Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas creeps - part 2 

I mentioned yesterday that I was creeped out by the Vision Forum catalog. Just too darned whitebread-Confederate for me. But I have to say, I have more respect for their product line than that of the Life Way store we shopped at yesterday. I walked into the store and was overwhelmed by the good ol' American materialism. Who would have thought that the Bible could inspire so much merchandise? I guess my problem isn't that there are Christian tchotkes out there--I did go in there to do some Christmas shopping, after all. It's just that I found so much of it to be lacking. Do we really need candy with little Bible messages on the wrapper? And then there were things that struck me as just plain wrong. the most egregious (this time around) were the "Almighty Heroes" action figures. Basically, these blasphemously named toys are guys from various Bible stories redesigned as carbon copy, Northern European superheroes. All of them feature bulging biceps, colorful costumes and a couple of accessories. And all of them, in my opinion, are poorly created. Take Daniel for example. Maybe Daniel worked out, maybe not. But I doubt if his administrative duties, as described in scripture, required him to be armed with a sword and spear. Which story of Daniel, exactly, are little Jewish and Christian boys supposed to be re-enacting with this toy? The one where Daniel brings along his weapons just in case he mis-interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream? Or maybe when Belshazzar summons Daniel in the middle of his morning fencing lesson? I know, it must be when the angel closed the mouths of the pygmy lions in the lions' den so Daniel wouldn't have to dirty his spear. Sheesh! If you want your kid to play superheroes, then buy him some superhero dolls.

Um, I think my rant got a bit off track there. I think the point I wanted to make is that both the Vision Forum folks and the creators of various "Christian" merchandise try to sanctify secular things and ideals by tacking religion onto their "products". There's nothing wrong with strong families, protective fathers and beautiful girls. Nor are dolls, candles or coffee mugs inherently evil. They're all good gifts from God, gifts that He's given to Christians and non-Christians alike. Why do we need to try and make them "holier" than they really are?

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