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Current Events
OK… well, I bet that headline got your attention.  Actually, they’re calling it ThePornEvent.com.  The heart behind the event comes from the realization at LifeChurch.tv, especially through the ministry of Church Online, as to how many people are hurting because of addictions to pornography and it’s effects. We are partnering with XXXChurch.com to bring some experience to the conversation and we are going to have a call to Christ at the end to connect with people. You can check it out here…
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Controversy
I’ve been watching this feud from a distance over the past couple of weeks.  It looks like it’s finally over.  Zondervan has apologized for a racially insensitve book and pulled it from the shelves of all bookstores. At dispute:  The book:  Deadly Viper: A Kung Fu Survival Guide for Life and Leadership.  The book, written by Jud Whilhite and Mike Foster, uses Chinese characters and images for its illustrations. It all started the first part of November when North Park Theological Seminary professor Soong-Chan Rah called for an apology because of the author’s (and Zondervan’s) insensitivity to Asian culture. Quoted at Christianity Today and on his blog, Rah said, among other things:

This video clip is extremely offensive and portraying Asians in a cartoonish manner in order market your merchandise. Particularly offensive is the voiceover of a white person doing a faux Asian accent: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=35881373178&ref=mf

This image presents Asian as sinister enemies: http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=deadly+viper&init=quick#/photo.php?pid=2233965&id=101311418670

This quote reveals an insensitivity to the Chinese language and mocks Chinese names: “There is a killer called Zi Qi Qi Ren. No, this is not some communicable disease, but it certainly is deadly. This funky Chinese word”

The use of Chinese characters and kanji in a non-sensical manner.

Rah continued:  “Mike and Jud, you are two white males who are inappropriately co-opting another culture and using it to further the marketing of your book,” he wrote. “You are not from our cultural framework, yet you feel that you have the authority to represent our culture before others.” After Mike Foster, initially responding negatively to the criticism, many Asian American blogs picked up on the story; and the pressure began to mount on Zondervan.  On Thursday of last week, Zondervan finally did:

This book’s characterizations and visual representations are offensive to many people despite its otherwise solid message.

There is no need for debate on this subject. We are pulling the book and the curriculum in their current forms from stores permanently.

What do you think?  Is this a case of being politically correct, or a real act of racism?  (A personal note:  Deadly Viper was actually released two years ago in 2007.  I read it shortly after it came out.  It’s a good book.  I never thought twice about racial stereotypes when I read the book.  Maybe because it wasn’t about anything racial; maybe because I’m just racially insensitive.  The book had a Kung Fu theme in an attempt to attract young men.  It’s a sharp, over-produced, expensive to make, little book.  My teenage son went through a small-group using the book; and enjoyed it.  It has many great themes, including integrity, self-discipline, and sexual purity.)  None of us ever thought twice about the Kung Fu-i-ness of the book and how that might misrepresent Asian culture.) Which begs the question:  Are some of us under-sensitive?  Are some of us over-sensitive?  What’s the proper balance? You can read more here… Love to hear your input… Todd
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