But when it comes to stereotyping Christians? They're all over it, apparently, and totally without tact.
review of the new iPad app for the Berenstain Bears. Instead of reviewing it, though, he decides to pick on the new Berenstain Bears line through Zondervan, "Living Lights," which teach Christianity through books which include, "The Golden Rule," "The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers," and "The Berenstain Bears: God Loves You."
I was thrilled to read that my favorite bears remain popular with kids today, and a new platform means new readers. Then I noticed something odd about this incarnation of the Berenstains: they’d become practicing Christians!He continues:
The singular quality of the series always seemed to be the everyday fallibility of the characters; they could be mean-spirited, selfish, territorial, and gluttonous (they’re bears after all), but by the end of each book, they would redeem themselves—restored to their better selves by the steadying influence of trusty humanist values and good cheer. God never seemed to have anything to do with it. Now, I'm faced with the unthinkable: would these once agnostic Reagan-era bear creatures now vote Tea Party in the next election?New Yorker.com
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Wait, I'm not even going to say anything. I'm going to just let something from the Comments section speak for itself. It's from some dude named...oh...Mike Berenstain:
As co-creator with my mother, Jan, of current Berenstain Bear books, I appreciate your positive review of Oceanhouse’s app of "The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule." I must, however, take exception to the suggestion that these books have any connection to the “Tea Party” or any other political movement or ideology. The books are about basic moral and ethical themes in everyday family life, with an emphasis on their spiritual side. They are not about politics or do they espouse a social agenda. My own Christian faith naturally informs the series which may be identified by the Living Lights logo on the cover. We continue to create non-religiously themed Berenstain Bear books with Zondervan’s parent company, HarperCollins, with equal dedication and enthusiasm; for example "The Berenstain Bears’ Computer Trouble" which deals with the family challenge of modern techno-obsession, a phenomenon to which Berenstain Bears apps may admittedly contribute.Get Religion points out:
Um, this is just utterly bizarre. Saying prayers, going to Sunday School and believing that God loves you might be views that some in the Tea Party hold. But what does it say about The New Yorker that these activities are so beyond the pale that they think that only those awful Tea Partiers do them?
I mean, I actually know political liberals who pray, go to Sunday School and believe that God loves them, too!And USA Today:
Actually, the bears are espousing values in parallel universes. The general market will still get the bears' values, bare of explicitly Christian language and imagery, through HarperCollins.
It's not even like the Berenstain Bears got themselves a big name and then changed all their stuff over. There is no malice. Somebody just decided to write an app for the Christian version before they did one for the secular version. Big deal. If anything, he should be more upset at the developer, not anyone else (whether publisher, Christian, or Tea Party). But to stamp stereotypes on not just one, but TWO groups of people is highly unprofessional.
I've never even been to a Tea Party rally, nor do I know anyone (who is a Christian) who has. Actually, most Christians believe that politics should be kept out of religion, which is why I've never heard anyone talk about it (for his information). Remember John 18:36?
It's also why I have a blog, where I can rant for no one to listen.
The views of this blog are not endorsed or approved by the churches of God.