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Sams Club ‘The Brick Bible’ Legos

11/25/2011 08:05 PM ET

Sams Club The Brick Bible - An illustration from Brendan Smith’s ‘The Brick Testament,’ which uses Legos to interpret the Bible. For more than 10 years, Smith has been telling the story of the Bible in a very unusual way: with Legos.

Through his hit Web site and three popular books, Smith has spread the gospel of “The Brick Testament.” But now, because of what it says are concerns about “mature content,” Sam’s Club, one of the nation’s largest retailers, has banned in-store sales of the fourth book in the series, “The Brick Bible.”

On his Web site, Smith’s Brick Testament contains a series of interpretations of sexually suggestive passages of the Bible, but in the latest book version, those sections were removed.

“I have just been informed that Sam’s Club is pulling ‘The Brick Bible’ from the shelves of all of their retail locations nationwide due to the complaints of a handful of people that it is vulgar and violent,” Smith wrote on his Facebook page on Monday.

“This despite the book containing only straightforward illustrations of Bible stories using direct quotes from scripture.”

In response to a request for comment from CNET, a Sam’s Club spokesperson said, “We offered the print version only of ‘The Brick Bible’ in our clubs….Sam’s Club received numerous concerns from our members and parents about the mature content in what is perceived as a children’s book. Accordingly, Sam’s Club made a business decision to discontinue sales.”

The company also responded to a series of pro-”Brick Bible” posts on its own Facebook page with similar language.

In an e-mail interview, Smith said that he had found out about the Sam’s Club ban from his publisher who told him that, essentially, “the book was pulled after an unspecified small number of complaints had been made by Sam’s Club customers that the book is vulgar and violent, and that the author is an atheist.”

Smith said that the only complaint he’d managed to uncover himself is one post on the Sam’s Club Facebook wall contending that “The Brick Bible” [was] created by someone who doesn’t believe in God.”

Smith explained to CNET that his publisher, Skyhorse Publishing, had told him that Sam’s Club had originally ordered 12,000 copies of “The Brick Bible” and that in just its first two weeks on the shelves, the book had sold 2,000 copies. He also addressed the fact that “it was reps from Walmart/Sam’s Club who had seen an advance version of the book and said they were very interested to place a large order of the book for their stores, but only if we were willing to remove or replace a dozen of the Old Testament illustrations-out of 1,400 total-that showed Lego people in sexual poses. So there are no illustrations of the Bible’s sex content in the book.”

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