NBC cuts God out of VeggieTalesI had intended to write a lengthy football preview for today's important games, but as I was engaging in my usual morning custom of parousing the newspapers, I came across a story out of this morning's Tennessean that made me very angry.
If you ever happen to be watching Saturday morning cartoons on NBC either because you have children or you are just flipping through the channels, you might have noticed Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber, the signature characters from the VeggieTales series, the wildly popular video series that has sold millions of copies and is popular with kids of all ethnic and religious backgrounds all over America. It has now made its way to Saturday morning TV.
Since VeggieTales made its debut on Saturdays, I have to confess that I haven't seen much of the show. However, I have seen several of the videos that were parsed to create the Saturday morning program. They are wholesome, clean, and promote a message of love and respect, but most of all, VeggieTales is a lot of fun.
Apparently, part of the deal in order to bring VeggieTales to Saturday mornings involved censorship of the show's religious content-VeggieTales is a Christian program. The worst part of this censorship is that NBC is not admitting the obvious-that they are censoring the show for references to God-they are merely saying that they are editing for time allowed. Let's look at the "time edits" NBC requested from Big Idea Productions:
As discussed, there are a few edit notes for Episode #2 MINESSOTA CUKE
We list the time-code with specific dialogue lines to be deleted:*
11:50-11:52 – "Calm down. The Bible says we should love our enemies." (on phone)
16:53-17:06 And the best part is God gives us strength too. He gives us an even greater power than Samson's, the power to love our enemy and even be kind to them." (on phone)
18:36 – "Because God gives us the power to love everybody, even our enemy." (on phone)
All of the lines are from MARTIN's voice-over during phone conversations.
Greatly appreciate your attention to Program Standards notes & concerns. As soon as the edits have been addressed, we will need to re-screen for broadcast approval.
Meanwhile, NBC still plans to show Madonna blaspheme the name and person of Christ by mocking the crucifixion on-air. We can't say anything bad about certain other religions over the airwaves, but it is perfectly alright to mock Christianity while censoring all positive references to it (though they now officially say they are "reconsidering" doing so.)
This kind of double-standard is precisely why Christians feel that the mainstream media is not friendly to them and is in fact a force in opposition, and this social double standard is one of the reasons why the divide in this country is so deep and pronounced.
VeggieTales doesn't mention God every other word, but its Christian underpinnings are obvious. If NBC didn't want a Christian show, they shouldn't have jumped on the VeggieTales bandwagon.