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What is for Sale? Beverage, Books, or Soul

November 13, 2010

A couple of recent events in the media present a powerful lesson. I don’t claim to know all the facts or have the final word, but think about these things.

Several college students became seriously ill after over indulging in an alcoholic beverage. Sensing the beverage was unsafe and contributing to a serious problem, Top Food pulled this and similar beverages from their shelves. My understanding is that this was a voluntary action taken by the company. Later, the state of Washington moved to ban this product from retail sales. I was encouraged that a company would take action on what it believed in the best interest of the community, not by force of law or edict.

More recently, a large local on-line retailer has been called to task for selling an electronic book about pedophilia. The initial statement from the company said it was a freedom of speech issue and they did not want to get involved in censorship.

Constitutionally, the author may have had every right to write the book. Constitutionally, the seller may have every right to sell the book. Constitutionally, buyers may have every right to buy the book. MORALLY, the decision is not the same.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus said, “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” Some say the Bible is old and Jesus lived a long time ago. That may be true, but his words are no less relevant today! Maybe someone in marketing might want to use Jesus’ words for a screen saver, “Is anything worth more than your soul?”

 (Note: The book referred to is currently not listed.)

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