[personal profile] thecosmicdance


Unlike some Christian bookstores, they do carry works by Catholics- in the sense that they do carry The Lord of the Rings, and the movie “The Mighty Macs” (which is about a basketball team of Catholic school girls).

But in all other senses, the catalog is very evangelical and Americentric.

Their first section is a collection of fairly inoffensive Christmas fare. Nothing political at all. Page 4 has a book promising to explain, via Biblical prophecy, why America is collapsing. And there’s a Thomas Kincaid calendar. A man named Mark Batterson has written The Circle Maker, which is the story of Honi ha M’agel, who drew a circle on the ground and wouldn’t leave it until God sent rain. The book promises to “help you achieve your desires through audacious prayer”. It’s $19.99. Someone’s dream of “selling a magical prayer to suckers” is coming true, anyway.

They have The Action Bible, which is in comic book form. Some decent Christmas ornaments, nothing too tacky or political but all of a certain style that wouldn't necessarily make *me* run for the credit card. Some probably good Christmas albums and some Hallmark type Christmas movies. Calendars, watches, pens, candleholders, framed art, quilts, mugs, jewelry, checkbook covers, hideous ties with American flags, bald eagles, and crosses in the sunset, and a bunch of Christian logo sweatshirts.

They offer boxed sets of “Adventures in Odyssey” , apparently it’s coming up on its 25th anniversary. For Veggie Tales fans, there’s a whole page of Dvds, books, and toys. Nobody doesn’t like the Veggie Tales.

A God’s Little Princess costume vs a God’s Superhero costume. Back in the grownup clothing section, there’s a purple sweatshirt that says “Princess: Daughter of the King”. There’s also an NIrV Precious Princess Bible. I can only think all this princess stuff is a dated attempt to distract Christian women from all the power they don’t actually have. Just like in the secular world, only this time it’s got a special God coating. Proof that I may have nothing new to say on this topic, someone else already covered it.

They have biographies of Tim Tebow and Bieber’s Mom. And a video where Kirk Cameron tries to teach us about American history. And the DVD of Last Ounce of Courage, a movie about a man who singlehandedly sets out to win the war on Christmas because his grandson is threatened with suspension for bringing a Bible to school. You know, the non existent war on Christmas and a situation that would rarely happen in real life America (was he throwing the Bible at people or standing up and reading out loud during class?).

Meanwhile, in the “Setting Everyone Up to Fail at Achieving Impossible Standards” section, there’s a book called 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart.

The hugely popular “Canadian West” Love Comes Softly series is available in both book and dvd form. Page 52 is almost entirely Amish historical romances. With a few scattered throughout the next two pages. Most of the other fiction in this section that isn’t about the apocalypse is cowboy romances. Amish people and cowboys. My next writing project will be a Christian novel about the Amish and some cowboys who fight the AntiChrist. In Alberta.

In their Church and Pastors section

They offer the expected huge collections of specially bound reference books and commentaries (Strong’s, A Systematic Theology, etc). All perfectly normal, if deadly boring for anyone not into pastory type stuff.

They also offer an “anointing set”. “Beautifully presented in a multihued cut glass box, three decorative bottles with gold stoppers hold pure oil from the Holy Land”. With a mug with a gold leafed Star of David on it. Healing oils include frankincense, myrrh, rose of Sharon and a healing oil. Also included for an additional price, you can get a “City of Jerusalem statue with shofar candleholders”.

The Bible Study Accessories section includes a special Bible highlighter for $23.99. Hey, I told you evangelicals write in their Bibles. But $23.99? Really?

Audio-

I mostly skimmed this, because it’s largely audio recordings of Bible stories. They do have Johnny Cash Reads the New Testament, though, and I’ve heard that’s fantastic.
On Video

They have boxed sets of Touched by an Angel, Sue Thomas FB Eye, Christy, Dr. Quinn, and Anne of Green Gables, as well as 7th Heaven, The Waltons, Andy Griffith, Wind at my Back and…I Love Lucy?

While one of those is a show that was created by a secular Jewish man and despite the premise never used the word “Jesus”, and one of those shows starred three flaming liberals despite its veneer of conservative nostalgia, and two of those shows are not really Christian shows, just beloved by people who won’t watch any tv not rated G, wtf is I Love Lucy doing there?

They offer the American Heritage series, featuring now discredited charlatan David Barton’s writings on “the spiritual, educational, cultural, and judicial influences that molded America’s Judeo Christian values”.

They have a movie called “The Mark” which is a thriller about microchips that are the Mark of the Beast. TRIGGER WARNINGS, people ! You know, it’s amazing how casually people within the subculture just accept that paranoid fantasy as inevitable reality.

The Resolution is a book, printed in both male and female versions, that is inspired by the “hit” film Courageous. The resolution in question is based on the Bible verse Joshua 24:15, “Choose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. “Courageous” was a “hit” because some trailers got played on national secular television and some national secular critics gave it the time of day and didn’t hate it. CBD sells a special plaque with the verse inscribed on it. Interesting way to take something people have been doing for decades and tie it into a new movie like it’s a brand new concept. My parents used to have one of those plaques. I never liked it.

Why? Because it’s a symptom of one of those Great Evangelical Hypocrisies. Evangelical Fantasy Belief: “Everyone should be allowed to make up their own mind about the Bible and Jesus, because beliefs are only authentic if you come to them fully conscious of what you’re doing. “ Evangelical Reality: “My children will attend my church and believe what I tell them to believe for as long as I can control that. “ Parents of every denomination make their kids go to their church and believe what their parents believe, but they don’t go around pretending that a four year old is making that choice in full consciousness of all the pros and cons.

The male version teaches “how to take full responsibility for your wives and children” while the women’s version will teach you how to “accept your God given responsibilities”.

Men take. Women accept.

They carry a movie called “Amazing Love, the story of Hosea” which is about a youth mission trip where a newcomer with a “bad attitude” shakes up the group and the youth leader uses the story of Hosea to inspire them. It…stars Sean Astin. Apparently. As the youth leader.
“The Moody Science Classics” which claim to “offer your whole family a balanced approach to science while giving credit to the Creator”. It will, among many other important science lessons, explain “why the Incan culture mysteriously declined”. Except, you know, there wasn’t anything fricking mysterious about it. It was conquistadors with superior weaponry.

A film called Mandie and the Forgotten Christma- WHAT? They made Mandie movies? I looked it up on IMDB and yes, there are three or four. All direct to video with zero marketing.

When I was a kiddigelical, I loved the Mandie books. But this was back when the Christian entertainment subculture was far less well organized. Christian bookstores and catalogs were the only places you could buy this stuff, and if the special bookstore didn’t have it, you couldn’t buy it. So I really only got Mandie books at the booksale at our denomination’s yearly regional convention in Boston. When I say I “loved”, I guess I didn’t love enough to ask my parents to track down more for me. Because there was no internet and people relied on catalogs and specialty stores, a ton of Christian pop culture from the eighties and early nineties is now inaccessible or even out of print.

There were something like 41 regular Mandie books, of which I only read up to a certain point, around the time she took the tour of Europe with her grandmother. Apparently, there are two other series, in one she goes off to college. There’s an official website, and Christian Book distributors has some of the books for purchase on their website.

I honestly feel like the Mandie series would’ve made a better “Christian pop culture substitute” for American Girl than A Life of Faith.

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thecosmicdance

May 2013

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