A sin against all that is beautiful

Conservative Christian book cover with cast photo from the TV show Modern Family.

The evangelist designed this cover of his ebook himself! (Click to embiggen)

This fun little story, I believe first reported by the Friendly Atheist, started making the rounds yesterday. A conservative Christian preacher released an ebook entitled Bible Principles of Child Discipline, used a photograph from the ABC situation comedy “Modern Family” on his book cover.

Modern Family is pretty much universally reviled in those so-called Christian circles where this sort of “beat the devil out of your child” book is likely to sell. A big reason is because, within the show, one of the uncles of those three children in the photo the preacher chose for his book is gay, and lives with his same-sex partner, with whom he has adopted a child. There are several other reasons those folks hate the show, but that’s the biggee.

Evangelist Doug Sehorne (who describes himself on his own web page as “an Old Fashioned Bible Preacher”) was outraged when people started telling him he’d put a picture from that wicked show on his book. So, he took to his Facebook page to defend himself:

“FALSELY ACCUSED! Well, I just got a phone call about the picture I used on my Book on Child Discipline. Evidently, it is from a wicked TV show involving a gay couple! Here is the situation. 1) I do not even have a TV and have not for 35 years. 2) I never heard of the TV Show. 3) I got the image from a search on Google Images, which I assumed were not copyrighted, etc. 4) Anyone who knows me, knows I would never condone such wickedness as sodomy or even TV. Your friends will warn you and your enemies will attack without knowing all the facts. I am in the process now of removing the book and changing the cover.”

Everyone else who is sharing this story seems to just be focusing on the hilarity of a super anti-gay preacher putting a photo from one of the most famously gay television series on his book. And it is more than mildly amusing, but I have other concerns:

Screen capture of idiot trying to explain his mistake.

Old-fashioned Bible Preacher says he’s falsely accused! (Click to embiggen)

  1. First, Mr Evangelist, it isn’t a false accusation. You did put a picture which had been intended to promote this show you believe is wicked on the cover of your book because you thought the image depicts an ideal family. That’s a fact.
  2. It is a principle of both the law and the sort of fundie bible-thumping you practice that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Just as in your world view god condemns people who never heard of your religion by sending them to hell for not following it, not knowing the source and intended meaning of the image you chose doesn’t absolve you of culpability for whatever sinful things you seem to think your co-religionists have accused you of.
  3. If TV is so very wicked that you haven’t owned one in 35 years and would never watch any, what the heck are you doing on the internet? Because television is extremely tame compared to the content you can stumble onto on the net!
  4. Given the lengths to which everyone from the so-called Concerned Women for America, the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera has gone to condemning this show and holding it up as an example of the satanic destruction of America for four years now, I have a very hard time believing you’ve never heard of it. And if you really haven’t heard all of your co-religionist having the vapors over it, you need to actually pay attention to your own people a bit more.
  5. You found it through Google images (you didn’t find it “on” Google images, but we’ll let that little distinction slide) which you assume means it is free of copyright? You are wrong, wrong, wrong. That means you are both stupid and in violation of copyright law, as your unlicensed use of the image as a means to sell your book isn’t fair use (all of us sharing the image of your use of the image and reporting on your mistake is covered by fair use, by the way). If you are going to publish something and sell it, you cannot assume, you need to do research. If you are going to use an image for commercial purposes you cannot assume, you must confirm. Even if what you’re doing isn’t commercial, when you pick an image to illustrate a point, you should at least make an effort to determine where the image came from.
  6. On that previous bullet, I refer you again to the principle that ignorance of the law is no excuse.
  7. Claiming your friends will vouch for you isn’t a defense before either the law of man or your version of the law of god any more than ignorance is.
  8. Your stupid and illegal choice of the photo isn’t even the worst sin committed on that cover. Your font choice is awful. And if your book must have a subtitle (which are way, way, way overused in any case) the subtitle is supposed to be longer than the title. Also, everyone knows that if you use punctuation to set off the subtitle it’s supposed to be a colon, not parenthesis. And finally, a title should be at least somewhat engaging. That isn’t a title, that’s a boring literal description. I could go on further about your color and layout choices…
  9. Evangelist Doug Sehorne? I was not aware of any church that uses the word evangelist as a formal title. It’s usually Reverend, though I know in the ultra-fundie circles you move in, there is a resistance to reverend because it is considered prideful to think of yourself as revered, but I don’t see how giving yourself a title of Evangelist and putting it at the front of your name and using it in the same manner people refer to governors and presidents is any less prideful.
  10. I can’t get away from that horrid font. My god! Look at the awful kerning between the capital P and lower-case r! Then the opposite kind of horrid kerning between the c-i-p combo in the same word! Using that font for a book title in that way is truly a crime against everything right, good, and beautiful in this world. And if your god doesn’t condemn you to the lowest pit of hell for that alone, he isn’t worth believing in!

Tags: , , ,

About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. For more than 20 years I edited and published an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live near Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: