It's Chucky & Talky Tina & Stuffed Fetus & Blow-Up Lesbian Sex Doll & Damien All Rolled Up in One Adorable Little Blasphemy...Or Not
Can you tell which doll is the evil one? Help the Catholics out here before they soil some other childhood treasure. Correct! Unholy Crucificixion Barbie is the evil doll! (One of the left). The other doll is just creepy and nothing more.
Dolls Caught in Religious Fight
from Floriday Today
SUNTREE - Nine-year-old Jeannette Buschor has learned much about her country and its diverse population from the family of dolls that resides in her bedroom closet.
But the Ascension Catholic School fourth-grader was stumped when the Melbourne school sent her parents a letter about a boycott of American Girl dolls, character-based and historical figures.
"I thought, 'I really don't know what boycott means. Is this something good?'" said Jeannette, who has four of the dolls.
That depends on whether you're talking to: American Girl doll owners, Girls Inc. supporters, devout Catholics and pro-life activists, or those who don't condone homosexuality.
The controversy over sales of the dolls gained momentum after Wisconsin-based American Girl launched its "I Can" program last fall. Pro-life and religious groups called for a boycott when word spread that the company would donate 70 cents for every "I Can" bracelet-sale dollar to Girls Inc. - formerly Girls Club of America - for three of its programs.
Groups including the Pro-Life Action League and American Family Association Online claimed Girls Inc. has a "pro-abortion, pro-lesbian agenda" and supports sexual education other than abstinence.
American Girl, owned by Mattel, finished the campaign recently and donated almost $200,000 to Girls Inc. based on the "I Can" pledge, with $50,000 of it a straight donation.
But Melinda Buschor, whose 7-year-old daughter also attends the school, still is steamed about the letter from Ascension. It came in her daughter's weekly update packet and included, she said, information based on pro-life groups' interpretation of Girls Inc.'s mission.
Buschor said she is with parents being warned about possible dangers to their children. She's not OK with tainting the image of dolls she views as "strong little characters" that promote attributes like acceptance of other cultures and ways of life.
"To take something like these dolls, so sweet and innocent, and put a political twist on them, make it ugly? I think that's wrong," said Buschor, who is not a Catholic.
"Adults can think what they want about gays, or choice, or politics...but I think parents who don't agree with this kind of thinking need to take a stand, too."
Sister M. Joseph Barden said she was alerted by a "very good parent, a concerned parent," about the partnership between American Girl and Girls Inc., and of Girls Inc.'s stand on topics like sexual education. She and a pastor then looked at Web sites for details on the "I Can" program and Girls Inc. - and were, she said, not happy with what they found.
Barden believed, she said, that giving parents information was the best approach.
"They have the right to make their own choice. Nobody is forcing them to do anything," she said. "But the Catholic Church does believe in life. We do not agree with abortion or freedom of choice where life is concerned."
Ascension took its stand on the matter independently, said Carol Brinati, a spokeswoman for the Orlando diocese. The letter to parents, sent before Christmas, was something Barden "did on her own as principal."
The dolls themselves, Barden said, aren't the problem.
"They have been loved by many children," she said. "But unfortunately, if (the company) is supporting something like that, we get concerned. And that is what we're really trying to teach."
The Pro-Life Action League of Chicago picketed in front of American Girl Place, a store where dolls are sold and birthday parties for their human companions are held, the day after Thanksgiving. Ann Scheidler, executive director, said she feels her group's actions were successful.
"We know from people who got in touch with us during the protest that there were thousands of people who contacted American Girl and asked them to sever links with Girls Inc.," she said.
American Girl spokeswoman Julie Parks said American Girl doesn't take positions on issues such as abortion and sexual education. And as for the boycott's effect, while sales results won't be tallied until later this month, Parks said it "was business as usual during American Girl's incredibly busy time of year."
"We know we're going to be helping millions of girls in high-risk, underserved areas with this money in those three categories, and that's something to feel good about," she said.
Girls Inc. spokeswoman Taiia Smart Young said the organization, based in New York, had many complaints - but even more, an outpouring of support.
The group supports the right to choose to have an abortion but also promotes abstinence as the first choice in sex education, according to its Web site.
As for sexual orientation, Young said Girls Inc. encourages girls to be "strong, smart and bold" and doesn't discriminate.
"If a girl is questioning her sexuality, we don't discount her from our organization," she said.
Jeannette, a budding writer, just wants to play with her dolls and keep learning. She does chores and saves money to help pay for the dolls and has been to the American Girl Place in Chicago for tea.
She also now knows what boycott means.
"I just hope it will go away and people forget about it," she said, arranging her dolls Kit, Chantel, Marisol and baby Polly around her.
Every doll comes with a book relating the figure's "life" and place on the U.S. historical timeline, and Jeannette devours all American Girl literature.
"It takes a lot of research to do those books...I get a lot of ideas from them, and I think, 'Wow. I could write some good books, too,'" she said.