Conservative Christians are in an uproar over two decisions made by NBC. The first is the network's removal of "most if not all of the references to God and the Bible" from its Saturday morning broadcasts of "VeggieTales," which co-creator Phil Vischer said he never would have agreed to if he knew beforehand that's what NBC would do.
The second is the planned airing of a Madonna concert, in which she performs one song "while mounted on a cross, in imitation of the Crucifixion of Jesus," The New York Times reports, adding "that part of Madonna's current concert tour has drawn protests around the world from people who believe it is blasphemous or offensive to Christians."
(NBC broadcast standards executive Alan) Wurtzel said NBC did not believe it had deleted the show's religious message; he said the network had bought the rights to "Veggie Tales" because of its positive religious themes but that it did ask for changes to comply with its standards.
"We are not a religious broadcaster," he said. "There are universally accepted religious values that we do think are appropriate," but the promotion of "any particular religion or a particular denomination" is not allowed.
"Clearly the show has religious themes," Mr. Wurtzel said. "It puts forth some very specific religious values. We had to make a decision about where it went further than we considered appropriate."So don't expect the network to conduct any interviews with athletes who give glory to Jesus Christ in the future, either. Meanwhile, Madonna stepped forward in her role as God's spokeswoman.
"Rather," it went on to say, "it is my plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and see the world as a unified whole. I believe in my heart that if Jesus were alive today, he would be doing the same thing."
Uh, Madonna, Jesus is alive today.
"I'm not blasphemous!"
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