Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Away In A Manger

We currently have a few hundreds varieties of nativity sets for sale, each of which is displayed in as obnoxious a way as possible. I tried switching the babies from the African American set and the Norwegian/Aryan race set. I thought the imagery of Joseph, deprived of sex, looking at the Black son born to his painfully white wife would be funny. Granted, it would be a bit sacrilegious, but it would be funny. Somebody switched them back.

But I digress.

With so many displays, where is one to put the price tags so as not to detract from the kitsch value of 150 nativity sets crammed together? I was informed that we always put the price tag on the bottom of Baby Jesus. Anyone else find that a bit ironic, seeing as how we are making a ton of money off the poor kid's birthday?

17 comments:

Robert said...

This comment pertains more to the entire blog than just this "Christmas" post. I just came across your blog on a link from another blog, and find it to be terribly offensive and lacking in respect for your customers and the fine Christian retailers you represent...


Just kidding! Keep it up. I've made many of the same observations from my forays into Christian bookstores. I stick to Amazon and CBD these days mostly, although I like sorting through the bargain CD bins that contain:
1) Music so awful that no one bought it
2) Music that is great, but the typical Christian bookstore patron has no idea what it is (I recently picked up a Jan Krist cd, and a Chris Taylor cd this way)

Streak said...

I must say that I am so excited to find this blog (thanks to Badchristian). this is exactly the kind of thing that I have been thinking about. I wonder--do Christians conceptualize their purchase of worthless religious crap in a different way than the crap they buy at Wallmart? Do they think they are furthering the Kingdom by buying Precious Moments statuettes?

Keep it up. I will be reading with interest.

Jill said...

the first two commenters said pretty much what i was planning to. i love Jesus, i really do, but Christian subculture is a collosal whipping. i'll be stopping by your site often.

greg said...

Greetings, evil, funny genius. I too found your site through Brandon at BadChristian. I often wonder what statement these fundy/evangelicals think they're making with their tee shirts, decals, bumper stickers, etc. It seems the real meaning behind witness has been lost. Alas...

Brandon said...

Well, I too am enjoying your site. Truly fantastic stuff. Hope you don't mind me sending a few people your way. Keep up the good work!

Rouver said...

Alrighty, just have to step in for a mo' & defend....of all things....Precious Moments figurines. lol

My mom likes the things. They make her feel warm & fuzzy, I imagine. She doesn't indulge in *anything*, but these things make her smile, so I love buying them for her. Does she ever imagine she's evangelizing with the little buggars? Does she think they strengthen her faith? I imagine weathering the years of raising 4 children was more than enough to test her belief in God, and if she wants little rain-drop eyed kiddies with quirky little puns on the bottom, then so be it! Have them she will!

I have to wonder what sort of childhood you had when the sight of smiling porcelaine children makes your soul writhe with caustic bile.


oh, the sweet sweet taste of soul bile....

nick said...

i am not one to just comment arbitrarily, but i join the previous hailers in their excitement that you're bringing this out. i'm extremely excited to follow your "trip" .... american evangelical consumerism, my favourite topic.

(found you through http://theparish.typepad.com) brilliant.

Abigail said...

Wow, Rouver, didn't know you had it in you to defend Precious Moments. I suppose your mom is entitled to something that makes her smile, yes ...

I liked those myself at one point in time. Thought they were cute and all ... but they eventually lost their appeal, as did so much of the rest of "Christian" culture.

Rouver said...

Oh, you have no idea of the depths to which I am capable of sinking...

Neville said...

Ben, promise me that within 5 years, you'll write a book concerning some of these issues. Think of it as a 'blue like jazz-esque / 95 Thesis' thing if you can envision something like that. Hope your systematizing your life into neat little compartments. Good day.

Justin said...

I used to work in a Christian bookstore. In my limited retail experience, that was by far the weirdest clientele.

I once had a website that listed my least favorite Christian items, such as the "Beverly Hillbillies Study Bible." I was making the point that this kind of merchandise is symptomatic of a larger problem in Christianity. You wouldnt believe the pompous hate mail i received, thanks to the equally weird regulars on Beliefnet.

Anonymous said...

I do hate anonymous posting -- it feels so underhand -- but I don't have a blog. So here I am . . . name's Cath by the way. I got here through a rec on a friend's LJ.

I cackled at this story. My friends and acquaintances annually put up with my 'Jesus was not WHITE!' rampage at this time of year, brought on by the rows and rows of Scandinavian nativity sets in local stores. Last year, a friend answered the rampage with a gift of genius -- a nativity she found while in Chicago. The figures are black as black can be, and Jesus has an Afro. Is anything better? I think not.

Anonymous said...

You're featured on _The Morning News_!
Deliciously funny.

-Abby

ding said...

found your site through, uh, bookslut. (sorry) but i already love your site. i've linked to it on my ChurchGal blog.

switching the babies? genius, dude.

bingsy said...

One year my brother in law bought a yard nativity scene. I'm not sure if they have them up there, but they are big and painted plastic and they light up. In other words, very tacky displays to annoy neighbours that don't enjoy kitsch very much.

At any rate, when he got the box home he found a manger with baby Jesus and two Josephs. I think he failed to see the humor in the situation and took it back to WalMart for exchange.

A couple of years there was an article in Time about what Jesus in all likelihood looked like. There was a composite on the cover. He looked very Middle Eastern.

Anonymous said...

And you're attending seminary because....? Just curious.

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