“Jesus Candy” to be Discontinued at Military Bases; Turns Out People Didn’t Like it Anyway
By Chris Rodda
Senior Research Director
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Army & Air Force Exchange Service bottom line to MRFF’s attorneys: “Jesus candy” will no longer be proselytizing our military one piece at a time in military base exchanges.
A story that went unexpectedly viral over the holidays among the right-wing and Christian media was that of the “Jesus candy,” and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s (MRFF) complaint about it on behalf of multiple dozens of service members at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs who objected to its display and sale in their base exchange.
As I previously wrote, and as Paul Rosenberg wrote on Crooks and Liars, when MRFF’s clients saw this candy, they got exactly the proselytizing message that it was intended to send, according to the stated mission of the candy’s producer, Scripture Candy, Inc.:
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
“At Scripture Candy, Inc. we are using a simple piece of candy in order to fulfill this commission. We want to ‘Reach The World One Piece At A Time.’
“We take the best tasting candies and wrap them in Scriptures so that they can be passed out to everyone. It’s a great way to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A single piece of Scripture Candy is like that seed planted by the sower in the parable spoken by Jesus in Matthew 13; it has the potential of producing a tremendous harvest. Jesus said in Luke 10:2 ‘…The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few…’ Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
According to Scripture Candy’s founder Brian Adkins:
“The whole meaning behind ‘Scripture Candy, Inc.’ is to plant the seed of the ‘Word’ in everyone throughout the world.”
It is not the job of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) to aid Brian Adkins in his mission to proselytize the world with his candy, and any such government aid of the promotion of religion flies in the face of the First Amendment and military regulations.
On behalf of its clients, MRFF’s attorneys wrote a letter to AAFES, demanding that they pull Scripture Candy’s proselytizing products from the military’s base exchanges. Yesterday afternoon, MRFF’s attorneys received a letter from AAFES responding to MRFF’s demand.
Not unexpectedly, AAFES does not admit that there was anything wrong with their promotion of these Bible bonbons, but says that they will discontinue selling them for a different reason — people apparently didn’t like them anyway.
According to the letter from AAFES to MRFF’s attorneys:
“Upon exhaustion of the very small quantity of inventory we have remaining in stock, AAFES will discontinue the stocking and sale of the products from this vendor due to limited historical demand.”
We assume that this discontinuation of Scripture Candy’s products will apply not only to their Christmas confections, but also to their equally proselytizing products for other holidays, such as Halloween — the holiday that inspired Scripture Candy’s founder Brian Adkins to combat “occult” forces with his “Jesus candy.”
According to Adkins on why he started his company:
““In 1991, while listening to ‘Focus on the Family’ on the radio doing a program on the occults and Halloween, GOD gave me the inspiration about turning a pagan holiday into something to glorify GOD. Since we give out candy as ‘treats’ during the holiday, if we could wrap the ‘Word’ around the candy, every piece we gave out would have the possibility of planting a seed in a person’s life. Thus creating our tagline ‘Reaching The World One Piece At A Time.’”
Brian Adkins will just have to reach the world one piece at a time without the aid of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service.