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OK… cut me some slack… it’s really difficult to create a headline with the words ‘vagina’ and ‘LifeWay’ in such close proximity. It’s the best I could do. But have you been following the controversy involving Rachel Held Evan’s new book “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” and Lifeway? There have been a ton of internet stories about LifeWay’s decision NOT to carry the book in their retail stores.  (This, for a Christian author, is a MAJOR blow… since LifeWay is the largest Christian retail outlet in the country.) Anyway… it all started with a blog post a long while back from Rachel about how her publisher (Thomas Nelson) wanted her to take the word ‘vagina’ out of her book so it would have a better chance to be sold in stores such as LifeWay. Evans refused. And LifeWay is not carrying the book. But LifeWay says it’s not because of the word ‘vagina’.  In fact, I’m not sure that LifeWay has given a reason as to why they are not carrying the book. So… bloggers being who they are, have categorized this as ‘vagina-gate’. In fact, some fact-checking by our good friends at Christianity Today has broken the news that LifeWay currently sells books that have multiple references to the word. To prove their point, here’s part of their findings: A Celebration of Sex: A Guide to Enjoying God’s Gift of Sexual Intimacy by Douglas E. Rosenau 86 (plus images) The Gift of Sex: A Guide to Sexual Fulfillment by Clifford & Joyce Penner 73 (plus images) The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love by Tim and Beverley LaHaye 62 How to Talk Confidently with Your Child about Sex by Lenore Buth 42 The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (And You Thought Bad Girls Have All the Fun) by Sheila Wray Gregoire 19 The Body Book by Nancy Rue 6 (at least in the 2000 edition; LifeWay’s is the 2012 edition and was not available for review) Straight Talk with Your Kids About Sex by Josh and Dottie McDowell 6 And there are at least 14 more! My questions: 1.  Whose job was it to scour the list above and count the number of times vaginas are being referenced? 2.  How much does that job pay? 3.  How does LifeWay make their decisions on what to and what not to sell? 4.  I wonder… how much scuttlebutt will there be in SBC circles now that this list has been published to have ALL of these books banned from LifeWay stores. 5.  It’s been nearly 13 years since Tim & Beverly LaHaye’s erotic thriller “The Act of Marriage” came out.  It referenced ‘vagina’ 62 times in ways that still make Mark Driscoll blush.  I haven’t read Rachel’s book, but can’t imagine that it is quite as graphic as a couple of passages I remember reading in the LaHaye’s book years ago.  Why the seeming double standard? In the end… I really don’t care.  And in fact, I think it’s rather silly. I feel bad for Rachel that her book is missing some shelf space.  And I feel bad for LifeWay that they’re getting bad press (but they knew it had to be coming when they refused to carry the book and give their reasoning.) I’m sure this quote from Rachel didn’t help matters any: “I don’t know if they were more offended by my vagina or my brain,” she says with a laugh. “The only thing I know is that my editor said, if you leave this word in, there’s a good chance LifeWay won’t carry it.” — Slate Quick.  Someone call A. Larry Ross.  Your services are needed. Your thoughts? More here. Todd