As the assumed word of God, the Bible has been a critical part of Christianity for nearly as long as anyone can remember. And as such, almost every Christian family owns at least one, with most families owning one for each member of the family.
They come in all shapes and sizes anymore, with multiple versions to choose from. There are Bibles geared for children, young adults, for teenagers. You can find ones for those who love to journal, for those who enjoy the outdoors, for girls, for boys.
Basically, if you can think it up, there is a version of the Bible to go with it.
So it only stands to reason that those who are what you might call ‘patriotic’ might also want a version for themselves.
However, it seems that this isn’t so acceptable nowadays.
Or at least not to Christian publishing company HarperCollins.
As you might know, HarperCollins is the parent company for Zondervan, one of the most widely known Bible producers in the world. And yet, when a client recently contacted them to create a ‘God Bless the USA’ version of the Bible in the New International Version, the answer was a big fat ‘NO.’
Well, that’s not entirely true.
When marketing firm Elite Source Pro., led by Hugh Kirkpatrick, first asked Zondervan about the project, it seemed that it would go off without a hitch. A contract was written up, 1,000 Bibles inspired by country music singer Lee Greenwood’s hit song were ordered, and money paid.
However, after news of the upcoming Bible, to be released this coming September on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, complaints by some ‘concerned Christians’ were made known to the publishing company.
As Religion Unplugged reported, John Morehead from Utah was so concerned, in fact, that he began a petition to have the Bible banned. The Bible will include the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Declaration of Independence, as well as a cover with images of the Stars and Stripes.
According to Morehead, “This is a toxic mix that will exacerbate the challenges to American evangelicalism, adding fueled to the Christian nationalism and anti-Muslim sentiments found in many segments of the evangelical church.”
I’m sorry, but in America, which was founded on the principles of Christianity, aren’t we supposed to be proud of our founding documents and our religion? So why not celebrate the two together? Besides, I’d like to know where in the Bible, the Constitution, or any other document to be included in this, does it encourage being anti-Muslim or racist.
But apparently, Morehead wasn’t the only one with the same line of thinking. Other clients of Zondervan also came forward with concerns, some even protesting over the proposed “God Bless the USA” Bible.
And so, HarperCollins nixed the project.
Now, of course, they have said that the protests or petitions in no way impacted the decision. Instead, it seems that the formal contract for the Bibles was never finalized. Zondervan added in a May 25 statement that it just wasn’t a good “fit for either party,” concluding that any marketing and creation of a website for the “NIV project were premature.”
Those premature marketing efforts had done so well among social media users that the original 1,000 Bibles ordered were increased to 20,000.
But now, thanks to Zondervan’s retraction of the agreement, the entire project has been canceled.
Well, kind of.
Due to such a tremendous response and immediate popularity from the American population, Kirkpatrick has decided to go ahead with the production of the Bible and its scheduled release date of September 11. The Bible will just be in the King James translation, as this doesn’t have to abide by the usual copyright laws.
Kirkpatrick has also decided to turn the other cheek, so to speak, holding no hard feelings towards HarperCollins, even calling it a mutual decision.
He said of the publishing company, “They’ve been very generous in their exit. They had a business right to do what they did. They want to keep everybody happy. They want to keep their fans on the left and right.”
Well, it seems Kirkpatrick is showing the true definition of Christianity, doing what he knows is right and honoring the God who made those freedoms possible.