The renowned Christian publishing company released a statement in response to the backlash they received over LGBT book recommendations for Pride Month.
The William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, the 111-year old religious publishing house based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has responded to criticism over their Pride Month book recommendations released earlier this year. The Christian publisher recommended several LGBT books in the hopes of urging people to listen to LGBT stories this Pride Month.
After receiving criticism over their Pride Month book recommendations, however, Eerdmans deleted a tweet linking to the Pride Month Reading List. The company also took to Twitter to share that the "overwhelming vitriol was alarming" and that they wanted to "protect" their authors. However, they also wanted to add an explanation as to why they released Pride Month book recommendations.
The Christian publisher lamented about the criticism and comments they received about their Pride Month book recommendations, especially those that accused them of having "gone over to the dark side," described them as "useless," and hoping for them to become "bankrupt" so that their employees would be "jobless."
"For those who thought that cursing and reviling would be an appropriately Christian response to an invitation to try to understand LGBTQ+ Christians, we offer no response," Eerdmans wrote on Twitter. "Their self-revelation speaks for itself, and it grieves us."
Eerdmans Addresses Critics and Christian Readers Who Opposed LGBT Book Recommendations
Eerdmans addressed those who criticized the Pride Month book recommendations, including its conservative Christian readers, telling them that as a publishing company, they cannot "define doctrine for the church," Church Leaders reported.
The Christian publisher lamented that they were accused of changing their position and teaching "heresy." They clarified that they are not the church, nor are they an ecumenical council, but instead are a publisher that "[represents] both settled and experimental positions, that serve the church in its ongoing deliberations."
Moreover, Eerdmans pointed out how they publish materials from several theological circles, including books written by Protestants, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians. The Christian publisher even publishes materials that contradict each other. Eerdmans asserted, "We are not confused. We are a publisher that serves the ecumenical church."
Religious Publisher Refuses to Stop Publishing LGBT Themed Materials
Eerdmans said that despite criticism over Pride Month book recommendations, it will not publish books that not only deny the existence of LGBT individuals but also promote "false teaching about discredited/harmful 'therapies,'" the Christian Headlines reported. The religious publisher said they reject the motion to promote division by categorizing people into "us" versus "them," in which one side is right and the other is wrong. Instead, it promised to provide books that they believe will "promote informed and charitable thinking."
Eerdmans traces its roots back to 1911, when it was founded by William B. Eerdmans, an immigrant to the U.S. back in 1902. The company is now still independently owned with Eerdmans' daughter in law Anita Eerdmans, who serves as president of the publishing company.