Creepy

This is a bible, my friends. See that little thing under the title that says “The Complete New Testament”? Well, they aren’t kidding. This is Thomas Nelson, Inc.’s attempt to get teen girls to read the bible. And (please, have a seat) this is the best selling bible in the country. I am reading it for a class. Of course, I’m not against people reading the Christian Testament (often called the New Testament) but I thought I was going to hyperventilate when I read some of the little extra things they wrote in the “blabs” sections of this which is a column on some pages with Q & A. Let me give you two little examples.

Q. Why do you think guys should call girls? I don’t understand that; you think men should pursue women?
A. Get a grip on the truth. Guys love a challenge. They love the chase. The game. When a girl starts asking a guy out, he likes it. It strokes his ego. But he will get bored! And when that happens…next! So guys need to step up and be the man; you need to be the woman.

and here is another

Q. Hey, I have friends who are into Wicca. I know a lot about witchcraft, but I don’t know how to start a convo with people who are happy with that religion. I need an example of something one might say. Could you please help me out? I don’t want to go to help because I didn’t try to help them.
A. If you want something to say, just tell them how you feel. Say, “You know my religion and you seem cool with it. However, I can’t say I agree with your choice. I just want you to know that I’ll be praying for you.” Don’t try to talk them into changing their faith — no one likes to be forced into anything. Pray for them.

Oh, yeah. That will make you a big Christian hit at your high school to say that to someone. And, I am shocked, shocked! I tell you that these people would somehow imply that girls should not call boys. I mean, “He needs to be the man, and you need to be the woman.” Please excuse me while I check and see what century we are in.

Although I’m sort of making fun of this (okay, really making fun of it) it is actually quite sad and, as someone in our class said, could be considered abusive. Not to mention completely insulting to a rich Christian tradition that deserves more than a creepy teen magazine. The religious center and left has got to figure out a way to offer an appealing alternative to both overly promiscuous, consumerist secularism and freako fundamentalism packaged up like Seventeen magazine. I’ll work on that and get back to you. But I thought that this deserved an emergency mid-paper blog to bring your attention to this traumatic magazinebible thing. Pray for the publishers of this magazine and all poor teen girls who are given it and get the idea that Jesus is some sort of patriarchal anti-sex anti-pluralistic middle class fashion advice giver that likes his sacred texts plastered with pictures of thin giggling blonds. I’m sorry. I’ll stop now. Obviously this was quite disturbing to me.

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5 Responses to Creepy

  1. emmjay says:

    generally, i find all the teeny-bopper marketing of christianity to be horribly misplaced and degradating to religion. thanks for giving me one more illustration of my assertion!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    After seeing this, I’ve been strangely drawn to finding out more about this sort of stuff. Could this really be true? Can there really be entire shelves of this sort of thing? The tragic answer is yes. I mean, I’m all for religion that is relevant to young people, but there seems like there could be some sort of middle ground between a big old dusty King James Version of the bible and Revolve. Of course, the most disturbing part to me is the theology. It doesn’t matter how someone would package it (although this is quite bad) I think it would give me the heebie jeebies. Alas. Thanks for your comment and reading, Emmjay. :)

  3. Anonymous says:

    If this weren’t so sad and so ominous, it would be funny. I’m somehow reminded of Hilter youth groups, who were brought to their senses only after so much death and devastation. I wonder what, if anything, can stop this type of brain-washing and fanaticism. These young girls are going to raise their own children. Exponential growth! Scary.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the Revolve “expose.” It is very creepy brainwashing…

  5. Elizabeth says:

    It is very creepy and so brainwashing. What I have been thinking about a lot is how to offer an alternative to this brand of Christianity or spirituality. How can complex answers (or lack of “answers”) compete with easy, simple answers what are much more comforting to girls (and people) who are looking for something to latch onto. I am reminded of a talk I heard here at the divinity school where someone noted that religious liberals make clear that religion/spirituality (and in this specfic case, sexuality) are very complex issues. But we have to find a way to move past just saying “It is very complicated” and give something more. If anyone comes up with that, do let me know :) E

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