Cartoon Christian Rock

May 5, 2005 | 20 comments
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I still remember the first time I heard Christian rock music in the early 1980s. I thought it was awful and vaguely sacrilegious. Of course, since that time, many Christian rock groups have crossed over into the mainstream market and became straightforwardly sacrilegious (tic, sort of). Now prepare yourselves for the arrival of Christian rock’s answer to The Archies.

From the people who brought you Messengers of Faith — “Collectible talking figures that recite verses from the Bible!” — meet the “Chosen Girls”! Trinity, Melody, and Harmony. Their creators describe them as follows:

Chosen Girls is a cross cultural girl lifestyle brand that celebrates faith and ignites spiritual vision in those looking for a timeless message in a hip production. The brand promises to touch girls worldwide with a distinct message that says “Don’t be afraid to take a stand — you’re worth it!” Chosen Girls inspires and empowers youth to authentically live their beliefs in a fashionable, trend forward way.

Having endured my children’s fascination with Power Rangers, Pokemon, and Kim Possible, perhaps I should view the Chosen Girls as an upgrade, but I don’t. I hope the Chosen Girls and their “Christian punk rock fashions” wither on the vine. It is inconceivable to me that these cartoon characters could “ignite spiritual vision” in my children, any more than watching Pokemon could cause them to shoot lasers from their eyes or squirt water from their fingers. More importantly, the creators of the Pokemon characters aren’t holding Pikachu out as a role model.

By the way, I have no idea what it means to “authentically live [one's] beliefs in a fashionable, trend forward way.” Perhaps some of you New Yorkers or Angelenos can educate this benighted Midwesterner.

20 Responses to Cartoon Christian Rock

  1. Kaimi on May 4, 2005 at 10:34 am

    Gordon,

    I think the answer may lie here.

  2. The Only True and Living Nathan on May 4, 2005 at 10:46 am

    Aaagh! It’s like manga Bratz with testimonies! Aaagh! My eyes!

  3. Arwyn on May 4, 2005 at 11:03 am

    Ron Stoppable is my role model.

  4. Gordon Smith on May 4, 2005 at 11:10 am

    Thanks, Kaimi. It’s all clear now.

  5. Shawn Bailey on May 4, 2005 at 11:23 am

    Of all the vacuous buzz words deployed by the Chosen Girls’ creators (“lifestyle,” “hip,” “fashionable”), my new personal favorite is “trend forward.” I plan to add it to my repertoire, which also draws on words learned from MBA friends (“outside the box,” “synergy,” etc.) and my artsy excursions (at an exhibit in the National Building Museum last year, brief descriptions written by the architects themselves were posted adjacent to works. In these, phrases such as “X resonated,” “X was resonant,” “X had resonance,” etc. were frequent).

    To put my repertoire to use:

    Are the Chosen Girls’ creators thinking outside the box? Have they achieved synergy with the forces that drive religious trend forward girls between the ages of 4-11 to exchange their disposable wealth for hip, fashionable garbage? Do such products reflect such girls’ lifestyle in a positive way? What is a lifestyle anyway? Or do such products exploit religion to make a buck? As for me, the Chosen Girls do not resonate, are not resonant, and have abosolutely no resonance.

  6. Aaron L. M. Goodwin on May 4, 2005 at 12:20 pm

    Wow, I think Poke’Mon is celestial compared to that junk. They dress pretty skeezy for role models of Christian living.

  7. Shawn Bailey on May 4, 2005 at 12:27 pm

    Skeezy? No. Trend forward. Definitely trend forward.

  8. Seth Rogers on May 4, 2005 at 12:30 pm

    Anyone play the boardgame

    “Who Wants to be a Celestial Heir?”

    I saw it couple years ago at Deseret Book I the experience still stays with me.

  9. wakarusa on May 4, 2005 at 12:36 pm

    >>Ron Stoppable is my role model.

    BOOYAH!!!

  10. Seth Rogers on May 4, 2005 at 12:49 pm

    I’d rather model after Kim’s dad.

  11. Shelby Ferrin on May 5, 2005 at 4:38 am

    This kind of stuff, while well-intentioned to some degree, reminds me of a great episode of King of the Hill in which Bobby gets into religion because he’s drawn by the lead singer of a Christian Rock band. His father tries to explain why he’s bothered by what Bobby perceives as a good thing to be “into.” He brings out a box of Bobby’s old toys, with things that resemble baseball cards, Pokemon cards, stuffed animals, etc. He tells Bobby, “I don’t want Jesus to be another hobby you get sick of and throw away.”

    Are the creators of these products really trying to appeal to children’s sense of what is cool, tossing a nice message in the back door, or are they merely playing on parents’ desparate desires to teach their children principles? I think it’s probably the latter. I know that in my home we owned “Who Wants to Be a Celestial Heir” (or another game very much like it), and though my parents continually told me it would be just as much fun as “Risk” the idea of playing a “church game” horrified me.

    On the other hand, I looked up to my parents and some of my leaders as role models and genuinely enjoyed hearing stories from the scriptures. Those were much better examples for my spiritual development than any toy could have been.

  12. Shelby Ferrin on May 5, 2005 at 4:38 am

    And why not just name then Faith, Hope, and Charity? Maybe that’s not trend forward enough.

  13. lyle stamps on May 5, 2005 at 8:49 am

    Hm. Why so eager to talk trash and denigrate? I’ll take this stuff over Bratz anyday. Would you rather have your kids watching cartoons with gay characters, gay parents, sexually active friends, etc…or a cartoon, whatever, where they don’t make the wrong choices?

  14. Jim Richins on May 5, 2005 at 9:35 am

    Kim Possible rules.

  15. Aaron L. M. Goodwin on May 5, 2005 at 9:40 am

    Lyle, there are plenty of cartoons without homosexuality besides this. Also, I do think it’s more disastrous in a way because it will teach children, “it’s OK to dress like everyone else, even if it’s immodest as long as you’ve got Christ in your heart!” I rather have my kids obsessed with some weird creature animal than given the doctrines of men mingled with scripture.

  16. lyle stamps on May 5, 2005 at 9:50 am

    Aaron: Excellent point re: attire. However, in a strict Bratz to Chosen Girls comparison…the Christian variety is better dressed, more modestly covered, etc; and homosexuality is just one point of reference.

  17. Seth Rogers on May 5, 2005 at 10:03 am

    Personally, I’d rather that “the world” stayed on its own side of the fence. These materialistic inroads into religion don’t really help the situation and just end up confusing people.

  18. Ivan Wolfe on May 5, 2005 at 10:36 am

    As far as moral lessons for kids being wrapped up in an entertaining package, there is no cartoon better than Teen Titans on Cartoon Network ir the Kids’ WB.

    It is mostly a fun superhero romp, but every episode deals with the realities of being trapped between the kiddy world and the adult world. Beast Boy gets a job so he can buy a moped (unfortunately his boss is an alien tofu here to kidnap all our cows) and Raven (the best character on the series) has to deal with the fact she must become her own person, yet is still her father’s daughter (establishing a unique identiy when your parents want you to become something else) – and they all spend time learning to get along with people who have vastly different temperments, etc. etc. etc.

    Great stuff. My wife and I enjoy as much or more than the kids. Amazingly entertaining and moral without being didactic.

  19. danithew on May 5, 2005 at 12:05 pm
  20. John Morley on May 7, 2005 at 8:52 pm

    Whatever good intentions went into this project, it’s rife with consumerist assumptions. Just look at the words. How are “fashionable” and “authentic” compatible? “Timeless” and “hip?” And “lifestyle?” We could probably spend days exploring the antireligious ethic buried in that ugly neologism.

    Perhaps I should start the bidding on who gets to beat up on “trend forward.”

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