Women as pastors: Christian bookstore’s shameful actions

Roland S. Martin on the CNN web site: 

In the 19 years that Teresa Hairston has published her magazine, Gospel Today, she has never faced a major situation with Christian bookstores across the country that carry the publication.

She’s tackled any number of issues over the years,and has featured a number of celebrities and ministers, ranging from Yolanda Adams to Bishop T.D. Jakes to Kirk Franklin.

But when the Atlanta, Georgia, entrepreneur decided to feature five female pastors on her cover this month, she says, Lifeway Christian Stores treated her like she had converted her Christian publication to something akin to the tastes of porn purveyor Larry Flynt.

Apparently, the owner of Lifeway, the Southern Baptist Convention, wasn’t too happy with Hairston telling the story of female pastors, because the women go against their 2000 decree that only men can serve in the role of reverend or pastor.

See: Commentary: Christian bookstore’s shameful actions – CNN.com

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2 Responses to Women as pastors: Christian bookstore’s shameful actions

  1. Dale says:

    Why does this have anything to do with Freedom of Speech? She was able to write, publish, and distribute the magazine. That’s where Freedom of Speech (or press) ends. The fact that her interpretation of the scripture is a minority interpritation will certainly turn some retailers off to selling her materials if they outwardly contradict their beliefs. The retailer also has rights and has publically made a ruling of doctrine that they will not condone nor promote females as pastors. What’s wrong with them upholding this ruling. She has several other outlets that will sell her materials. This is one retailer. It evidently comes down to money because fact is that Lifeway is the largest Christian Book Retail chain and she knows she will lose alot of money. If this was a smaller chain she probably wouldn’t have blinked. Kind of sad really. She knew before she published the magazine where Lifeway stands on that issue and she should have known that they have the right to remove it from their shelves.

  2. Lisa says:

    Roland Martin was the one who wrote the opinion piece stating that he felt that Lifeway was not being supportive of freedom of speech, not Teresa Hairston. It is true that Hairston did excercise her right, and Lifeway excercised theirs. However, just because we have a a consitutional right doesn’t make it morally correct to excercise it in every situation – I believe Lifeway should be questoned and called to task for putting Hairston’s magazine behind the counter. Two years before, a woman clergy member was on the cover, with no reaction. Is Lifeway afraid of this very real discussion on women clergy that is going on in our society?
    As far as Hariston losing money, I am not so sure. Many rock musicians from the 80’s were happy to have Tipper Gore make examples of their music in support of censorship – it inevitably led to more publicity, and increased album sales.

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