On Saturday, Amanda and I ventured to a Christian bookstore to pick up a birthday present for her nephew. Happy Birthday numero tres, Mason! You may be surprised to know that I have never been to a Christian bookstore before. I thought the Vatican gift shop counted until I entered that strip mall corner in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Because Fort Wayne is the "City of Churches," its Christian bookstore was practically the size of the Vatican.
I clearly had no idea what I was doing there when I asked Amanda where the Catholic section was.
The market for Christian merchandise must be flippin' huge if it correlates at all to the range of available products. Karl Rove definitely visited this place to determine that focusing on conservatives was the way to win W.'s elections.
There was a complete library of books, including many on marriage. Kirk Cameron's (Yes, of Growing Pains fame) Fireproof books and DVDs were front and center. I'm sorry, but I saw the movie and it wasn't good enough to be an in-store feature a year and a half later. Maybe the Christian movie industry isn't booming. The economy hits everyone, right?
The toy section was impressive and complete with Biblical action figures. ("You be Peter this time. I'll play Jesus!") And who knew VeggieTales was a Christian company? Wow!
The clothing section was a grade up from Wal-Mart's. The styles intermixed Biblical quotes or proclamations of faith with patriotic colors. Clever.
I checked out the "Church supplies" section, where you could buy church robes, chalices, etc. Basically, if you had the building, you could outfit your own church with accessories here. Was it so bad that I was thinking Halloween ideas?
Amanda managed to slip a New Testament book and Christian CD into the bag along with the VeggieTales present for her nephew. Did I mention Christians are the only demographic still embracing hard rock? Creed made that kind of an impact on the music market.
After the bookstore we went to the nearby Higher Grounds coffeeshop. Teenagers sat in clusters reading their Bibles. I drank my coffee, but I wasn't in the Northwest.