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American Girl boy doll upsets Asheville pastor

American Girl began selling its newest dolls Thursday, and one of them is a boy. The release of the doll upset Asheville pastor Dr. Keith Ogden, of Hill Street Baptist Church. But Jordan Castelloe, manager of Dancing Bear toy store on Tunnel Road, said dolls are a way to help kids with social skills. (Photo credit: American Girl)

American Girl began selling its newest dolls Thursday, and one of them is a boy.

It's the first full-size boy doll in the popular doll maker's lineup.

Logan Everett is a drummer in a Nashville-based country band with Tenney Grant, the female doll lead singer.


The release of the doll upset Asheville pastor Dr. Keith Ogden, of Hill Street Baptist Church. He said it's not so much the doll as the way people are trying to use it and the message it sends to little boys.

"Everything now, we want it to be gender neutral," Ogden said. "And the people who are for that, and placate to that, they amplify it and make it a big issue."

American Girl dolls are only sold in the U.S. directly from the retailer through its website or at one of its retail stores that are located only in big cities.

Jordan Castelloe, manager of Dancing Bear toy store on Tunnel Road, said dolls are a way to help kids with social skills.

"If you're a tomboy-ish girl or a more feminine boy, there aren't a lot of dolls that fit," Castelloe said. "Most dolls are very gendered."

Ogden wrote an email to his parish Wednesday, angry about the way the doll was presented on Good Morning America:

KILLING THE MINDS OF MALE BABIES:
GMA reported this morning "America Girls" are now making boy dolls, they say, gender neutral.... #HUH This is nothing more than a trick of the enemy to (emasculate little boys) and confuse their role to become men. There are those in this world who want to alter God's creation of the male and female. The devil wants to kill, steal and destroy the minds of our children and grandchildren by perverting, distorting and twisting to TRUTH of WHO GOD created them to be. The Word of the Lord says: John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. #Misrepresent #Falsify


"When I was coming up as a kid, we had the GI Joe with the kung fu grip," Ogden said. "We knew: that's for boys. Ken was made for Barbie ... not so much Ken for boys to start playing with dolls."

Ogden said he believes it's part of a trend to remove the role that God intended for people of each gender.

"I'm not saying boys will turn out to be girls if they play with the doll, but there ought to be some stipulation," Ogden said. "Don't call it gender neutral. This is a boy doll, we're going to put boy clothes on it."

The doll is on sale on the American Girl website for $115.

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