Shelburne, Vermont - After the sentencing of British schoolteacher, Gillian Gibbons, in Sudan, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company announced today it would be canceling a line of controversial religiously themed bears such as Judas Bear with Fifty Pieces of Silver, Last Super Marie of Magdalene Bear with Cub and the ever popular Jesus Christ Supper Star Bear with Popsicle stick Crucifix. It cited the line inadvertently offended some people's religious beliefs by exposing their self-proclaimed tolerance for other's faith as bigotry.
It would not be the first time the company cowed to the combined censoring forces of political correctness, however. Back in 2005, it pulled the plug on the line of its Valentine "Crazy' for You" Bear because of complaints from the mental health care profession and zealot women's rights groups, charging that it stigmatized mental illness and encouraged stalking and violence against women.
"We did it to please the forces of political correctness domestically," said a political analyst, "Now anybody and his brother with a cause, and enough political muscle to back it up, is shutting down everyone with an opposing opinion to their monolithic view of how the world should be."
Some Jewish groups are charging that Judas Bear with the Fifty Pieces of Silver is anti-Semitic, in addition to being historically incorrect.
"No place in the Bible does it mention that Judas sold out the Rabbi Jesus for fifty pieces of silver," said Rabbi Benjamin Benjamin at the Bronx School for Hebrew in New York City. "The whole thing smacks of anti-Semitism. Although we're pretty sure Jesus was the first Jew to serve Beagles and Locks in his Sermon on the Mount. The cream cheese came centuries later, but who needs the calories."
Since the publication and later movie of the Da Vinci Code, the Catholic Church has charged the Last Super Marie of Magdalene Bear with Cub is an obvious assault on the only true Christian faith, Catholicism, and a reference to the alleged affair Jesus and Marie of Magdalene producing a child.
"We know it to be a fact," said Cardinal Thomas Rathbunn, chief legal counsel for the Vatican. "That those that are claiming to be descendants of Christ are doing so, so they can sue the Church for trillions of dollars in child support arrearages."
Many Protestant groups are protesting the inclusion of the Popsicle stick Crucifix with the Jesus Christ Supper Star Bear, claiming there is no definitive proof that Christ was nailed to a cross, but rather, more likely, a tree instead.
"Look we got over the whole Jesus Christ Supper Star thing years ago. I know we considered it as blasphemy back then when the movie first came out but now, in fact, it is mainstream, performed every Easter," said Reverend Samuel Kingston. "But the Popsicle stick Crucifix has got to go. It's offensive us who know with absolute certainty that Jesus did not die on a cross, but most likely on a tree or possibly a scuffling of some type, maybe."
The Vermont Teddy Bear Company reissued the Jesus Christ Supper Star Bear but with a tree instead of a Popsicle stick Crucifix, much to the delight of the Protestant groups. However, the action enraged some environmentalist groups. Needless to say, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company quickly recalled that line of teddy bear as well.