Sunday, 5 April 2009

Thou shalt not make graven images. Not with our toys, anyway.

I rarely read this publication, but this story made me smile. It's in the theme of Big Bad Company uses legal rights in an unnecessarily repressive way.

A German priest has been using Playmobil (I guess that's lego?) figures to recreate Biblical scenes. Check out Jesus with his crown of thorns, above. It's the wee lego smilie that gets you.

The suggestion seems to be that Playmobil are worried about non-Christians being offended by this usage. Perhaps their fear is not unreasonable given the massive outcry concerning the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed and similar incidents. I don't think it's all that commonly known but Jesus is the second most important Prophet in Islam, second only to Muhammed. They're like, BFFs, in modern parlance. The prohibition against portraying him is just as strong, and indeed in films made in the Middle East an actor playing Jesus, or other prophets would typically have a light beaming from his face or something, so as to obscure his features.

I caught Ben-Hur on the telly last week, and noted that you never saw Jesus' face on that either - or heard his voice. Presumably the Christian audience for that film would also have felt that showing Jesus' face was taboo. Perhaps this is something that has changed over time, I'm not sure.

Nevertheless, I think Playmobil have overreacted a tad. Many people will probably think that it is wrong to represent Jesus and other prophets in any form, whether by Lego toys, in painted glass, or in cartoon form. Most people however, will probably see that the intentions behind this priests actions were not to offend anyone, and certainly meant no disrespect to anyone. And gosh darnit, they're pretty cute.

Although, I do find the smiles a tad creepy!

1 comment:

Aspiring Rainmaker said...

Not sure what grounds they are going to sue them under. Illegal dressing up of lego?! :-)