Amazon-Owned Publisher Censors Local Author

In late January I shared news that Todd Eklof released an interesting new book. It’s called A Gospel for Liberals: Considering the historical Jesus in light of today’s most controversial social issues. It’s nothing short of controversial (suggesting Jesus was a Democrat is so scary, apparently) but it’s definitely not the first book to suggest Jesus would vote a particular partisan bent.

But check this out– the publishing company he used decided to essentially censor him.

CreateSpace, an Amazon.com company, received payment for promotional services and the staff spent several weeks ironing out a press release and promotional strategy with Eklof. And the company took issue with the book’s content, saying in an email to Eklof, “We try to stay away from controversial subjects in headlines and also did not incorporate the phrase Jesus’ followers.” Pretty milquetoast, eh? The two parties came to an agreement and settled on acceptable language in the release and CreateSpace assured Eklof it would be sent in early March.

Nothing happened. Eklof contacted the company and was again assured his release would be sent. “Your press release is currently in the distribution queue and we will be distributing within the next two weeks.” Then two weeks went by and eyebrows were raised. And Eklof received this notice via email:

Unfortunately, CreateSpace is unable to fulfill the press release creation and distribution service purchased. We apologize that this notice is arriving at a late stage in the process, as well as for any inconvenience this may cause.

Eklof tells me he’s made numerous inquiries to find out why he is effectively being censored by a large publishing company. But CreateSpace/Amazon is explicitly refusing to give him an answer.

“I feel my book is being singled out because of my claim that Jesus’ followers are morally obligated to vote Democrat,” said Todd. “Which is odd given that Republicans have been making the opposite claim for the past thirty years and nobody seems to mind!”

Imagine that.

I could go on for days and could include the myriad email exchanges. But the process went on for weeks with revision after revision. All that difficulty and eventually censorship because Amazon felt uncomfortable.

It’s a shame the company couldn’t just be up front with Eklof. And even more shameful that this matter now has to be spread across the internet world.

Peep the final version of the release after the jump…

New book portraying Jesus as progressive activist suggests his followers should vote Democrat

A Gospel for Liberals: Considering the Historical Jesus in Light of Today’s Most Controversial Social Issues by Todd F. Eklof emphasizes liberal aspect of Jesus’ teachings

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Gospel for Liberals: Considering the Historical Jesus in Light of Today’s Most Controversial Social Issues by Unitarian Universalist minister Todd F. Eklof seeks to demonstrate how the life and teachings of Jesus reveal him to be wholly human and a progressive activist.

According to Eklof, the popular perception of Jesus as deity, religious teacher, and inspiration for conservative political and social views can be misleading. Eklof argues that the historical character of Jesus, when viewed in the circumstances of his day, was actually a powerful voice for liberal causes. To support this perspective, the book offers examples of Jesus in acts of civil disobedience, situational ethics, supporting animal rights, feminism, gay rights and more.

“I believe that Jesus was a liberal and if he were alive in America today he would most certainly vote Democrat,” Eklof says, “given the GOP’s current platform generally favoring laws against abortion, habeas corpus, marriage equality, the separation of church and state, the environment, and welfare, in my opinion it seems that Jesus would not vote Republican. I’m moved to offer a different viewpoint of what is often represented in the name of Jesus.”

Eklof contends that Jesus was a powerful but completely human teacher who has been widely misunderstood by religious and political leaders for generations. In addition to commentary and perspective on the life of Jesus, the book offers an alternative gospel penned by Eklof and intended to inform readers about what he feels is the truth of Jesus’ life and political views.

A Gospel for Liberals: Considering the Historical Jesus in Light of Today’s Most Controversial Social Issues
is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.

About the Author
Todd F. Eklof is a Unitarian Universalist minister, gay rights activist and environmental advocate. A former southern Baptist, Eklof reconsidered the teachings of Jesus and joined the Unitarian faith. He has served as the minister of a Unitarian church in Louisville since 1999. Eklof is prolific writer and speaker on behalf of various causes and devotes much of his time to restorative justice and the peace movement.