A report at CNN today describes the latest incident sure to be trumpeted by Dobson and Wildmon and those pushing the notion that Christians are a sad, persecuted minority in the heathen librul Gomorrah that is America today.
Every year the Marine reserves do a "Toys for Tots" program for the holidays, to collect toys so that poor kids can have lots of Christmas and holiday presents. The very model of a wonderful charity.
This year, TFT has rejected a talking Jesus doll offered by Christian toymakers one2believe. They make toys with the express purpose of religiously indoctrinating helpless little ones who, of course, lack the critical thinking skills to evaluate the Bible stories they're being taught. As the saying goes, give 'em the boy (girl) for seven years, and they'll give you back the man (woman). The Jesus doll they offered said such anxiety-building homilies as "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
There have been incidents where government organizations — schools and the like — have perhaps gone overboard in trying to maintain church-state separation, motivated more by the frantic hopes of avoiding lawsuits than by any honest concern for government neutrality in the matter of private belief. Keeping coercive prayer out of schools is one thing, but telling teachers they can't wear cross necklaces is quite another. (Note: I don't have a specific link for an incident such as this; however, there was an episode of Hannity and Colmes I saw some years ago on which a teacher claimed she had been asked to take off cross jewelry, so I assume it's happened at least once.) So it's important for those of us who support separation not merely to advocate the position, but then educate the public and its officials as to what constitutes unconstitutional religion-meddling.
But here, TFT is absolutely correct.
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, Virginia.
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."
The company's reaction is one of predictable cluelessness.
"The idea was for them to be three-dimensional teaching tools for kids," [Michael] La Roe said. "I believe as a churchgoing person, anyone can benefit from hearing the words of the Bible."
Yeah dude, and Muslims believe that anyone can benefit from bowing to Mecca every day. But you wouldn't want someone sending your kid a "three-dimensional teaching tool" delivering that lesson, would you?
What is it with some Christians that they often seem to think they're the only people in the world, or at least the only ones with a point of view that matters? I certainly don't expect La Roe to learn a lesson about respect for others from this. It will only be a matter of time before the whine of persecution is heard across the land again.