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NBC to air 'Veggie Tales', sans proselytizing

Oh, the bible beaters will be up in arms over this:

The popular Christian-themed VeggieTales cartoons, which feature loveable talking vegetables Larry the Cucumber, Bob the Tomato, and other “veggies,” are now being broadcast on Saturday mornings on NBC. Fans will notice some changes, however, as the network has insisted any biblical or evangelical messages in the animated shows be edited out.

According to an Associated Press report, VeggieTales creator and consultant Phil Vischer is, at NBC’s insistence, retooling the popular cartoons for network television. The cartoon still presents Bible stories, he notes, but the network has said they cannot preach to kids or show Scriptures at the end of each episode, so “we have had to make some edits.”

For example, Vischer recalls, in one VeggieTales episode a character states, “The Bible says God gave Samson his strength,” and NBC “didn’t have a problem with that. But then the character kind of turns to the camera and says, ‘And God can give us strength, too.’ And that’s kind of where [NBC] said, ‘Okay, now you’re preaching.'”

I didn’t have to wait long on fundie reaction. Right wing arbiter of good taste and high moral standards Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center just about had the vapors when he heard the news, bleating in his column:

But here is what should be news. The early word from producers is that NBC has grown increasingly fierce about editing something out of “Veggie Tales” — those apparently unacceptable, insensitive references to God and the Bible.

So NBC has taken the very essence of “Veggie Tales” — and ripped it out. It’s like “Gunsmoke” without the guns, or “Monday Night Football” without the football.

Think about this corporate mindset. NBC is the network that hired a squad of lawyers to argue that dropping the F-bomb on the
Golden Globe Awards isn’t indecent for children, but invoking God is wholly unacceptable. Or, as one e-mailing friend marveled: “So, saying ‘F— you’ is protected First Amendment speech on NBC but not ‘God bless you.'”

…when it comes to religious programming — programming that doesn’t even mention Jesus Christ — just watch the hypocrisy. Instead of telling viewers to just change the channel if they don’t like it, or put in a V-chip for Bible verses, they demand to producers that all that outdated old-time religion has to be shredded before broadcast.

It’s truly sad that this anti-religious hypocrisy would emerge. Today, no one in network TV fears what the children are watching — unless it makes them think about God.

Speaking of toxic vegetables, it looks like they’ve traced the E. coli-tainted spinach to California-based Natural Selection Foods.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding