GQ Magazine has sparked backlash for including the Bible in the list of books that people do not have to read, despite being rated highly by many people.
In an article titled "21 Books You Don't Have to Read," the magazine listed the Bible at number 12, arguing that the Holy Book gets high ratings from people who "supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it."
The author further argued that the Bible has some good parts, but it should not be considered as the "finest thing that man has ever produced."
"It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned," the author contended.
The magazine recommended that readers check out Agota Kristof's "The Notebook," which tells the story of two brothers who try to get along during difficult times.
Evangelist Franklin Graham took issue with the remarks and posted a response in his Facebook page.
He pointed out that recent estimates have put the number of copies distributed since 1815 at 5 billion copies and over 100 million copies are printed each year. The famed preacher further contended that the Bible is "God-breathed" and "sharper than a double-edged sword."
"Maybe the GQ editors need to read it, again. The subject of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is Jesus Christ. And one day soon, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord," he added.
The magazine claimed in the introduction that some of the works were "racist" and "sexist," while others are just "really boring."
Other works listed by the magazine include "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, "Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain.
The magazine described Twain's work as tedious, and contended that the famed author was a racist. The author of the piece recommended Fredrick Douglass' "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass," which was his first hand account of slavery. In the book, Douglass speaks about his love of Christ and impartial Christianity disdain for "corrupt, slaveholding," partial and hypocritical Christianity.
Twain's work has been listed twice in the article, ranking at number 9 and 10, making the total number of books 20 instead of 21 as suggested by the title. The 10th entry recommended "The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll" by Alvaro Mutis in place of Twain's "Huckleberry Finn."
At the top of the list is "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry. The author of the entry lamented that the book contributes to the degradation of America because of its "rigid masculine emotional landscape," glorification of guns, and "misogynistic" gender roles. The author recommended that McMurtry's work be replaced with Jean Stafford's "The Mountain Lion" as it offers a "strong rebuttal to all the old toxic western stereotypes."