That's right - Bob the Tomato & Company are coming to network TV. But don't get too excited yet; it won't be the VeggieTales you're familiar with. Instead, you'll get a watered-down "values-friendly" version of your old favorites that is carefully censored so as not to "advocate any one religious point of view." Even Bob the Tomato's signature sign-off line, "God made you special and he loves you very much," has allegedly been replaced with "Thanks for coming over to my house, kids. See you next week." Boo.
From Al Mohler (President of SBTS):
Is NBC seriously concerned that any significant percentage of the nation's parents believe that God did not make their children special? Do they not want their children told that God loves them very much? Just what "one religious point of view" does this represent? In reality, this represents the fear among the media elite that any reference to God will transform them into religious broadcasters. That frightening thought led an NBC executive, Alan Wurzel, to tell The New York Times, "We are not a religious broadcaster." Who knew? [more]
From Phil Vischer (Original creator of VeggieTales):
...Just two weeks before the first three episodes had to be delivered to NBC, I was sitting at a meeting about the VeggieTales movie ... when the head of Big Idea leaned over to me and said, "NBC says we can't say 'God made you special and he loves you very much'." I think I turned visibly white. "How are we supposed to end the show, then?" I asked. He didn't have an answer.
Four days before the first three episodes were due to be delivered to NBC, we got an email from NBC's 'standards and practices' department with a list of lines that needed to be removed from one of those shows - every line that implied God or the Bible might have an impact on how we live our lives today. [more}
But seriously, am I all that worked up over VeggieTales? Not really (though I do think it's a shame to see the shift that will take place in something originally used to teach kids about God.) Cutting Bible- and God-references out of the show seemed like a pretty easy decision for NBC, especially since they are not condoning "any one religious point of view." I guess the more difficult decision for NBC is whether or not to broadcast a crucified Madonna. Double standard, anyone?