Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Life of Faith Dolls

Usually religions amuse me. Sometimes however, they frighten me. Oh yeah, you might say, like when religions call to forsake your friends, regard others as enemies and act with violence against those who do not share their views. No, that's not what I'm talking about at all, I'm talking about something far worse. The first time I ventured into this dark side was when I was talking about Clowns for Christ. Yet there is a phenomenon in this world - indeed the playground of the dark prince - that rivals even that in terms of scariness. I'm talking about dolls.
I don't know why, but there is something terribly terribly wrong with dolls. Perhaps it's the unlikely combination of the idea of warm love and hard plastic. Maybe it's the dead look in their eyes in combination with the irremovable yet awkward smile on their faces. A dead object made to resemble a living human being? I don't know exactly what it is, but at the very least dolls are unnerving I'd say. And now I run into this, the Life of Faith dolls. Dolls as an evangelical tool. I don't know about you but that makes me think of Jesus as a sick, twisted puppeteer. I think these dolls are doing nobody a favor.
There is actually another layer of sickness to these lovely ladies. That is nostalgia in service of nationalism. The dolls are made to resemble girls from the 18th century that are said to be God fearing. There is a certain assumption there that life in America in the 1800s was better than it is now and people were more devout – and perhaps to wrap this reasoning around, life was supposedly better in the olden times just because of that devotion. It romanticizes the past and also the country, sort of hinting at the idea that it would be simply marvelous if things could be like that again. Perhaps the dead eyes of the dolls, their frozen stance, and their blissful smile reflect an obsessive longing for a paradise lost that never was.

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