right to be considered the owner of your own work.

  • Fred

    “I do not even have a TV and have not for 35 years.”

    Spooky. How did you hear of the internet and email much less ebooks?
    Did you still own a radio or did you dump it because it played the Devil’s Music?
    Was the portrayal of a mixed race family in Different Strokes debuted in 1978 what turned you off TV?

  • Sam Huddy

    The Ten Commandments don’t apply to Jews in any meaningful sense either.

  • Brian In AK

    Fascinating. So, TV is as ‘wicked’ as sodomy, but the Internet is apparently just fine?

  • patricia spinazzola

    Child beating 101.

  • Mike Lawson

    He assumed it was not copyrighted because he found it on Google Images? Uh, WHAT?

  • ardegas

    Answering the original question: It doesn’t violate the Bible commandment against stealing, as biblically defined. It violates, however, the modern concept of copyright, which is a very RECENT and modern concept. It would be anachronistic to impose the concept of copyright on the Bible.

  • ardegas

    It matters, because you are being anachronistic, imposing your modern understanding of intellectual property on ancient texts that don’t know anything about it.

  • Tim McGraw

    That’s what Photoshop and makeup are for!

  • LadySappho

    The following Biblically-supported definition of stealing works for me and, to my mind, absolutely covers taking the art work created by someone else and using it for one’s own purpose. The idea of private ownership of artworks is hardly new, after all – and a piece of art belongs to the person who created it or the person to whom it was sold – or, under certain circumstances, it could also belong to the person who looted it following a battle. This man used a piece of art which was not his to use. He had not paid for it. He was not given it. He did not create it. He did not commission it. He did not win it as the spoils of war.

    All copyright does is enshrine in law the ownership of intellectual property.

    “To steal is to either dishonestly take what does not belong to you or to unjustly withhold what belongs to someone else. This includes the property or wages of another, offerings to God, and even justice and compassion to the poor. The Bible calls us to live in an opposite way, doing honest work, sharing what we have with those in need, and giving generously and cheerfully to God.
    “(Ex. 20:15, Gen. 31:30, Gen. 44:8, Lev. 6:1-5, Lev. 19:11-13, Mal. 3:7-10, Ps. 35:10, Pr. 22:16, 22-23, Isa. 10:1-2, Eph. 4:28)”

  • bruceedelman

    Because Christianity is based on Judaism/ Old Testament. Synagogues have no pictures in them, while Catholic churches have many paintings and images because they were used to instruct people before reading was universal. The Ten Commandments are a symbol of religion that is easy to condense and place anywhere. That’s what makes it a point of contention for theists who want symbols of religion everywhere.

  • Kodie

    That doesn’t make any sense. The 10 commandments is made of words, and by now, most people can read. That’s what’s sort of great about publishing and literacy – the state no longer has to plant these big symbols in one central place for “instruction” of their citizens who couldn’t even read them. The citizens have been educated and can read, and can have their own printed version at home, and in this increasingly paper-free world, on the internet and smartphone. Statues and plaques of the 10 commandments are obsolete. Another clue that religion is out of date.

  • Sam Black

    Nope. Theft is theft. Nothing anachronistic about that.

  • Kodie

    Oh, you found a loophole! What an honest Christian you are! /s

  • Sam Black

    So what’s your citation on that whole “biblically defined” theft concept?

  • David Freiman

    Where to begin… Behavioral science has demonstrated that there is no purpose served by spanking or paddling. Punishment (non-violent) is used as a last resort. The science is over 60 years old and has been validated in numerous scientific studies. Someone who has a child with autism should work with an applied behavior analyst who can train the parents how to help their child achieve success by increasing wanted behaviors and decreasing undesirable behaviors. It is not rocket science, but it is science.

  • Curious

    But applying an outdated view of family, choice of seafood entree and the role of woman to a modern world is okay because…?

  • Peter Saxe

    I think the Preacher deliberately used the photo to deceive readers into thinking the book was about “Modern Family,” hoping to sell more books to ‘sinners!’

  • Kodie
  • Ateu, e dai?

    So, it´s not anachronistic at all to impose the concept of marriage as defined by the Bible in modern days?

  • Ateu, e dai?

    Let me try a little thing here…

    “you are being anachronistic, imposing your modern understanding of
    [family and marriage] on ancient texts that don’t know anything about

    There you go. How about it now?

  • MartinRC

    And charging for the books “Greed”

  • ardegas

    You think that changing the subject would somewhat negate your mistake. But it won’t.

  • ardegas

    Yeah, because you have to be a Christian to spot a flawed argument. See the irony.

  • ardegas

    The concept of theft is dependent of the concept of property. Intellectual property is a fairly recent innovation.

  • ardegas

    How about you stick to the original question?

  • Julie Dugan

    I think that as many people as possible… should tweet a link to this page to @ModernFam on Twitter. That is ABC’s official Modern Family Twitter account (likely being run by an ABC intern). If enough people do it… they’d likely run it up the flag pole at ABC. Perhaps ABC would contact him about it (or release a formal statement). Stuff like this happens too often for us to just let it go.
    I am especially appalled at his response of disgust about the show’s subject matter. You don’t get to steal from someone’s intellectual property and then defend yourself and say “I wouldn’t steal from that show on purpose. They have gays on that show. EW! THAT is wrong!”

  • ardegas

    Again, we’re not talking about what you think, but about the original meaning of the Bible. And in the Bible, this idea of copyright cannot be found. The concept of copyright is a recent development.

  • ardegas

    I just need to point out that these intricacies of intellectual property are anachronistic to the biblical times.

  • Monica Friedman

    Yeah, I would just rather not fail to correctly attribute the image :) it’s hard enough keeping clients happy. My point is, you should always assume everything is copyrighted. Unless it specifically says, “public domain,” there are rules. But I get the sense that the author thinks he’s above any of that because he would never condone sodomy. Or TV. At any rate, I’m sure that he’s donating 100% of his profits to worthy charitable causes, right? Because he’s a very righteous man and doesn’t need material wealth. Just a 2000 year old justification for beating kids.

  • LadySappho

    You’re focusing on the wrong thing. Forget the concept of copyright and just think about what it actually means. It’s about ownership and if something is owned, taking it without the permission of the owner is theft.
    Copyright is simply a mechanism for protecting the ownership rights of a creator (or the person to whom the creator has given ownership, through sale, gift, or legacy).

  • LadySappho

    The concept of ownership of an artistic work is not new. If someone attends a party at your house and removes, without your permission, a picture you have on the wall, it is theft. It was theft in Biblical times, too. This picture exists and was used by the author of this book without the permission of the person who owns it.

    Further more, the fact is that the copyright law is, well, the law, and surely we both know what the Bible has to say about that.

    “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake” – 1 Peter 2:13

    The only exception to that is if the laws of man violate the laws of God and, anachronistic or not, that clearly doesn’t apply to the laws of copyright.

  • Mario Magdaleno

    I do not even have a TV and have not for 35 years, but I have a computer…

  • Derrik Pates

    I wonder how he’d feel about computers if he knew the father of computer science was a gay atheist.

    Maybe better that he doesn’t know, since that would deprive us of entertainment.

  • Derrik Pates

    It’s an e-book, so at least he doesn’t have to worry about printed copies and the cost of that, and the danger of the evil image slipping out unexpectedly. However, he does have the problem of looking like an ignorant schmuck. So, at least there’s that.

  • Derrik Pates

    If he only knew more about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Not to mention Alan Turing.

    Edit: And I totally forgot about Zuckerberg.

  • Derrik Pates

    Sure they do, but only insofar as they’re part of the 613 commandments which actually appear in the Old Testament.

  • KnightSword

    The theft of the painting on the wall is and has been theft, there is no question there. But if someone stood there, painted a duplicate of the painting and walked out the door, that, in the Biblical sense would not be considered theft. There is no evidence in the Bible (and from a broader philosophical perspective of the age) of the concept of an IDEA being property. Copyright is the protection of a precise and unique idea as property.

    And curiously, the Bible is one the most well known works that does NOT fall under copyright protection. Can you imagine the harm to society, to culture, if it was so?

  • Kodie

    You are applying the bible to modern situations and it is not applicable, i.e. not helpful. In reverse time, we have addressed intellectual property and assigned it to the same laws as theft of physical property. So, basically, you are saying that god allows a loophole because it’s not specified in the bible, or you are agreeing that modern concepts can come up with examples of theft that aren’t in the bible but are equivalent to property theft. I think y’all are doing the former, and saying it’s ok to steal sometimes because the bible does not acknowledge intellectual property. The courts disagree with you, however. Do you live in the real world, or the fantasy bible world? Intellectual property is not an assumption, it is defined by the courts to be theft if you take and use this type of property without permission or payment. The bible, of course, is too primitive to specify anything about photographs on the internet. Of course, it says nothing specific about stealing cars either, or wire taps, hi-jacking airplanes, etc. You know why those things are wrong? Do you refer to the bible to find out if something is a crime, or to the current reference?

  • Timothy Ware

    Religious people are good at assuming things without evidence, and often evidence to the contrary.

  • Ed. Floden

    That’s why confession was invented. Then you can never suffer for your actions.

  • Silent Service

    Sorry, I’ve been out at GenCon all week.

    You can’t use copyrighted material simply because you aren’t working for profit, and a published book is not a news story. Fair use is a little bit more complicated than that. If your use of the product misrepresents the owner of the copyright, they can still take action.

  • Gerry Mooney

    Well, you can see the new cover if you click on the book’s link in the first paragraph. There is NO DANGER of it violating anyone’s copyright, trust me.

  • Anonymous Person

    Yes, it is. And believe it or not, there are statutory damages for this kind of copyright infringement. Last time I checked it was a minimum of $750 per use. So he would be liable for “not less than $750″ x the number of covers + the number of times the image has been viewed on his website.

  • Mark Burns

    Yes, that detail slipped past me on the original read. What are you going to do? Pay close attention to details when doing anything on the internet? Not if you’re this guy, apparently.

  • Mark Burns

    How is a copyrighted and illegally-used photo of the cast of “Modern Family” on the cover of a fundamenalist’s ebook on the subject of child-rearing NOT newsworthy? I think you are being disagreeable for its own sake rather than fairly evaluating this story.

  • Artor

    I facepalmed over that, but I got a good LOL when he complained that people were attacking him without knowing the facts…right after he explained he never checked any facts himself.

  • james

    Do you mean King David and Soloman? Their Biblical marriages included 700 wives and a few concubines. This is why the Mormons Love Biblical Marriage. All the Polygamy is Godly. That Biblical definition of yours? Not so exact. So please, in the future, at least TRY to be intellectually honest.

  • Artor

    I bet he’s had a lifetime to get used to looking like an ignorant schmuck.

  • Artor

    Yes, the internet has far more information available, and makes it trivially easy to check the provenance of photos before one uses them for commercial purposes.

  • Sam Black

    Doesn’t matter. The commandment doesn’t provide instructions on concepts of property. It just forbids theft. The concept of theft hasn’t changed even if related definitions of ownership have.