This is a bible, my friends. See that little thing under the title that says “The Complete New Testament”? Well, they aren’t kidding. This is Thomas Nelson, Inc.’s attempt to get teen girls to read the bible. And (please, have a seat) this is the best selling bible in the country. I am reading it for a class. Of course, I’m not against people reading the Christian Testament (often called the New Testament) but I thought I was going to hyperventilate when I read some of the little extra things they wrote in the “blabs” sections of this which is a column on some pages with Q & A. Let me give you two little examples.
Q. Why do you think guys should call girls? I don’t understand that; you think men should pursue women?
A. Get a grip on the truth. Guys love a challenge. They love the chase. The game. When a girl starts asking a guy out, he likes it. It strokes his ego. But he will get bored! And when that happens…next! So guys need to step up and be the man; you need to be the woman.
and here is another
Q. Hey, I have friends who are into Wicca. I know a lot about witchcraft, but I don’t know how to start a convo with people who are happy with that religion. I need an example of something one might say. Could you please help me out? I don’t want to go to help because I didn’t try to help them.
A. If you want something to say, just tell them how you feel. Say, “You know my religion and you seem cool with it. However, I can’t say I agree with your choice. I just want you to know that I’ll be praying for you.” Don’t try to talk them into changing their faith — no one likes to be forced into anything. Pray for them.
Oh, yeah. That will make you a big Christian hit at your high school to say that to someone. And, I am shocked, shocked! I tell you that these people would somehow imply that girls should not call boys. I mean, “He needs to be the man, and you need to be the woman.” Please excuse me while I check and see what century we are in.
Although I’m sort of making fun of this (okay, really making fun of it) it is actually quite sad and, as someone in our class said, could be considered abusive. Not to mention completely insulting to a rich Christian tradition that deserves more than a creepy teen magazine. The religious center and left has got to figure out a way to offer an appealing alternative to both overly promiscuous, consumerist secularism and freako fundamentalism packaged up like Seventeen magazine. I’ll work on that and get back to you. But I thought that this deserved an emergency mid-paper blog to bring your attention to this traumatic magazinebible thing. Pray for the publishers of this magazine and all poor teen girls who are given it and get the idea that Jesus is some sort of patriarchal anti-sex anti-pluralistic middle class fashion advice giver that likes his sacred texts plastered with pictures of thin giggling blonds. I’m sorry. I’ll stop now. Obviously this was quite disturbing to me.