Julien Cucumber

I like to talk to tomatoes, and a squash can always make me smile. So, I was pleased to learn that NBC is now showing episodes of VeggieTales on Saturday mornings. I was less pleased to learn that God has been left on the cutting-room floor.

NBC has removed references to God to make the show more palatable to a wider audience. This admission is an improvement on their first excuse (BugMeNot), which was that the show had been edited for time.

‘”NBC is committed to the positive messages and universal values of ‘VeggieTales,’ ” [a network] statement said. “Our goal is to reach as broad an audience as possible with these positive messages, while being careful not to advocate any one religious point of view.”‘

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The Los Angeles Times

The further editing was done despite the fact that VeggieTales producers had already selected episodes that were ‘less overt in their Christian themes’, and had removed the Bible verses from the end of the show.

The excuse of omission to avoid ‘advocating’ is wearing a little thin. Anyone who’s seen Desperate Housewives or Friends knows that NBC is by no means an advocate for Christianity. If anything, NBC is a champion of all things secular. Was there really any danger in viewers mistaking NBC for TBN?

Simply because a teacher professes to be Christian does not mean that the local, state, or federal governments are advocates of Christianity. The same is true for NBC and animated cucumbers. Regardless of what’s removed, VeggieTales is Christian. God is its focus, no matter what is or isn’t said. NBC knew this in advance; didn’t they wonder, for a moment, that this may have been an important part of its success?

Bob the Tomato used to say, ‘God made you special and He loves you very much.’ Now he bids farewell by saying, ‘Thanks for coming over to my house, kids. See you next week.’

Feel the love.

If NBC removed VeggieTales’ references to God to avoid advocating Christianity, how should we view their decision to broadcast Madonna crucified, and wearing a crown of thorns?

(Thanks, Ed!)

[Update: Michelle Malkin covers this story in a recent edition of Hot Air TV. I knew about Madonna, but I didn’t know that NBC’s Saturday Night Live had aired an banal spoof of VeggieTales in 2002. Everyone loves sexual molestation jokes.]

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