What makes it particularly laughable, though, is the fact that it’s the Lego bible (The Brick Testament) and Sam’s Club deemed it too racy to be sold there as it was originally published. It’s since been modified to be “acceptable” for their store.
On his Web site, Smith’s Brick Testament contains a series of interpretations of sexually suggestive passages of the Bible, but in the latest book version, those sections were removed.
“I have just been informed that Sam’s Club is pulling ‘The Brick Bible’ from the shelves of all of their retail locations nationwide due to the complaints of a handful of people that it is vulgar and violent,” Smith wrote on his Facebook page on Monday. “This despite the book containing only straightforward illustrations of Bible stories using direct quotes from scripture.”
With Lego, no less. I laugh over the “vulgar and violent” line, too. It’s not like Smith’s making shit up. He’s illustrating key stories out of their most holy of holy books. Is the violence and incest somehow coming as a shock to readers? How is that possible?
In response to a request for comment from CNET, a Sam’s Club spokesperson said, “We offered the print version only of ‘The Brick Bible’ in our clubs….Sam’s Club received numerous concerns from our members and parents about the mature content in what is perceived as a children’s book. Accordingly, Sam’s Club made a business decision to discontinue sales.”
Why did customers assume it was meant for children in the first place? The bible is no way in hell a children’s book. Sure, there are a few stories in there that can be modified to tell kids and sell to parents (I had a set of Noah’s Ark bedsheets as a kid that were pretty cute) but the bulk of it is completely adult oriented and the last thing kids ought to be exposed to.
Smith said that the only complaint he’d managed to uncover himself is one post on the Sam’s Club Facebook wall contending that “The Brick Bible” [was] created by someone who doesn’t believe in God.”
The article goes on to report that Smith’s publisher was asked by Sam’s Club to take the sexualized images out of the book before they’d go through with the purchase of 12,000 of them. Personally, I kind of wish Skyhorse Publishing had told them to go to hell but Wal-mart has too much power over companies. No one feels comfortable alienating them lest it affect future sales.
What seems possible is that those who complained to Sam’s Club about the book didn’t realize that the sexually suggestive material had been removed. Indeed, Tabitha Grace, the woman who posted about her feelings that Smith is an atheist wrote that “I came home and did some research…And would NOT recommend this as a gift for children…Please research this book if you have intentions of getting this for someone. I wanted to share this concern because it is being portrayed as something it is NOT.”
Again, why the fuck did she think it was for children? Because it was Lego? The Lego is just a gimmicky way to tell bible stories. Adult-oriented bible stories. The bible is for adults, not kids. Adults, lady. Adults. You want child-level bible stories, look for them in the Children’s section where the fluffy lambs and lions live.
Grace may not have understood that the material she was objecting to did not appear in the book version. “When I got home went straight to the Web site in hopes to see if there were more stories,” Grace wrote. “This is where it all went downhill for me. While the Web site does have a content warning on it, I feel the [paraphrasing] of the bible stories are not age appropriate and should be identified both on the Web site and the book itself.”
Maybe next time she won’t ignore the content warning. She didn’t have to check the site and put herself at risk of being offended by what was in there. She’s certainly right about needing to be careful about age-appropriateness though. Clearly she’s not mature enough to be in there…
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It was all so easy when folks couldn’t read and the priest sanitized the stories for them. Even today, I doubt very many people have read the whole thing.