Thursday, November 11 may come to be known as the day of the Amazon.com boycott. That day is not over, so I may be speaking to soon, and the calls for boycott actually began on November 10, so I may be inaccurate in calling it today, but I stand by it. The number of sources reporting on the controversy peaked around noon. At that time #BoycottAmazon was hot on twitter. Its all starting to ease off now.

It has been a strange boycott. First, the timing has been off. As the threat of boycott mounted the controversial title was removed, thus the actual rallying cries for the boycott came after headlines began to read, “Amazon pulls pedophile e-book.” This has lead to a lot of confusion between those that were calling for boycott, those celebrating victory, and those wondering if it was actually resolved. The confusion seems to be the reason the cause is losing steam.

The other odd factor is the possible resolution of the matter. Just as many people were learning of the controversy, the book was no longer for sale. Did Amazon remove the book? Headlines suggest they did. Reuters reports they did, although strangely in the report has to acknowledge that Amazon has made no comment since the earlier defense of the book. People, including news agencies, seem to be assuming that just because the book is unavailable that this implies action on the part of Amazon. It doesn’t. There are a number of reasons that this book is unavailable apart from a decision on the part of Amazon to remove it.

Earlier today, Amazon customer service replied to my open letter with “The book is no longer for sale.” That statement does not imply any action on the part of Amazon.com. I have asked for clarification, but just like the big guys report, Amazon is, as of yet, silent.

So what do I want and why do I care?

I am aware that any boycott selects one problem and ignores a hundred others. That’s not a logical argument against boycotting. It is just a fact that should spur me to do something when I can and how I can. I chose to get involved in this boycott for a number of reasons. I wanted to do something about a reprehensible “guide.” I wanted to clarify what we mean when we say “Freedom of Speech.” I wanted to hold a company accountable to ITS OWN STANDARDS when it tried to offer a defense that ignored them. All of that may seem strange for this blog. After all, normally this blog is used to discuss the Gospel of Jesus Christ or to review books along those lines. It still is. You see, I don’t want to do good in the world so that I might be good and righteous. I don’t have a chance at accomplishing that goal. I want to do good in this world because in spite of myself, I have been considered righteous because of Christ work at the cross. It is the gospel that compels me to do what I can, when I can for the glory of God.

I hope to do that with all of my life. I do that differently though. I cannot join every internet cause. I cannot pound the streets for every campaign. I cannot give to every good work. But, I can do what I can, when I can. God gives me various resources and opportunities, and I must use them for His Glory.

This situation hits home. I use Amazon.com extensively. I buy a lot of books there. I used to sell books there. I review books there and maintain a list of books I want to buy there. I know and use Amazon. I also desire to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Fortunately, I am not a victim of sexual abuse. I am a victim of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of one junior high teacher. I know what it is to be powerless in situations like this and I want to help. So for me, I knew I had knowledge to bring to the situation and as a pastor who keeps a blog, I had means to get the word out to the people who listen.

What do I want? I want a clear statement from Amazon regarding what they think is “appropriate” (that’s their word for what they will or will not sell) regarding pedophilia. Once I have that statement, I can decide as a consumer where I will buy books in the future. I intend to wait, demand, and report such a statement, even if that means hanging around long after #AmazonBoycott is trendy.

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