I Wish This was a Joke…
One of the interesting features of blogging at WordPress is being able to see which sites are linking to your own posts. There aren’t usually very many of these, mind you, but the odd one pops up. Some of these are intriguing, but many are just plain strange and I have no idea where they come from or how they connect to me.
The one I discovered yesterday falls into the latter category. There was a peculiar link to my previous post from an International Bible Distribution site—a site which, as far as I could tell, contained no reference to anything I have ever written. It was just a massive advertisement for an incomprehensible array of Bibles that were tailored for every conceivable need that a person could possibly have or dream up.
Anyone who has visited a Christian bookstore will have some idea of just how ridiculous some of these can get, but this was Bible-marketing idiocy on a whole new level, at least in my experience. Options ranged from the strange but predictable (the “Covenant Prophecy” edition) to the curiously redundant (the “Encountering Jesus” New Testament—if I could buy a New Testament and not encounter Jesus I would be suspicious…). There were also bibles for moms (the “Mommy Dreams” edition), “worship” editions (what are the rest of us doing/reading about?), and the “Evangelism Bible” (I guess the rest of us are off the hook!). These sorts of things I was more or less used to, and just chalked it up to normal pandering to consumer’s unique idiosyncracies and therapeutic needs.
It got better, though. A bit further down the extremely long list, there was the “Camper’s Bible,” the “Power for Competing Sports Bible” (“Excellent for athlete-oriented Bible study groups”), a “New Testament and the Psalms for the Physically Disabled” (aside from the sheer condescension of this title, I wonder what the marketing geniuses at this company thought these folks did before this “special” edition came along), and finally, for the lone ranger Christian, the “Cowboy Bible.” Whatever your disposition, recreational preference, or level of physical ability, it seems there is a Bible out there custom-tailored for your specific needs (even those you did not realize that you had!).
Despite the stupidity represented by the above sample (and there were many other candidates that would have been up to the task of demonstrating the bizarre lengths that the Bible-pushers are willing to go these days), there was one in particular that literally made my jaw drop in sheer incomprehension:
The description of this little gem, the “NIV Army Digi Camo Bible,” read as follows:
Perfect gift for military personnel! This NIV version is carried by U.S. troops worldwide. Includes a concise Bible dictionary and concordance. Hunters will love it, too!
Oh, and if green camouflage is not your thing, not to worry. It’s also available in a compact blue version.
I thought about riding in on my Anabaptist horse and launching into a scathing theological evisceration of this bewildering and offensive cultural artifact, but I think I will simply register my shock and let the picture speak for/refute itself.