It's Chick-fil-A's fault, really.
In our house, we have a strict rule - no banality in the car. No Wee Sing, no Laurie Berkner (though I personally find Laurie Berkner delightful), and no - NO - VeggieTales. If we're going to hear the same song 843 times in a row, let's at least let is be Amos Lee or John Mayer or Jars of Clay (Silas' most recent unending request). Is that too much to ask?
Chick-fil-A didn't get the memo. VeggieTales CDs are the current prize in their kids' meals. My children were thrilled - Brian and I, not so much. But for the past few days, at least, King George and the Rubber Ducky has been on quasi-repeat (though I reserve the right to say, "No, boys, I just can't listen to Larry the Cucumber right now. How about a little Red Mountain Church instead?").
I have to tell you guys, the more I listen to it, the more offended I become.
It's a g-rated, Veggie Tale version of the story of David, Bathsheba, and Uriah. You can find it on youtube if you want to know more. First of all, the idea of Bathsheba as a ducky - a piece of property, that someone wanted and so they took - is thoroughly offending, but I think in this respect they are more historically accurate than I would like to admit. What's more offending is how sanitized the story is. David didn't just go apologize to Uriah and make things better; he had Uriah KILLED, and the infant son born to David and Bathsheba DIED as a result of David's sin. He also never had peace in his home again. Now it's worth noting that the second born son of David and Bathsheba was Solomon, who was known for his wisdom and, in this regard at least, was the antithesis of his origin. It's a beautiful story, ultimately, of repentance and redemption. But it is not cute. It is not neat. And the attempts to make it so cheapen its meaning.
It's like the way all children's ministry curricula want to talk about Moses and Pharaoh. Yes, it's exciting - flies and water into blood catch our attention, for sure. But it's so gruesome and frankly, a little bit scary. I'm reminded of a line from the West Wing. "Children are dead and then you segue into what." It's a story of God's power and faithfulness, but is it really appropriate for three-year-olds?
I'm just not sure why we do this. Why sanitize these Old Testament stories and fit them into ten minute segments? And why does everyone start children off with burning bushes and plagues of flies? I understand types and shadows; I understand the value of knowing Old Testament stories. But they don't. They won't understand symbolism until sometime around high school. So what are we teaching them, really? Wouldn't a better basis for Christian education perhaps be the central figure of the Christian faith? There's a lot more to Jesus than "suffer the children to come unto me," you know.
Now I'm just ranting. But I grew up in churches with a wimpy Jesus and disjointed, meaningless stories. Imagine my shock to realize there was more to the Bible than VBS ever let on. I know better now, but it took years to undo the senseless and, frankly, boring God I first imagined. I want my children to know better, too.
I think we'll just stick with Lyle.