• Transformers Gets Hijacked By Christians

    Over the weekend, the family and I went to a 70s/80s retro toy convention. There were toys from Star Wars, GI Joe, Thundercats, Transformers, and many other television shows and movies of that time period. I’m a fan of many of them and one of the missions I had for the day was to find some old beat up G1 Transformers toys for my son to play with that don’t cost a ton of money. One dealer however distracted me from my mission. He had some promotional postcards that caught my attention:

    The first card focuses on the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which was featured in the original Transformers film back in the 80s. The cross is quite visible inside the Matrix. The second card brands the cross in the middle of the Autobot symbol. Personally, I think it would have been more appropriate to put it in the middle of the Decepticon symbol, but that would make the Decepticons out to be much more villainous that they actually are in the cartoon.

    It really annoys me that Christians are putting this stuff out there trying to trick people into Jesus. Just about every table at these kinds of conventions has similar promotional postcards like these that are promoting their toys, art, etc. Unsuspecting people take these cards without looking at the details until they get home.

    The back of both of these “promotional” cards have the same message trying to appeal to Transformers fans with quotes from the film and interspersing them with Bible quotes gerrymandered to fit the Transformers story. It’s pretty sad attempt too.

    For example, the mantra for the Autobots during the movie and the third season was that the Matrix of Leadership would “Light our darkest hour.” The claim on the promotional card is that Jesus came to “light our darkest hour.” They quote John 12:46 which refer to Jesus as the light of the world. But Christians couldn’t stop there. They get pretty heavy handed on the promotional card talking about sin and how the “wage of sin is death.”

    Then the message shifts. It starts talking about how Jesus is a “transformer.” Get it; they claim that the Gospel message “transforms” lives and these toys are called “Transformers.” How lame is that?

    To be honest, I am actually surprised they didn’t try to claim that Optimus Prime was like Jesus. Optimus even came back from the dead… twice. But these Christians weren’t even that creative. In fact, they aren’t even creative enough to have their own website. The promotional card lists two websites.

    The first is http://lookup316.com, which is a national website popularized by football personality Tim Tibow. The second website is a group in an already existing transformers forum. I actually went to that url and found that you need to be a member not just of the forum (which I decided to join), but also of the Christian group itself. The problem is that you need to be approved to join the Christian Transformers group in order to see any posts or interact with anyone there.

    I attempted to join the group yesterday and have not yet been approved. This is kind of surprising considering that they were handing out these promotional cards which listed the group url over the weekend and yet they haven’t approved probably the only person who actually attempted to join them after their big promotion.

    Maybe I start making similar promotional cards advertising reason, science, and godlessness for next year. The card would look like it is promoting Transformers toys, but in reality, it would be “more than meets the eye.”

    What do you think, should atheists attempt to similar promotional campaigns linked to pop-culture and distributed at geek conventions? Post a comment down below.

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    Category: ChristianityGeek Stuff

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    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.

    17 comments

    1. sigh…

      I wonder if Hasbro knows about this and if the Christian group has licensed the rights? If not, this is blatant and serious copyright infringement.

      Most of the Christians I know have no problem with stealing others’ intellectual property in order to convert others. Anything is OK when done for the faith, right?

      I don’t think atheists should do things like this. First, it’s potentially very damaging. A judge might not fine the heck out of a church, but that judge wouldn’t have a problem lowering the boom on an atheist group. And I can’t imagine atheists could get any pop-culture licenses, because of that same reaction. Can you see it “GI Joe, the toys of atheists”. That would be a publicity nightmare for everyone involved.

      Second, a geek convention would be the wrong place. I wonder how much traffic that booth, or whatever it was, got? I can’t imagine is was enough to justify the expense. Perhaps a street-fair or farmers market would be better for a subtle atheist message. You’d get more people and more likely to get people who wouldn’t already be receptive to an atheist message.

    2. The really funny part is that the transformers would never accept human religion. They know their god exists. They live on top of him. And he’s explainable through scientific phenomena.

    3. I don’t think atheists need to find pop-culture to distribute at geek conventions. We have made our own! The Flying Spaghetti Monster, The Invisible Pink Unicorn, and Russel’s Teapot, all well known. I think that by not stealing others ideas and continuing with creating our own shows how we think for ourselves.

        1. No, geek events usually have nothing to do with religion, even ridiculous spoof religions. Not only should atheists not distribute that stuff there, we ought to stop religious groups from doing so. Geeks don’t stand out in front of churches passing out Transformers or Dr. Who or comic book literature, churches ought to respect the right of geeks to go god-spam free at their own events.

    4. When you have to use deceit to push a message to children, who do not always have fully-developed critical thinking skills, in an arena that already requires a willing suspension of disbelief, in a manner that prevents discussion and questioning until after the message has been ‘received’, you don’t have a compelling argument. That’s why it requires dishonesty to begin with. Please don’t stoop to that level.

    5. Christians should be shot and if anyone sees this crap, they need to get these things and destroy them right away so that nobody else gets tricked by the stupid fuckers into worshiping their sky bully. Hasbro needs to sue the christian religion.

        1. Don’t you think that kids are bombarded with varying worldviews all around them prior to developing critical thinking skills? Hopefully, regardless of the worldview (athiest or theist/deist), people critically assess the best interpretation of reality at an appropriate age. Actually I would think anything that starts dialog between parents and children about topics such as this would be a good thing – again no matter the worldview, i.e. the referenced card would give an opportunity for a parent to explain why he/she believes what the card is espousing is true or false, thereby helping to teach critical thinking skills.

    6. LOL @ atheist trolls

      Yeah, one of the things We believe in is sowing and reaping. This is a great example of sowing The Word into kids/adults who may not even know its happening. When you love your life too much, We will reap a broken, contrite spirit to help TRANSFORM.

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