Buddy Christ


One of the most striking developments in Bible publishing is the Biblezine, developed by Nelson to appeal to teenage girls. Resembling such magazines as Seventeen or InStyle, an issue of a Biblezine called “Revolve” features such catchy cover lines as “Top 10 ways to make an impact on your world,” “Beauty secrets from the inside out” and “Guys speak out on faith, love and much more.”

Inside, the text of the New Testament is broken up with highlighted quotes and short articles, illustrated with photos of smiling teenage boys and girls.

I get that you want to reach people where they are, but …

Seriously? We need to trivialize religion for teenagers by making sure they know it’s about boys and beauty? That’s how we want young girls to begin experiencing the word of God? We want to make sure they know it’s just like reading any other magazine, that they don’t have to make any more effort than they ordinarily would? If I was the target audience for this, I’d be insulted. I can’t handle the big words, just tell me how God says I should dress and what kind of boys He thinks I should date.

All I really want to know is if Jesus thinks I’m his special princess or not. You know, this might be my ingrained childhood Catholicism speaking, my need for religious authority figures, but I don’t want God to be instantly accessible to me. I prefer to think of God as someone/something you’ve got to put a little effort into. I want to work for it, not just get it in my mailbox with hot-pink ink on glossy pages.

On the other hand, this I wholeheartedly approve of:

Zondervan’s audio production “The Bible Experience” features an all-black cast, including Blair Underwood as Jesus and Samuel L. Jackson as God.

Motherfucking AMEN.


16 thoughts on “Buddy Christ

  1. Sweet Jesus!
    God this is just sick – it’s like Barbie Jesus. Hell, Athenae, there’s a thought: we should get a Ken doll, slap a beard on him, a robe and market him as Barbie Jesus.

  2. Mr. Jackson has fought his whole career against type-casting, and now this…it’s the last straw, I tell you.

  3. Well, I think it *is* your catholicism speaking, at least your late 20th century/early 21st century catholicism speaking. Look, I don’t care if it rains or freezes/all I want is my plastic jeezus speaks to a lot of people and it always has. A personal jesus, a personal god, is also (obviously) going to be interested in *you* and your personal grooming. I’m an atheist and a jew and I don’t find anything particularly alarming about this version of jesus–its certainly nothing new-and I don’t find it any more harmful than any other version of jesus. So jesus loves them, yes he does? and jesus meets them where they are? well, is that any worse than a distant god you have to work to please, who doesn’t care about you until you prove yourself worthy, who isn’t an adolescent with you in your adolescence and an old man with you when you are an old man?

  4. I’ve long thought the current style of Christianity inherited too much of its methods and goals from sales and advertising. They don’t care about individual people anymore, much less for the character of their souls or the foundation of the world — it’s all about getting butts in the seats.
    Churches these days are all about putting on the Best Show on Earth. They’re feeding their congregations candy and soda instead of any kind of spiritual meat-and-potatoes that might get them through emotional and moral tough times.
    Princess Christianity and Buddy Christ prepare “believers” for only two things — mindless subservience to the leader and/or complete mental crackup when things don’t work out like Storybook Land promises.

  5. Actually, depressing as this is, it’s really nothing new. Back in the twenties there were bestselling books turning Jesus into what was essentially a middle manager, a salesman. If I could get my hands on my copy of Only Yesterday (I swear it’s here in my room somewhere), I’d find the exact quote, but the fact is that this has been going on for a long time.
    Real spirituality, real effort is too hard. Let’s make it easy; let’s turn it all into “faith”, and make it pablum.

  6. Who’s the badass black savior
    That’s a sex machine to his neighbor
    Ya Damn right!
    Who is the man who risk his neck
    For his brother man?
    Can you dig it?
    Who’s the cat that won’t cop out
    When there’s Romans all about?
    Right on!
    They say this cat Christ is a bad mother-
    I’m talkin’ ’bout Christ
    He’s a complicated man
    But no one understands him but his woman

  7. Hey, for my generation they tried Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar.
    Well, you know, that didn’t stick either.
    If Jesus wants me to love him, he can bring me a frickin’ pony. Or another golden retriever. And about 20 acres to raise ’em all on.
    Otherwise I’ll stick to the Tao. It seems much healthier to my soul.

  8. So, does Jackson get to do the bit from Ezekiel at full throttle like in Pulp Fiction??

  9. The only reason this alarms me slightly is that I would prefer a little less religion in the hegemonic culture of the moment. The rest of us out here who have to deal with you folks think it might be a good idea, anyway. Americans are too religious as it is, and it’s getting awfully easy for people to live in a carefully-constructed Christian bubble, with minimal contact with anything non-Christian or (gasp!) secular.
    Speaking as a thoroughly secular person, the upwelling of popular religiosity can be kind of overwhelming, especially on top of things like not being able to talk about certain concepts without evoking Christian dualism (the whole body/soul split thing in language gets obnoxious when you’re talking neuroscience and you start running into language barriers and framing problems), or, as Carl Sagan said, “It’s 2200 years since Aristarchus, and the language still pretends that the Earth does not turn.” Stuff like the book you listed and Revolve does not help.

  10. So, does Jackson get to do the bit from Ezekiel at full throttle like in Pulp Fiction??

Comments are closed.