Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How Should Christian Entertainment Work?

I saw this at NerdMom's, but my post doesn't really have anything to do with her views, so don't attack the messenger. Do you remember Veggie Tales? Mr. BTEG and I found them enjoyable and we let our girls watch them, although they do have detractors, with perhaps good reason. I don't really want to go into that, but into Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer's big new project, called Jellytelly. I know that there are those who advocate Christians moving more into the areas where they are currently poorly represented, such as politics and the entertainment industry. However, watching Phil Vischer's video about what Jellytelly is, I wondered about a few things.

First of all, Vischer asserts that since kids are watching so much television, they should be watching better things than Hannah Montana. I say, first of all, why not encourage kids to watch less television? Second of all, shows like Hannah Montana are not *necessarily* bad. Watching Disney channel shows like these with my daughter, I am realizing that a) I preferred watching preschool shows like Blue's Clues and b) these shows are the food equivalent of a root beer float, sweet and fluffy but without much redeeming nutritional value. However, *if* you watch television with your children, parents can discuss issues with their children like dating, lying, respect to parents, friendship and more. It's not exactly worth watching the shows just to provide the opportunities for discussion, but kids like sweets, and they can be fine in moderation. Now, watching these shows, I can see why parents stick kids in their own rooms with their own televisions. :) However, I really don't believe that's healthy for kids, in more ways than one. I like being aware of what my daughters are watching and listening to, even if they're not my favorite things.

So, if Christians are involved in entertainment, what should it look like? Kids' television entertainment with religious storylines have been around since at least Davey and Goliath. Should shows have an explicit religious story and moral? These may have a place, but even there parents should be careful. Programs like Veggie Tales, that can have Evangelical messages confessional Lutherans may not agree with, may still have to be viewed with parental input. Can Christians also make shows about normal people who happen to be Christians, say, who go to church and pray before meals? Can it be done without the schmaltz of a 7th Heaven? :) Well, I don't know that my gifts run to these areas, so I'll just see what faithful Christians can come up with.

1 comment:

Elephantschild said...

I have such mixed feelings about this. I wish there was more good stuff out there, minus the schmaltz. But I also don't think everything has to be Officially Christian (TM) for it to be of value.