Pardon me while I rant incessantly – Christian Retail Edition

I love Jesus. I love the church (imperfect as it is). I’m also a big fan of books about faith, theology and Christianity. If I know what I want, I can simply order a book online. But sometimes I don’t know what I’m looking for exactly. Sometimes I just have to wander around a Christian bookstore until I find a book that draws me in. And sometimes I just like to go in Christian bookstores and look at all the ridiculous things they sell besides books. Like yesterday, for example…

I realize this is a familiar rant, but seriously people – we’re all loud and proud about being in the world but not of the world, but the stuff Christian retailers sell just makes me cringe. Some of the most original, brilliant, creative people I know are Christians. None of these people are retail buyers for Christian bookstores. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things that I wouldn’t mind having, but the vast majority of items found in the gift section are just, well, crap.

Rather than coming up with anything original, they blatantly and proudly rip off secular products as if to say, “Your products are evil and worldly. We are just like you, only better! Take THAT, Satan!”

“What do you mean katdish?”… I’m glad you asked. I have pictures!

This sign encourages girls to be violent towards boys:

This sign is humorous, holy and righteous:

This shirt is suggestive and encourages girls to date the undead:

This sign says…wait – I HEART BOYS? Oh, silly me! I didn’t see the “who love Jesus” part! This sign is awesome and not at all misleading:

This ad features a angry dancing girl who is probably a hoochie mama listening to devil music:

This sign features a prayerful woman who needs only to listen to the Holy Spirit. She doesn’t need music to distract her:

More devil music, no doubt:

Who needs Guitar Hero? God is my Hero (and He hates screaming guitar music):

Trading Cards featuring scary, evil monsters:

Kid: “Mom, all my friends have YuGi-oh cards. Can I get some?”
Mom: “No, but you can have these Redemption trading cards!”
Kid: “But none of my friends have those. Who can I trade with?”
Mom: “I bought some for your sister, too!”
Kid: “Awesome! Thanks, Mom. You’re the best!”

This is just a flat out rip off of Fancy Nancy. And that’s all I have to say about that:

And here’s a couple of other products that I just found annoying:

I appreciate your prayers. I appreciate chocolate chip cookies. So, if you really love me, pray for me and send me cookies. Just don’t spend twenty dollars on a jar of cookies, because once the jar is empty, that’s how my soul will feel:

Don’t get me started…

Ahhh…I feel much better now.

So what’s your favorite Christian rip-off product? Or do you think I’m being harsh and unfair to Christian retailers?

Come on. I can take it.

Bring it, Foo.

UPDATE: Thanks for all the great links to annoying Christian knock off products! A special thanks to Michelle, who gets the “Sweet Fancy Moses!” prize of the week with this entry, the Jesus Chair:


Today is Jason’s Birthday!
Y’all go wish him a Happy 50th!

And I’m pretty sure he appreciates prayers and cookies, too!

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39 Responses to “Pardon me while I rant incessantly – Christian Retail Edition”

  1. Nicole February 19, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    >I am laughing and cringing right now. Its so true! What ever happened to a little thing called "originality" in Christian marketing (whatever that is and why-ever we need it…).

    Talk about conforming…

  2. Stretch Mark Mama February 19, 2010 at 2:31 am #

    >We would have a sparkling good time if we shopped the Christian bookstore together. That stuff just *begs* to be made fun of.

  3. JML February 19, 2010 at 2:31 am #

    >Ugh. Somebody stop them. I don't understand why Christians rip other people off. Even some of our favorite bloggers and writers got their inspiration from something secular. *Grumble*

    If you really want to be pissed off, look the a band called The Apologetics. *Anger*

    I love your sense of humor, good post!!!

  4. Joanna February 19, 2010 at 3:07 am #

    >These are my favourite finds

    My friends and I sometimes turn it into a game, competing to see who can find the most ridiculous item in the store

  5. Glynn February 19, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    >Sadly, stores sell what people will buy, and Christian bookstore retailers will tell you that this stuff often sells more than the books do. I buy two things, and two things only, from Christian bookstores — books and CDs.

  6. ~*Michelle*~ February 19, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    >Laughing out loud at the Redemption Card convo… funny, and true!

    I am so not a fan of the cheeseball tees that simulate products such brand name candy and slipping in God's name. (for example….At the Soulfest, we went to this TACKY vendor tent with all kinds of tees that substituted God in the brand name logos instead ….like Jesus for Reeses)

    But I have to give a big Katdish GAH for this:

  7. Billy Coffey February 19, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    >This is precisely why I tend to avoid Christian bookstores in favor of online shopping. Going in some of those stores can be like going into a righteous version of Spencer's.

  8. R.L.Scovens February 19, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    >Love this post!!LOL

  9. Matt @ The Church of No People February 19, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    >Brilliant Blessings?


    I would in no way feel blessed by those. You make a great point about how evil and worldly everything is, so we copy it!

  10. Beck February 19, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    >Those Christian take-offs on popular t-shirts have never changed anyone's mind about faith, I think. Ever. All it does is make the kids who wear them look like big dorks.
    Which is sad and unhelpful.

  11. Kelly Langner Sauer February 19, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    >know what? If I'd gone to the bookstore recently, and if I were the ranting type, I'd TOTALLY have written this post. Yeesh! It's awful!

  12. ♥ Kathy February 19, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    >Did you notice that someone turned a cross over in the last pic…

  13. the Joneses February 19, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    >And then you wander through and realize that practically everything there was imported from China, which makes the irony turn neon.

    In defense of Redemption — my husband son play it; it's been fun, and Son has picked up a wide array of Bible knowledge from it. It's a well-done game. But, yes, it's still a knockoff. Not of Yu-Gi-Oh, though; of Magic the Gathering. The same company has put out a "Settlers of Canaan" game, in reflection of "Settlers of Catan." I pretend it doesn't exist.

    I fell in love with Regina Spektor's voice, but dislike her songs. So, I figure, I'll just wait till her Christian imitation comes out…

    Great rant. Love it.

    — SaraJ

    (sent over by Kelly, who for some reason thought your marvelous post would resonate with me. 🙂 )

  14. Jewda February 19, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    >I personally hate the rip offs of the children's toys, games, comics, shirts, etc. The reason I hate all of them is because kids are so trusting, so when their parents buy them some knock off and assure them that it is just as cool as the original, they believe their parents. Then they proudly show off their new bobo items and get made fun of. Stupid bookstores and Christian imitation artists.

  15. Brett Barner February 19, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    >Haha! Yes, all of these make me *facepalm hard. My personal fav is the classic Abercrombie & Fitch Christianized to Abreadcrumb & Fish.


  16. Marni February 19, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    >I am so offended and hurt right now. I'm going home, crying into my "bless you hankie" and hug my "A breadcrumb and Fish" and "Got Jesus?" shirts.


  17. Helen February 19, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    >Sigh. We used to have a Christian Bookstore right down the block. They had books, CD's and videos, of course. They also carried greeting cards, stationary, throws (I bought my mom a throw with a beautiful poem there…), teapots with verses on them, all sorts of things. I bought cards and gifts there every chance I could.
    But nothing cheezy and aggravating. Maybe that is why they couldn't make a go of it, and the shoe store next to them ended up expanding. Not that the shoe store sells that stuff. What I meant is, the Christian Bookstore (family owned) is no longer there, the wall was knocked down, and the shoe store is biggger.

  18. Megan Willome February 19, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    >Katdish, you made me laugh. And this post is exactly why my husband left the Christian industry seven years ago.

  19. Bina February 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    >At first, to be quite frank, I was like "What is this chick's issue???"…but I got over that within 5 words and I just found myself nodding and laughing. While I am with you on the product similarities, I also find myself offended at the COST for these items. By offering so much "stuff" and charging so much for them, you are also encouraging debt.
    "We" lost it somewhere along the way.
    Thanks for the post – you be da bomb.

  20. katdish February 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    >Okay, y'all…

    I just updated this post to include Michelle's picture.


  21. Helen February 19, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    >You should update the word "GAAAAAAAA!" on the Katdishionary to include a picture of the Jesus Chair.


  22. Lorrie February 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    >That chair is unbelievable! Honestly, what irks me the most about Christian book stores is what books they choose to promote and which are mysteriously absent…

  23. katdish February 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    >Lorrie –

    I feel your pain. Can't tell you how many times I've asked about a particular well known Christian author only to have an employee look at me like I was crazy.

    But they've got Osteen, Meyer and T.D. Jakes out the wazoo!

  24. jasonS February 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    >What a wonderfully snarky post in honor of my birthday. I just didn't know you cared so much. Getting choked up *single tear*

    The Jesus chair… I don't know where to begin so I'll begin and end with- disturbing.

    Thanks Kat!

  25. ~*Michelle*~ February 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    >"A special thanks to Michelle, who gets the "Sweet Fancy Moses!" prize "

    Oh YAY! (*not so shamelessly taking a bow)

    You are so welcome!

    BTW, I just ordered a set of six of them. The colors are going to look FAB-U-LOUS in my dining room.

  26. Fatha Frank February 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    >Couldn't agree more. I'm with Glynn, I go there for two things- books and CDs. But I do like to browse for a good laugh. I got into it with a coworker over Guitar Praise when I saw that on a shelf.

    Reminds me of the Simpsons where Ned is selling trading cards at a garage sale.

    Milhouse: "Oooh, Methusela, he lived to be 969 years old!"

    Ned: "Hey kids, who knew learning about the Bible could be so fun?"

    Kids: "Learning?" "Bible?" "Aaaaaggghhhh!"

  27. Tony C February 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    >Okay people, I love Jesus…but that chair scares me…

    Only in America. Muslims kill people for reproducing the image of their M-guy, but Christians do Him up white, hang gold chains around His neck and call Him Homie!

  28. Maureen February 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    >It didn't come from a bookstore but from a Florida funeral home. People attending the funeral (I was among them), which was mid-day in Florida heat, were given a bottle of water. Except for the plastic, it was no ordinary water bottle, mind you. Its label. I can say without blushing, was unique: In addition to carrying the funeral home's name (I'll leave that out), "nutrition facts"–apparently zero in every column, and a pronounced statement that the water within was "Purified", the label read as follows:

    "Trading Spaces [in big black letters]
    "Exchange unwanted
    "grave spaces in ANY U.S.
    "or Canadian cemetery
    "for spaces in our
    "memorial park."

    Water from a bottle ain't never tasted the same since.

    And that's a fact!

  29. Coffee With Marty February 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    >Some of these are hilarious and scary at the same time. You have a right to rant!

    I just look at all these things and I think to myself, "Wow, they have no depth. Where is the salvation?"

  30. Chuck Allen February 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    >"a hoochie mama listening to devil music" – Classic. I'll be laughing at that for the rest of the evening. Very funny post. Thanks!

  31. Carrie February 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    >I worked in Christian retail for 6 years. That's right the number of the devil… anyway – you wouldn't believe (well maybe you would) the amount of stuff people create and make it 'Christian' by slapping a verse, saying with God in it or the Serendipity prayer on it.

    I wish I had pictures of some of the stuff we sold. It was scary.

    I'm still in therapy. 🙂

  32. Bridget Chumbley February 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    >The VERY best part is they charge double what everyone else does which makes the appeal even greater.

    Wow, Michelle should win an award for that, and I may have nightmares now about sitting upon the lap of Jesus… GAAA!

  33. S. Etole February 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    >is the world's version of the Jesus chair the electric chair … just wondering

  34. Wendy February 19, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    >I need one of those Jesus chairs. It's the perfect place to sit while I look into my prayer cross where the words of the Lord will magically appear… Then I'll go make some waffles with my Jesus waffle iron. You can't stand the holiness drippin' off me!

  35. sharilyn February 19, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    >i think, for me, more than the copy-cat creativity in products, it's the buy-buy-buy mentality. i believe Jesus calls us to use our money (HIS money?!) as He would use it…caring for the widows and orphans and helping others rather than storing up (questionable)treasures for ourselves here on earth. i'm not saying we shouldn't buy things for our homes or for ourselves, but what is it showing others (ie, unbelievers) when we frivolously spend massive amounts of money on such silliness?! if Christians didn't buy it, it wouldn't be such a big business, would it?! (sad, but true)…

    ok. will get down off my anti-commercialism-and-frivolous-money-spending soapbox now… (not preaching at anybody, just expressing my frustration with this huge market and our perpetuation of it… )

    and that chair is just downright scary!! 🙂

  36. Steph @Red Clay Diaries February 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    >Okay first, I must not be the only one who noticed that iPray Girl is really … lumpy… Apparently Hoochie Mama's clothes were too form-fitting for Jesus.

    Second, I went to the Christian Booksellers Association tradeshow a couple times years ago. Every year, the number of product booths increased until they totally outnumbered the book/music publishers. So much that they eventually changed the name to Christian Retailers' tradeshow. I was told that Christian bookstores actually make their profits from the crap, not the books.

    Third, Michelle's contribution was awesome. But I'm only ordering ONE. Because everyone knows that the rest of the dining room chairs should be the disciples so you can recreate the Last Supper.

    "Wilbert, if you hit your sister again, you're sitting in the Judas chair!"

  37. L.T. Elliot February 20, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    >The Guitar Hero one…Yeah. That'll work. 😉

  38. Nitewrit February 20, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    >It's sad really. 35 years ago, when I became Christian, there was a Christian Bookstore near my home. I went there a lot. It had shelves and tables full of books, good thought out books, by true Christian believers, scholars and thinkers. There were some greeting cards and a few odds and ends, but pretty tasteful and mostly there were books and Bibles. There is bookstore near me now, of the same chain as that one back then, but I was shocked when i went there. very few books and very limited, and as you point out, by the "pop TV preachers" mostly. The rest of the vast store was gewgaws, knickknacks, T-shirts and rip-offs. I don't even bother with these bookstores anymore and I miss the old one.


  39. Mark April 11, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Wow, great thread.

    Every once in awhile, something new and fresh comes around. I am thankful for such a candid thread that really speaks my mind, well done!

    I’m looking at doing the festival circuit this year for the first time ever. I am an ORIGINAL artist who believes that we can make symbols of our faith and also with that, a “lesson” in the packaging that talks about this very essence. Something to the degree that wearing a cross doesn’t make you a better person, etc. This tshirt or piece of jewelry doesn’t make you better. What it’s supposed to do is start a conversation about your faith. Hopefully, the person is a well rounded Christian who knows what they believe and why. Just copying something else and putting “christian” on the label doesn’t make it such. I can’t wait til others see what I have cooking. My belief is that it should be highly symbolic, designed with excellence, and initiate a conversation/lifestyle that is well representing of our faith.

    Great thread!

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