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November 15, 2006

Toy story

UPDATED 11/16/06: It can talk, and now it can walk:

A talking Jesus doll has been turned down by the Marine Reserves’ Toys for Tots program.
A suburban Los Angeles company offered to donate 4,000 of the foot-tall dolls, which quote Bible verses, for distribution to needy children this holiday season. The battery-powered Jesus is one of several dolls manufactured by one2believe, a division of the Valencia-based Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co., based on Biblical figures.
But the charity balked because of the dolls’ religious nature.
Toys are donated to kids based on financial need and “we don’t know anything about their background, their religious affiliations,” said Bill Grein, vice president of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, in Quantico, Va.
As a government entity, Marines “don’t profess one religion over another,” Grein said Tuesday. “We can’t take a chance on sending a talking Jesus doll to a Jewish or Muslim family.”
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.”

It really is hard to see where the arrogance ends and the naivety begins.

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.

Guess that depends on how you define “retail” and “value.”

UPDATE: Amazingly, Marine Toys for Tots has now backtracked, saying that it has “found appropriate places for these items.” I can think of a few.

Posted by Stephen at 2:57 AM in Religion + cults | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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