Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Today seems to be the day of weird religious-blogging.

A toy company called one2believe in Los Angeles offered to donate 4,000 bible-quotin’ Jesus dolls to Toys for Tots, but was told “thanks, but no thanks.” The reason was that children from all faiths (and lack thereof) participate in the program, and the gifts are given randomly without knowing the child’s background.

Michael La Roe, director of business development for both companies, said the charity’s decision left him “surprised and disappointed.”

“The idea was for them to be three-dimensional teaching tools for kids,” La Roe said. “I believe as a churchgoing person, anyone can benefit from hearing the words of the Bible.”

According to the company’s Web site, the button-activated, bearded Jesus, dressed in hand-sewn cloth outfits and sandals, recites Scripture such as “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It has a $20 retail value.

These dolls are called “Messengers of Faith,” and also include suspiciously Caucasian-looking renditions of Moses, Peter, and Mary.

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Comments

  1. #1 Kimbits
    November 14, 2006

    Hahaha, ah that made my day. I still want to get my hands on a buddy-jesus statue, a la Dogma. :D

  2. #2 sparc
    November 14, 2006

    doesn’t J. look a little bit too Bin Laden-ish

  3. #3 Aerik Knapp-Loomis
    November 14, 2006

    It’s a “Buddy Christ,” Kimbits. I had an older friend who had a mini Buddy Christ on the dashboard of his car.

  4. #4 Roy
    November 14, 2006

    That’s Moses- Jesus looks a little bit like… well… like Val Kilmer, even though he’s dressed as Moses there. Anyway, I’m sticking with Val Kilmer.

  5. #5 Boo
    November 14, 2006

    At last little boys everywhere can answer the age-old question: who would win in a fight between Jesus and Moses?

  6. #6 Shelley Batts
    November 14, 2006

    Well, thanks to South Park, we alredy know who’d win in a fight between Jesus and Santa.

    Speaking of which, how come there aren’t more conspiracy theory websites about ‘Santa’ being an anagram for ‘Satan’?

  7. #7 Phil Plait
    November 14, 2006

    Heh. I too posted something religious today, and I’m getting plenty o’ flak for it. Something in the water, I suppose.

  8. #8 Boo
    November 14, 2006
  9. #9 Roger
    November 14, 2006

    I’m Christian, but I have a big problem with imposing my faith upon others as would be done with these bible quoting dolls. They use scripture as a bludgeon rather than as an offering.

  10. #10 Robster
    November 14, 2006

    Something about making graven images comes to mind. I wonder if that includes die cast or extruded plastics.

  11. #11 anomalous4
    November 15, 2006

    Aerik Knapp-Loomis says: “I had an older friend who had a mini Buddy Christ on the dashboard of his car.”

    A guy I worked with about 20 years ago used to go around singing:

    “I don’t care if it rains or freees,
    Long as I’ve got my plastic Jesus
    Right here on the dashboard of my car…”

    One o’ these old daze I’m gonna get me a Buddy Christ Action Figure too. I’m a Baptist Preacher’s Kid and I’ve been a Christian all my life, and I think Dogma is one of the most hilarious flicks ever.

  12. #12 Ole Blue The Heretic
    November 15, 2006

    Oh I am sure that non christian kids would appreciate a talking Jesus doll more than a fire truck or big wheel. Yes I over forty shut up.
    ;-)

  13. #13 chriss
    November 16, 2006

    This is the kind of thing that I could see Rod and Todd Flanders playing with. I guess the Simpsons isn’t that far off after all.

  14. #14 anomalous4
    November 17, 2006

    Stop the presses! Stop the presses!

    It appears T-4-T has changed its mind:

    Toys for Tots agrees to take Jesus doll

    Thu Nov 16, 10:12 PM ET

    LOS ANGELES – The Marine Reserves’ Toys for Tots program has decided to accept a donation of Bible-quoting Jesus dolls, reversing course after saying earlier this week that it couldn’t take them.

    “The talking Jesus doll issue has been resolved,” the organization announced on its Web site Wednesday. “Toys for Tots has found appropriate places for these items. We have notified the donor of our willingness to handle this transaction.”

  15. #15 anomalous4
    November 17, 2006

    “rains or freees”? Sorry, the Z on my keyboard is messed up. It only works half the time. Should be “freezes,” of course!

  16. #16 Shelley Batts
    November 17, 2006

    GASSSSSSSSSP!!!!

    There are going to be some VERY unhappy kids this Xmas.

    “I got some Legos!”

    “I got a Hot wheels!!”

    “I got a Nintendo Wii!!!”

    “I got…….a Jesus Barbie. I’m becoming an atheist.”

  17. #17 Greg Murray
    May 3, 2007

    Well…I’m a Christian.. Don’t really think that too many of us really understand the good behind that decision… I mean, I’m guessing toys for tots aren’t going to the kid that is spoiled and is upset he got the red Nintendo DS instead of the black one… so I’m not sure what the kids themselves would find fun or not fun. But i would say, if you have toys that talk trash such as lets say.. WWE action figures, then a toy that says “love your neighbor as yourself” and other spiritual messages shouldn’t be thought of as bad. The Christian message has been in our culture for its entire existence, and the revivals that it encouraged brought social reform in temperance, women’s rights and abolition. So my kid, your kid, no matter what religion, benefits from the message, even if you take it in another way then the Christian meaning behind it. Starting fresh in life (born again) isn’t a Christian only message.

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