Tuesday, November 14, 2006

But Can It Say "Mama"?

Anyone who doesn’t believe that evangelicals are still scheming to take over America, must not know about one of their latest ploys: the Chatty Jeezy. According to an Associated Press story today, an ultra-Christian organization decided to donate 4,000 talking Jesus dolls to the Toys for Tots program run by the Marine Reserves.

The Marines' response had me whistling “From the halls of Montezuma ...” all day long. They now have yet another reason to be proud; they nixed the propaganda playthings. The vice president of “Toys for Tots,” Bill Grein, acknowledged that the Marines, as an institution of the government, may not prefer one religion over another. He is quoted as saying, “We can’t take a chance on sending a talking Jesus doll to a Jewish family or a Muslim family.” He apparently did not mention Hindus, Rastas, Wiccans, or followers of the Great Unidentifiable Bird—and certainly not atheists—but his point was clear. Foisting these Jesus toys onto unsuspecting children is unconstitutional. Grein’s other major talking point, was that the dolls didn’t seem like they’d be much fun.

The manufacturer of the talking Jesi is a company called “one2believe.” Unbelievably, that entity is a division of the well-known Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company, which, its Web site claims, “handles the design, manufacturing, distribution, and sales” of plush and/or animatronic versions of a wide range of kiddy-culture icons: Paddington Bear, the Muppets, SpongeBob Squarepants, 102 Dalmatians, Shrek, Dora the Explorer, and the Grinch (press his chest and he steals the Jesus doll's birthday).

Michael La Roe, the minister of culture for both the parent firm and its divine child (the AP calls him “the director of business development for both companies”) was flabbergasted at the Marines’ reaction. He couldn’t believe that families might be offended by “three-dimensional teaching tools for kids.”

But these are not your father's Barbies. La Roe's what-did-I-do? reaction is indicative of the sneakiness of theocratic Christians. One2believe is well aware that it’s shoving religion down little throats. At its Web site, the agenda is clearly presented in a mission statement: “Teach 10 million children 50 Bible stories by 2007.”

To view the toys, themselves, though, you have to access the “Messengers of Faith” site, where you are exhorted to “Teach Your Children the Bible ... One Character at a Time!” (See the little miracles with your own eyes.)

At the top of the Home page, you’re greeted by an inspirational picture of a lovely child and her attractive mother holding Tickle-Me Jesus while poring over a book of obviously kid-friendly stories. Scroll down the page and you can see various dolls from the get-‘em-while-they’re-young collection. Perhaps appropriately, all the characters appear to be cross-eyed. The cost of each: 20 bucks. Except of course for poor tots, whom the company offers to brainwash for free.

Elsewhere on the Messengers' interactive message board, you can hear sound files from the company’s line of propagandolls. These toys would be laughable, if the god bullies had not given serious consideration to spreading them like a plague among the neediest youngsters. One of Jesus’s fun sayings, for example, is, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” What child of any religion wouldn’t want to wake up to that on Christmas morning?

The blurb for the Christ doll tells potential buyers that he was “the most important person in history. Ever.” But one2believe sells other, lesser, biblical figurines, as well. Moses, for instance, intones, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, or his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” After hearing that inspirational speech, could any normal child ever think again of coveting his or her neighbor’s wife or manservant?

The Esther character utters an urgent announcement, in what one2believe calls “easy-to-memorize style.” And indeed, it's hard to imagine how any little boy or girl would have trouble rattling off the words: “Go, gather all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” That'll be a ball to chant in the playground.

Sadly, the company does not mention whether any of the dolls wet themselves.


Tanya Brown said...

And to go with your talking Jesii? Armor of God pajamas!

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will not fear the closet monster."


The Exterminator said...


At last! Christian superhero outfits! I wish they sold them in adult sizes.

vjack said...

Welcome to Atheism Online. I just approved your request to be added to the directory. Cool blog. I'm glad you decided to share it with the rest of us.