Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Not Your Mother's Chatty Cathy Doll


A company that makes Barbie-sized talking Jesus dolls that quote the Bible donated 4,000 little saviors valued at $80,000 to the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program. The toys were rejected when the Marines decided that religious items are not appropriate.

"We don't know if the kids we help celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. For us, it's just a matter of financial need," said a Marine spokesman.

The president of One2Believe estimated that 90% of Toys for Tots recipients are from Christian backgrounds, and apparently isn't concerned with the others. "I don't understand why they can't accept a toy that promotes good values," he complained. "I just think that it shouldn't be that big of a deal."

He claimed the Marines violated their own mission "to help needy children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas." The company's Messengers of Faith collection also includes the Virgin Mary, Moses, David and Esther dolls.

In their attempt to keep the Christ in Christmas, they've gone too far. This could be a slippery slope, my friends. Barbie and Skipper. GI Joe & Ken. Jesus 'n' Mary Magdalene?

What's next -- Bobblehead Jesus? How about Anatomically Correct Inflatable Jesus? That one could be a big seller in convents.

I'm waiting for the Sodom and Gomorrha train set with plaster-of-paris lambs. Lots of graven images. And of course, all our favorite Disney characters in Biblical garb. Minnie and Daisy bitch-slapping each other over the role of Mary. I see Goofy as Joseph, and Huey, Dewey and Louie as the Baby Jesus triplets.

I bet the real Jesus is turning over in his Shroud of Turin. R.I.P., Jesus. You never meant for this to happen. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

27 comments:

Bird on a Wire said...

Reminds me of the "buddy Jesus" from Dogma.

mist1 said...

I love the Tickle Me Jesus doll. He's so cute.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Bird,

Except that was a spoof. I don't think George Carlin had a hand in this one.

Mist,

I haven't seen him yet. I'm picturing the Pillsbury Doughboy, only thinner and bearded.

urban-urchin said...

People do crazy things in the name of God. As someone who believes, it makes me incredibly sad.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Urchin,

Sometimes I think of Jesus giving his life for THIS? It IS sad. Apparently there is nothing we humans can't distort and besmirch for gain and profit.

The Law Fairy said...

I'm a huge critic of shoving your religion down someone's throat, but I can't help but wonder if this was a slight overreaction? Maybe I don't have all the facts, but it seems to me like, you have a toy manufacturer who makes a certain kind of toy that not every child will like. That toy manufacturer donates a bunch of these toys to Toys for Tots. Toys for Tots rejects them because they're religious in nature.

I guess this would bother me less if I had any sense that they would also reject Barbies because they project an unrealistic image of the ideal female body. Or that they would also reject G.I. Joes because they promote violence. But I kind of doubt that's their policy (though please correct me if I'm wrong) -- in fact, a policy that counts out toys because they may have some unpalatable implications, well, kind of kills the fun of toys, doesn't it? I understand that the toy manufacturer's attitude is troubling (i.e., who cares about the rest -- oh come on). But I guess my thinking is, not every kid will like every toy. Isn't that why all kinds of manufacturers donate?

And, I mean, hey, it's not like they can instruct the kids not to make them into Jesus Voodoo Dolls ;)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Law Fairy,

I disagree. Proselytizing with toys is not the same thing as handing out a bunch of plaything that were not chosen with specific children in mind.

Religion is a personal matter. And while I famously refused to buy my daughter a Barbie because it offended my feminist views, I later came to realize that I was attaching far too much significance to something she wanted simply because all her friends had them.

Forcing a Bible-spouting Jesus doll on ANY child offends me as much as turning one into a voodoo doll would. Toys are for play. Religion is not. Toys are also sometimes teaching devices, and again, teaching or not teaching religion should be determined by a child's own parents.

I think the Marines made the right decision.

Lee said...

Whole thing's retarded...what the hell can you do with a Jesus doll anyhoo? Pretend to part the Red Sea? Turn water into wine? Get nailed to a cross? BO-ring!

Well, coming back to life would be kinda cool....cuz Zombies are cool.

BUT, if I don't get a Bobble-headed Jesus, I'm probably gonna die. It'll go very well with my punching nun and rabbi, and Buddha on a spring. I really need a Pope-on-a-Rope too.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lee,

I'll get right on it.

I know many people who would like to change water into wine. But most of them are not children.

Odat said...

Oh don't get me started!!!
I so agree with the marine's decision to turn them down...and I also find it offensive that they were criticized for it.

Peace?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Odat,

Criticized by a merchant, don't forget. And those guys complained about the moneychangers in the temple.

Lex said...

I agree with you on this one, Heart.

I am not a fan of proselytizing in an form--from the megaphone on the street corner, to the little cartoon booklets tucked under my windshield wiper...and especially the knock on my door on Saturday morning.

Teaching toys can easily convey the positive message Jesus taught without quoting scriptures. In fact, grown ups can easily convey said message sans beating someone over the head with the Bible, or with what it says.

I think the Marines did the right thing.

Thailand Gal said...

I'm not too hot on this idea. There are some things that simply should be beyond the reach of commercialism. It just looks tacky and crass.

Blecht.

Peace,

-chani

Sven said...

Maybe some of these people should consider picking up one of these instead.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lex,

They absolutely did the right thing. If they had accepted the propagandizing little Trojan horses, it would have given new meaning to the hymn, "Onward, Christian Soldiers.'

The Marines are a government agency, and as such, must be separate from religion. Any religion. If they endorsed this arrogant "gift," we would be that much closer to a Nazi state. And we're already a bit too close for my comfort.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Sven,

Wow! I feel better already.

That's very cool. Nice photography. I'll have what she's having.

Clover said...

OMG, it's like a bad movie. Picture the poor jaded kid who knows from experience that Santa will never come through. Then by some miracle toys appear under the tree on Christmas morning...but when you unwrap them you find you've got a dozen talking Jesus dolls.

There really is no Santa Claus.

Hey Lee...I have a Popener. http://tinyurl.com/ymt9rg

Jealous much?
~Clover

Crankster said...

I hope Jesus has a sense of humor. If not, we're all screwed.

Especially Pat Robertson (I just had to put that one in).

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Clover,

That would be like combining Christmas and April Fool's Day. Poor kids.

Thank you for coming by.

Crankster,

I've always thought he must have a really good one. And he probably laughs at televangelists until he cries. Or at least pees.

Nihilistic said...

I love my Cabbage Patch Jesus! He came with two birth certificates!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Nihilistic,

Who's listed as the father?

Kevin Charnas said...

nope, they don't, they haven't got a clue.

Kevin Charnas said...

have you seen the Jesus Christ Action figure at Urban Outfitters? - Hysterical

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Kevin,

I haven't, but I hope the "action" is more like walking on water than hanging from wooden bars.

djn said...

I had to walk away from this story the first time I read it.

... The term "clueless" comes to mind upon reading it the second time around...

What the hell is some Jesus doll gonna do for a poor kid? Why can't some people see that sometimes a kid just wants the "cool" toy, regardless of what it "promotes"?!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Djn,

What bothers me most is their refusing to get that a Jesus doll is not for everyone. Even most Christian kids would prefer whatever this year's hot toy is, but to force a belief system disguised as a toy on a non-Christian child is morally wrong.

And I really think Jesus would agree. Or he wouldn't be Jesus. (And a Jew.)

katrice said...

I don't know how I feel about this. I'm not a fan of giving religious gifts to anonymous people. Wouldn't want to offend anyone. But I'm also concerned that someone thought such a toy was a good idea. I envision some poor kid being allowed to play with nothing else because all other toys are "evil." Talk about needing that therapy doll, Sven. Which, by thw way, I thought was just late night fodder. They really make those???