Author Topic: Veggie Tales  (Read 1027 times)

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Online Quesi

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Veggie Tales
« on: October 04, 2013, 04:43:41 AM »
Godammit. 

Our cable box is fried, and the cable guy isn't coming until Sunday.  In the meantime, my 7 year old has been entertaining herself watching Hulu on my ipad.  I got her into the children's section, and figured there wouldn't be anything too offensive there.

Yesterday she told me about a new show she discovered and was really excited about.  It is called Veggie Tales.  She went on to tell me that the show encourages children to eat their vegetables.  I glanced at the appealing animated characters, and listened from a distance to the gentle dialogue, and it seemed like a perfectly reasonable show for her to be watching in her downtime. 

And then I listened some more.

Goddamit!

It is a Christian propaganda show for young children.  And it doesn't come with any warning labels.  And it is right there, being promoted on Hulu.

I am so pissed.

She loves the show, and I'm certainly not going to forbid it.  But I am so angry that children can stumble across this sort of brainwashing bs so easily.  We had a brief discussion about some of the content of one show last night, and we are clearly going to have to put a lot of time and energy into understanding the underlying messages. 

Some of the pieces are just woo for kids:



While other pieces are the re-telling if biblical stories in a kid-friendly way.


Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2013, 06:07:51 AM »


It's not just the christians doing it.
I remember stumbling on this program one day (channel hopping through all the sky channels one very bored afternoon, I think this program was on showcase TV)
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2013, 06:24:48 AM »
Wow...
Just...
WOW.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2013, 07:09:02 AM »
Yeah...luckily my kids were grown enough when these first came out to be able to watch them more with the intent of poking fun than being influenced. There was one which we acquired somewhere along the line (don't recall how) which my daughter & I used to watch now and again just for giggles. It was about Jonah and the whale, and had some catchy songs in it. My daughter would have been about 11 at the time, and it was actually a good learning tool to show how ridiculous it was for adults to take this sort of story seriously, as it turned out.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2013, 08:36:24 AM »
I had buddies in college that were big fans of Veggie Tales.  Yes they were the bible study crowd[1].
 1. The nice, reasonable, progressive bible study crowd.  Not the fundamentalist jerkbag bible study crowd.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2013, 10:10:19 AM »
My kids used to watch it (I saw several episodes also in my xian days, usually while noddinf off).  It was actually witty at times, ignoring the obvious BS... I doubt I could sit through it now.  The original creators sold out or went bankrupt (some long story there) and its latest iterations may have changed some from when I saw it.

Actually, it took some abuse from the religious crowds for being too subtle in its approach.  It rarely talked about jeezus and salvation (never hell or punishment), like the fundies would prefer - and concentrated more on the watered-down version of bible tales.  It was more of a god is a swell guy, be nice to each other approach.  Like I said, it may have changed, but several years ago it was pretty light.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 11:55:28 AM »
My kids used to watch it (I saw several episodes also in my xian days, usually while noddinf off).  It was actually witty at times, ignoring the obvious BS... I doubt I could sit through it now.  The original creators sold out or went bankrupt (some long story there) and its latest iterations may have changed some from when I saw it.

Actually, it took some abuse from the religious crowds for being too subtle in its approach.  It rarely talked about jeezus and salvation (never hell or punishment), like the fundies would prefer - and concentrated more on the watered-down version of bible tales.  It was more of a god is a swell guy, be nice to each other approach.  Like I said, it may have changed, but several years ago it was pretty light.

That's probably more along the lines of the one I was talking about. It would have been some 12-15 years ago, I think. Maybe a bit more recent...now that I think about it, I can't recall which house we were in at the time (we tend to move every 2-3 years with the Navy, so a lot of the time I have to picture my surroundings to pin a year onto something).
Certainly that "God loves me" song from Quesi's first clip sounds quite a bit more overt and annoying than what I remember.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 01:01:25 PM »
I saw an episode where a cabbage called on the wrath of god to slaughter a whole bunch of carrots.  And in another, a rutabega, who was apparently a prostitute, was stoned to death by a bunch of green beans.  I don't even want to mention the episode with the gay cucumber.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2013, 01:42:15 PM »
Most of the controversy, or talk about the show over the years have been by Christians. When NBC put it on their network they edited the show to what their policies state. Christians were angry about that. But some Christians felt that the show was weak. It didn't talk about Jesus enough, didn't emphasize enough about the other evil religions, etc.,

I find that scary. It's like they want to scare and frighten children. But then again, they are raising their children in a scary religion.

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Offline rev45

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2013, 04:05:57 PM »
My kids used to watch it (I saw several episodes also in my xian days, usually while noddinf off).  It was actually witty at times, ignoring the obvious BS... I doubt I could sit through it now.  The original creators sold out or went bankrupt (some long story there) and its latest iterations may have changed some from when I saw it.
I watched a lot of Veggie Tales back in my religious days and I agree that it did have it's times where it was pretty funny although I think it was usually the Silly Songs.  The Cebu Song, His Cheeseburger, and Where Is My Hairbrush? I can remember being amusing.  My kids have some coloring books and story books that have the Veggie Tales in them but I don't think they've ever shown any interest in them.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2013, 04:13:22 PM »
^^^ I think their appeal lasts until about age 6 or so...  I still have the song about "god is bigger than the boogey man" lyrics in my brain!  (Which is pretty funny now, considering you compare one imaginary being to the other)  Aaargh 
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 04:16:07 PM by neopagan »
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2013, 04:24:46 PM »
As the resident black dreadlocked atheist commie mommy, I made sure my daughter only watched the Godless Gay Abortion Worm Food Evil Heathens for Free Government Health Care Tales. She always loved the part where puppets dressed to look like Charles Darwin and Carl Sagan sang the theme song, "There is no god":

"There is no god so life is meaningless and then you die and rot until your very essence is lost in the cold lonely void of empty space la la la la"

Very catchy-- sometimes I still find myself humming it. You can't find the series any more because it went straight to video hell. 
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline neopagan

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2013, 04:39:32 PM »
Is that on Netflix? 
Now that I don't waste time praying every day, I could catch up on a few back episodes, although I do spend a fair amount of time basting the roasting babies in the double broiler...
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Nam

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2013, 06:37:18 PM »
^no, it's on [p]orntube. Didn't you know, all of atheism is [p]ornographic.[1]

-Nam
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Offline Willie

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2013, 09:46:37 PM »
Veggie tales is mostly harmless, especially if the parent isn't portraying it as anything more than fiction, just like Teletubbies or The Wiggles, or any of the other shows for young kids. It did tend to encourage good behavior, often actual good (kindness and honesty), not only the purely religious sort of "good" (praying and commitment to God and such), though it did include some of that. And, as others have pointed out, it was actually pretty witty. My daughter used to watch it when she was little. No harm done. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Offline Willie

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2013, 09:49:05 PM »
I watched a lot of Veggie Tales back in my religious days and I agree that it did have it's times where it was pretty funny although I think it was usually the Silly Songs.  The Cebu Song, His Cheeseburger, and Where Is My Hairbrush? I can remember being amusing.  My kids have some coloring books and story books that have the Veggie Tales in them but I don't think they've ever shown any interest in them.

Yeah, the silly songs were pretty cute.

My favorite:




Online Quesi

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2013, 03:22:15 PM »
Veggie tales is mostly harmless, especially if the parent isn't portraying it as anything more than fiction, just like Teletubbies or The Wiggles, or any of the other shows for young kids. It did tend to encourage good behavior, often actual good (kindness and honesty), not only the purely religious sort of "good" (praying and commitment to God and such), though it did include some of that. And, as others have pointed out, it was actually pretty witty. My daughter used to watch it when she was little. No harm done. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Do you know what concerns me about it, now that I'm paying attention?  If you are afraid, god will give you courage.  If you are unsure of what to do, god will give you direction.  If you are lonely, god will give you comfort.

These are not the strategies that I would like my young daughter to depend upon.

Last night we went out to dinner with another mom and her second grader, and I tried to bring it up at dinner.  The other mom, who is raising her daughter as a secular humanist, had not heard of the show, but when she asked her daughter, the little girl said she had heard of it.

The other mom jumped in, right on cue, and started talking about how important it is to develop problem solving skills and to learn to rely both on internal resources and also to draw on support and knowledge from the people around you. 

I was thrilled.  But before she got through the second sentence, the girls were giggling and playing with the little toys that they had brought to the table, and had completely disengaged from the conversation.

I don't think that watching this cute little show is going to cause irreparable harm to my 7 year old.  But I do feel like it has raised a lot of issues that I really need to put a lot of time and energy into refuting.

And that pisses me off. 

Offline Nam

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2013, 09:15:29 PM »
This is where indoctrination begins. You start the child with these things that will shape their viewpoints, and since it's a children's cartoon, what harm is there?

A lot, sadly. You have one group of people telling your children one thing, and then you have to try to explain what's wrong with message from the talking food. But they're not listening to you because you're not talking food.

Christians wouldn't let their children watch and learn from atheist food, so why should any of you do it for Christian food (you know what I mean)?

It's all "innocent".

-Nam
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The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline Willie

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2013, 10:09:49 PM »
We live in a society that is thoroughly saturated with religious indoctrination. You can't protect or prepare your children for that by hiding it from them, and you're unlikely to succeed at it if you try. That stuff about God providing courage, direction and comfort? They're going to hear that whether you let them watch Veggie Tales or not. Better to have it out in the open and put it in the same category as Santa Clause. Something that makes a nice fantasy, but isn't real even though they may encounter some who believe it.

Offline Willie

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2013, 10:17:08 PM »
Yeah...luckily my kids were grown enough when these first came out to be able to watch them more with the intent of poking fun than being influenced. There was one which we acquired somewhere along the line (don't recall how) which my daughter & I used to watch now and again just for giggles. It was about Jonah and the whale, and had some catchy songs in it. My daughter would have been about 11 at the time, and it was actually a good learning tool to show how ridiculous it was for adults to take this sort of story seriously, as it turned out.

Yep. Use it as a tool. then it ceases to be a threat.

Offline Nam

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2013, 10:09:47 AM »
We live in a society that is thoroughly saturated with religious indoctrination. You can't protect or prepare your children for that by hiding it from them, and you're unlikely to succeed at it if you try. That stuff about God providing courage, direction and comfort? They're going to hear that whether you let them watch Veggie Tales or not. Better to have it out in the open and put it in the same category as Santa Clause. Something that makes a nice fantasy, but isn't real even though they may encounter some who believe it.


You can't compare Santa Claus, to what Veggie Tales does. For one, Santa Claus is recognizable to Christmas (not necessarily Christianity), I have seen many versions of Santa Claus cartoons, read stories etc., and not one of them taught me anything about Jesus or Christianity. Now, Veggie Tales does exactly that (though not so much on the Jesus). It tells you about Biblegod , and things relating to Christianity.

Santa Claus doesn't.

But you're correct in that everyday life, at least in the US, does have indoctrinating effects of one religion over others, that being Christianity. However, it could be compared with the everyday of seeing vehicles, or hearing about Hollywood, or similar things. It has a passing effect where it's not necessarily jammed down your throat as a specific thing would be, like constantly reading what seems to be a neutral book, or watching a single television.

Children tend to watch things they like over and over again. I remember my sister, when she was a child, would constantly watch The Little Mermaid, and in doing so it had an effect on her in her later years (nothing negative).

Positive indoctrination may have a better and more holding effect on a person's mind rather than negative indoctrination.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline Betelnut

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2013, 06:49:44 PM »
I have specifically avoided allowing my daughter to watch Veggie Tales.  That said, I remember watching David & Goliath when I was kid and I'm as atheist as you can get.

Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2013, 03:29:09 AM »
Is that on Netflix? 
Now that I don't waste time praying every day, I could catch up on a few back episodes, although I do spend a fair amount of time basting the roasting babies in the double broiler...

You ought to try Ron Pope-Ills Set it and Forget it oven.  Tender every time

Offline Benny

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Re: Veggie Tales
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2013, 03:13:07 AM »
I saw an episode of Veggie Tales once, when I was very young.  The "talking vegetables" deal scared me off well before they started talking about Jesus, so I never even knew that it was Christian propaganda until years later.  Dodged a bullet on that one.
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