Book Review: Why I Sued the Bible Publishers
Publication Date: Feb 24, 2019
List Price: $34.99
Format: Paperback, 124 pages
Imprint: Independently Published
Publisher: Independently Published
Parent Company: Independently Published
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Book Reviewed by Robert Fleming
If there was ever a book title that yelled its intentions, this is it. The book’s author, Bradley Fowler, one of the faithful of Presbyterian Church since age 12, wants to defend the universal, healing message of the Good Book, The Bible. However, to achieve this goal in 2008, Fowler takes on the most influential Bible publishers; Zondervan, Thomas Nelson Inc., William Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., among others for “discriminating against homosexuality” in The Bible. He files a civil suit in the U.S. Eastern District Court in Detroit, Michigan.
Written with the average reader in mind, Fowler compiles eight years of legal evidence and research supplied from American Bible Society and academia. He also adds material of Bible publishing, usually not available to consumers, acquired under the U.S. First Amendment right to freedom of press. It’s a powerful argument but one that will not sway the conservative religious base.
Puzzled by the Biblical message about “forbidden” sexual orientation, Fowler, who had “exposed” himself as a homosexual in the fourth and fifth grade, was angered by people who used The Bible as a means to condemn same-sex intimacy. “Millions of gay men around the world still face discrimination because of what has been published in The Bible, and sold to religious followers as God’s truth and authentic words,” he writes.
“What follows is not a meaningless rant or a futile diatribe about the hypocrisy of Scripture but a rational examination of the methods of Biblical interpretation to psychological warfare created by generations of cunningly crafty educated persons, gaining political power and control using the powers to the masses.”
While completing a course on Jesus at Florida Institute of Technology, Fowler fails the session but continued his religious studies. He transfers to Capella University in 2011, researching Christ’s life, wary of texts from Bible scholars, absorbing the message of “motivation, inspiration, faith, life, and love.”
He considers this passage of The Bible: “Owe no man anything, But to love one another for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8) His argument that those in power use the Bible to discriminate against a group of people is “a crime against humanity.” The Bible, he writes, should not discriminate anyone. In the 1070s, many Bible publishers “unwillingly integrated” passages that stated homosexual would not enter the Kingdom of God.
The results of these altered passages, Fowler notes, has cost many gay lives around the world in many ways. He lists: Africa is seeing a rise in violence against LGBT people recently, Muslim and other conservative faiths have stepped up their countermeasures against homosexuals, and anti-gay activist killed 49 people in a Florida nightclub not long ago. Due to their religious beliefs, parents toss gay children into the streets. Families are torn apart because of adherence to the Word of God.
“Yes, we have the power to render respect to all, regardless of beliefs, especially when those beliefs derive from ignorance rooted through time, by cunning individuals, who abused their power to manipulate the minds of millions around the world,” Fowler concludes. “God is love. As a religious believer, you should be too.”
Although Fowler’s book, Why I Sued The Bible Publishers, poses a strong argument against religious discrimination and disinformation, nothing has changed in traditional beliefs of the Christ and the Biblical message. Probably this is why those who say they are members of a traditional faith has declined. Some beliefs die hard, as Fowler learned.