They Put Jesus in Show Business

Now it’s hard to get in the door:

On this blog and in right wing watch circles in general, we spend a lot
of time tracking the religious right’s assault on human rights and
secular democracy. But it’s also important to think about how they
financially exploit their own followers, who are lured in with Jesus
and fetuses and fears of dudes kissing, and told to open their
wallets. You can usually tell what’s going on with the wingnuts by
what they claim The Left is doing, and so it’s not for nothing that
there are constant, baseless claims that feminists are in some
baby-killing money-making conspiracy—classic projection, a way to
push their own angst about the way they really do financially exploit
the everyday follower. As this Kinkade lawsuit shows, the exploitation
is endemic, and reaches way past just the televangelist begging.

The merchandising of Christianity has driven me nuts sincethe crucifix nail necklaces that accompanied The Passion of the Christ got released. It goes on and on and it never ends, like the Pokemon from hell. My favorite example of this isthis china, which is advertised in an entirely secular magazine I get.

I’m torn between wanting to laugh at the thought of early Christians’ reaction to the trinkets now sold in their names and an abiding disgust for the people attempting to profit from exploiting a market that, while maybe not now, was once made up primarily of people sincerely searching for truth in the world. Who are then told that in order to find that truth, they need a set of plates with Holy Writ upon them, and a painting by Thomas Kinkade.


11 thoughts on “They Put Jesus in Show Business

  1. Methinks this is why Jesus overturned the tables in the temple.
    While you’re at it, have you placed your order for the crystal cross that magically reveals the words of the Lord’s Prayer when held up to light.
    And will I be able to read the words with my 50-year-old bifocaled eyes?

  2. Did anyone see that the plan for the future forReader’s Digest to get more readers is tomove the magazine toward conservatism?

    Reader’s Digest magazine is reducing its coverage on celebrities and how-to features and boosting the number of inspirational, spiritual stories, in a move that is taking it away from years of attempting to appeal to the broadest possible audience to a focus on a more conservative readership, The New York Times writes.
    The magazine will “focus on a market that’s ignored but is incredibly powerful,” says Mary Berner, president and chief executive of Reader’s Digest, who added that half the country is annoyed that Barack Obama is president. With testing, Berner says the magazine has discovered that a focus on conservative values is what will resonate best with readers. The company even considered turning the magazine into a “right-wing handbook,” with stories about issues such as promoting prayer in schools, but Berner says tests of the idea bombed.

  3. Jesus. Reader’s Digest was right-wing propaganda back when my grandfather bought me a gift-subscription (which I cancelled), and that was in the early 1990s. I’d hate to think how much more right-wing they’re going to take it if they are actually going tofocus on it.

  4. I cancelled my RD subscription many years ago, long before the early 90’s, when I noticed that nothing in that thing was remotely interesting to me, and all of it promoted the conservative drivel. Before cancelling my subscription I probably spent a year reading nothing but the jokes in it. Then, even the jokes lost their appeal.

  5. Jesus merchandising has been around since the Roman empire what with selling bits of the true cross, pieces of saints, and shrouds of Turin. The word then, and the word now is caveat emptor.
    I’ll double that for the Reader’s Digest.

  6. Aww, I used to read Reader’s Digest every Wednesday at my grandparents’ house. I don’t think it occurred to me it was conservative, I just remember the true-life story about this dude who got mauled by a grizzly bear and had half his face ripped off. Freaked me out about bears for YEARS.

  7. A, I bet it was this guy:
    A Grizzly Ate My Brother
    This is a Kos diary by the guy’s brother. Yes, he did get actually partly eaten by a grizzly bear, 50 years ago, and lived. If you tend to be freaked out by bears DON’T READ IT. If you don’t tend to be freaked out by bears, read it, after which YOU WILL :-O

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