Something creepy arrived in today's mail. The Oriental Trading Company, the largest purveyor of worthless crap in the known universe, sent me their "Fun & Faith" catalogue.
The VBS, or Vacation Bible Study, line of goods represents just a tiny portion of the 25,000 items one might purchase from this fine company.
Most of these are innocuous cheap pieces of religious paraphernalia for the seven year old of faith. "God Rocks" baseball caps. The foam Jesus Walking on Water craft kit (I kind of want one). Religious beach balls. And the karmically hilarious Smile Jesus Loves You plastic boomerangs.
But the Soldier of God product line kind of gave us the heebie-jeebies. These included cute little militaristic Soldier of God teddie bears and rubber duckies, a wide array of camouflage Soldier of God clothing items, with wrist bands, canteens, helmets and such, and, last but not least, little military stickers, tattoos, badges, and bracelets to show just whose side God is on.
I'm not one of those people who think that kids should be kept from war toys. My childhood had the normal quotient of toy guns and grenades. My GI Joe met his fiery demise in a backyard charcoal pit inside his Apollo space capsule. His flame retardant suit did not save him. And none of this stopped me from turning into the commie that I am. But all of my toys were strictly secular.
Has the recruit shortage come to this? There's something about stamping God and crucifixes all over little kiddy war toys that just doesn't sit right. God's Army is getting younger all the time.