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May 21, 2002

God loves everyone. He has no taste.
Posted by Teresa at 11:46 PM *

I am informed — by Janet Lafler, among others — that The Brick Testament site’s Lego reenactments of Bible stories are a put-on. That’s fine. No problem. What got to me was when Jim Meadows chimed in with “No serious evangelical would put a Sunday-school-like Bible site together this way.”

Hold it right there, buckaroo. In a world in which I can get Bible stories reenacted by Pokemon critters, 3-D pictures, excessively cute stuffies, fish puppets, about a zillion different felt-board figures, dancing born-agains, amusing comics, creepy comics, two dozen full-length videos featuring animated vegetables, and Bart Simpson, I was supposed to balk at Legos?

Furthermore, if there’s a single point that’s made absolutely clear by the study of art history, it’s that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit don’t reliably include good artistic taste or narrative judgement. I could show you some religious websites that are beyond parody, yet perfectly sincere. Alternately, I could make the same point by sending you to Gadgets for God, a regular feature of the Ship of Fools website. (Check out the Biblical Plaguedomes in the “New Gadgets” section.)

Comments on God loves everyone. He has no taste.:
#1 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2002, 10:17 PM:

The Brick Testament seemed like like a fine possibility for a Sunday School teacher's project to me (Bible Stories combined with a popular children's toy? It's a natural!), but the figures were shown being far too imaginative and open about sex positions.

Lot's second daughter, if I recall correctly, was pretty clearly having too good a time to be a true product of a Bible-minded person.

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2002, 10:26 PM:

I'll admit that I didn't look at each and every panel before blogging it.

Lot's second daughter is clearly having a lot of fun, but I deny that that tableau would be outside a Bible-minded persons's thoughts.

#3 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2002, 11:23 PM:

Er, yes, I suppose so. I think I must have meant to put, "...creating photo tableaux for the education of children," at the end of that sentence.

#4 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2002, 03:53 AM:

I think there are a few more put-ons in your list. The still of Bart Simpson is from the "Simpsons Bible Stories" episode, where they fall asleep in church and have Biblical dreams. Bart stars as King David, fighting Goliath's son, Goliath II.

#5 ::: Jim Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2002, 04:14 PM:

After reading your list of the various media used by Bible story websites, I can only stand corrected. I obviously haven't been keeping up with the field.

In my defense, I was also thinking of the specific subject matter. Few serious Bible websites would concentrate on those passages of scripture that most Christians try to pretend aren't there --- like the passages accepting slavery as the status quo.

Of course, now I expect to hear about perfectly serious Christian websites that concentrate on just those passages.

#6 ::: Jim Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2002, 04:24 PM:

P.S.: And the Pokemon Bible site you linked to (featuring the Book of Revelation) is just as much a put-on, with the same ironic attention to detail, as the Legos site. Except I found "Apocamon" to be more laugh-out-loud funny.

#7 ::: Janet Lafler ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2002, 04:47 PM:

Distinguishing satire from kitsch can be tough. We all make mistakes from time to time.

#8 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2002, 06:17 PM:

You think I could mistake the humorous content in Apokemon and the Simpsons episode? I am desolate.


Next you're going to tell me that the =Wakefield Second Shepherd's Play= gets as much comic mileage as it can out of a shepherd trying to pass off a stolen lamb as a newborn child, and his wife as a woman who's just given birth, when the lamb's owner comes calling; only after which do the Blessed Virgin Mary and Christ Child put in an appearance. And you're doubtless going to remind me of those tiles in the British Museum illustrating [Thoroughly Apocryphal] Episodes from the Boyhood of Jesus, which resemble nothing so much as The Adventures of Superman When He Was a Boy. And then, just to nail down your point, you're going to tell me about all the other retellings of Bible stories*, over the centuries, that have taken liberties with the text.

And my simple faith will be shattered.


*For instance, Bill Cosby's:




"What? Who =is this?"

"This is God, Noah."

"Riiiiiight. ... Am I on Candid Camera?"

#9 ::: Steve Cook ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2002, 07:27 PM:

You could do worse than dig around on E-Sheep (the Apokamon site), though; his "Spiders" is wonderful (and the best science fiction comic I've yet seen on the web).

#10 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2002, 11:03 PM:

The part of Cosby's take on Noah that has always stuck with me is where G*D says he will make it rain for (what is it) a Thousand days and a Thousand nights, and Noah says, "Why don't you just make it rain for Forty days and Forty nights and wait for the sewers to back up?"


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