Warning: Biblical content may not be suitable for young children. Or anyone at all.

Warning: Biblical content may not be suitable for young children. Or anyone at all. (Amazon)

A couple of weeks ago, the publishing world was buzzing about the news that several major retailers are now taking a serious look at the erotica titles they have been selling. Some of these books have crossed over into disturbing territory by adding violence to the erotic mix:

The move came after news last week that these retailers, knowingly or not, were selling and profiting from self-published e-books featuring rape, incest, and bestiality. (Retailers collect a percentage of the sales on self-published books.)

According to news reports, titles such as “Taking my drunk daughter,” had been on sale on Amazon and search functions would automatically suggest phrases such as “daddy daughter impregnation.”

As part of their review process, Amazon and BN.com have removed some offensive titles from their inventory, and Kobo has (at least for now) stopped distributing self-published titles altogether.

Since my own self-published book The Twible is being released tomorrow, I’ve been following these developments with considerable interest, and wondering where the line is drawn. Since The Twible is based on the Holy Bible, you’d think my book would have no problem at all with offensive content, right?

But here’s the bottom line: The Bible would never pass these retailers’ litmus tests for objectionable content.

Consider the following:

  • The “Daddy-daughter impregnation” horror from the self-published novel discussed above is also right there in the Good Book. Lot’s daughters basically rape him in Genesis 19:36 (“Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, so that we may preserve offspring through our father”). Maybe this is just “an eye for an eye” from a few verses earlier, when Lot served up those exact same daughters to be gang raped by an angry mob (Gen. 19:8). What goes around tends to come around.
  • That story also features incest. The Bible has so many tales of incest, in fact, that I included a whole sidebar on the “top five incestuous relationships in Genesis” — and there was actually competition about which ones I would leave off the list. Incest is usually condemned in the Bible, like when King David’s son Amnon sleeps with his half-sister Tamar, but not always. If you interpret the Bible literally, for example, and believe that Adam and Eve were the first people on the earth, their son Cain’s mate had to be his own dear sister, because she would have been almost the only game in town at that point. The other option would be Eve, Cain’s mom, but let’s not even go there.
  • Leviticus 20And then there’s bestiality, another reason some self-published books are being banned right now. While there is bestiality in the Bible, it’s a definite no-no, so that’s a relief for my book’s chances of being sold by fine book retailers. The Twible overview of Leviticus 20 says, “More people and animals you can’t have sex with. Death penalty for you and the cow. Though why it’s the cow’s fault we really can’t say.”
  • And finally, another red flag has been violence against women. Um, yeah. There might be a bit of that in the Bible. Well, okay, there’s actually an insane amount of that in the Bible, the worst of which might be Judges 19, when a Levite orders his wife to be gang raped to save his own sorry skin (hmm, shades of Lot?). Then he handily Cuisinarts her into twelve pieces, one bloody chunk for each tribe of Israel. Be thankful that this story did not gain visual expression as one of the 51 Twible cartoons.

So there you have it. The Bible is smutty enough that it would not pass muster. Let’s hope that the children’s version pictured above has been heavily edited.

 

6 Comments

  1. Jana,

    Joseph Smith corrected the “Lot” story by the following,

    “And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes;”

    Lot is redeemed.

    • yeah, they totally patched that bug on Jesus 2.5 update. and they also patched miracles since Science, so the universe doesnt glitch like crazy anymore.

  2. there’s a point you’ve missed here – yes, these events took place in the Bible (ancient Judaism was brutal at times) but they were not described in glowing pornographic detail for readers to get sexual “pleasure” from. That’s the difference. You might like to read “Mary Magdalene – Emancipated?”on my site, www.marymagdalenebooks.com, the conditions and laws under which women lived in Biblical days was incredibly harsh, which makes Mary Magdalene’s courage all the more incredible.

    • Oh yeah the bible is full of wholesome non detailed descriptions of sex totalyl appropriate for children!

      Ezekiel 23:19-20
      (19)Yet she increased her whorings, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt (20)and lusted after her paramours there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose emission was like that of stallions.

      1 Samuel 19:24.
      And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

      Isiah 13:16
      Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished

      Song of Solomon 4:16
      “Come … blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.”
      Oh, so that’s where “blow job” comes from!

    • Jana Riess

      Just curious. Which “stuff” in particular is offensive? Are you offended that disturbing elements like rape and incest are in the Bible in the first place, or that I would call attention to them?

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