LifeWay pulls ‘Blind Side’ from stores

A Florida pastor has successfully lobbied the SBC publisher to stop stocking a PG-13 movie that carries what he calls an unprecedented parental advisory about graphic language.

By Bob Allen

LifeWay Christian Stores will no longer sell videos of “The Blind Side” after a Florida pastor proposed a resolution for next week’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting protesting the sale of a PG-13 movie that contains profanity and a racial slur.

The Florida Baptist Witness reported June 11 that officials at LifeWay Christian Resources decided to pull the movie, an inspirational film starring Sandra Bullock that tells the true story of a white Christian family that adopted a homeless black teenager who went on to play in the NFL, to avoid controversy at the June 19-20 SBC annual meeting in New Orleans.

The decision came after Rodney Baker, pastor of Hopeful Baptist Church in Lake City, Fla., submitted a resolution to the SBC Resolutions Committee voicing concerns he first raised with LifeWay two years ago. Baker, who got a similar resolution passed at the Florida Baptist Convention last fall, said there is much about the film to be commended, but there is no place in a Christian bookstore for a movie that includes explicit language that includes taking God’s name in vain.

He also said the film’s use of a derogatory slur for African-Americans could hinder attempts underway to increase black participation in the nation’s second-largest faith group.

Baker told the newspaper he was pleased by the decision, but would not withdraw his resolution because he wants to send a wider message about assurance that LifeWay stores sell only products that are family friendly.