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Passions in Poetry

Jesus......REJECTED!

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Balladeer
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0 posted 11-14-2006 09:22 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Associated Press
Tue Nov 14, 1:48 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - 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 family or a Muslim family."

Michael La Roe, director of business development for both companies, said the charity's decision left him "surprised and disappointed."


Yes, I can see where that would be quite a chance to take. Who knows what mental damage could be inadvertently done by such irresponsible actions. Thank God it was prevented....or should I say thank Gosh?

Has political correctness gone overboard or is it prudent to exercise such  selectivity and caution?
Mistletoe Angel
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1 posted 11-15-2006 02:48 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I think that sounds like an utterly harmless, wonderful toy and collector's item fitting for this holiday season. I think this is political correctness with severe triglyceride levels.

I'm sure they could come to some sort of compromise. Perhaps they could design foot-tall dolls for Jewish and Muslim families as well, as indeed the holidays are a universal time of cheer regardless of faith.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
iliana
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2 posted 11-15-2006 03:04 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

I think I heard something on the news late Tuesday night saying that they were going to go ahead and accept the Bible Dolls.
hush
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3 posted 11-15-2006 05:50 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

So, exactly what would a Muslim kid do with a Jesus doll? What would a Christian kid do with a Mecca playset?

I don't exactly think it's offensive, and sure, beggars can't be choosers... but if they aren't screening for religion, they risk inappropriate toiys going to the wrong kids. Kind of like, when you donate toys, often you specify an age range and boy/girl? What would a ten year old boy do with a barbie? In all likelihood, find a way to blow it up.

And, be honest... would you really be happy if someone gave your kid a toy that taught religious tenets other than the ones you teach?
Susan Caldwell
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4 posted 11-15-2006 10:53 AM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

I think anything to do with religion should be up to the parent to give/not give.  The donations should be of a nature that a child could unwrap it and get to keep it.  

Would a Jewish parent allow the child to keep a Jesus doll??

Would you want your grandchild to get a speaking democrat doll?  

"too bad ignorance isn't painful"
~Unknown~

Midnitesun
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5 posted 11-15-2006 10:55 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Thank you hush! for your thoughts were almost identical to mine on this.
Yes, Michael, I know that Christmas began as a day to honor Jesus. But can you seriously consider this yakking doll to be honring anything but commercialism?

Susan, LOL about the democrat doll.
Christopher
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6 posted 11-15-2006 11:06 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

I agree with hush (as usual). I know I wouldn't be happy with someone pushing my child in a direction without my blessing. It's for the parents to decide what their children are subjected to, good intentions aside.

Just because [you] might not be able to see any reason why someone would be offended doesn't mean someone else won't be.

Is it going too far? Maybe, but I bet the same guy quoted as being disappointed the charity refused the profferred donation would be deeply offended were a different charity to drop his kids a copy of Darwin's Origin under their Christmas tree, eh?
Balladeer
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7 posted 11-15-2006 01:47 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Interesting answers. One could argue a case for almost anything and make it plausible. That's why we don't have Speedy Gonzales or Mr. Magoo around anymore and school Christmas carols are a thing of the past in many schools.

What is it about non-exposure that is so preferable? Is ignorance of others beliefs so much more productive than knowledge of it? If my child were to receive a Muslim doll as a gift, I would explain  that it is the symbol of another religion and the sayings are what that religion believes in. Is there harm in that? If my child said "Why would they  send it to me?" I would explain that it is an organization that sends out thousands of gifts and they cannot know completely the beliefs of those who will receive them. What's the big problem there? Are your young  children already so immersed in religious beliefs that they would find it offensive or is it YOU, the parents, who would be the ones with the problem? For those of you who would claim "I will decide what my child gets. It's my right as a parent." then fine. The Toys for Tots program is not for you, anyway.

Oh, and,by the way, no child of mine would want a Democratic doll. What good is a doll with no head????
Christopher
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8 posted 11-15-2006 03:09 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Mike, I would no more want someone to expose my son to the Facts of Life before I believe he's ready than I would want them to expose him to the (arguably) more potentially damaging concepts of Christianity.

What something like this does is take away choice - can I explain to my son that pornography is a fact of life and that there are thousands of websites that have it and they just aren't meant for him? Or can I try to protect him from that until he's of an age that he's mentally and emotionally prepared to not only hear answers about it, but to more importantly ask the right questions?

You're a fairly educated individual, Mike, I credit you with that. It's usually easy, for us adults, to see that people have their own beliefs that do not necessarily coincide with ours. We have the ability and (theoretically, lol) the maturity to recognize that and form some acceptance.

That said, though, I think I'll wait and see what your response is next time Noah is bashing Republicans while ignoring other parties, focusing on his core beliefs (like this charity), rather than parcelling out Budda dolls along with Jesus.
hush
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9 posted 11-15-2006 03:54 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I'm not arguing for non-exposure... my point is mainly that a) like some other people here, it should be up to the parents which religious toys/books/etc. their kids have, and b) the kid is probably going to be like "what the heck is this?"

I mean, I think it's very generous for that company to donate these toys- like I said, I'm not particularly offended by it... but what a shame if kids who will throw it in a corner get one instead of kids who might enjoy it. But I guess that can be said about any toy.
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10 posted 11-15-2006 04:07 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Instead of arguing about this one, I had an idea!

It's a writing challenge--

when I was a kid, my dolls were quite real to me. They were indeed "my babies."

So suppose for a minute, that just as an adult can take a deity and turn that deity into a toy, that the faith of a child could turn that same toy into an actual DEITY, sort of like Indian in the Cupboard?

Poetry or Prose...

anybody up for it?

Brad
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11 posted 11-15-2006 04:17 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Brilliant, I love it.

Balladeer
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12 posted 11-15-2006 05:17 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Congrats, Chris, for one of the most incredible comparisons I've seen in the Alley....and I've seen some doozies!

Ok, let's compare. No, of course, I know you are not putting religion in the same category as pornography but let me ask you this. Do children have exposure to religion by age 6? I would think so. Do they have exposure to pornography? Would you take your son to the church of your choice at age 6? Would you take him to a porno house? Something tells me no. Religion is something a child can certainly be exposed to early. Pornography is not. You are talking apples and horseshoes. Can you see the folly of  that comparison?

There are laws against public pornography. One cannot drive down the  street and  see it. Should we do the same for religion then? Should Muslims or Jews not have to be subjected to seeing Christian churches alongside the road, those big crosses on the steeples? What if their children ask what they are? Should we not allow Christmas decorations on homes? No mention of any specific religious holiday on radio, tv, or newspapers? shall we get that IN GOD WE TRUST off the money? How far should we go to protect the children from exposure to other beliefs?

Children are exposed to religion at early ages. What's so bad about them knowing there are different ones? Is that knowledge so dehabilitating to their growth? I think not. I would be willing to guess that most of the kids who would receive the Jesus dolls would regard them as toys, more than religious teaching tools. It's the parents with the hang-ups.  

....and,no, I'm not fairly educated. Unfairly would be more like it
Christopher
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13 posted 11-15-2006 05:17 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

no, I'd rather argue.
Christopher
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14 posted 11-15-2006 05:35 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Why can't you compare the two, Mike? I would definitely agree there's a difference between the immediate severity of the two and most assuredly agree that a child can be exposed to religion earlier than pornography (or the Facts of Life)... does that mean they should?

And I can guess that your upbringing and own religion might play a part in you not understanding how I can liken the two.

Religion can be a very pervasive, destructive force. I suppose that if one believes in God, they would disagree with this - 'there's nothing wrong with teaching a child religion because it's really the will of God.' It's an understandable view, but one that precludes the beliefs of those opposite. I'm one of those that believes allowing a young child, in their most formative and gullible years, to go to church and be saturated by "praise the Lord or burn in Hell" rhetoric is tantamount to brainwashing. That child has developed no substantial means of rational objectiveness to that religion and therefore cannot realistically be expected to avoid being forced into acceptance.

That's a travesty, in my opinion.

Let's say I took my son, at a young age and taught him that people with dark skin color are actually inferior to us, should be avoided where possible and ignored when you can't get away from them. I would push this in his face every week, telling him that even though Billy might be a nice boy, he really isn't worthy of my son's friendship. Say I continued that for several of his formative years, what do you think he'd believe as he grew older?

I know this has spun off a little from just dropping off some toys, but I'm really pointing at the larger position of introducing religion to young children (in schools, church, charities, etc... strange how it's always touted as "just in this small, tiny area are we having some influence," while there are so many arenas where religion pokes its pointy head up and says, "me, me, me! you MUST see me, MUST BELIEVE me!")

Freedom of religion, to me, is also the freedom to have no religion.

Now, I suppose I could just tell my son, after receiving a Jesus doll and asking about it that its something hes not old enough to understand (I would never tell my child that, by the way). I could also try to explain it to him, maybe read him some literature, inflame his curiosity. Dunno. Probably everything would be fine.

Id just as soon wait though.
Ron
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15 posted 11-15-2006 05:51 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I would be willing to guess that most of the kids who would receive the Jesus dolls would regard them as toys, more than religious teaching tools.

Therein, I believe, lies the real problem. The doll is inevitably both, and the convergence of the two is little more than propaganda. The question shouldn't be whether you believe in the propaganda or not, but rather whether it stems from an appropriate source.

quote:
What's so bad about them knowing there are different ones? Is that knowledge so dehabilitating to their growth?

Knowing there are different religions and knowing precisely what those differences are, Mike, are two very different things. Yes, there are some religions out there that I think can be VERY debilitating to a young child. If I want to be able to protect my child from your religion, I have to be willing to let you protect your child from mine.

For what it's worth, and setting aside religion entirely, I doubt you could make a talking doll out of ANY living or historical figure without offending a whole lot of people in the process.  

quote:
I'm one of those that believes allowing a young child, in their most formative and gullible years, to go to church and be saturated by "praise the Lord or burn in Hell" rhetoric is tantamount to brainwashing. That child has developed no substantial means of rational objectiveness to that religion and therefore cannot realistically be expected to avoid being forced into acceptance.

I wonder, Christopher, if you realize that you also just described patriotism?  And ethics? And, yes, even familial love?
Local Rebel
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16 posted 11-15-2006 05:59 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I was just wondering about the doll itself.  

Does it play Depeche Mode?  (shrug)

Even growing up a Christian child I think I would have been a little creeped out...and my father would have had to inspect everything it said to make sure it passed his own Christian beliefs.

There go all my plans though, for that talking Bill O'reilly doll..
serenity blaze
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17 posted 11-15-2006 06:02 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay C. I can argue too.

I'm just wondering if this toy is supposed to treated like a toy...?

or is the child expected to worship the toy? Does it get a place of honor on the toyshelf? (I'm picturing companion marketing strategies of loaves of bread, "action figure" apostles, and then what, a CROSS?) If you think I shouldn't have gone there, then think about it. If I shouldn't--why wouldn't a toy company?)

What about the normal prediliction some kids have to write on dolls, or worse? ("To infinity and beyond!--anybody remember that kid, Sid?)



I just think it is a bad idea. Not necessarily from any theological viewpoint, but I think it's just bad product.

(I mean, I accidentally named a mouse Jesus once, and had trouble killing it after that--and I am pagan!)

And yanno? Those talking dolls? They never last very long--even with the old fashioned pullstring, messages would garble after some use--do you want to trust religious instruction/emphasis to batteries and a microchip?

What happens when the toy doesn't perform miracles? What happens if it DOES?

(I'm trying to tempt C with writing possibilities now...)

It's just a bad idea, overall.

Btw, we have a lot of toy deities here in New Orleans, with entire parades dedicated to 'em. We get away with that by calling it mythology. I doubt seriously we'll ever have a Krewe of Jesus though. I think it would incite a riot, and not just in our streets here, but around the world.

(My husband rides in two parades--the Krewe of Morpheus--naturally-- --and the Krewe of Allah.)

If you want to toss Jesus Christ in the mythology bin, it is your religion, then I can say, um, "okay."

But why you would want to profane what you deem sacred is a puzzle to me.
Seriously, toys tend to lose their allure.

Does anyone really want to see a forgotten Jesus doll on a playground with one arm yanked off and sandal-less?

It's TOYS for Tots.
serenity blaze
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18 posted 11-15-2006 06:04 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

ooops...ya'll are way ahead of me here.

Balladeer
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19 posted 11-15-2006 06:26 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, Chris, I don't disagree that religion can be a  very destructive force, depending on one's beliefs. Based on my own past, though, i have a hard time with your scenario. I started going to church at around five years old. I received no "praise the Lord or burn in Hell" speeches, nor did I hear any "You must believe ME, ME, ME" chants. No one told me that other religions were inferior.  I did learn that it was right to be nice to others, to have respect for others and to be honest in word  and deed. So I grew up and ....guess what? I'm not even religious and I don't consider myself  a Christian.  ( I even forgot the  be nice to others part! ) After I grew up, I made my own determinations on religion. Kids do that. Millions of kids in the United States go to churches and do exactly the same thing when they grow up. They are not browbeaten as youngsters and brainwashed into religious fanaticism.

You want to find that brainwashing? Watch the Glenn Beck  show on CNN Headline News tonight at 7. One clip shows a 4 or 5 year  old muslim girl talk about hating Jews because they kill and eat people.

Let's say I took my son, at a young age and taught him that people with dark skin color are actually inferior to us, should be avoided where possible and ignored when you can't get away from them. I would push this in his face every week, telling him that even though Billy might be a nice boy, he really isn't worthy of my son's friendship. Say I continued that for several of his formative years, what do you think he'd believe as he grew older?

I think you are getting a little sensationalistic  there. I know of no Christian church that uses those tactics and I would be very surprised if you did, either. Children are not prejudicial. They have to grow up and get smart to reach that state of mind. As I wrote in a poem many years ago about a white mother who confronted her son about playing with a black boy at the playground.....

"Was that boy black?"  I asked my son
Who was only three.
"Gee, I don't know", the boy replied.
"Next time I'll look and see."

I would not worry about the brainwashing among the civilized religions. That gets left to the radical ones.  Yes, right to religion also includes rights to no religion and, if that is your preference, you are more than entitled to live it and shield your son from it until you feel he is old enough to make up his own mind. How he will make up his own mind without having been exposed to it might be a trick but, at some point in his life, religious curiosity will certainly pop up. A little education before that happens might be a good thing - or not.
Balladeer
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20 posted 11-15-2006 06:29 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Hey, Serenity gal, if they can make bobble-head dashboard dolls of Elvis, NOTHING is sacred!
JesusChristPose
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21 posted 11-15-2006 06:42 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

~ I agree with Hush's statement on this one.

"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."

Balladeer
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22 posted 11-15-2006 06:45 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Therein, I believe, lies the real problem. The doll is inevitably both, and the convergence of the two is little more than propaganda. The question shouldn't be whether you believe in the propaganda or not, but rather whether it stems from an appropriate source.

I don't disagree with that, Ron, but it makes me think of  the toys I received as a child for Christmas....the same  ones most kids my age received.

army soldiers (spent years positioning them in dirt battlefields)

G.I. Joe

pistols and holsters (vital for playing cowboys and indians)

BB gun

plastic swords (can't be a ninja or musketeer without one)

The same argument can be  made for any one of these and rightfully so. I'm sure there are many parents today who will not allow these toys for their children and I don't call that wrong. At the same time, millions of kids DID receive these toys and were not turned  into psychopaths by them.

I would guess that there is not a toy around that does not have some kind of agenda, except for the Slinky - and I've always been a little suspicious of THEM!
Essorant
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23 posted 11-15-2006 07:17 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I'm sure there are other charities/programs out there that would be glad to give them away.
Christopher
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24 posted 11-15-2006 07:45 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

quote:
I know of no Christian church that uses those tactics and I would be very surprised if you did, either.
Went to one, Mike - I was there a week after I was born (from the retelling, needless to say I can't remember, lol) We stopped when I was about 13. Don't for a moment believe it wasn't a fully embedded mindset by that time, I was bible-basher all the way. It wasn't until later, with a lot of help from a disillusioned parent and a fair share of stubborn defiance that I realized none of the things I spouted and believed were based on anything more substantial than recitation by rote; I believed because I had been told to, not because it fit a reasoned conclusion by me.
quote:
I wonder, Christopher, if you realize that you also just described patriotism?  And ethics? And, yes, even familial love?
Patriotism, yes. Ethics & familial love though... we're talking here about something that a parent can gain a measure of control over. Those mostly stem from inside the family and directly involves the choice I'm arguing for. I won't disagree with you for a moment that there are things outside the home that influences our children. I am here arguing, just as I suggested Mike would be, from my own personal beliefs. I believe that society as a whole will come to a relative agreement on ideas such as ethics and Patriotism. There's no doubt about the schism between those who want their children being taught religion and those who don't.

 
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