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December 16, 2010

Schulz Wanted Bible in Charlie Brown Christmas

Peanuts creator Charles Schulz said of holiday special, 'If we don't do it, who will?'

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Lee Mendelson, producer of the beloved holiday special "A Charlie Brown Christmas," says the late Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comics strip, insisted that the program had to be about the true meaning of Christmas. Otherwise, Schulz said, "Why bother doing it?"

That's part of the story behind the TV special in a recent Washington Post article. When asked if he was sure he wanted to include biblical text in the special, Schulz responded, "If we don't do it, who will?"

Coca-Cola, which had signed on as corporate sponsor, never balked at the idea of including New Testament passages, which Linus reads aloud (from the book of Luke) in what Mendelson calls "the most magical two minutes in all of TV animation." Read the whole fascinating story here, and check out Linus's famous soliloquy below.

Comments

I remember seeing it as a kid the first time it aired. It was great then and it still is now.

My children and I watched it every year and even though they are grown and gone, as a holiday tradition, I watched it again last night.

It is very special and the Scripture is wonderful.

Growing up with Christmas plays and pagents which were very simple and then as an adult watching "Charlie Browns's Christmas" I was so in awe that it was still the same simple story and when Linus read Luke 2, it all clicked. It was also OK to have a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, it didn't have to be perfect and commercially beautiful. Thanks for the "rest of the story", makes it even more meaningful.

I am thrilled and encouraged to read this.

A Charlie Brown Christmas was an original. No animated special before it or since had ever presented scriptural true meaning of Christmas. Linus exposes commercialism and materialism with the light of the truth every time it is aired.

I had heard once from someone who was United Methodist that Charles Schulz was "a deacon in the Methodist Church." That would mean "deacon" as in the Anglican tradition.

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