Monday, September 25, 2006

VeggieTales Meets the NBC Slice and Dicer

NBC executives have made a decision that reveals, yet again, their belief system. They bought the rights to the popular VeggieTales series, which is filled with distinctively God-centered content, and are now editing references to God out of the show. They have replaced Bob the Tomato's sign-off line: "God made you special and He loves you very much," with "Thanks for coming over to my house, kids. See you next week." After first insisting that the cuts were made to meet time constraints, the network finally admitted that they made the cuts, "because the network did not want to appear to be advocating any religion." VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer said, "Trying to change the show's Christian message runs counter to the show's expressed mission. It's a mistake to pitch VeggieTales as just values, because fundamentally it's about God."

According to The Los Angeles Times, Mr. Wurtzel said NBC did not believe it had deleted the show's religious message. He said the network had bought the rights to VeggieTales because of its positive religious themes; however, they asked for changes to comply with their standards. "We are not a religious broadcaster," he said. "There are universally accepted religious values that we do think are appropriate,” but “the promotion of any particular religion or a particular denomination" is not allowed. "Clearly the show has religious themes," Mr. Wurtzel said. "It puts forth some very specific religious values. We had to make a decision about where it went further than we considered appropriate."

Wow! What a shocking revelation: NBC is not a religious broadcaster. Help me understand exactly what particular religion and or denomination is helped by a simple reference to God. Most parents, like me, view VeggieTales as a fun, positive alternative to the kind of children's programming typically offered by the major media outlets. We have never viewed the content as a systematic theology. Positive themes and recognition of God is, at best, a mere support of what we teach our children. Bob the Tomato is not a kid's version of Billy Graham. LarryBoy is not a door-to-door apologist for the Christian faith.
This story reveals that NBC is willing to slice and dice some Christian vegetables and values for their own agenda. In fact, NBC is a religious broadcaster. They broadcast a brand of religion sometimes known as secularism, otherwise known as liberalism. Make no mistake; they are very religious. The same people, who want to puree VeggieTales, defend the network’s decision to run a "special" featuring Madonna mocking the crucifixion and sexualizing the holiest doctrine of the Christian faith, thus proving that Ann Coulter is right. In her new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, Coulter maintains that liberalism contains all the attributes of what is generally known as "religion.” The religion of the liberal elitist is their secular world view. Make no mistake about it. It is a religion and this move proves that it is a godless one.
NBC thinks we need vegetables in our diet; they just have to be godless vegetables. Even though this story is set in the trappings of childish things, it reveals once again the "values" of those who still believe that they control the media.

1 comment:

James Woosley said...

I saw an ad for NBC's Saturday morning line-up and was surprised to see the VeggieTales were a part of it. I was pleasently surprised, but no more. It's more of the same from the same old group of elitists who define what appropriate is in the secular world.

We can only hope and pray that the kids who see the "godless" version will bug their parents for a DVD, and then they'll get the real message!