Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Soldiers of God Go Underground

Last April, after coming across the Soldier of God product line in an Oriental Trading Company catalogue, I wrote a post called Kill for Jesus. Never one to take anything at face value, I was a little amazed to see little rubber duckies and teddy bears in army helmets, toy military gear emblazoned with crosses, camouflage clothing items with the Soldier of God logo, and so forth, all targeted at kids 10 and under. While these toys represent a small part of the Vacation Bible Study product line, which is in turn a small part of OTCs overall inventory, they still very much creeped me out.

Happily, I was not alone. Freelance writer Corey Habbas wrote Holy Warrior Toys Sell in America for an online publication called OpEd.com. The article quotes various faith leaders and educators expressing various levels of dismay that a market exists for such toys and that this company has filled the niche. Habbas' piece caused OTC to pull the toys from their catalogues and website. Few wins come this easily.

As it turns out, this one didn't either. Habbas has found that the company continues to sell their Soldier of God toys through their call center. The products have not come off the market. They've just gone slightly underground. A petition has been set up to ask the company to stop selling the products altogether. It takes 30 seconds to sign. For what it's worth, please do. And pass it on.

1 comment:

Gretchen925 said...

A trip to the petition page brings the following good news:

ATTENTION: UPDATE: This morning, June 6, 2007, it was revealed by a call into the Oriental Trading Company order center in NE, that a communication was issued to call center representatives today to stop selling the product line, according to one call center representative. The Oriental Trading Company has discontinued selling the offensive items of the “Soldier of God” product line from all sales avenues. We would like to thank both the Oriental Trading Company and the people who signed this petition for being participants to peace and for working together on a compromise that shows respect to all participants.

Congratulations to everyone involved.