Each fall, this column presents its annual Bad Burrito Awards (BBA). Winners demonstrate marketing perhaps more inspired by late-night indigestion than mid-day creativity. Worth noting this year:
13,000 miles in a VW bus to see him, and Rev. Bob Simons built a rendition of St. Peter’s Basilica out of 500,000 Lego bricks. That's passion. Instead, the kind of efforts worthy of burrito awards are those that tried to cash in with a $50 Pope Toaster, pope-shaped mozzarella, #YOPO (#You Only Pope Once) ale or Kikkerland Design’s waving solar pope statue.• This year’s American visit by Pope Francis inspired one family to travel
• Forget stocking stuffers for the kids this year and consider getting moms and dads adult-themed coloring books. Alongside those designed for contem-plation is Hallie Fryd and Julia Gfröre’s Martyrdom book to bring that agony to life. As soon as we ﬁnish coloring them, both will get a burrito. Second place goes to the Argentina art exhibit of Barbie and Ken dolls in religious attire.
• Want to sell ﬁrearms but stop “Muslim terrorists”? Gun manufacturer Spike’s Tactical is selling an assault riﬂe with Psalm 144:1* printed on it to keep them from using it. Well shoot! Guess they should get a burrito as well. (*Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my ﬁngers for battle.)
• Every year Christian companies “baptize” secular ideas. The 2015 runner-up is Godinterest, a repurposed Pinterest. The winner? The “Book of Yeezus,” a Bible which replaces all references of God with the name of rapper Kanye West.
• Privacy breaches also in the news this year are behind the BBA award presented to Churchix. It’s a facial software recognition system for churches to track members.
• Are you a winner? Christians shared several bogus stories in 2015, such as the man suing Bible publishers for including offensive verses about homosexuality. If you forwarded this or similar unsubstantiated stories, give yourself a burrito.
• Finally, the Congregational Church of Patchogue in New York celebrated the “Blessing of the Toilet Paper.” Hold on though. It was actually an effort to collect toilet paper along with other basic needs for those who live without them. It’s a reminder that, while questionable efforts for religion may rub us wrong, it may not be Burrito-worthy – just an attempt to minister in sweet and surprising ways.