Some Christians are upset that Sam’s Club pulled the so-called “Brick Bible” from its shelves, but it was actually the right thing to do. The LEGO-illustrated world of Bible stories created by atheist Mike Smith contains “mature content” yet due to its LEGOs is clearly attractive to children. Some suggest it was marketed that way.
Sam’s pulled some 10,000 copies of the publication from its stores due to complaints from customers and parents. Christian Post reports,
“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.”
Marissa Martin commented on the atheist’s website already last summer, stating it contained ”mildly critical texts, such as this one related to circumcision: ‘God wants part of penis cut off.’” While Martin notes this is “factually true,” such crude factuality and purposefully crass expression are well beyond age appropriate.
Martin adds, “The Good Book has never been particularly prudish about sex, covering rape, marital relations, incest, prostitution and endless begetting. However, Smith may be the only one who has illustrated them with LEGOs.”
This is hardly the half of it: the website version contains graphic LEGO representations of sexual acts, for example, David spying on a nude Bathsheba, as well as the adulterous couple nude and in the act.
And while Sam’s/Walmart negotiated ahead of time to have the worst of these images removed from the book version, issues still remain. WorldNetDaily reports the concerns of one parent,
When I decided to contact Sam’s Club, my concerns were first, the book was being presented as a Bible, which it is not. [Second], the book was being geared for children, [though] it is not age appropriate for all children, and [third], that there was no content warning regarding the website. As a technology driven generation, children will be immediately drawn to visit the website, which does have vulgar content.
The issue is not about the fact that the Bible contains such stories and racy details, but rather about how the “artist” chooses to represent them: which aspects of the story he chooses to emphasize, and to what audience, and why.
The Bible does not tell us about David’s sin so that we can gawk at it. Circumcision was about something far beyond the physical foreskin. When an artist—especially an atheist—chooses to reduce the stories pictorially to the baser aspects, he’s misleading the reader and essentially mocking the story.
And in this case, he is doing so under the guise of innocence and objectivity: “ using only direct quotes of scripture to retell the stories just as the Bible tells them.” But when the depictions skew the focus of the story, then it is precisely not ”just as” the Bible tells it. It’s something else.
Worse yet, the LEGO aspect makes the book clearly directed at children, and the parents are right to complain. LEGO porn is still porn.
And while some atheists and even some Christians will cry foul over censorship, let us remember that in a free market, the consumer is sovereign. When customers begin to complain, wise businesses react accordingly. In both the moral and business aspects, Sam’s was right to pull the book.