An article caught my eye on the MSN homepage yesterday and I wonder what others are thinking about this. It seems a company that manufactures dolls has offered to donate 4,000 talking Bible action figures including Jesus dolls to the Toy’s for Tots program. Toy’s for Tots collects and distributes toys as holiday gifts to children who would otherwise not have any. The Jesus dolls are battery powered and recite such verses, as “unless a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” and “love you enemies”. The spokesperson for Toy’s for Tots said they would have to “regretfully decline” the offer fearing that the toys may wind up in Muslim or Jewish homes and cause offense. He went on to say, “ Kids want toys that are fun and religious toys are not.”
At first I was wondering why anyone would make plastic Jesus dolls to begin with. To me the whole idea is kind of yucky and weird. After I thought about it I could see the educational value of religious action figures. In an educational setting children acting out the stories of Bible would be beneficial to learning the stories. As toys though, what boy would want an action figure that says, “love your enemy” instead of one that says, “Annihilate your enemy with your full laser proton action blaster”. Who can compare an action figure that slays Philistines with an ass’s jawbone to one that has a tank that really shoots? This brought back memories of my childhood and sitting in cars that had a glow in the dark plastic Jesus on the dash. I remember thinking how tacky that was. In spite of the tackiness did it somehow remind those people of their identity in Christ and help them through tough times? Am I being to judgmental when I say it’s weird and yucky?
So anyway I am really interested to hear where everyone stands on this. Should Toy’s for Tots have accepted and distributed those dolls? Is it offensive to give Jesus dolls for Christmas? Should I get one of those plastic glows in the dark dash mounted Jesus figures to remind me of who I am and where I am going? The Coalition to save Christmas and Christianity has said “this is just more proof there is a war against Christianity and Christmas in this country” Is there? Do we really need a coalition to save Christianity? What do you think?