Inside: Not sure what could possibly be wrong with friendly fruits and veggies telling Bible stories? I couldn’t put my finger on it at first either…but once I could, I knew they definitely had to go.

I threw away the Veggie Tales DVDs today. Apparently I felt the subconscious urge to cross off another space on my “Deconstruction Bingo Card” in 2024.

When the kids found out about it, my middle child asked me why I threw them away. 

“What’s wrong with them?” he sincerely wanted to know. And I felt a little bit bad about my decision to throw them away…for a minute, anyway.

It was difficult to come up with the words to answer his question. 

What could possibly be wrong with talking fruits and vegetables retelling Bible stories in kid-friendly ways?

woman holding trash bag looking confused and scratching her head.

What’s So Wrong with Veggie Tales? Nothing, Except…

Silently, in my head, I thought about King George and the Ducky. 

A seemingly harmless tale about the most famous king in the Bible, who was supposedly a man after God’s own heart, taking another man’s wife, then sending that man to the front of the battlefield to make sure he got to keep his prize.

Or what about Are You My Neighbor? 

A glossy retelling of the Good Samaritan, when in fact, the real story is about a man beaten nearly to death and religious people intentionally not helping him, and the one the religious people hated most stepped up to help. 

I can’t look at those discs without thinking about the pastors caught in various forms of s*xual abuse and leadership covering it up or moving the pastor to a different church, claiming he’s been “rehabilitated” and we need to “give him grace” and “look at King David”.

(The new congregation probably doesn’t know anything about it, by the way.)

Or the Christian voices today who share just as many prejudices as the ones who passed the Good Samaritan by, held up next to the gay congressman who was asked if he and his husband would take another foster child by the state of Texas of all places because “no one else will take them, and you’re so great with adopted kids”. 

Veggie Tales doesn’t seem so innocent then.

Children’s Versions of Bible Stories Gloss Over How Horrific Those Stories Really Are

I grew up reading the Bible, being encouraged to read it all the way through on a yearly basis. 

Today, I’m quite honestly horrified by it, and I stand by my strong opinion that the Bible is not a book for children. Most Bible stories are PG/PG-13 at best, R at worst.

There’s murder in the Bible, mass genocide, crucifixion, rape, incest. I could go on. 

If I believed in book banning (which I don’t), that’s the first book I’d take off the library shelves. Because so many of those horrors take place at God’s command.

Take the classic story of Noah’s ark. God kills everyone on earth – EVERYONE – and saves just one family. ONE.

We tell this story to children, hanging rainbows and arks in their nurseries for heaven’s sake!

When really, this is the tale of an angry God who wiped out almost all of humanity because it was the only solution he could find to their wickedness. While he’s up in the sky, invisible, not helping them at all not be…wicked.

He couldn’t find even one good person, or so the story goes. Today, I find that hard to believe, but my child self swallowed it all. 

Hearing it as a child, with all the religious justifications for it (God had to do it – and He’s God, and he’s good, so he really must have had to do it, etc. etc.), desensitized me to its horrors.

Only when I started deconstructing did I step back and truly see the stories for what they were – horrifying.

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close up of finger pointing to specific Bible verse.

Seemingly Innocent Bible Stories Can Instill Deep-Level Fear in Children Because: OT God Is Scary AF

And we wonder why Christian kids have this underlying existential dread and pray the sinner’s prayer over and over again every night to make sure they’re saved and not going to the place of fiery wrath that God will send them to if they aren’t saved?

The rainbow in the sky promising he’d never flood the entire earth again didn’t comfort me much apparently. 

Because think about how specific the promise is (like he was leaving himself a loophole), God only vowed not to flood the entire earth – he didn’t vow to never wipe out mass amounts of people again by various means…which he went on to do later in the book. Or he told the Israelites to do it anyway. 

The more Greek mythology we read last year, the more I saw the Old Testament God in them. Greek gods were petty, arrogant, distant and angry, doling out punishment left and right, without rhyme or reason.  

“But June, Jesus came and Old Testament God doesn’t need to be Old Testament God anymore. Because: Jesus.” 

As if that makes it all ok.

It also begs the question: did he really need to be Old Testament God in the first place? And if he did, didn’t he create the system that necessitated all the wiping out and harsh punishments (like babies dying because of their father’s sin – a.k.a. David and Bathsheeba)?

And I thought again about how Peter Enns views the Old Testament: a tale of a people who thought they knew who God was and what He wanted, and the tales (sometimes myths) reflect those beliefs.

While that explanation is the only way I could read the Bible today, it doesn’t change the fact that I was told a very different version, the one where the God of the Old Testament is in fact,

Veggie Tales only reminds me of that belief system, one I have no desire to pass on to my children.

“Wow, Mom, the Bible Really Isn’t a Book for Children.” (Exactly, Child, Exactly)

So when King George and the Ducky came up a few days ago, and my second child told my middle child what the story was really about, like really told him, he looked genuinely shocked.

When my middle child recovered, he said very seriously, “Wow, the Bible really isn’t a book for children.”

For real, buddy. For.real. 

Which, to make a long story short, is why the Veggie Tale DVDs had to go. So good-bye forever, Bob and Larry.

You helped me survive many a hard mom morning (kind of like that free babysitting on Sunday mornings), and for that I am grateful. But other than that, I won’t miss you.

Unfortunately, your song will forever stored in my long-term memories. Hopefully it’s not destined to be like that gum commercial in Inside Out…

“If you like to talk to tomatoes, if a squash can make you smile, if you waltz with potatoes, up and down the produce aislllle…have we got a show for you.”

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