In response to a Change.org petition to have 'Grand Theft Auto V' removed from store shelves in Australia, fans of the controversial game have started a petition to have the Bible removed for promoting violence against women.

According to the petition to remove the game,

It's a game that encourages players to murder women for entertainment. The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get 'health' points – and now Target are stocking it and promoting it for your Xmas stocking.

This is Grand Theft Auto 5. This game means that after various sex acts, players are given options to kill women by punching her unconscious, killing with a machete, bat or guns to get their money returned.

Please Target – we appeal to you as women survivors of violence, including women who experienced violence in the sex industry, to immediately withdraw Grand Theft Auto V from sale.

After amounting over 40,000 signatures, both Target and K-Mart in Australia confirmed they would be removing the offending game from their shelves.  Target, while noting support for the game to remain available, said that removing the game fell in line with the majority of customers' views.

In response to the removal of the game, Australian fans of 'Grand Theft Auto' have posted a similar petition asking for Target and K-Mart stores to remove the Bible for the same reasons,

It's a book that encourages readers to murder women for entertainment. The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get 'god' points – and now Target are stocking it and promoting it for your Xmas stocking.

This is The Holy Bible. This book means that after various sex acts, readers are given options to kill women by stoning her unconscious, Setting them on fire, cutting off their hands, and killing their children!

One of many fan passages on In The Holy Bible depicts woman being set alight for having sex "And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." (Leviticus 21:9).

This misogynistic book literally makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women. It also links sexual arousal and violence.

While likely meant to make a point rather than actually ban the Bible, this petition has surpassed the number of signatures the original petition received, having over 60,000 signatures at the time of this post.

While there has never been any concrete evidence that violence in video games leads to violence in reality, the debate over the effects of violent video games has been around as long as violent video games.  Some have also noted the more interactive nature of 'Grand Theft Auto V' on the PS4 and XBox One, giving the player the option to play in an immersive first-person view rather than in the standard, removed third-person view.  Some critics and supporters have noted that such immersion could actually be a benefit by increasing the emotional and moral impact of violent choices in the game.

Australia is also no stranger to censorship of violent games, refusing to issue a game classification for 'Saints Row IV' until parts were censored.

via CNET