The Amish Porn Dilemma

This was an actual exchange between a reader/fan and a Christian bookseller:

Reader: “I wanted to let you know that the author Karen Spears Zacharias has a new book out and will be coming through town. I thought maybe you’d want to have her in your store for a signing.”

Bookseller: “What’s her latest book about?”

Reader: “Child Abuse.”

Bookseller: “Oh… Do you know if it’s about sex abuse or just physical abuse?”

Reader: “I haven’t read the book yet so I don’t know. Does it matter?”

Bookseller: “Yes. I mean if it has sexually explicit material in it we couldn’t sell it.”

Sigh.

For the record, Christian Bookseller, the abuse wasn’t sexual in nature. Not that that should matter in any way, shape or form.

That you would even ask that question appalled every Christian sitting at the table who heard that story recited.

Let me get this straight — you feel comfortable carrying a book about child abuse as long as we mean the punching, slapping, knocking them upside the head kind of abuse, but if the words penetration or vagina appear in the book anywhere you can’t carry that?

I don’t know how to say this any more clearly — Child Abuse is one issue where the Church ought to be leading the way in intervention,  healing, restoration, and redemption.

No one needs healing more than a child who has suffered at the hands of an abuser — be it sexual or otherwise.

Shouldn’t the faith community be stepping into the lives of these children and showing them the transformation powers of Jesus Christ?

But then again that might require us to act as thinking and thoughtful adults instead of sheep led about by booksellers pushing Amish porn.

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • Bulldata

    No ifs ands or butts about it, Karen. Even in prisons, child abusers are the lowest on the ‘totem’ pole.

    Roger

  • http://middletree.blogspot.com James Williams

    You’re right, this is sad. Psychologists have been saying for decades that rape is not about sex, but violence. Someone needs to tell the Christian bookseller to see things the way they are.

    • Evelyn

      In Steven Pinker’s ‘The Blank Slate’ there is a very interesting section about rape and violence; he argues convincingly that rape IS about sex, it just happens to be violent, and that it does a grave disservice to the victims of rape (and in terms of prevention) to say it is about violence. But whether rape is about sex or violence, ITA with you that the bookseller needs to see things the way they are and stock the book.

  • Lpbyrd

    Well said, Karen….

  • http://www.lukemontgomery.net/ Luke Montgomery

    I think that most of these people live like ostriches with their head in the sand. They can’t be relevant because they’re afraid of getting their hands dirty. When we are too prudish to talk about genitalia or even see the word vagina on the page, even though we have sex with our partner and actually experience the “bliss” of penetration ourselves, then we have effectively said that we refuse to face the ugly side of reality and have decided to ignore those abused children/adults for whom “penetration” is not blissful but a violent crime.

  • Rachel Shetterly

    It’s not just Amish Porn…it’s all those other frivolous “Christian” romance novels. All that makes them “christian” is the lack of the actual detail. Sex is as God-ordained as obedience…quit reading the amish books a long time ago. Only ever read like 4 or so. You can’t tell me (who is one generation away from Amish roots) that going back to the Amish church is that fulfilling spiritually. I wish someone would write a story about people who left the Amish church and survived. oh, wait, God wrote that story through the lives of my parents…there just isn’t premarital sex or adoptions or forbidden and hidden lovers to color their story.

  • http://thinkchristian.net/when-sex-sells-and-provides Tim

    Karen, plenty of Christians have sat on the jury in my courtroom for child sex abuse trials, and they seem to be able to handle the situation maturely. That bookseller must have a very low opinion of the bookstore’s client base.

    Tim

    P.S. I just posted at Think Christian about teh sex trade too: http://thinkchristian.net/when-sex-sells-and-provides


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