Protesters demonstrating outside a Chick-fil-A food truck in Washington, D.C. last week. (Robert MacPherson/Getty Images)

The latest salvo in the culture wars comes from. . .the Berenstain Bears. Books featuring the adorably fuzzy cartoon family are slated to be the last-minute replacement in Chick-fil-A’s kids meals after finger puppets from Jim Henson’s company were pulled for “a possible safety issue.”

(Any suggestion the recall was related to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s public disdain for same-sex marriage or the Jim Henson Company’s swift, public condemnation is purely speculative.)

Although Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum are leading conservative support for the fast food chain, the second-generation Berenstains are backing away from the PR mess.

A cartoon note to parents just posted on their website explains that publisher HarperCollins has been developing the book giveaway for the past year, and that the family was unaware of any controversy until last week: “The Berenstain family does not at this time have control over whether this program proceeds or not. We hope those concerned about this issue will direct their comments toward HarperCollins and Chick-fil-A.”

Hot potato passed; the publisher declined to comment.

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