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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 50
Bible benefiting Susan G. Komen Foundation banned by Christian bookstore
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Bible benefiting Susan G. Komen Foundation banned by Christian bookstore

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A Christian bookstore chain has pulled an edition of the Bible off its shelves because the publisher donates part of the proceeds to breast cancer screening sponsored by Planned Parenthood.

LifeWay Christian Bookstores said it will no longer sell a Bible from B&H Publishing Group because $1 from the sale of each Bible goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The foundation, in turn, donates money to Planned Parenthood's breast cancer programs - but not to any reproductive health programs.

Even that connection was too much for LifeWay, however.

'When our leadership discovered the overwhelming concern that some of Komen's affiliates were giving funds to Planned Parenthood, we began the arduous process of withdrawing this Bible from the market,' stated a release by Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay.

'Though we have assurances that Komen's funds are used only for breast cancer screening and awareness, it is not in keeping with LifeWay's core values to have even an indirect relationship with Planned Parenthood.'

The Bible had been in stores since October. Controversy over it began this month after anti-choice websites such as Bound4Life.com and Lifenews.com began complaining.

'The sign might as well read, 'Buy a Bible and support abortion!' wrote Susan Tyrrell of the Bound4Life blog.

James W. Sedlak, vice president of the American Life League, said LifeWay made the right decision. While Komen does good work, he said, that work is tainted.

'For the sale of Bibles to benefit the largest abortion provider in the nation is atrocious,' he said.

The Komen Foundation also issued a statement, saying they were disappointed by LifeWay's decision. All funds from the Bible sales would go to breast cancer programs, they said.

Andrea Rader, from the charity's marketing communication department, revealed that LifeWay had pledged $25,000 to the foundation.

According to the Susan G. Komen website, their Planned Parenthood funding paid for 139,000 breast exams and about 5,000 mammograms, detecting 177 cases of cancer in the past five years.

Based in Nashville, LifeWay has a thriving online business and more than 160 brick-and-mortar stores, most of them in the Southeast. There are two in Washington, one in Tukwila and the other in Spokane.

LifeWay is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the most conservative of several Baptist groups in the U.S.

B&H Publishing is a division of LifeWay Bookstores' parent company, LifeWay Christian Resources, but it operates independently of the retail stores.

The 'Here's Hope Breast Cancer Bible' - also known as 'The Pink Bible,' pink being the signature color of breast cancer awareness - was distributed by LifeWays. It was sold at Walmart and other major retailers as well as the LifeWay retail stores.

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