The owners of a Christian bookstore in Knoxville, Tennessee, were shocked when a local newspaper refused to run an ad for their store because it contained an offensive word: "Christian."
Lois McGinnis and her family own Cedar Springs Christian Store. The family recently decided to close a second location, so they placed an ad in the classified section of the Knoxville News Sentinel, Fox News reports.
McGinnis claims she looked in the newspaper on the day her ad was supposed to run, and it was nowhere to be found. When McGinnis phoned the newspaper, she was told that her ad would not run because of an offensive word -- that word being "Christian."
The entire ad McGinnis tried to run reads: "Store closing sale -- Cedar Springs Christian Store -- Clinton Highway location -- All merchandise, fixtures, slat walls must go. Sale through August 13, phone 865.947.XXX."
Shocked that the word "Christian" could somehow be found offensive, McGinnis posted the incident to her store's Facebook page, where users immediately responded.
“Considering how liberal this paper is...I take the apology with a grain of salt,” one reader wrote.
Another added, “Don't be offended Cedar Springs Christian Stores... Nobody has read the Knoxville News Sentinel in over a decade anyway. Spend your advertising dollars elsewhere.”
“I cannot believe they are doing this now. I am so glad I do not subscribe to them or give them my business. To not sell an ad because the store's name has the word Christian in it is absolutely wrong. I guess if the store was called Cedar Springs Muslim store it would be published. I hate to tell them, but the majority of the people who live here proclaim to be Christian,” another commented.
The paper offered an apology and an attempted explanation.
“We had a system failure, which resulted in a classified ad for Cedar Springs getting hung up in our front end system,” they wrote in a statement posted online. “We corrected the technology issue in our system and the ad is now running for an extended period at no extra charge.”
Time will tell if this incident affects the paper's readership.