Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Children Living In Bubbles

Sometimes I wonder if the agenda behind "Jesus junk" and other kind of kitschy items is to build an unbreakable bubble for Christians to live in. This was an issue that often arose when I went to Bible college.

You lived in a self-contained environment with over 200 other Christians. You took your meals there, went to class there, slept there. You really never had to leave campus except to do your required Christian service work each week, and even that could be done in churches. It became easy to forget that a world existed outside of our evangelical box, where no disturbance intruded.

The reason I wonder about whether we're trying to build bubbles for ourselves or not is because, well, some Christian kitsch I can understand, and then there are some products that are just so asinine and pointless that I believe it can serve no purpose other than to allow us to fill our lives with items that we percieve as "godly". Are we any better than medieval Catholics that sought out holy relics to increase their piety?

Take for example, this:

Here is what the people who make "His Essence" have to say for themselves:

So apparently we think that if we only fill our homes by items made for Christians, by Christians, that we will somehow be holier for it. Well, we won't. The world looks at us, and laughs, thinking we're all a bunch of clique-ish weirdos. We sure act like it.

Here's another another really great article from the website Sharper Iron about Jesus Junk, talking about some more reasons why Christians think it's good to buy this crap.


Miss Kitty said...

Hilarious! Very well done!

Found your blog through Crummy Church Signs. Thanks for taking the time to find/take pictures of kitschy Christian junk and critique it., written by a former web designer who's training to become a clergymember, has several different (and hilarious) collections of corny Christian "art" (ahem). I love the "Cavalcade of Bad Nativities" the most.

I, too, am trying to make a difference through properly written English. So glad to know someone else cares about this cause! Keep up the witty and sharp work.

Gregory said...

Don't know if you realize it, but this is the same Gregory who e-mailed you about a month ago. I have a blog called "The First Sketch". You left a comment in my post "Adventures in the Travel Industry". I love your work, by the way, Miss Kitty.

Biscuet said...

why is it that every stupid christian junk thing uses the font, "Papyrus" for their font. start looking for it and you'll see that stupid font everywhere. it's a terrible font...and WAY over used.

Allen said...

I'm afraid that Jason Janz is right on the money with his 1st reason why people buy "Jesus junk." We/They believe that this takes the place of evangelism: all we have to do is wait for the pagan to ask us about our shirt, bumper sticker, etc.
Furthermore, Gregory, I'm afraid that your "Christian bubble" theory is also quite a prevalently posited reason! "I'm not buying pagan music, decorations, candles, etc! I only buy Christian items!" It is--as you said--insulation from the world! (Our local Christian radio station here promotes themselves with a tagline of being "family friendly" radio that you can safely turn on and not worry about offensive song lyrics, etc! It always makes me wonder if what this really does is dumb-down our ability to discern.)
Ironically, these two philosophies--evangelism by proxy (by product?) and insulation from the outside world--stand in opposition to one another.
Long post. Sorry. Should save it for my own blog.

Adoro Te Devote said...

First, I have to admit I'm a geek, and I largely agree with everything you and your commenters have stated.

But I actually HAVE one of these candles. I didn't buy it because it allegedly "smells like Jesus", but rather, because there was one lit in the store where I purchased it and I really liked the fragrance! And I still is a warm, cozy scent.

If someone is buying this, though, because of the kitschy marketing and not the scent...well...they should really have someone else handle their money for them because they have NO ability to discern for themselves.

Myself...I just love candles in general. (Admittedly, though, I don't purchase candles with occult symbols or "crystals" or the like).

I found your blog through Abbey-Roads. Great stuff!

Gregory said...

Adoro to Devote, I agree with what you're saying. I don't have a problem with candles, but rather that they're using this as a hook for Christians looking to make "holy" purchases. Thanks for the comment.

Glad you found the blog. I think Abbey Roads is a Catholic site, right? I've actually seen a lot of Catholic blogs linking to me, which is surprising considering myself and my first connection, Joel Bezaire, are protestant.

But I am no respecter of persons, and I'm glad to have everyone on board.

Adoro Te Devote said...


Yes, abbey-roads is Catholic, as am I, but keep in mind that we, as Catholics, consider other Christian religions to be "catholic" also. You believe in the Trinity. We share the belief that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, and yes, we Catholics have a very deep and person relationship with Jesus Christ. Thus, you are our brothers in Christ.

And your blog is entertaining and RIGHT so often about the stuff you snag and post! LOL! We're proud to claim you as our brother!

You see, Catholics have taste, too. :-)

Miss Kitty said...

No way! The same Greg? Hilarious! Duh, I should've known. :-P Awesome job, Greg! I thought the other blog was your only one. Now there's this one, where I can come and giggle at your commentary on corny sorta-kinda-Christian tchotchkes! Hooray!

Seriously, I feel like a doofus for now getting the connection.