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Faith ‘n Stuff: The Magazine for Kids
Date: September/October 1994
The Cover Promises: The Protestant youth of America, photographed at the last possible moment before the obesity crisis kicked in.
Sometimes prejudiced people do terrible things, like when the Nazis in Germany–convinced that they were the supreme race killed millions of Jews during the Holocaust.”
A well-intentioned kids’ magazine mascotted by a cartoon turtle who is forever quoting Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, Faith ‘n Stuff is such a dreary read that for its ’90s tween audience it must have made Boys Life look like Nintendo Power.
It’s every bit as blasé as its name suggests: Each issue comes crammed full of faith and, I dunno, some stuff, usually an interview with a Christian baseball player or a 300-word profile of a kid who is writing his own thesaurus (Russ Moore, on page 21).
The editors would also attempt to deal with the real-world problems facing good Christian kids in the 1990s, as in this issue’s article on prejudice, January ’94’s ‘When to Tattle,” or “How to Handle Bullies” from July/August of 1992, the issue that has the single greatest cover of any magazine ever:
(Nowhere in that article does anyone suggest that the reason Faith ‘n Stuff readers get bullied might be the very fact that they’re seen reading Faith ‘n Stuff.)
The September/October ’94 issue takes a hard look at “prejudice.” Here’s what kids are not supposed to be like:
The next page, though, reveals the danger of pre-judging people:
Here, the lesson is driven home:
The moral: Don’t pre-judge people unless you’re some blonde prick from Michigan.
Here, writer Alyce Mitchem Jenkins lays out the scope of the problem of American prejudice:
“Kids pre-judge other kids because they are tall or short or fat or skinny or wear glasses or have buck teeth. Racial prejudice is like this–like when black kids won’t let white kids play on their teams or white kids won’t invite Asians to their parties.”
The real victim: white kids, who desperately needed their own Jackie Robinson.
Then, after a recounting of the tale of the Good Samaritan, Faith ‘n Stuff reminds us why magazines were invented in the first place: to distract us with entirely un-scientific quizzes designed to show us how awful we are.
Worth noting here:
Even Faith ‘n Stuff itself sometimes accidentally demonstrated how hard it is not to pre-judge people based on their appearance. Remember that issue up above where indentured kids were forced into the construction of the Sandwich of Babel?
From that issue, here’s Faith n’ Stuff‘s idea of a bully:
I’m surprised there isn’t a thought balloon exclaiming, “As soon as those nerds get that olive up there, that giant sandwich will be all mine!”
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