Things We Don’t Buy: Commercial Religious Items

Things We Don’t Buy: Commercial Religious Items

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It would feel really out of place if Las Vegas Oddities sold cute cherub statues, or porcelain praying children.

Our shop really focuses on death, the spectacle of death, and the things people do to ward off or commune with our mortality. For that reason we have chosen to carry the occasional religious antique or spiritualist item. However, we are not interested in commercial religious items, especially if they pertain to People of Color and their traditional religious practices. So while we would carry an antique I-ching set, we are not going to be importing any from China.

The biggest reason we aren’t willing to carry these items is respect. We are mostly atheists raised in Abrahamic religions and feel we have no place carrying mass produced voodoo dolls or gris gris bags. This kind of cultural appropriation profits off the commercialization of people’s private religious practices with little to no benefit to the cultures that produce them. We feel there is an exception in antique or antiquarian items that have historical value, or contemporary American culture items like Ouija boards, because these are preserved in respect for that culture.

Plus, there’s a really awesome Pagan center down the road called Haven Craft. They are cool people and go out of their way to source their items from the cultures that create the religious item you’re looking to buy.