27th August 2006
I haven’t posted in my “Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch” series for a while, so when I saw the first item below I knew I just had to put together a special “Jesus Kitsch” issue!
This post is part of an on-going series on Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch. Perhaps the best place to start is with my fourth post that discusses some of the different academic perspectives of exactly what is “kitsch.” Other posts include:
- Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch, Volume 1 – Classic Kitsch
- Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch, Volume 2
- Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch, 2.1 – Biblical Plagues & Plaguedomes
- Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch, Volume 3
- Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch, 3.1 – Special Edition: Talking Bible Dolls
- Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch, 3.2 – Special Edition: Scripture Poker Chips
- Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch, Volume 4 – What is Kitsch?
- Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch 4.1 – Special Edition: Bible-Inspired Erotic Calendar!?
- Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch 5 – Special Kitschmas Holiday Edition
- Christian Kitsch and Jesus Junk 6 – Philosophical Kitsch
All posts in this series may be viewed here.
Jesus: The King of Kitsch
The category of “Jesus kitsch” is enormous. There is probably more Christian merchandise focusing on the person of Jesus Christ than anything else. Like all kitsch, what one considers kitsch is a matter of perspective (one person’s art is another person’s kitsch), though I think that many would agree that most of what I highlight below is rather “kitschy.”
“Jesus Welcomes You” Coat Hanger
I usually would save the most outrageous piece of kitsch for the last, but this time I can’t help but start with it! I don’t think that there is anything that beats the “Jesus Welcomes You” Coat Hanger for its “kitschiness” (is that a word?). I’m not sure what I would think if I actually went somewhere and had to hang my coat up on the spikes through Jesus’ hand — even the available colours scream “kitsch!” (Of course, the nails should probably be through the wrist to be authentic!)
This is the work of artist Oscar Perez, and as such highlights the fuzzy boundary between art and kitsch. He notes that “this coat hanger can hang two items, a coat or jacket from the fingers and a hat or a light jacket from the nine inch nail.” The coat hangers are available for purchase, though they cost $200 USD each or $500 for the set — somthing else that highlights their status as art. The artist has plans for matching right hand coat hangers as well as a crown of thorns hat rack!
“By His Stripes We Are Healed…”
Next time your kid gets a scratch, forget about putting a Dora or Spiderman bandage on it! Instead, you can put a Jesus Adhesive Bandage on it and let the Lord heal the boo-boo.
These bandages are courtesy of Archie McPhee, the maker of many other Jesus novelties (see below) as well as nifty “bacon bandages.”
G.I. Joe, Move Over…
G.I. Joe is nothing compared to this Jesus Action Figure! This Lord of all action figures stands 5 inches tall and has poseable arms and wheels in the base for smooth gliding action.
“Everyone has a different take on Jesus. Muslims saw him as a prophet; Buddhists say he was enlightened; Hindus consider him an avatar (the incarnation of a deity in human form) while Christians hail him as the Son of God. But, wherever your theological compass points, you will agree that this is the coolest action figure since G.I. Joe.” Once again, this comes from none other than Archie McPhee.
You Talking to Me?
While poseable arms are OK, if you really want your child to know the love of God, you really need to get him or her a Talking Jesus Doll. With this “Messenger of Faith,” your children can learn important Bible stories and Scripture in a fun, entertaining way!
This doll is a foot tall and has fully articulated limbs, including hands and fingers that can gasp and hold. It comes with hand-sewn cloth outfits and sandals and quotes over a minute of Bible verses (John 3:16; Mark 12:30-31; John 3:3, 15:5, 20:29 — listen for yourself). To top it all off, this Jesus looks kind of buff!
Here’s another Talking Jesus Action Figure from Vicale Corporation:
This one recites the ten commandments (the Protestant version, of course!) in a very, very, deep voice that sounds more like the stern God of the Old Testament than the loving Son of God! Listen for yourself.
On the Road Again
According to the Bible, Jesus is with us until the end of the age. With this Dashboard Jesus you get a tangible reminder of His presence while you drive.
This dashboard Jesus will keep you company for your long drives, courtesy of Archie McPhee!
Head of the Class
Not to be outdone by Dashboard Jesus, meet Bobble Head Jesus. This cranially endowed saviour is available from Bobble Head World, where you can also get a Football Bobble Head Jesus:
Jesus: The FreshMaker
Strange odour in your car? Forget those pine tree scented air fresheners. Let this Jesus Air Freshener cleanse your car with “the sweet scent of ‘Purification!’” (Hmmm… what exactly does “purification” smell like? Lysol?)
Each freshener measures about 4 inches and comes with a string for hanging from your rear view mirror. And you guessed it — it is available from Archie McPhee!
Jesus is no Pan-theist!
Don’t feel left out when everyone else is seeing images of Jesus — just create your own loaf of Jesus bread with this Jesus Pan. You can worship at every meal with this durable steel Jesus pan. And don’t worry about anointing it — your holy hotcakes will drop off this no-fuss, no-stick pan.
Order two today! (HT Edmund Ho)
Check Out This Jesus!
These Son of God Checks are just divine! (But spelled incorrectly — it should be “cheques” as us civilized Canadians spell it!)
Just think how you could witness the love of God every time you bounce a cheque!
Jesus is My Coach
No Greco-roman wrestling for Jesus — he plays the same sports your kids play! Your favorite young sports enthusiast will enjoy receiving one of these statues, which feature Jesus playing a popular sport with the children He loves! Choose from Jesus playing many sports including hockey, baseball basketball, and more. The statues stand about 6 inches tall and are available from CatholicSupply.com.
My favourite is the basketball Jesus, since it looks as it Jesus is teasing the kids by not giving them the ball! And why don’t the kids have hockey helmets on? Oh, I see, they must be following Jesus’ bad example of not wearing a hockey helmet! (If you ever wondered how Jesus may have played with others as a child, check out here).
Every wanted to dress Jesus up in a coconut bra and grass skirt? Ballet outfit? A dress? (If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you really do need help!). What you need, then, is a Magnetic Jesus Fridge Magnet set. There are over thirty different articles of clothing to choose from. Mix and match hundreds of different combinations.
You can also get a special Christmas Edition as well as a “Final Justice” edition where you can crucify notorious villains all by yourself.
Got Any Smokes?
How would you like to be butting out your cigarette on Jesus’ face with “Jesus hates it when you smoke” printed just below his portrait? If you want to quit smoking or know someone who may need some divine encouragement, check out this Jesus Ashtray.
Well, that’s about it for this special “Jesus Kitsch” edition of Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch. Hope you enjoyed it!