WEIRD NEWS
12/02/2011 10:34 am ET | Updated Dec 03, 2011

Jesus Christ, It's Bacon! Check Out This Crispy Delicious Nativity Scene (And Others)

Jesus Christ was born more than 2,000 years ago, so it's safe to say there is no one alive who was there to witness it.

That said, many artists and entrepreneurs have taken liberties in depicting the blessed event in their own way, such as by portraying Jesus, Mary and the three wise men as cats, dogs, strips of bacon -- or even cans of spam.

Some might think it sacrilegious -- or "sacri-licious" in the case of the pork-inspired nativity -- but Christian author Mark Oestreicher sees it as proof that God works in strange and mysterious ways.

"Many cultures depict manger scenes using elements familiar to them," Oestreicher told HuffPost Weird News. "Some manger scenes made in Africa depict the participants as African instead of Middle Eastern, and I've seen some made in India that used an artistic style that is more common in Buddhism."

  • Zombie Nativity
    Courtesy of Etsy.com/Fetishforethics
    The birth of Jesus has inspired many artists and entrepreneurs to put their own spin on the tale. Christian author Mark Oestreicher has collected some of his favorites on his blog, WhyIsMarko.com, including this one that depicts all participants as zombies in "Deathlehem."
  • Rubber Duckie Nativity
    Courtesy of WhyIsMarko.com
    Oestreicher used to be bothered when he would see nativity scenes depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph as rubber ducks, but now he looks at products like these as "whimsical attempts for people to engage in a mystery."
  • Meat Nativity
    flickr: Greg Chow
    This depiction of the birth of Jesus "meats" all of Oestreicher's criteria for an offbeat nativity -- and has the added bonus of being able to feed peoples' stomachs and their souls at the same time.
  • Nativity Cupcake Toppers
    Courtesy of Eetsy.com/Frostedinsanity
    At first, Oestreicher was taken aback by the use of obviously commercial products, such as these cupcake toppers, even though they "weren't morally wrong." But he has learned to enjoy them.
  • Mermaid Nativity
    Flickr: Teyacapan
    Oestreicher loves the craft that went behind this nativity scene, even though he finds the concept fishy.
  • Spam Nativity
    Courtesy of WhyIsMarko.com
    This depiction of the Bethlehem manger in spam is surely made for Monty Python fans.
  • Snow Globe Nativity
    Courtesy of WhyIsMarko.com
    Oestreicher is particularly amused by this snow globe nativity, mainly because of the way Mary and Joseph are looking at their child through a fishbowl.
  • S'mores Nativity
    Courtesy of WhyIsMarko.com
    Oestreicher believes this nativity, which depicts Jesus and family as s'mores, is perhaps the worst nativity set he's seen.
  • Shotgun Shell Nativity
    Etsy.com/mammasfavorite
    If there is a person in your life whose favorite religious ditty is "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition," this nativity made from shotgun shells is sure to hit the bullseye.
  • Soap Nativity
    Etsy.com/RobinMoore1966
    Oestreicher's annual blog post of weird nativity scenes has become so big that some people send him photos of their work in hopes of inclusion, such as this soap nativity.
  • Tampon Nativity
    TamponCrafts.com
    Oestreicher initially worried about including this nativity scene that uses tampons, but decided to go ahead since it comes from a legitimate craft website that just happens to be dedicated to using tampons.
  • Moose Nativity
    ChristmasInPrescott.com
    Oestreicher admits that he's not a fan of animal nativity scenes, because they lack creativity.
  • Meerkat Nativity
    TheLMagazine.com
  • Halloween Nativity
    Bimey.com
    Because some Christians are anti-Halloween, Oestreicher wasn't sure about the intent of the people who made this nativity scene, but after discussions with the creators, decided it was not malicious, just fun.
  • Frog Nativity
    Photobucket.com/Goalie4Hire
  • Color Nativity
    BuySebastianBergne.com
    This nativity scene, using only color blocks, is Oestreicher's current favorite, as it shows that the nativity is so iconic that it's possible to look at these abstract shapes and still tell what its depicting immediately.
  • Chocolate Nativity
    JazzyGourmet.com
    Oestreicher jokes that the religious act of eating the body of Christ takes on new dimensions when he's made of chocolate.
  • Fondant Nativity
    Etsy.com
    There's only one word for these yummy-looking nativity characters made from frosting: Relicious!
  • Gingerbread Yard Art Nativity
    Ebay.com
    Celebrate two important holiday signifier, the nativity and gingerbread men, by combining them into big lawn ornaments.
  • Monkey Nativity
    Etsy.com
    This depiction of the Nativity featuring monkeys may cause a lot of discussion over the theory of evolution.
  • Nativity Puzzle Erasers
    Word.com.au
    A nativity-themed puzzle eraser set may seem bizarre but Oestreicher points out that Christians believe Jesus came to Earth to erase people's sins.
  • Nesting Dolls Nativity
    Oriental Trading Company
    Nativity nesting dolls are fairly common, but Oestreicher likes this particular set because the tiny sheep fits inside Baby Jesus.

Those depictions aren't Oestreicher's cross to bear, but for the past five years, he's been collecting photos of what he believes are the worst nativity scenes ever made and posting them on his blog.

"I find the ones that depict the nativity with cats or dogs to be hideously laughable," Oestreicher said. "Same with the kitchen timer that features Jesus, Mary and Joseph."

But Oestreicher's comments regarding the nuttier nativity scenes have made some people cross.

"I've had a few sour comments about how the blog post displeases God," he admitted. "But I point out that this is the same God who created laughter."

Though Oestreicher used to think that depicting the birth of Jesus with rubber duckies "sucked," but had an epiphany that helped change his tune.

"These are peoples' whimsical attempts to engage in a profound mystery," he said.

He's even found inspiration from some nativity scenes that helped him explain the concept of God and Jesus to a group of junior high school students.

"I told them, 'Imagine a giant Lego set and you decide to go into the Lego scene,' " Oestreicher said. "That's what God did when he sent his only son down to Earth."

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