so, i read this over at strollerderby. i wish i hadn't. i was already feeling like an *sshole for something that happened this weekend that i didn't react to or respond to and i regret it now. although i really want to
the author of the post, patti, wrote in an earlier article about the diversity of an online parenting community called cafemom, "And may they add one another as friends, because dude, if there's one thing I've learned from partaking in online parenting communities, it's that we are all in this together."
but the impression i got from her post titled, "God's Little Gold Mine", is don't expect to be added as a friend if you're christian - 'cause if you're christian, you're a money hungry hypocrite who doesn't practice what you preach about humility and charity.
and patti is "in the know" because she was raised in a pretty strict and conservative christian church. and although she was an existentialist in high school, she still attends church at the holidays.
in her post, patti complains about a series of christian centric childrens books and a dvd called gigi, god's little princess. admittedly, i haven't read any of these books, but i get the feeling that patti hasn't either. all patti tells us is that gigi is a "cross between eloise and fancy nancy...a response to the princess phenomenon that nobody with daughters seems to be escaping....".
she writes "I can't help but feel wistful for the days when I cheerfully went to Sunday School because I took it seriously, not because I had a bunch of paraphrenalia to inspire my devotion. When the prevailing wisdom was that Christianity meant humbleness and charity, not a full-scale marketing attack. When the bracelets were made out of pipe cleaner and plastic beads, not pink marabou."
jeez. i don't even know where to start with this... i agree that there are many christians who are hypocrites that don't practice what they preach. but, not all christians are the same. this isn't rocket science. i'm sure the same could be said for other religions and for other *insert group title here*.
are similar posts written about children's books and dvds regarding judaism or buddhism or wiccanism? does everyone really think that every other religion besides christianity is completely altruistic, charitable and humble? and why does someone who isn't practicing christianity, even care about a christian writing a christian book for christian children?
incidentally, the author of the books, sheila walsh, echoes patti's sentiments re: mixed/missed messages,"Just check out your local mall and the message of peace seems to have been obscured by the racket of cash registers and the rush of harassed shoppers. We seem to have missed the point! Even as believers it is so easy to get caught up in all the things that have nothing to do with the gift of the Christ Child." the few pages i've glimpsed of "gigi god's little princess" seem to indicate that that's what gigi is wondering about too. it wouldn't surprise me if the book ends with gigi realizing that she doesn't need "swag" or "pink marabou" to be god's little princess.
and re: christian paraphernalia- as a child, my mother bought me rosaries, scapular medals, books (like the chronicles of narnia, lives of the saints, children's bibles), small statues of saints, etc. i liked all these things because i felt connected to them and they were small beautiful, tangible "souvenirs" for me to remind me of my journey and my faith. it's because of all of these things together that catholicism was never some big hulk that loomed over me. it was and is something i carry within me. i bought veggietale dvds and christian books for my children for the same reason. and in the future, i'll probably buy other things to commemorate their catholic memories/milestones like their first communion, confirmation, visits to holy places, etc...
while i do think that some merchandise that's marketed as christian is questionable and unnecessary. i don't think that's true of this book series. the books aren't about the author. they're clearly about this character and a message about/from god. i doubt they advocate hatred or greed. they seem sincere enough and passionate enough for a child to read - that's humbling and charitable enough to me.