Jesus action figure mocks Christians

By  Darryl Wilson, Youth Speak News
  • October 10, 2008
{mosimage}VICTORIA, B.C. - A Jesus Christ action figure sold at Camosun College’s bookstore is generating mixed reaction among students and members of the Victoria community.

While the bookstore insists its intention is to educate and not to take a religious or political stance, some students say that regardless of intention, the product is inappropriate in a college context.
“It is a product that should only be sold in such venues where it will be given the respect it deserves,” said Rebecca Walker, a first-year student at Camosun College. “I don’t believe that people who think that this item is harmless humour understand who Jesus is and I don’t believe they understand the depth of His importance.”

The figure, priced at $12.99 plus tax, is sold alongside other novelty products including a Betty Boop key chain, a party mustache, foam toys such as “Grow a girlfriend” and “Melt away your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend.”

Walker said the problem is not the action figure itself — a 12-cm tall vinyl figure that features “posable arms to reach toward the heavens and wheels in his base for a smooth gliding action” — but rather the environment in which it is sold and the negative attitudes and lack of respect of the people selling it.

“When I questioned the girls behind the counter about selling a Jesus action figure, they began to laugh and joke sarcastically about how He is a super-hero,” Walker said.

“I don’t want to belong to an educational institution that does not respect my faith.”

She added that the figure can be educational within the right context, but she was especially disheartened by the context in which the college was selling it.

“I couldn’t believe that the college justifies the sale of this as educational having seen the other items alongside of it. I don’t believe it is appropriate to be selling it in the bookstore because this store targets neither people of faith nor children.”

Del Myers, a former University of Victoria student, said it’s difficult to believe that a college bookstore could be selling a product like this for educational purposes.

“It is sad the way that people attempt to mock our Lord. It seems, sometimes, that the people at our institutions of higher education are, every year, decreasing in maturity. But, we have to remember what the Christian response is to this: charity and rationality,” Myers said.

“We Christians have grown up with this. The reality is that our God will not be mocked, no matter what people try to do. If the bookstore says that the figure is for ‛educational purposes,’ well then, let’s educate people: tell them the truth about Christ without shame, fear or anger.”

Store manager Gillian Mann said the action figure has educational value for people who perhaps do not understand the impact that Jesus had, not only on religion, but in history.

“It is important to remember that there is education in humour and by humour I do not mean laughing or mocking,” Mann said.

“Consider someone who is not religious and has never had the opportunity to learn anything about Jesus nor has wanted to. In a formal setting they would perhaps not be interested in learning but in this instance they may take something of value when it is presented in an informal, lighter-hearted fashion.”

Mann insists the store puts a tremendous amount of effort into buying decisions, and the primary mandate is education. She added that the opinion of what is appropriate or questionable is different for each individual.

“We have over 12,000 students from across the globe representing many diverse cultures and backgrounds. Opinions differ greatly from one person to another and we do not adhere to one set of opinions at the college as we value diversity,” said Mann.

“We respect the rights of our customers to have their opinions on our products and welcome anyone to come and speak to us at any time about any concerns they have.”

To date, the store has only sold three of the figures. The product was placed on shelves last May but has only since caught the attention of some students

(Wilson, 24, studies tourism management at Camosun College in Victoria.)

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