Jesus Harvest Seeds

Quick: What are these?

If you said Candy Corn… you’re apparently wrong.

Rebekah Kuschmider of the Washington Times found that out when she went shopping recently:

I saw a bag of candy corn in the prematurely erected Halloween display in my grocery store, and needless to say, I had to get closer to investigate this… when I got closer to the display I realized the bag I saw contained not loose candy corn that could be scooped up by the fistful, but the individual baggies appropriate for handing out to trick-or-treaters. And upon further examination, I saw that it wasn’t even called candy corn: it was called Jesus Harvest Seeds and each individual baggie was emblazoned with a Bible verse.

Really. Harvest Seeds:

Kuschmider is having none of it:

Never mind the mind-melting comic potential of a product called “Jesus Seeds”, the concept of Bible candy meant to be handed out to kids really, really bothers me. Actually, no. What bothers me is the idea hat someone might hand it out to my kid. Because I’m not Christian, I’m not raising my child Christian, and I don’t want anyone else trying to convert him to Christianity when he’s still young enough to trick or treat. There will be plenty of time for the evangelically minded to proselytize to him when he reaches the age of majority, thank you very much.

Damn straight.

When people proselytize to children, they’re admitting they have no real arguments. They won’t even try to go after intelligent people who might offer rebuttals, or ask questions, or laugh in their faces. So they go after the innocent, the kids who will believe anything they’re told. It’s the mark of a weak faith to give these candies to children.

That’s why I suggest handing these out during Halloween… you know, to counteract all those irrational candies :)

At least they would taste better.

(Thanks to Michel for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Anonymous

    Please keep Jesus’ seed away from children.

  • Drew M.

    That dollarcross site is hell’s version of the Johnson Smith Company.

  • Susan Creamer

    Instead of Harvest Seeds, christians should be handing out Snickers bars. Ridiculous ideas demand candy with an appropriate name, after all!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-A-Anderson/100000016895400 John A. Anderson

    As Lewis Black has pointed out, everybody hates candy corn. It tastes awful. Maybe this is some way to get rid of it. Kind of like those 10 fruitcakes no one eats but simply get saved until the following Christmas whn they are mailed to someone else.

    • Anonymous

      Extralife comic strip agrees:

      http://www.myextralife.com/comic/nobody-likes-candy-corn/

      I wonder how old the candy is in the new Jebus packaging?

    • Anonymous

      I like candy corn.  I have no idea why, I just do.  If I receive any fruitcakes this year, I will happily trade them for your candy corn.

  • http://denkeensechtna.blogspot.com Deen

    Who came up with the idea to put the bible quote on a white splotch?

    • Anonymous

      It looks like someone spilled his harvest seed on the package. 

  • Askcarrielee

    There’s a Jehovahs witness family down the street from us that, while their kids cannot trick or treat, find it a prime opportunity to hand out bible verses & information on what terrible sinners they are every year. We love bringing them home, its a great laugh.

  • Marvin

    Isn’t Halloween seen as a bit pagan to these people to be participating in anyway? What’s next  Saviour Solstice Sweets? Actually forget I said that while I toddle off to trademark that!

  • Msredinnc

    We used to have a neighbor (that thankfully they moved away!) who would wrap rolls of Smarties with bible verses and put fancy ribbons on the ends to hand out at Halloween.  Thankfully when she did this, my daughter was too young to read!

  • Anonymous

    Wow, you’re allowing your kids to partake in a pagan holiday, celebrate witches, ghouls and the undead, then get upset because someone whose house they have gone to uninvited might try to persuade them that their zombie is better than the pagan ones?

    • Anonymous

      Most important Christian holidays are pagan in origin. Certainly Easter and Christmas

    • dauntless

      The pagan roots for Halloween are entirely irrelevant at this point, considering it’s a secular holiday. I’m sure 99% of the people in the U.S. who celebrate Halloween are doing so for the candy, the costumes, the parties, and the music, and nothing to do with the pagan roots. Proselytizing on Halloween is equivalent to proselytizing on Independence Day or Labor Day.

      • Anonymous

        A distinct lack of humour being shown here.

        Still, on a serious note, if you don’t want your kids to be proselytized at then don’t let them go uninvited to Christian’s doors.

        Seriously, what a Christian does on their own property is their business.

    • Gus Snarp

      I’m sorry, what is your point, exactly? You realize that halloween is not a “pagan holiday”, whatever its roots, it’s an American commercial holiday. No one is actually trying to convince kids that zombies, ghosts, witches, ghouls, goblins, vampires, or sexy pirates actually exist. There’s no church associated with halloween trying to lure kids in and indoctrinate them into handing over their weekly tithe to a fictitious character while teaching them to obey a bunch of stupid rules at the pain of eternal torment.  Why am I not allowed to be offended by people trying to proselytize to my young children just because we go trick or treating?

    • Rich Wilson

      Samhain is the night when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest.  Time to commune with the dead relatives.  What better time to talk to Jesus?

  • Anonymous

    It’s no more absurd than taking juice or wine and saying it’s divine blood, or bread and saying it’s divine meat.  I am surprised I haven’t seen Jesus candy sooner. The seed part of it, is unfortunate.

  • A Caustic Agnostic

    So the ultra christians in the neighborhood will know be referred to as “that cheap family who handed out freaky candy corn for Halloween”  Hmmmm i don’t see it as a bad thing…. I would have stayed the heck away from there!  Really, skip the bible verse buy some good candy next year!

    • Sharon

      The kids need to TP and egg the living hell out of any house  that hands out this crap.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, encouraging children to commit criminal damage is the ‘right’ thing to do.

  • Blondin

    I’d rather have a chocolate jesus than a testa-mint.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wfamPW3Eaw

    • 0verlord

      An immaculate confection. :)

  • Brian Utterback

    Can’t say this bothers me too much.  I can’ fault the store for selling them, I can’t really even fault the people for giving them out.  If you want to control what your kids see, you shouldn’t encourage them to take candy from strangers.

    • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

      I agree. There are a myriad of things that a parent could object to when they agree to take free stuff from strangers; I just hope that all parents who would be concerned about this (or any other objectionable content) have the presence of mind to go out with their kids and check what comes home. 

      The ONLY thing I find truly distasteful about this is that this stuff is geared towards younger children who probably won’t be able to understand what they’re being presented with. It seems a little bribe-y, but I have no moral qualms with them having the right to pass this stuff out. 

      • Sharon

        I say we retaliate by handing out  candy pentagrams and lollypops w/the likeness of Baphomet and miniature copies of Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses”.

  • Nordog

    “When people proselytize to children, they’re admitting they have no real arguments.”

    On a site frequented by so many people insisting on fidelity to logic that statement should stand out as a red flag as a logical fail.  The latter does not follow the former.

    In any event, I agree the idea that the product is creepy and appreciate the position of parents who don’t want these given to their children.

    • Anonymous

      Somehow I don’t remember my sunday school teacher ever telling us about the “evidence” she had for believing in the holy ghost.

    • Anonymous

      Children will believe just about anything you tell them. No evidence and real arguments needed. Just tell them some stories, make it sound like its real and they will think it is

    • NorDog

      @steve, et al., be that as it may, what you wrote, while sounding contradictory to what I wrote, well, isn’t.

      Put another way, even if one allows that there are no “real arguments” to Christian faith (demonstrably false premise btw; uncompelling to, or rejected by, someone does not mean not a real argument) it still does not follow that the “proselytizers of children” are admitting (key word in your sentence parsing activites btw) that they have no arguments.

      That would be like saying because someone simply told a 4 year old child about evolution without explaining it, that that person was admitting that there were no real arguments for evolution.  I think we can all agree that does not follow.

      The veracity, or lack of, of the Christian faith, or even the existence or lack of any good arguments for that faith, are not the point here.

  • Adi Rule

    Why all the hate on candy corn? It is the innocent, delicious victim here.

  • TamaraNC

    My son’s health teacher used to hand out candy for rewards (yes, the irony is clear) and at Christmas time, he handed out a Jesus candy cane. Because the candy cane obviously was invented to promote Christianity. (http://www.turnbacktogod.com/story-the-candy-became-known-as-candy-cane/)

  • Reginald Selkirk

    “Scripture Candy”?  I would be concerned. You never know what scripture they have been reading:

    Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it
    shall not hurt them
    ; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall
    recover.

  • Sagewolf

    Sooo, just for kicks I’m gonna go out and plant some Jesus Seeds.  Maybe I’ll be able to grow a little Jesus!  LOL  Nope.  Too bad I got a black thumb.

  • JimG

    Eh. I remember the stingy Puritans who would hand out Chick tracts on Halloween. At least with this you get a little candy and can trash the wrapper. Most kids won’t read it any more than they read the ingredient list.

  • Predator Handshake

    Back when I was a kid and still going to church, every year on Halloween they would have the “harvest festival” as an alternative to the demonic holiday (that’s the official reason that they gave for having it).  They’d have little fair-style games that were impossible to lose because they’d just give everyone candy no matter what, but I remember stuff like this being a common prize.  Sometimes it would be regular candy, sometimes they’d tape little Jesus messages to it, but other times the proselytizing stuff was printed directly on the wrapper of cheap knockoff candy.  Those were the worst prizes.  A tip for everyone: if you ever see some candy that looks sort of like M&M’s but doesn’t quite have the same shape or color, do NOT eat it unless you want to experience the Uncanny Valley effect through candy.  This stuff was very close to what I would consider “real” candy but just far enough away as to be disconcerting.

    Luckily, my parents were reasonable enough to let me go trick-or-treating too, so I would get a double haul every year.  Presbyterians can’t allow themselves to be noted absent from such events if they don’t want a scandal.

  • Anonymous
    • James

      Crosses, penises…. they’re really into phallic symbols.

  • BrentSTL

    And the ironic part about this whole post? The Washington Times is owned by Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church – one of the biggest cults in the world.

  • Anonymous

    Just search ‘christian’ at Oriental Trading and see all the interesting ways christianity has responded to Halloween!

    • Sharon

      That is just WRONG. They’ve corrupted innocent pumpkins !

  • Anonymous

    Is the GodStopper candy made by the catholic church? I just ask because of the slogan about balls in the mouth.

  • http://billybobsbibleblog.blogspot.com/ billybobbibb

    Kids aren’t as dumb as you think. They’ll see that candy corns are inferior to Snickers and Reese’s, just like the Bible is inferior to rational thought.

  • huh?

    I’m looking at that photo and I don’t see the “Jesus” part of the name. is the package wrinkled, or was that a sign in the store, or is it a joke by Hemant, or what?

  • rad

    “Reaching the world one piece at a time.”
    Yeah, Jesus, way to break off a piece!

  • Chantelle Petersen

    I used to get chick tracks when I went trick or treating….

  • Daniel

    I read the whole thread and was sad to find that not a single person pointed out that you’re walking up to someone’s door and demanding free candy from them.  Regardless of what candy you receive, it’s free.  The person handing it to you gets to decide.  Is it offensive to receive chocolate instead of hard candies if your child is allergic to chocolate?  No.  Why?  BECAUSE IT’S FREE CANDY.  

    Seriously, quit bitching about free candy.  If you don’t want strangers handing your child something, don’t tell your child to go ask strangers to hand them something.  This hypothetical person is nice enough to give your child candy for no reason.  Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.  Say thank you and look through your kids’ candy when they get home to remove anything you might not want them to consume, be it gummy worms, charleston chews, or candy with bible verse on them.

    • Daniel

      Edit:  Somehow missed Brian’s comment on my first pass.  Way to go Brian, I’m proud of your ability to rationalize!

    • Volunteer

      Giving out candy corn isn’t ‘nice’.

      It’s Cruel.

    • Sulris Campbell

      well said daniel.  if you dont want what someone is handing out for free dont walk up to their door and ask for it.

      it might be different if they were running around a park throwing these at children but on halloween you go to them.

      next even if they were handing it out to your child at the park…. do you think that’s going to have an affect on the child besides cavities? oh no! you child might read something about another religion… how awful.   if your a good parent you should probably have talked to them about religion by the time they can read….

      yess timmy it doesnt make any sense.  no timmy alot of adults really do believe that,  yes we should still be nice to them.   no there not necassarily idiots… etc  you dont have to get into a deep philosophical discussion that is above their little heads but they live in a society and trying to keep them in a free thought bubble doesn’t really encourage any free thinking.

      • http://twitter.com/butterflyfish_ Heidi McClure

        Actually, in my neighborhood they just stand on a street corner and shove bags full of Bible propaganda at kids who walk by. No candy, either. Just “Halloween is from the Devil, and here’s some free Jesus.” Way not cool. I never let them anywhere near my kids, but not every kid goes out with parents.

      • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

        I don’t really get this argument. How does Halloween make proselytizing to children okay? If your child was invited to a birthday party at a classmate’s house, would you not mind if he or she came home with a goodie bag full of Bible tracts?

        • Anonymous

          I believe the word ‘invited’ is key here.

          • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

            It’s Halloween. It is accepted that children are welcome to come to people’s homes on that night. If Christians don’t want to participate, then they shouldn’t open the door to trick-or-treaters. It’s rude and disrespectful for them to use the holiday as an opportunity to prosyletize to other people’s children.

            • Daniel

              Nothing you said implies that the person giving out candy has to be perfectly secular.  Children are WELCOME to come to my house and take whatever I deem appropriate to give them.  They’re not handing out pornography or tracts about how the children are going to hell for eternity, they’re handing out bible verses.  

              Christians obviously do want to participate. If you don’t want your children coming into contact with the “undesireables” in your neighborhood, don’t send them door to door.

              I do believe it’s disrespectful to randomly proselytize to someone else’s children, but then again when a kid comes knocking at my door demanding free candy, I think I can give him whatever I want (within reason).

              • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

                I understand where you’re coming from, but I think we have different definitions of “within reason.”

                I don’t see this as Christians passing out innocent candy that just happens to have Bible verses on it. Like the package says, their goal is “reaching the world one piece at a time.” It’s a concerted effort to target other people’s children.

                Halloween is a secular holiday. I’m not demanding that people passing out candy be secular themselves, but I do think it’s offensive to hand out proselytizing material to unsuspecting kids. And I think the types of Christians who do this don’t care. They’re the sort of Christians who believe that Halloween is demonic, so they’re not really celebrating. They’re only participating so they can try to convert children.

                Like I said upthread, they would not be at all happy if the tables were turned and we gave their kids candy that said “God Is Make Believe.” If it’s not considered all right for us to do that, I don’t think it’s okay for them either. I believe it’s reasonable for us to expect them to leave innocent kids alone.

  • paul

    i’ve got to be honest, this falls under the “if you don’t like it don’t buy it” category for me. if people don’t buy enough of it i’m sure it will go away.

    if your kid gets some of this in their trick or treat bag you can always use it as an opportunity to talk to your kids about other people’s religious beliefs and how they might differ from your own. OR you can just chuck it. i’d be surprised if you didn’t go through your kids candy take at the end of the night to make sure it is all safe. just palm the candy and move on.

    • Anonymous

      When we get Bible verse candy, we read the verse or the tract, discuss why they word things the way they do (especially the tract I linked below, how manipulative it is) and then I either save it for scrapbooking or we toss it.  The candy inside doesn’t care one way or the other.

  • Beastlt12

    I’d imagine the person handing these out also drives a moving van without windows. 

  • Ludovico

    MMMMMMMM…Jeezlicious!

  • Anonymous

    Bible verses on candy is nothing new to me.  People around here where I live give candy with tracts or bible verses stapled to the candy packaging.  Two years ago, we went trick or treating with some neighbors (my son’s best friend). They had good candy with a fake $100 bill stapled to them. I asked what it was and she handed me a piece… it was some tract from their church about how money is evil and had all these horrible, kid-unfriendly instances about how evil money is. And their younger daughter was handing out Chick tracts WHILE we trick or treated.  It was embarrassing.  I know the majority of our neighborhood is religious anyway (Mormon or fundigelical) and even THEY looked confused and embarrassed to accept a tract from a 4-year-old at their door. 

    I’ve kept some of the more interesting tracts (esp. Chick tracts) the kid has gotten at Halloween to scrapbook in my Reality album. (Faith albums are big in the scrapbooking world… I’ve got a Reality album.)

  • http://lessofmimi.wordpress.com Melissa Fritcher

    ROFL! I’ve been reading your blog for at least a month now, thanks to a Google Reader suggestion. <3 
    This is *funny!* I totally agree, with one additional facet – we don't eat sugar, etc. No trick or treating for us this year. Gah, bible versus is worse than candy w/ razor-blades (or candy period!), imo. 
    ROFLMAO @ Godstoppers. Best. Idea. Ever. (If it was sugar-free, I totally buy some. lol)

  • Dave

    Where does it say “Jesus Seeds” on the package? It calls them “Harvest Seeds,” not Jesus seeds. I’d never buy this crap… but if you’re going to mock it, mock what it actually says…

    • Daniel

      One of my biggest problems with FA these days is the hyperbole in the posts.  People hate atheists because they’re “crazy,” and this blog routinely says things that are false or exaggerations.

  • http://ltt.bottle-imp.com Daniel

    Well,  if Christians are going to bastardize a candy, it may as well be candy corn. That shit is awful.

  • Rich Wilson

    Hemant, how would you feel if they handed out certificates for a Happy ™  Meal ™ at McDonald’s ™

  • http://silveroutlinedwindow.wordpress.com/ Shannon

    I’d like to make an order for the GODSTOPPER candy. 

    50 units, please. I may order more if our secular trunk or treat goes better than expected ;)

  • Anonymous

    Someone put a sticker with Deuteronomy 21:18-21 over it

    • Rich Wilson

      That’s a fantastic idea!  Not the text, just the reference.  So they’ll have to go look it up in their own bible.

    • http://www.spellwight.com spellwight

      If I can find them, I’m going to buy a couple bags and print out stickers with all those negative and disgusting bible verses and hand those out. Beat them with their own beliefs.

  • Anonymous

    Someone put a sticker with Deuteronomy 21:18-21 over it

  • Michael

    That is brilliant!

    I wonder what other subversive messages I could get printed on candy bags for this purpose? Never mind religion, there are young minds to poison.

    (Not that Michel)

  • June

    Here little kiddies, come put some of Jesus’ seed in your mouth.

    Creepier than anything else you’ll see on Halloween.

  • Gringa

    I really can’t believe that people hand this stuff out.  I am from an entirely different world.

  • Anonymous

    I like how some of the commenters have an issue with the word Jesus being used in this blog post and how it’s not labeled on the candy.  Yes, there is no Jesus in the actual product name.  Which leads into a point of discussion on how it is a bit misleading itself.  By leaving off the word Jesus, it’s not instantly seen as Christian candy tract.  Unless of course you read the NT bible verse.

    Toss the candy if you don’t like it.  Thanks to Hemant for bringing this to awareness.

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      I’m not actually sure what those people are objecting to. Jesus is mentioned in the Bible verse!

    • Daniel

      I think the commenters are just annoyed (as I am) about the current trend in FA posts where the headline doesn’t match the post or the content.  it’s turning into the consumerist (or fark or drudge or any number of other blogs) where the headline was written completely independently from rational thought and designed solely to get clicks.  “Jesus Harvest Seeds” is the post title.  What is the subject of the post?  “Harvest Seeds.”  What do the harvest seeds have on them?  New testament verses (as far as we can tell).  Better titles for this post:

      NT Verses on Candy Corn
      “Harvest Seeds” Contain Bible Verses
      Candy Corn or Proselytism?
      The hyperbole has to stop.  Instead of being able to point to this blog as a place where rational and well-mannered atheist discuss world news, I’m ashamed of it (though I still read it as a guilty pleasure).  It used to be a beacon of freethought, and now it’s crap like this.  Poorly worded posts meant to sensationalize something that, frankly, is meaningless.  Boo hoo, someone put bible verses on candy.  it’s really boring, so let’s spruce up the facts a little.  Sell sell sell!

  • Eprupar

    I promise they aren’t the only ones who think that’s a great idea. My sister-in-law (who plans to have 7 children, FYI) celebrates All Saint’s Day rather than halloween. She is an uberCatholic and has said many times in the past she plans on dressing her children up as Saints and while they go door to door her CHILDREN will be trading a card with the picture of the saint they are dressed up as with a description of that saint in exchange for the candy.

    yep.

  • Jamesbettis

    I don’t think it’s that bad… everywhere we go we are being inundated by propoganda of some nature…by and large at least it was a positive message and didn’t call anyone a “sinner” or tell them they are going to hell.  I’m with the other people on here that are saying if you don’t like it then don’t let you kids see it. They are giving away FREE candy… they aren’t obligated to follow your customs/beliefs anymore than you are theirs…so get over it.

  • Jamesbettis

    I don’t think it’s that bad… everywhere we go we are being inundated by propoganda of some nature…by and large at least it was a positive message and didn’t call anyone a “sinner” or tell them they are going to hell.  I’m with the other people on here that are saying if you don’t like it then don’t let you kids see it. They are giving away FREE candy… they aren’t obligated to follow your customs/beliefs anymore than you are theirs…so get over it.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    I’ve heard of Christian candy, but I’ve never actually come across it in real life.

    IMO, it’s terribly inappropriate to proselytize to other people’s children. It’s one thing if you knowingly take your child into a religious setting. If the evangelical church’s “Harvest Festival” gives out Jesus candy, I might roll my eyes, but I’m not offended.

    But to hand out Jesus candy to unsuspecting children in the neighborhood?  That’s just wrong. How would they feel if atheists gave their children candy that said “God is Just Pretend” or “Jesus is Make Believe?” You just know that most of them would be screaming persecution and complaining about it till the cows came home.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    I’ve heard of Christian candy, but I’ve never actually come across it in real life.

    IMO, it’s terribly inappropriate to proselytize to other people’s children. It’s one thing if you knowingly take your child into a religious setting. If the evangelical church’s “Harvest Festival” gives out Jesus candy, I might roll my eyes, but I’m not offended.

    But to hand out Jesus candy to unsuspecting children in the neighborhood?  That’s just wrong. How would they feel if atheists gave their children candy that said “God is Just Pretend” or “Jesus is Make Believe?” You just know that most of them would be screaming persecution and complaining about it till the cows came home.

  • Anonymous

    All the kids I knew hated candy corn.  Hopefully this backfires.   I suggest they put bible verses on those artificial banana flavored circus peanuts too.   They can call them Religious Nutters.

  • Sinfanti

    Really, every responsible parent should be checking through their child’s haul before they have a chance to chow down on the annual mega sugar rush.  Used to be parents were just checking for things that are physical dangers; now we have to check for mental dangers as well.

  • marsmicrobe

    In the entire history of the world, has even one person ever credited their religious conversion to a candy wrapper?  Ever?  Come on now.  Ms. Kuschmider needs to not pitch a hissy fit over this kind of thing. 

    Besides, kids aren’t stupid.  Even Christian kids won’t wanna touch some off-brand Bible candy with a ten-foot pole.  

  • Anonymous
  • Robster

    We don’t get Candy Corn here in Australia. Sounds like we’re not missing out. These sleazy low life godbots are looking for every possible way of shoehorning their superstitious nonsense into every life they can, to taint that life with a lifelong guilt trip and death worship. They must be stopped!

  • Donalbain

    Ohnoes! The free icecream that someone gave me is strawberry flavoured and I wanted chocolate! The horror!
     

  • Lurker111

    I thought candy corn was what they served for dessert in Hell.

  • 0verlord

    Well you gotta give the candy corn makers credit for trying.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8yuvMsvNqY


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