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