Thursday, March 18, 2010

Did Jonah Have a Six-Pack?

I was browsing the children's department at my local Christian bookstore when I saw something that took me by surprise. It was Jonah, clearly visible through the plastic shield of a boxed set, which included both a big fish and a tiny boat.  But it wasn't Jonah that surprised me, it was the size of his bulging biceps.

That's not all.  I found Noah, looking all buff and very young.  David appeared clad in a purple jumpsuit that showed off his bulging muscles.  Moses sported an Egyptian headdress, sword and shield. Samson, with his mane of blond hair, looked like Thor, the Norse God of Thunder.  

"What's going on here?" I wondered.

Turns out, the "Almighty Heroes" are the brainchild of Don Levine, the creator of G. I. Joe.  He developed them a few years ago with the hope that children would develop an interest in the characters and message of scripture.  

I'm all for that.  It's admirable that this toy making legend would put so much work into a toy that brings scripture to life.  And little boys do like to play heroes. However, I'm bothered by the visual message that the muscles make the man.  Didn't our heroes, of all ages and (I assume) body types, draw their strength from the Lord?

Sure gives new meaning to Deuteronomy 6:5:  
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Shalom y'all.

1 comment:

Chely said...

I've seen those, and they are laughable. I understand capitalism and focusing on a target market; let's face it, little boys desperately want and admire the muscles.

But, I can't help but wish that they could package/market a Godly man as more than a muscle bound body. Also, when I looked back on Sunday school and VBS from my childhood, I was really annoyed when I read the Bible for myself and saw how the stories and people were altered and sometimes whitewashed to make it "kid friendly".

Great post:) The title made me smile.