I thought this Denver Post article on the rise in popularity of Christian themed stuff was just the ticket on the Eve of one of the most materialistic days of the year. Not that there’s anything wrong with that:
Among the items that one could put under the Christmas tree:
• An action figure of Jesus surfing.
• A doll named “Faith” holding a tiny Bible.
• A piece from the Psalm 23 jewelry collection.
Welcome to the world of Christian retail.
Since the 1980s, when the main product was the Bible, the evangelical retail market has soared.
This Christmas there are evangelical Christian toys, DVDs, candies, wines, alarm clocks and books.
The creator of G.I. Joe action figures, Don Levine, is offering a line called Almighty Heroes, featuring Moses, Samson and other Bible characters.
Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, is carrying Christian action figures from One2believe in 425 of its stores.
A “Pick Jesus” T-shirt is available from Amazon.com.
“After 40 years in the business,” said Bill Anderson, president of the Christian retail association CBA, “I know that both retailers and consumers always desire creative and fresh ways to express their faith.”
I suppose one could argue in their defense that it’s not like they can take their money with them once they’re raptured so they may as well spend it on this stuff. The retailers certainly aren’t complaining:
To be sure, other religions also have their product lines. Jewishsource.com. offers a hand-painted, wooden 10 Plagues bowling set. And one also can purchase Buddha pencil toppers.
The Christian market, however, with almost 70 million American adults and $2.1 trillion, or 28 percent of the national annual income in 2006, is the main event.
$2.1 trillion in Christian kitsch being sold every year? Holy crap! That’s some serious scratch for the money changers to be bringing home. I may be in the wrong line of work. I need to be slapping Jesus’ image on as many things as I can and getting them in the local WalMart!