Thursday, December 20, 2007


Atrios is upset that The Philadelphia Inquirer said this about Lynne Spears, mother of Britney and the now pregnant sixteen-year-old Jamie Lynn:

Still, with this latest episode in the lives of the Spears family, one can't help wondering who was the genius who contracted the sisters' mother, Lynne, to write a book on parenting. The project reportedly has been put on hold. But given the problems her daughters have had, it's hard to believe the book was ever in the works.


Now one can mock the mother for writing a parenting book if her schtick was defining good parenting for girls as making sure they kept their legs closed long enough.

Well, I don't know if that was her shtick, but please note that her publisher was going to be Thomas Nelson, which is decidedly a part of the religious right.

A year ago, Michael Hyatt, the president and CEO of Thomas Nelson, posted the company's editorial standards. Some excepts:

... The bottom line is this: We are a Christian publisher. ...

Specifically, we want to publish:

Authors who profess a personal faith in Jesus Christ. We want to work with people who are willing to say, "I am a Christian." ... we want to work with communicators who claim to be Christians and are not ashamed of it.

... *
Authors who seek to live according to the standards of biblical morality. ... we want to promote authors who are committed to living in obedience to God's revealed will. We want to promote authors who "walk the talk."

And one of the criteria for a book the company agrees to publish is

It must be pure. This means it must be chaste, modest, clean. We want to publish books that promote holiness and offer a necessary corrective to the current trend to sexualize everything. This does not mean that we are opposed to sex, of course. But we want to make sure that our books advocate a view of sex that is consistent with Christian morality.

If I were a publisher and I believed that last bit, I think I'd steer clear of Britney's family. As for the rest, if the point was going to be "Britney has occasionally violated my conservative Christian moral code, but she should be forgiven (though don't you dare do the same thing)," then, yeah, Mama deserves a bit of criticism. As does her publisher.

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