When does an item designed to assist us on our spiritual path end up instead making us laugh--or gag? Kitsch, defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as something "tawdry or vulgar," is difficult to nail down. One person's religious kitsch is another person's sacred possession. So it is with malice towards none and apologies to all that we present products whose dubious taste tickled our funny bone.

Once you've read the descriptions, tell us what you think--and be sure to vote in our poll.

Crucifixion Tie
Gethsemane, Golgotha... Gucci? True, Jesus said "take no thought of what ye shall wear." But surely he might have done a double take at this 100% silk tie displaying the Agony in the Garden and the journey to Calvary. Those who might be tempted to stock up for Father's Day, think back: What was that Jesus said about it being better to have a millstone tied around your neck?

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Bears

Why settle for a bar mitzvah when you can have a bear mitzvah? America's been in love with teddy bears since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. Trouble is, most of these plush pals don't come with a kippah and tallit, the head covering and prayer shawl traditionally worn by Jews. Now shaynajudaica.com offers cuddly cuties with the appropriate accessories representing, um, reverence and respect for God.

Shiva Action Figure
Though the Hindu god Shiva is the lord of destruction, his fearsomeness is tempered by his role in cyclically recreating the universe. At least, that's what a Hindu would tell you. But there's no room for nuance with this "four-armed reincarnation" of Shiva toting an "Untouchable-Toucher Uzi automatic." So much for Gandhi.

Dog Buddha 

You can meditate all you want, but you'll probably never achieve the ethereal bliss your dog does after he's rolled around in dead things. And what's more evocative of Zen calm than your pooch stretched out before a comfy fire? Look to this placid pup for the inspiration and lovingkindess you need to achieve equanimity. Cat lovers, don't despair: a feline Buddha is also available.

Empty Tomb Candy Tin

It's a theological conundrum for Christians: You want this tin to be empty so you can celebrate the Risen Lord. On the other hand, who's happy when the last of the Sugar Free Scripture Mints (4 oz included in every tin) are gone? The implications make the retailer's suggestion to "reuse the tin" all the more troubling. Just what are we hoping for here?

"No Proselytizing" Door Plaque

You try to be open to all people, but the Jehovah's Witnesses have knocked on your door one too many times. We have "No Smoking" signs, "No Menus" signs--why not a "No Preaching" sign? Keep your soul to yourself with this handy plastic number backed with padded adhesive strips. Why, it may even "prevent dogma attacks," chortles the ad copy. Wherever Madelyn Murray O'Hair is, she's smiling.

Graveyard Dirt

Sure, if you're Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you can grab some topsoil from the cemetery any old time. But what about us ordinary folk who don't live near a final resting place? How are we supposed to get the dirt we need for "binding, hexing, fertility, and many more spells"? We have to mail-order our graveyard dirt. And that's OK; it's what the Internet was made for. One question, though--what happens when the sellers eventually run down their supply?

And the Runners Up...

"Shoes of the Fisherman" Jesus Loves You Sandals

Bobble Head Football Jesus

Ten Plagues of Egypt Finger Puppets

I {Heart} Allah Ruler

Hanukkah Across America Snow Globe

"Gone to See Dad" T-Shirt
Note on cross reads: "Gone to see Dad. ...Be back soon
to pick you up. --Jesus"

Dragon's Blood Ink for Curse Spells

Job Action Figure with Boils

Jesus Bends from Cross to Send Holy Spirit

"Make Your Own" Peanut Baby Jesus in a Manger
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