Impressed by...The Wiggles?

Ok, having young kids (among other things) means surrendering any time that you previously spent watching things that you wanted to view on TV in favor of suffering through children's programming. Needless to say, I endure more Barney, Elmo, and Pooh than any current programs geared to persons over the age of 7. After some recent channel surfing and failing to find much worthwhile, I have concluded that I am not missing anything anyway other than my ability to engage in conservations about the entertainment industry.

One group of children's entertainers that I have been impressed with are Australia's singing and dancing guys, The Wiggles. Yes, I have put aside my hurt feelings from their manager's failure to recognize my musical performance talent and refusing to allow me to join these performers as a back-up dancer. Confession: Ok, so my dancing is laughable, and I hesitate to remember not so long ago practicing a dance step nightly in the bathroom where no one could see me so that I would not embarrass my wife during the bride-groom dance at our wedding. Nevertheless, the Wiggles music is a big hit with the young ones. They will jump, skip, hop and dance and scream for more of these Wiggle characters. Seeing our crew of 4 (5 when mom gets stuck playing) play their version of musical chairs with pillows and watching little bodies diving everywhere "when the music stops" is quite a sight.

I am impressed with the Wiggles' style: camera close-ups, catchy song selections, simple dance moves, and character attributes that resonate with children (e.g. Jeff the sleeping guy, Murray the rock guitarist, etc.). My respect for the Wiggles was reinforced when I saw that they had performed the traditional version of "Dry Bones" for a recent video release. The song's newer versions, remove references to God, and are commonly used today to teach children anatomy. The original lyrics are based on Ezekiel 37:1-14 and the prophet Ezekiel's vision of the "Valley of Dry Bones":

Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
"Oh, hear the word of the Lord."


Standing up for what one believes in can be difficult. Steve Wiggins, lead singer of the now disbanded musical group Big Tent Revival, once described being a Christian in a public school as the ultimate display of unconformity. He said that practicing your Christian faith in a worldly setting like at school will most likely result in a student being ostracized and considered an outcast--even more than the young people labeled as rebellious who sport all black and wear trench coats year-round.

The Wiggles and their producers could have selected the traditional version minus the "Lord" references, but they did not. They could have omitted references to God and Jesus Christ in their Christmas episode and presented being a Christian as simply one of many options (as a holiday episode of Sesame Street did), but they did not.

Taking a stand in the face of adversity to promote the Kingdom: impressive and earns respect from me every time.

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