Jesus Doll Hits The Shelves

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- With so many toy recalls due to safety concerns, choosing just anything for your child to play with can be a tough decision.

Now there are some religious inspired toys are now giving parents another option.

But the toys aren't without their critics, and some people have a real problem with what they are seeing in the toy aisle.

For them it's not because of safety concerns, but instead, how Jesus is portrayed.

"I had no idea that something like this was going to be manufactured, much less sold," said Rev. Bill Fowler of Church Street United Methodist Church.

Select Knoxville Wal-Marts are being used to est market a new Jesus doll.

Rev. Fowler thinks the scripture speaking doll is a small idea to put in the hands of a child.

"It doesn't really matter how the lord's message is put across because if it gets put across then all the better."

Patt Capps is a minister to children and families at Central Baptist Church of Bearden.

She doesn't oppose the faith-based doll, but says it's a child's family and friends that should portray Jesus.

"I don't think we can give them a doll with scripture and expect them to really know who Jesus is," Capps said. "I'd love it if children really encountered Jesus through people and relationships."

Capps actually has one of the dolls.

She got it three years ago from the manufacturer, One2Believe during a national children's ministry conference.

Children have taken interest in the doll, but she does not plan to add it to there list of toys at their pre-school.

"I surely wouldn't want to think that I would give somebody a Jesus doll and think that it represents who Jesus," Capps said. "That's because it is so much larger and children's imaginations can really engage Jesus as a person."

But both church leaders agree the figure can be used as a tool to promote Christianity.

"If the message is positive, if it lifts people up instead of tearing them down, that's fine with me and I might get one myself," said Rev. Fowler.

As parents you have a lot of choices when selecting a doll or action figure.

Some parents we spoke with said in comparison to dolls that promote a specific body image or violent looking action figures, it is a welcome sight on the store shelf.

However, some critics say Jesus should not be reduced to a doll.

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