The Wal-Mart Bible Letter (Part One)

Written by Drew on September 4th, 2006

A friend of mine forwarded a copy of the “Wal-Mart Bible Letter” to me, suggesting that I comment on some of the charges it makes against God’s Word. The letter is addressed to Lee Scott, President and CEO of Wal-Mart, and requests that the Holy Bible be removed from Wal-Mart’s shelves because of its “obscene nature.” The letter claims to have been written to address numerous passages in the Bible that are “repulsive, stridently offensive and/or illegal.”

As of today the letter bears the signatures of 2,308 skeptics (up 136 signatures from the previous day). It will continue to accrue new signatures until November 1, when it is scheduled to be officially sent to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Over the next several days I will weigh in on the charges made against the Bible in the “Wal-Mart Bible Letter.” Five accusations are articulated in the letter as grounds for banning God’s Word from the bookshelves.

But before I get into the specific charges, a critical question must be posed to the authors of the letter in question. By what standard do they judge the Bible to be offensive? They quote a dictionary, which defines “obscene” in this way:

  1. offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved.
  2. causing uncontrolled sexual desire.
  3. abominable; disgusting; repulsive.

If it is the authors’ opinion that the Bible is “obscene” according to the last definition, who cares? Just because they find the book to be personally disgusting, that doesn’t mean it should be removed from distribution. No one in his right mind would say it is “obscene” in the sense of the second definition. That leaves us with the charge that the Bible is “offensive to morality.” Where do these skeptics get their concept of morality? In their letter they allege that the Bible condones murder and inequality. Where do they get the idea that these practices should be defined in terms of evil?

Without the Bible, man has no moral ground to stand on. That is why it remains a bestseller and why Wal-Mart wants to continue to sell it. If the Bible really encouraged things like slavery and oppression, it would have been cast on the trash heap of public opinion a century ago. This letter presents a hopeless contradiction, for it attacks God’s Word by using the very principles it establishes.

In the coming days I will address the five charges the letter aims at the Bible. All of my readers are encouraged to add their input to this controversy. This is just another attack that will soon be forgotten. But it reminds Christian people of the need to be ready to defend the truth in an age of sin and deceit (1 Pet. 3:15).


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Anonymous says:

    Seems like skeptics would have something better to do than write Walmart letters.

    It’s evident they don’t understand the book they are opposing. They don’t understand the Sabbath.

  2. Theophilus says:

    Since when do private businesses submit to petitions? What has happened to our free market economy? If the Bible doesn’t sell, Wal Mart will quit stocking it. That is the way it should work. I don’t like the fact that most things in Wal Mart come from China, but I would not circulate a petition to have all Chinese products removed. If no one bought Chinese products, they would not be imported.

  3. Ike says:

    Lest we be led astray here —

    This isn’t about Walmart. It’s about those who would twist scripture to justify and rationalize their behavior. It’s about those who would misapply God’s word to demonize those who walk in Christ’s example.

    And it’s about us — being smart, educated, and prepared enough to meet these logic-based challenges head-on, and show them to be non-contextual and weak arguments.

    Too often, we as Christians fall back on “faith!” out of laziness. We cede the title of “intellectual” to non-believers. And we play right into the hands of our skeptics and detractors, who worship logic above all else.

    When you can beat them at their own game, you have a chance to win them over. When you refuse to play their game, you run the risk of emboldening them.

    This series is about equipping Christians to rise up to the challenge. Walmart is a red herring.

  4. Rilian Sucrell says:

    The ideas of good and evil were not created with the bible. They existed long before the bible did. Good and evil are social constructions, which means a thing can only be good or evil within the context of a society, and our society, as well as many societies that existed thousands of years before the bible existed, calls murder and slavery evil.

    Let me now summarize that point: The “word of god” did not establish the principles of good and evil — it simply lifted them from earlier sources.

    “If the bible really encouraged things like slavery and oppression…”

    Have you READ the bible? The petition says nothing about encouraging slavery, but condoning. The bible definitely condones slavery and the beating of slaves. The bible passages quoted in the petition are not made-up.

  5. Drew Kizer says:

    Rilian, your professors would be proud.

    I did not mean to say that good and evil did not exist before the Bible was written–they did. My point was that God infused morality into the mind of man upon creation. When the Bible began to be written thousands of years later, it reflected this same morality since it shared the same author.

    The existence of good and evil cannot be explained by “social constructions.” Maybe it would be logical to assume that one society could construct such ideals, but it is impossible for every civilization in history to construct the same fundamental laws of morality independently of one another.

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