Phil Vischer

Veggietales' Phil Vischer is Back with Creativity & Faith to Share - Dove.org

Background Information:

Name: Philip Roger Vischer
Birthday: June 16, 1966 Muscatine, Iowa
Education: St. Paul Bible College
Occupation History: Founder Big Idea (1993-2003)
Founder Jellyfish Labs (2004-2020)
Occupation Current: Host of the “Holy Post” podcast (2012-present)
Writer/actor for “The Veggie Tales Show” (2019-present)
Author, Speaker
Known For: Veggie Tales, Holy Post podcast, Minno (formerly JellyTelly)
Associations: Skye Jethani, Karen Swallow Prior, David French, Lecrae, Russell Moore, Preston Sprinkle, Jamar Tisbi, John Perkins, Ed Stetzer, Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Overview:

Phil Vischer is most well-known for the hit children’s series Veggie Tales. As the founder of Big Idea and Jellyfish labs, Vischer knows how to come up with compelling ideas for children’s shows and how to execute those ideas successfully. He also knows how to produce an effective and catchy narrative. He is most well-known for his Veggie Tales show, but he is also the host of the “Holy Post” podcast. In recent years, Vischer has revealed (sometimes implicitly, sometimes explicitly) that he maintains Left-leaning sympathies and ideological positions on issues ranging from white privilege, to parenting, to abortion, to transgenderism and homosexuality, to church discipline, to standpoint epistemology, and a myriad of others.

Vischer on “White Privilege” in Veggie Tales:

In 2017, Phil Vischer released a podcast episode wherein he spoke about the concept of “white privilege,” which is a tenet of Critical Race Theory. In particular, he applied the concept of white privilege to his own success as a filmmaker and originator of Veggie Tales. He credited his supposed privilege as a white male for the show’s renown as a children’s television hit, and spoke about how his parents’ status as white people was the primary catalyst for his ability to network with other white people to produce the show:

“I have benefitted from racial injustice. After marrying a tradesman, my mother got her doctorate at age 50 and became a college professor. My brother ended up at Harvard Law and is now dean of a law school in Minnesota. My sister has a doctorate and teaches in NYC. And I am a filmmaker of moderate renown. Did we work hard? Yes, I guess so. But lots of people work hard and don’t have nearly as much to show for it. So what is the missing factor? The factor that may be even more important than the hard work? We were white.”

Vischer’s CRT-inspired beliefs go hand-in-hand with his Leftist perspective on the Black Lives Matter race riots which began in 2015 and reached a zenith during the summer of 2020. Vischer fails to realize that when criminality permeates a culture, it leads to escalations of violence, and he lays blame for the riots at the feet of the police who worked to protect their communities, rather than at the feet of violent criminals themselves:

“So when I see people of color protesting injustice or living in poverty in wrecked communities, people in Ferguson, Missouri, or Minneapolis or Chicago or Flint, Michigan, and I feel the urge to say, ‘Well, if you just worked harder you could do what I did …’ That is a lie. We built a system to favor ourselves. And it worked amazingly well.”

In other words, Vischer asserts that encouraging virtuous behavior and discouraging vicious behavior in black communities is somehow unjust, because “the system” was built by white people, for white people. He believes that black people are fundamentally at a severe disadvantage not due to the impact of criminal culture within their communities, but because of white privilege. This is part and parcel of Critical Race Theory.

Phil Vischer on the Politics of Abortion (with Skye Jethani):

In 2021, Phil Vischer teamed up with Woke pastor and author Skye Jethani to make the case that Leftists and liberals reduce abortions, whereas conservatives increase them. Vischer claimed that the goal of eliminating Roe v. Wade was simply to reduce abortion in America. Jethani attempted to persuade Christians that the choice to vote for President won’t have a significant impact on the rate of abortions, and that the abortion rate is declining regardless of which party is in office, so it does not matter for whom one chooses to cast one’s vote. Moreover, he argued that Christians should not consider abolishing Roe v. Wade to be key to how they ought to vote.

The Biblical view is that abortion is a murderous, disgusting crime against God and the unborn, because all innocent human beings– and the unborn are, in fact, innocent human beings– are made in the imago Dei (image of God) and deserve the right to life. The abortionist is in favor of murder. Whoever seeks to promote legislation which even slightly allows for abortion  seeks to promote legislation that allows for a kind of murder. Therefore, because murder is a horrendous evil, and Christians are called not to participate in evil but to promote the good, all Christians ought to seek to destroy legislation which promotes the murder of the unborn. Phil Vischer and Skye Jethani failed to recognize that abolishing Roe v. Wade is an important and morally unambiguous duty of all American Christians. Moreover, their argument seems to be intentionally designed to make Democrats more palatable for Christians.

Phil Vischer also posted a Twitter thread in the fall of 2020, again trying to separate the issue of abortion from the issue of voting. He said the following: “What do we do if a pro-life candidate is promoting an anti-immigrant or anti-refugee worldview? Or an ethno-nationalist worldview? Does abortion still trump all other concerns? Even if the candidate would have little actual positive impact on the unborn? So… if Jesus asks us to defend ‘the least of these,’ which includes the poor, immigrants, refugees, the incarcerated, the sick, as well as the unborn, do we still favor the pro-life candidate if we fear their policies and worldview will hurt the rest of the list?”

Vischer attempts to persuade his audience that the issues of poverty, immigration, illness, and “refugee” crises are of equivalent moral import to the issue of unborn infanticide. Setting aside the fact that those issues are tinged with wrongheaded, Leftist assumptions and tenets of Woke ideology, the reality is that the unborn are the most at-risk out of all the aforementioned groups of people. More people are affected, more innocent lives are destroyed, and more wicked people get away with evildoing in the abortion industry than in any other issue. These issues are not equivalent, and the victims are not equally wronged in these scenarios. The unborn, therefore, ought to take priority in all ethical considerations that are even slightly relevant to them.

Wokepedia recommends A.D. Robles’s refutation of Vischer’s and Jethani’s position on abortion.

“Cracker-Barrel Christians” with Karen Swallow Prior:

In an episode of the “Holy Post” podcast, alongside Karen Swallow Prior, Phil Vischer referred to conservative Christians as “Cracker Barrel Christians.” Highlighting the fact that somewhere around 80% of Whole Foods stores are located in Democrat districts, whereas 80% of Cracker Barrels are located in Republican districts, Vischer and Prior attempted to weave a narrative that associates conservatism with out-of-date, rural, less-healthy, and ultimately anxious and un-adventurous dispositions, whereas liberals are associated with modern, urban, healthy, outgoing, free-roaming and adventurous dispositions. In service of this narrative, Vischer remarked: “So I’m wondering how much, you know, because Christianity in America has become so closely aligned with conservative values, which came first: conservatism or the rejection of new ideas, or trying, or going to Whole Foods, basically? How long has Christianity been Cracker Barrel and not Whole Foods and which came first: the Cracker Barrel or Christianity?”

This is a clear instance of unbridled elitism, as Protestia writers remarked. Rather than painting conservatism in a fair, just light, Vischer used his narrative-weaving skills to portray conservative Christians as timid, grumpy curmudgeons who can’t stand to try new things. In reality, conservatism in its truest and best sense could be compared to a fortress, which exists to promote the health and preserve the goods of the people who dwell within its walls, and to discourage and defend against attackers. Or, if one must use a food-related analogy (which would seem to be the case for the creator of Veggie Tales), conservatism is more like a well-kept garden, the harvest of which is kept clean and preserved against invaders, pathogens, weeds, and parasites.

Views on Church Discipline for Transgenderism:

The Biblical perspective on transgenderism and homosexuality are clearly defined in the Law of God. Leviticus 18:22 instructs believers: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” Likewise, Deuteronomy 22:5 addresses transgenderism: “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.” Any Christian who has not fallen prey to the heresy of antinomianism (literally, “anti-law-ism”) will not find the Biblical position on sodomy and transgenderism to be an ambiguous one. The Law of God is the most loving standard of behavior to which anyone could ever aspire, so the person who really loves the sodomite or transgenderist will invariably act in accordance with the passages listed here.

Phil Vischer, on the other hand– like so many Christians– has accepted a worldly understanding of “love” as something like “mere affection and acceptance,” rather than “aiming for a person’s highest good as explicitly defined by God Himself in Scripture.” In a Twitter thread from April 2021, Vischer complained about churches that follow the instructions of Jesus by disciplining unrepentant sodomites and cross-dressers. He wrote the following:

“We’ve got to get rid of the ‘us vs. them’ mentality that pervades so much of evangelicalism. How can we love ‘them’ if we’re so focused on how ‘them’ ius against ‘us?’ I’ve been listening to stories of people who have left the Church or left their faith entirely, and so often it comes down to a point where they just wanted to be loved, but we couldn’t love them because they asked the wrong question or doubted the wrong tenet of our faith or reconsidered their own gender or sexual identity and for us, it was a bridge too far. This child of God was no longer ‘us.’ They were now ‘them.’ And because they were ‘them,’ we now denied that they were ever TRULY ‘us.’ Because how could ‘us’ become ‘them?’ And that idea that one of ‘us’ could become one of ‘them’ is so threatening, that we cannot love. We can only oppose. For fear that others of ‘us’ could become ‘them’ if we don’t take a stand against the ‘them-ness’ of the one that was once ‘us.’ Sorry for the ramble. Just saying love over all. These stories hurt my heart.”

The key to understanding Vischer’s point here is to identify what he means by “them,” and what he means by “us,” and what he means by “oppose.” Having already established that what he means by “love’ is a secular kind of affection, we see that what Vischer means by “them” is those who choose to reject some core doctrine of Christianity, or who are homosexual, or who are transgenderists. By “us,” then, he means those who are orthodox, heterosexual, and who can correctly identify our gender in accordance with God’s design.

What form does “opposition” to “them” by “us” take, then? It takes the form of rejecting the sin, and it takes the form of calling the sinner to repentance. If the sinner remains unrepentant, Matthew 18 tells us that there is a process through which disciples of Jesus must address the sinner’s continual pattern of anti-God behavior. Eventually, unrepentant sin leads to church discipline, or the disfellowshipping of the sinner until he turns to Christ in sorrow and repentance for his rebellion.

In the above quotation, Vischer pits opposition to sinners against love for sinners. This is an error, given that Scripture indicates that God hates the sin– even the sinner himself, contrary to popular misconception– and that God is merciful and gracious to sinners who repent. If Christians fail to oppose the sin and the sinner, then Christians will fail to demonstrate the severity of rebellion against God. It is the duty of the followers of Jesus not only to preach salvation through Christ, but also to preach repentance through the power of the Holy Spirit, because that is what Christ Himself taught. Thus, when a transgenderist or sodomite remains perpetually unrepentant, putting him under church discipline is the duty of every God-honoring church. Because Vischer does not accept the Biblical definition of what it means to “love,” he rejects the Biblical response to sin.

Demeaning Parents for Wanting Good Schools for Children:

Regarding parents who want to put their kids in better schools, Vischer lays blame at their feet. In a video clip preserved by the ever-watchful Woke Preacher Clips, Vischer says the following: “I love my kids so I want them to be advantaged. Is that different than saying I love myself so I want myself to be advantaged? Am I disadvantaging my community for the advantage of my own family? Does that put me in the Biblical definition of righteous or wicked?” The implication here is that if a mother wants her child to be advantaged, she must necessarily also desire that other children be disadvantaged. This implication is derived from critical theory more broadly, which puts all social interactions under a filter of oppressors (the advantaged) and the oppressed (the disadvantaged, or the less-advantaged). In reality, it is entirely possible for parents to aim at advantages for their children without seeking the harm of other children. It is not an “either-or,” even though Vischer’s words make it out to be that way.

Vischer: Dr. Voddie Baucham “Doesn’t Speak For Many” Black Christians:

In a Twitter thread dated March 4th of 2022, Vischer reacted against user @AdamPage85’s Tweet in support of Dr. Voddie Baucham. The Tweet to which Vischer responded reads as follows: “Perhaps a Voddie Baucham Presidency would bring more racial reconciliation in the midst of a watching world. Talk about Great Commission Baptists! Dude is living in Zambia!”

Vischer’s response: “Probably no more than a Candace Owens presidency, unfortunately. He doesn’t speak for many Af American Christians.” After the original poster Tweeted back, Vischer continued: “… Just saying his views are very unpopular among most Black Christians. His audience is overwhelmingly conservative white Christians. Not much progress likely to come from that.”

These comments make it clear that Vischer thinks of Black Americans in generalized terms, rather than as individuals who possess varieties of thought and feelings. His words also reveal that he believes that “progress” is  unlikely to come from a base comprised primarily of conservative, White Christians. His definition of progress, then, is based upon racial identity politics, and it is reasonable to assume that what Vischer means by “progress” is similar to what Leftists and progressives mean by that term.

Vischer’s perspective on a Baucham presidency is based upon tenets of Critical Race Theory– namely, what we at Wokepedia have identified in tenets 10 and 15 in our “Short Guide to Critical Race Theory.” They read as follows:

Tenet 10: “‘People of color’ have insights into racism that white people do not and cannot see for themselves, per standpoint epistemology.”

Tenet 15: “People of color have a voice. If a person of color denies the tenets of critical race theory, that person of color is a body of color, but not a voice of color.”

Vischer assumes that conservative, White Christians will not contribute to progress, and this is largely because of his assumption of tenet 10. If Voddie Baucham’s fanbase was comprised primarily of Black people, Vischer would not have been able to criticize Baucham’s appeal to White Christians. But because Vischer holds (implicitly) to Tenet 10, he can criticize Baucham’s appeal on a racial basis, even though Baucham himself is Black.

CRT is designed to avoid dealing with the arguments of conservative Black Christians, by way of Tenet 15. While Vischer cannot deny that Dr. Baucham is a “body of color,” (or a “Black body”), CRT does not necessitate that Vischer, as a White man, must agree with Dr. Baucham simply because he is a “black body.” Rather, standpoint theory (as tenets 10 & 15 summarize it) only requires that White people agree with “voices of color,” or “Black voices.” And, of course, “Black voices” are exclusively reserved for Black people who accept the tenets of Critical Race Theory. Naturally, given that Voddie Baucham vehemently disagrees with Critical Race Theory, he would not be considered a true “Black voice” by Woke adherents– like Phil Vischer.

Voddie Baucham is well-acquainted with CRT, and already anticipated such a response. He remarked: “… [A]s a conservative, I am fair game. Well-positioned black pastors in the SBC will employ the CRT tactic of denying the authenticity of my ‘black voice’ while white SBC elites who are guilty of the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ will pat those pastors on the head and train their guns on me.'” While Vischer is not a pastor by any stretch, he is a “white elite” in evangelical Christian circles, due to the success of Veggie Tales. Baucham’s point remains clear: people like Vischer, who are sold on the doctrines of Woke ideology, dismiss the reality and genuineness of dissident Black conservatism.

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