Toys for Tots Changes Mind, Will Accept Talking Jesus Dolls

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The Marine Reserves' Toys for Tots program has decided to accept a donation of talking Jesus dolls for gifts, changing course on a decision earlier this week to not accept them.

"The talking Jesus doll issue has been resolved," the Marine organization announced on its Web site Wednesday. "Toys for Tots has found appropriate places for these items. We have notified the donor of our willingness to handle this transaction."

Earlier this week, the program declined a suburban Los Angeles company's offer to donate 4,000 of the foot-tall dolls, which quote Bible verses. The battery-powered Jesus is one of several dolls manufactured by one2believe, a division of the Valencia-based Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co., based on Biblical figures.

In explaining the initial decision, Bill Grein, vice president of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, in Quantico, Va., had said the program didn't profess one religion over another, and didn't want to take the risk of offending a Jewish or Muslim family if they received a doll.