Grocers: Stop Selling Immoral Magazines

Do we view ourselves as political beings? Would we say our minds are bound by cultural cords? I don’t think most of us would describe ourselves in these ways. We think of ourselves as independently minded and capable of standing on our own, but if we allow our attention to be directed by the popular press, we are training ourselves in groupthink and tweaking our moral compasses.

Not long ago, the media was celebrating the suicide of a terminally ill woman. They repeated uncritically the ridiculous arguments for suicide being a matter of dignity and honor. How long will it be before they celebrate someone making public arguments about the right to suicide without illness? “Ask not for whom the bell tolls,” he’ll say, “so I wanted to die on my own terms.” Doesn’t the press already support this the line of thought?

This week, they have celebrated another vein of self-destruction, and I’m troubled by the many people have said it’s none of their business. It is your business. It’s just as harmful as celebrating suicide. We are not islands. When others buy and sell vanity in the marketplace, we can’t just ignore it or many more will be hurt by it.

Take the idea that some people don’t believe they should live without disability. Does the press celebrate this yet? Is any form of identity up for grabs?

I think we need to reject the popular press at large. Many individuals already have, but I want to encourage select business leaders to take this up.

Grocers who are willing to sell the regular line of magazines everyone else sells should reconsider what I assume are practical reasons for selling what they would not want their families to read. It doesn’t matter if all the publications are bundled together by the vendor. Insist on being allowed to sell only what you want to sell. Make noise about wanting a choice in the titles you offer, and don’t surrender to the bad logic that says someone is going to sell it, so it might as well be you. A vendor can’t force you to make immoral choices. By refusing to offer pop culture and other immoral magazines, you help others avoid buying them. You encourage them to think independently, as they already believe they do.

It feels like a throwback idea from the ’80s, but is it not still a fair idea?

3 thoughts on “Grocers: Stop Selling Immoral Magazines”

  1. I wonder how many grocers have control of those things anymore. There aren’t many mom and pop operations anymore. Most groceries are parts of large chains, which have their own policies.

  2. Many years ago I interviewed for a job with a regional convenience store chain. I liked the fact that they stocked a full line of groceries including produce in a very small footprint. During the interview the regional manager observed that I had a number of Christian organizations and schools on my resume. He stated that their stores sold certain magazines that they did not display but kept behind the counter under opaque covers. They had trouble in the past with employees who would work in the store during the week but then picket against those magazines on their day off. At first I didn’t know quite what to say so I hemmed and hawed my way through the rest of the interview. After sleeping on it I sent them a letter the next day stating that I had seen enough of the destruction caused by those magazines that I wanted no part in their marketing. I went on to say that I thought their company achieved excellence in many ways and I would love to work for them if they ever chose to stop selling those magazines. They never called me back, so I presume they are still selling them.

  3. I assume the profit margin on all of the magazines is strong enough to justify excusing any qualms managers may have about the content of select titles, but I think they need to reconsider. Surely there are enough Christians and God-fearing people in the industry to make a volley of complaints effective. Maybe there’s an opportunity for a wholesaler to distribute titles selectively in small bundles or individual titles. I’m thinking if someone wants to do it, he can get it done, but I don’t know the industry.

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