Religious Ridiculousness 

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Recently in religious ridiculousness, Lego’s plans to cease selling a particular kit have led Turkish Muslims in Austria to claim a victory. The group in question claimed the toy was anti-Muslim. What was it, exactly? “Jabba’s Palace”, a Lego kit modeled faithfully after the decidedly non-Muslim character from three decades’ worth of Star Wars films.

Not to be outdone, Christians in America recently expressed their own outrage, with Google. The search giant chose to honor labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez in a Google Doodle on his birthday. The problem? This year, Chavez’s birthday fell on the same day as Easter, a holiday Google has only once marked with a Doodle.

Updates (April 8th, 2013): Not one but two updates are needed for this post. The first comes from a reader who runs a blog devoted to Jabba the Hutt merchandise (of course such a site exists). As he correctly notes, though a group of Muslims claimed to be offended, Lego did not remove the toy as a result. The removal was part of a planned phasing out. When I originally wrote this story, Lego had not yet responded to the story as it broke, but I was skeptical the two were related, given their delay in removing the kit. That skepticism was later proven correct. The text above is unchanged, but a link to Lego’s statement is worth adding.

Second, long time friend of the site Todd R. (of the aforementioned Swinton-lacking bachelor party) correctly noted that Google has recognized Easter with a Doodle once, back in 2000. Prior to my original posting, I scoured Google’s entire Doodle archive to check, but seem to have missed this. I’ve updated the text to correct the regrettable mistake.

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