An explanation from Forbes

Here’s the explanation I received from Forbes regarding the post they removed.

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We took down your evangelical piece.  It was way out of bounds — painting the entire evangelical movement with a broad brush.
We also have a policy of not talking about social issues like abortion at Forbes Opinion — only economic policy and politics.  We try to keep things data driven.
Also, given your criticisms of Robert Jeffress, you should have reached out to him for comment.  As I noted in a recent email, it is extremely important to reach out for comment from anyone you personally criticize in your work.
Let me know if you have any questions about these points.

***

The content is reposted here.

A Google cache of the original Forbes post is available here (thanks, David).

 

39 Comments

  1. The entire premise in Forbe’s response is the claim the article was “way out of bounds” and that Forbes has “a policy of not talking about social issues like abortion,” only “Opinion – only economic policy and politics.” I’m calling BS on that premise, specifically the glowing contradiction of not talking about social issues, only politics. The entire contemporary conservative movement and Republican Party are built on top of the deal made in the 90s with the Religious Right that politicized abortion and homosexuality for votes.

    Now that they have created the reincarnation of Sodom in Gomorrah within that political-religious union complete with its normative values, I hope they don’t expect the rest of us can’t see through that slimy veil. Shame on Forbes for even thinking they could get away with such a deception.

  2. RG

    Jesus did reference abortion surely.

    “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

    And the Didache, written by the Apostles, commands the church not to permit abortion, and to reach out to those seeking one to acquire the child.

    1. The Bible speaks of abortion and sterilization for women unfaithful to their husbands in Numbers, so breeding like an animal is clearly not required. “And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.” — Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28 – You’ll notice there’s no condemnation but a REWARD for Lot’s Daughters doping and raping their own father. “Their sons were made Kings!” I guess he-with-the-most-money was able to insert his personal perversion when the Big Book was written. Weird how so many “righteous” are okay with INCEST, yet obsess over abortion.

  3. Dan

    You got yanked because you were overshadowing Gerson and the Reagan-Bush folks at The Atlantic he represents. Evangelical influencers and the public are being pressed to sacrifice a few old scapegoats to cleanse the flock and elevate a new group of passably fake “moderates.” That is the real meat of Gerson’s piece: who must go, and who must replace them. Your piece here falls hard on the old regional and racial divisions. Systemic and deep-cutting critique is always a huge threat to the religious right, but this is an especially sensitive time. Graham died. Noll’s postponed retirement conference is happening. Watch what happens at Notre Dame March 22–24 and in its wake.

    1. Gerson’s on WaPo too. Here’s one of his explanations:

      “His bullying — his cruelty, crudity and personal insults — is admired because it is directed at other bullies.”

      I took some issue with that. Look at who’s been getting the worst of Trump’s cruelty: people like refugees, Dreamers, American Muslims, Gold Star families who are not White. Who are they bullying?

  4. Your could also point out that

    Of course Forbes publishes opinion pieces expressing a point of view on abortion, when the opinion is from an anti-abortion perspective:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2017/07/23/the-government-shouldnt-force-pro-life-doctors-to-promote-abortion-and-a-federal-judge-agrees/2/#73c3fb474870

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2017/09/25/will-courts-defend-free-speech-or-forced-speech-to-promote-a-political-agenda/#3566530e56c5

    And since when are “social issues” like racism, natalism, sexism, not political topics, which apparently is within their editorial limits?

  5. I wrote a letter to readers@forbes.com

    To the editors:

    This email is in reference to the story formerly found at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2018/03/11/why-white-evangelicalism-is-so-cruel

    The reason you have the author for yanking the story is this:

    “We took down your evangelical piece. It was way out of bounds — painting the entire evangelical movement with a broad brush.

    We also have a policy of not talking about social issues like abortion at Forbes Opinion — only economic policy and politics. We try to keep things data driven.

    Also, given your criticisms of Robert Jeffress, you should have reached out to him for comment. As I noted in a recent email, it is extremely important to reach out for comment from anyone you personally criticize in your work.”

    Point-by-point, this is a ludicrous stance.

    1 – We cannot discuss movements without generalizations, nor can we have thought-provoking debate with discussing movements.

    2 – We cannot discuss social movements that impact politics and the economy without discussing social issues. These things are inexorably intertwined. Moreover, your claim that this is a policy issue is proven false with a simple Google search of your site — 2140 results for “abortion” from forbes.com.

    3 – The author isn’t criticizing Jeffress, he’s quoting him. And I can find dozens of articles of Forbes where someone quotes someone else and characterizes their behaviour without getting their opinion on the topic. Try doing a search on your site for “Donald Trump,” for example.

    Honestly, I’ve come to expect better from Forbes than this obvious and cowardly terror of alienating the social conservatives. Show some backbone.

      1. KDS

        I agree completely with what Stephen said here: this piece was not removed by the person who sent you that message, it was requested to be removed by someone else higher up who notified the author of that message to have the piece removed and provide you with some excuse for doing so. That this editor is still employed by Forbes is very functional: they need an editor who will take such instruction and carry it out with at least some sense of conviction (although honestly, excuses like “way out of line” are so absurd that they almost suggest the editor wanted his/ her own reasons to sound absurd so that you would understand they were insincere and were motivated by someone else who gave the commands, though that is a bit meta-analytical).

        Someone else is pulling the strings here, and not this editor. And THAT is disturbing…. Absolutely.

  6. “Also, given your criticisms of Robert Jeffress, you should have reached out to him for comment.”

    I wonder if he’d actually have to guts to have an honest discussion of his “interpretations” of Scripture.

    I’m one of the “Nones”. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a Church service, and I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar, but I’m not unfamiliar with the Scriptures either. These people who preach prosperity gospel and make excuses for Trump’s unrepentant sinning are hypocrites, and hypocrites are the one group of people who get the most criticism from Jesus.

      1. Chris Ladd — Thank you for a very powerful and insightful article. I shared it on my Facebook page and the discussion with comments from diverse people, has been great! I updated my post to provide the new link to your article.

      2. Flash forward to today where they simply trash your reputation….(Or think they have!)

        I love the research some of you have done into Forbes principled history on the very issues they cite as “verbotten”. They must have a new editor.

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