Today, I was perusing Facebook and found that one of my friends, a fellow blogger, had posted something about the very tiresome, two-bit California beauty queen what's-her-name Prejean (you can see how much I care about this woman and anything she has to say about gay marriage or anything else, for that matter). At any rate, he bemoaned how "christians" embraced this woman, but as her soft-porn past is made more public, are trying to run away from her. One of his readers made note of the connection that seems to be there between "female christian heroes" and "beauty queens". And then she added, "I guess I have to add Esther in that one, too."
Having a Jewish partner, my eyes did a roll, and my fingers went to work to respond that "Esther was a beautiful *Jew*." Some time later, this person responded with acknowledging that Queen Esther was, indeed, Jewish, but she is also a Christian heroine. (?????) And if I didn't believe her, I should Google the line of toys and see for myself. And so I did.
And, yes--- in the world of "Christian Action Figures", you can find the beautiful Queen Esther, the heroine of her Hebrew people who saved them and her Uncle Mordecai from the evil Haman (although they don't tell you that's the bad guy's name... even though getting to drown out Haman's name is a big part of the Jewish Purim celebration). Queen Esther, the Christian Action Figure, talks... but she doesn't say very much. You see, the makers of the toy only want her to quote the Scripture that *they* think children should memorize. That's apparently part of the "teaching" of this line of dolls: handy-dandy Bible quotes taken out of context and put onto recorders operated by a pull of a string.
I have a nifty idea: how 'bout if the people purchasing these toys start from the premise of telling the 3+ year-olds who might play with this "action figure" that this particular "Christian heroine" was NOT a Christian?! Can we admire her? Can we enjoy the story? Can we see this woman of the Bible as one of those few women in Scripture who gets to have her story told? Yes, on all three counts. But to try and pass her off as a "Christian" heroine is not only inaccurate, it's a great way to stir up your Jewish friends and neighbors! We thought we had 'em with the Gospel of John and that insistence that Jesus is fully-human and fully-divine, eh? Oh, no! Tell them that one of their matriarchs is a "Christian" heroine. Then duck before they deck your noggin with brass knuckles and knishes!