Seriously? A load of...

I wish this was a joke. It annoys me. This really annoys me. Why do people buy this rubbish? Praise Ponies? Faith Hope and Love? Are you serious?

The text reads...

"Every little girl wants a pony! Now she can have her choice of three, each named after one of the Biblical virtues - Faith, Hope and Love. Each Praise Pony pack includes 10 accessories plus memory verses, teaching biblical truths that will last a lifetime!"
Jesus. Race To Win trucks? What has that got to do with ANYTHING?

Honestly Koorong leave the junk to Chickenfeed. This is why I once told the girl in Koorong "I'm sorry don't get your catalogues because it just makes me feel depressed". Koo-Wrong I'm very sorry but for selling useless junk you've just got a stupid award.



Laura said... 12/03/2008 7:47 am  

Agreed. A well-deserved Stupid Award.

Claire :) said... 12/03/2008 12:58 pm  

Totally. This is something that, I dunno how to class them... there's this certain group of Christians... my sister calls them "Nice"... and they just take the whole thing way too far. "Live in the world but not of it". Koorong, this is not making up your mind on this front. It's jolly well okay to have My Little Ponies if your kid wants them, and leave it up to the kid whether that pony is biblical or just another toy. It's okay. Christianity should be part of _who you are_, rather than permeating your everyday existence by aggressive exposure.
Um. I'm not sure I'm expressing myself very well.

I guess I'm offended that Koorong are apparently trying to sell me rubbish on the basis that it's Christian and will cause my child to grow up to be a better person, not mercenary like those heathen children whose presents are bought at Myer. WTF? It's still the same old rubbish which will, most likely, be treated exactly the same way.

It's not clear to me that these toys are meeting any spiritual need, which is what Koorong is for. Meh. I dunno.

Radagast said... 12/03/2008 3:20 pm  

There's a wider issue here, and it's one of taking secular stuff and putting a "christian" sticker on it. The same thing occurs with "christian" music and "christian" romance novels.

It reflects a failure to start with fundamental Christian principles and then ask "what should art/music/books/films/toys be like?"

I'm ok with toy trucks and excavators used as "construction" play for example. It reflects the fact that work is fundamentally good, and doesn't need a "christian" sticker. I'm not sure what message racing trucks send, though.

Bron said... 12/03/2008 4:01 pm  

It all started with those fish mints.

mike said... 12/03/2008 4:45 pm  

lol Bron

Jonny said... 12/04/2008 9:59 am  

I think we need to discuss more about racing trucks.

One Salient Oversight said... 12/05/2008 11:22 am  

I used to work at Koorong about ten years ago, in the warehouse in Rydalmere (Sydney). I even went to school with Paul Bootes' brother, Robert. My first job ever was at Koorong (1984, one day in the loading dock at Meadowbank) and the cheque was signed by Mr Bootes.

It's nice to know you have turned their name into Koo-Wrong. I've done better, however - "Kooky and Wrong".

I still have an old brochure from ten years ago advertising kids toys, with NASCAR style toy cars with bible verses on the side.

I even remember reading "Seeking Sammy" - a Christianised version of "Where's Wally" except that it was easier. One page of Seeking Sammy had Moses and the Israelites scattered all over Mount Sinai and the reader having to find Sammy the Shepherd and his sheep friend. The problem was - as others in the warehouse noticed too - that the Bible actually says that Israel was forbidden to touch Mount Sinai while they were camped at the bottom of it.

There were even Christian 3D books, where you looked at an image, crossed your eyes and... GOSH... Noah's Ark in 3D!

The result of all this Christianised crap is that a) I hardly buy any Christian books any more, and b) I find myself refusing to read Christian children's books to my kids in favour of more secular books.

Example: At this present time I have a copy of "My Little Bible Book" (illustrated by Ron Wheeler) that someone (not me) bought for our kids to read. There's a section in the book about Zacchaeus - Luke 19. In the book, the scene of Jesus and Zac is viewed by some kid named Josh who goes home and relates the story to his mother and sister. Zacchaeus himself turns up eventually and gives Josh's family some money back he had stolen while working as a tax collector (Luke 19.8).

The fact is, as you already know, that the characters of Josh and his family do not exist in the biblical narrative, but have been placed there by the author and publisher in order to make the story more "accessible" to children. Yet while this may serve a pedagogic function, adding these non-biblical characters into the biblical narrative will undoubtedly result in the child's belief that the characters were part of the biblical story.

In other words, they have added to the bible. Such a thing is common in Christian children's literature. Moreover, the fact that Christian parents are happy to read such tripe to their kids helps perpetuate biblical illiteracy.

In the end, the only real solution is to either read the Bible to your kids, or read children's books that are not Christian.

But back to Koorong. The last time I walked into Koorong was about 12 months ago and it creeped me out. I am not a Pentecostal or Charismatic by any stretch of the imagination but when I walked in I could "feel" a spiritual oppression. Seeing all the crappy Christian trinkets along with books written by Trinity-deniers and prosperity preachers, as well as pop-spirituality books promising new breakthroughs in the Christian life if you follow X, Y, Z... it just maddens me.

When it comes to Christian publishing, the Devil has a natural advantage in utilising a free, unregulated market.

Emi said... 12/05/2008 1:36 pm  

Good post Mike.

I think you'll find most of the Koorong staff on the shop floor agree with you. I worked there for a year and couldn't stand some of the stuff I had to put on display and sell.

I also really hated customers having a go at me for it, though. If anyone wants to complain about products please please write to the admin people, because shop staff have no control over it. And it was just upsetting when people were antagonistic.

Donners said... 12/06/2008 12:38 pm  

You know I agree with you Mike.

I like what Radagast had to say about exploring the fundmanetals fo who we are and THEN choosing toys that we think reflect that.

We don't need a christian sticker for what is "good" in this world. We just need to receive the good things as we should, with thanks that the good things are from God.

Perhaps if we boycott ( because even though I know em is right and we should just write to admin and tell them how crap the stuff is - I know I just won't get aropund to it) buying the rubbish it will go away -

but there must be people buying it so that the buying people keep going "well, those JAbez little ponies sold well - lets get the Jezebel Bratz dolls this year...


mike said... 12/06/2008 4:21 pm  

Hey Emi thanks for the "insiders" perspective. I'll try to bear it in mind when I visit.

The Pook said... 12/06/2008 9:37 pm  

There is of course more than one 'culpable' party here - the retailers and the makers.

As for Koorong, although I still buy some books from them that I can't get elsewhere, I lost respect for them many years ago when I was a student at Moore College and one of the lecturers had a book launch at the college for his latest commentary. The day before the launch Koorong somehow managed to letterbox the student pigeonholes with brochures advertising the commentary at a lower price than the discount available at the launch. How rude!

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