Waxing Poetic about Plastic Jesus

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : November 20, 2007

image I know how it is: most people don’t read the poems posted on blogs. And poems don’t provoke conversation. You can’t skim a poem…you can’t easily extract meaning. You have to submit to a poem before she will share her secrets.

So, even though I recognize many (if not most) of you won’t read my poem, and that even fewer of you will comment, I offer the following:

Plastic Jesus

Entombed in plastic
My lord speaks
Brought low by thrifty men
His dangerous words forgotten
Divinity branded
His glory exchanged for a bar code
Cosmic Creator constrained
With a tiny TM
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah
Pushed into a cage
The Lamb of God
Sacrificed at the altar of good taste
The voice of the prophet
Silenced for profit
As affluence pours
Not to the poor
But to the affluent
In a sad twist
Jesus sold at the table
Of the money changers
No one hears the cries
From inside his plastic tomb
As onward Christian soldiers
March as to war
We dream an American Dream
Eyes shut to the Kingdom Vision
Followers of Jesus lost in the city
With Jesus bound and gagged in the trunk
A day in the life of the Church
Of the American Empire

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7 Responses to “Waxing Poetic about Plastic Jesus”

  1. forrest on October 25th, 2007 5:43 pm

    A friend of mine has one of these. The way the arms are attached, though, we just can’t hang him up properly.

    Let’s see… the theology of the crucifix, & the theology of the empty cross, and now the theology of the action figure that just won’t do what it’s supposed to ?

    The only action this figure can perform, far as I can see, is to embrace.

    Van Gogh, on the other hand, has several paintings, and two heads. A “before” head and an “after” head.

    But shouldn’t we be glad that this figure doesn’t come with a white horse and a sword? (Shusssssh! Don’t give them the idea!)

  2. loral on October 25th, 2007 6:59 pm

    “The Lamb of God/ sacrificed at the altar of good taste” was my favorite line. Your poem reminded me of the “Gadgets for God” section over at It’s amazing what’s on the market–even armor of God pajamas…

  3. wilsonian on October 25th, 2007 7:37 pm

    Careful now… poetry is the language of revolutionaries. :)
    “Jesus sold at the table
    Of the money changers”


  4. Jason Barr on October 25th, 2007 9:44 pm

    For some reason I’m reminded of the Family Guy episode where Peter gets into guns, and they show the video from the National Gun Association where Jesus and Moses use guns to conquer the Romans. I laughed because it was so bad and I was horrified.

    I really like the lines about Jesus crying inside his plastic tomb.

  5. Chris on October 25th, 2007 10:02 pm

    Where’s the poem about plastic Moses?

  6. Anna on October 26th, 2007 11:16 am


    My husband’s brother designed the plastic Jesus and Jesus box tape and a Jesus air freshener (”heavenly scented”) and the Last Supper after dinner mints tin. He is a Christian and has a popular indie rock band in Seattle.

    I used the Jesus box tape when I last moved to signify the most important boxes to open. :)

  7. Ben on October 26th, 2007 12:53 pm

    Where’s the poem about plastic Moses?

    Left by Chris on October 25th, 2007

    I’d also like to see a poem ab0ut the buddha pencil toppers.

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