Southern Baptists Censor Christian Hip Hop

A popular Christian hip-hop artist whose album was dropped by the Southern Baptist retailer LifeWay Christian Stores after customer complaints has said that white evangelicals fail to understand black culture.

The artist, Amisho Baraka Lewis, who goes by the better known stage name Sho Baraka told the Washington Post that his album released last October and called 'The Narrative' had been dropped by the retailer because of explicit language.

Baraka said he agrees with the publisher that sex is intended for within marriage, but added that its customers merely aren't used to how an artist like him articulates that point of view.

Baraka called LifeWay's decision 'typical of the Christian industry', adding that it points to a larger problem among American evangelicals, who are three-quarters white, when it comes to African-American culture.

According to the Baptist News, LifeWay similarly refused to sell the Christian author Rachel Held Evans's book A Year of Biblical Womanhood because it contained a word deemed to be explicit.

Before that, it stopped selling DVDs of The Blind Side, a secular film chosen for promoting Christian values, after complaints about its use of street language and ethnic slurs.

The story comes just days before Southern Baptist churches across the nation observe Racial Reconciliation Sunday on February 12.

Baraka told the Washington Post that despite conservative outcry over political correctness, both sides want to censor voices that don't fit their narrative.

'The moment someone like me communicates something like this, who's the one being censored now?' he asked.

The Southern Baptist Convention was founded by slave-holders in 1845 and largely supportive of segregation before the civil rights movement.

It apologized for its past mistreatment of African Americans in a resolution passed on its 150th anniversary in 1995.

In its resolution, the Convention pledged 'to eradicate racism in all its forms from Southern Baptist life' and to pursue 'racial reconciliation in all our relationships, especially with our brothers and sisters in Christ.'

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