Faith

Crass New Holiday Games Mock Families’ Faith

Don't allow these 'hot' items under your tree this season

Some things, we should teach our kids, are sacred — even when other people say, “What’s the harm?”

But at Christmas, we approach Jesus joyfully, respectfully, and with wonder, not through casual laughs — and we teach this to our young kids as they grow.

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The controversial Christmas-themed board game Santa vs. Jesus has made it to Amazon just in time for the holiday season — and has caused an immediate uproar with families. The game has players divide themselves into two teams — Team Santa and Team Jesus — and compete in challenges to garner the most “believers.”

Joseph wears a denim shirt and has a man bun, Mary is holding a to-go coffee and her bra strap is showing, and an eco-friendly solar panel adorns the stable’s roof.

The board game was created by Komo Games of London and was fully funded via a Kickstarter campaign.

Danny Webster, a spokesperson for the Evangelical Alliance, told the BBC that “it trivializes Christian belief and equates them both as fictional characters.”

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He added, “With over four out of 10 people in the U.K. mistakenly thinking that Jesus was not a real historical person, this game won’t help correct that … When it comes to Santa vs. Jesus, we’re firmly on Team Jesus, too.”

Reviewers on Amazon were outraged, calling the game “in the poorest of taste” and “blasphemous.”

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The board game joins The Hipster Nativity Set on the naughty list this Christmas season.

Inside the manger, Joseph wears a denim shirt and has a man bun, Mary is holding a to-go coffee and her bra strap is showing, and an eco-friendly solar panel adorns the stable’s roof.

The Three Wise Men are perched on Segways, carrying Amazon Prime gift boxes.

“What if Jesus was born in 2016?” a promotional video for the set asks. “It’s crazy to think that they followed a star in the sky … rather than using Google Maps,” reads the text on the set’s website.

“This product started, as all good products do, at a happy hour with our friends,” company co-founder Casey Wright told The Daily News. “After a few beers, we started joking about how religions would be different if their sacred texts were set in modern times. From there, it quickly snowballed into what the nativity would look like in 2016.”

Let’s teach our kids to know what’s funny — and what is mocking.

“We have quickly found out that this product is very polarizing,” said Wright. “It’s usually, ‘This is hilarious, I need one,’ or ‘This is sacrilegious, I hope you burn in hell,’ and almost nothing in between those two extremes.”

“Amazingly,” he continued, “a lot of people seem very concerned about the proper definition of a millennial and a hipster, too. We get comments like, ‘Segways aren’t hipster. They’re technically early stage millennial with a tinge of East Coast liberal.'”

Are we still talking about the Wise Men here?

Related: Why the Wise Men Still Inspire

Sometimes the people who are the most blasphemous when it comes to faith aren’t those actively fighting it, but instead those who wryly poke fun at beliefs, institutions, and traditions others hold dear.

“Lighten up,” they’ll tell us. “We’re just kidding around.”

But while it’s fun to laugh and play games about the appropriate things — let’s leave the Holy Family where they belong. The miracle that changed the world is the heart of the season we celebrate.

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