By Ken Satterfield
You ate something that didn’t agree with you – say, a burrito – causing you to wake up in the middle of the night with what seems to be a brilliant idea, one that loses a lot of its luster in the light of day.
In what has become an annual Word&Way tradition, we want to acknowledge our Bad Burrito Awards for these types of seemingly-sincere but head-scratching religious merchandising ideas.
Shop wisely. Last year we gave a shout-out to the effort to efforts by Liberty Counsel and the American Family Association to declare war on merchants not using the word “Christmas” in their advertising. An encore award goes to both for initially identifying Best Buy as both “nice” and a top SCROOGE Award winner. And why does Liberty Counsel give "nice" K-Mart a frowny face?
Bible translation. There are a slew of Bible versions: NIV. KJV. The Message.
Thought you had all of the essential? Try The Brick Testament, a collection of 391 stories and more than 4,200 illustrations made from everyone’s favorite toy bricks. The author, “Rev.” Brendon Powell Smith uses biblical text and warnings for biblical language, violence and (LEGO) nudity in the narratives. Check out the site’s shop for custom sets such as the LEGO-ized Trinity.
Calendar. What could be better than combining a calendar with a celebration of missions? For Chad Hardy, it got him expelled from his church when he designed the “Men on a Mission” calendar featuring shirtless, “hunky” Mormon missionaries.
Office. Need to unwind? Why get a dart board when you can get a Desktop Nativity Sand Box from Urban Outfitters? It promises hours of imaginative fun and helps you be a positive witness!
To be quite a bit more direct in displaying your faith, use the Jesus Scourged statues from Images of Heaven.
Technology. Got an iPod Shuffle? Get an iBelieve cross cap lanyard and convert your ordinary Shuffle into a cross pendant. It makes your music a truly religious experience. Introduced in 2005, still available overseas.
Car. Driving away from work, you want to get away from the sight of your desk, the sound of an obnoxious co-worker and the smell of…sin? That’s why you’ll find it handy to have a Jesus air freshener in a handy three-pack, offering the scent of “purification” from odd-products vendor Archie McPhee.
Home. For the mantle, why not get a Jesus stocking? It would certainly be nice of Santa to remember Jesus on Christmas. You can also get Jesus night lights for the kids’ bedrooms.
Before dinner, take the dog for a walk – and demonstrate your faith at the same time with a “Jesus Ruffs Me” leash. All three items can be found at bargain prices from the Christian Dollar Store.
Kitchen. Got a taste for unleavened bread? The House of David, “America’s premiere distributor of Biblical Heath Products,” offers eight flavors, imported from Israel.
Bath. Cleanliness is next to godliness, especially when you use the Nativity Bathtub Scene. It includes a half-dozen decorated rubber ducks, available from Oriental Trading. (It has the distinction of the most-suggested product from readers.)
And for cuts and other boo-boos, there are Jesus bandages available at sites such as medibadge.com.
These are our pick for this year’s boo-boos in religious marketing. As you choose gifts this season, keep in mind that there are lots of ways to express our faith in the world; some are more and better inspired than others!