Bible Publisher Tyndale House Faces Boycott Over Anti-Christian Game
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Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 09:54:04 PM EST
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It is unprecedented for conservative and progressive Christians alike to close ranks in condemning a Bible publisher. It is unheard of for Christians to call for a boycott of a Bible publisher for licensing a real-time strategy videogame that caricaturizes Christianity as a crusade, puts modern military weapons in the hands of children, sends them on a mission to convert or kill infidels, and even lets children role play commanding the armies of the AntiChrist, unleashing demons that feast on Christians.

"Does it sound like fun, or does it sound like the way homicidal Muslims think?" asks Marvin Olasky, editor of the conservative Christian World Magazine in a blog post dated August 21, 2006, and titled Convert Them Or Kill Them? That's Not Christianity. His piece links to a recent Washington Post article, "Fire and Brimstone, Guns and Ammo." But the Post and World Magazine have barely touched the hem of the garment, in terms of understanding and exposing the game for what is truly is. Yet word is getting out, and a boycott is picking up steam.

It is unprecedented, and to date unheralded by the mainstream media. But it is happening. It is sparking, sputtering, glowing and growing like a prairie fire. There is a growing movement among conservative and progressive Christians alike to boycott Tyndale House, the Christian publishing house that publishes the Living Bible and Tim LaHaye's Left Behind novels and also licenses the controversial videogame Left Behind: Eternal Forces, along with any chain stores or megachurches that plan to distribute the game.

For example, World Magazine readers weighed in with the following comments to Mr. Olasky's piece:
"Why would a believer license such a product?"

"This whole concept stinks. I want my kids out there telling real people about the real Gospel, not fantasing in front of an Xbox."

"[T]his game just smacks of commercialism."

"Radical Islam, meet Radical Christianity."

"I see absolutely no redeeming quality to something like this."

"Slapping 'Christian' on it is a lame advertising ploy. In short, this stinks of Jesus Junk."

"I remember reading that the game is packaged with spyware that reports back to home about computer usage, presumably for advertising purposes. So, it's not just the content of the game that's irritating."

"Does providing a toy that encourages children to slaughter people who don't share their beliefs make you sick? How about stacks of decomposing bodies -- is that sick-making?"

"This is why there's a petition and boycott going on."

Tyndale House should be boycotted for licensing a hate-based children's game that scapegoats religious freedom, exploits 9/11, tracks teens with spyware without their knowledge of permission, and makes a callous joke of Christianity. At its dark heart, Left Behind: Eternal Forces is an anti-Christian game, a ravenous wolf posturing in sheep's clothing.

What's remarkable is not that there's a call for a boycott, and a response to the call for a boycott. What's remarkable is that, in this instance, conservative Christians and progressive people alike are closing ranks, moving from talk to action, exercising our freedom of speech, calling not for censorship, but condemnation of an unpatriotic and irreligious videogame. So many individuals are coming from so many perspectives, coming to the same conclusions. It's time to stand up, speak out, and defend religious freedom. It's time to boycott.

In the next installment of this series, read about a conservative Christian news distributor that started out to disprove Talk to Action's charges about Left Behind: Eternal Forces -- and after playing the game, concluded that Talk to Action's series is accurate, and the game is unChristian.

The Purpose Driven Life Takers (Part 1)

Violent Video Marketed Through Mega-Churches (Part 2)

Revelation and Resignation (Part 3)

Christian Cadre's Layman: 'A Whopper of Being Wrong' (Part 4)

Apocalypse, Now a Lawsuit (Part 5)

Who's Watching the Boys? (Part 6)

Conservative Christian Culture Warriors Cut and Run (Part 7)

Bible Publisher Tyndale House Faces Boycott Over Anti-Christian Game (Part 8)

Check out the link above to the independent boycott started by an Anglican seminary student. Feel free to sign his petition or start your own boycott petition. Please tell us at Talk to Action about your efforts. We're listening.

by jhutson on Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 10:01:29 PM EST
Linking to a boycott site would help. Then, there's the new Christian left organizational circuit.

The Rev. Tim Simpson of the Christian Alliance For Progress has taken the initiative in convincing the board of CAP to endorse a petition against the "Indian River Incident" written about by Jews on First and initially raised to national prominence by the efforts of various bloggers including Talk To Action members. The petition can be signed at The Consortium For Freedom Of Religion

I think a similar sort of effort might be in order in terms of the Tyndale House boycott idea which - in principle at least - might be something a wide swath of American religious leaders from across the political spectrum could sign on to.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 01:56:47 PM EST

If there is going to be a boycott as part of an effort to pressure the company to act responsibly, we need to start examining the company itself; letting them know of our concerns and what we expect them to do about it.  We also need to know what to boycott.

by Frederick Clarkson on Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 01:38:27 AM EST

The latest from Left Behind Games:

We are currently on-schedule to release our new Real-Time Strategy (RTS) Game on shelves Nov 7 with an anticipated 10,000+ retail locations. To find out more, click through our website.

While out shopping with a friend yesterday, I spotted pre-release empty boxes at EBGames and GameStop (recently merged into one company but still doing business under both names) in my neck of the woods (southeastern PA).

It's coming. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

by anomalous4 on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 05:13:23 PM EST

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