In the wake of all the hubbub surrounding Alabama’s “extreme” (and wonderful) abortion law, there was another controversy that made its way to the surface in the state without garnering nearly as much attention, although it truly should have. I’m referring, of course, to the fact that Alabama Public Television refused to air a recent episode of the popular children’s program “Arthur.” In the episode titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” Arthur’s elementary school teacher, Mr. Ratburn, — a familiar and longtime recurring character on the show — gets married to another “male” character named Patrick. (I place “male” in quotation marks because, after all, we are talking about animated rodents here.) I took to Facebook a few days ago and briefly mentioned the episode.
Alabama Public Television ultimately declined to air it. And to be clear, that’s exactly what it was: A decline to air a specific episode of a specific program. It’s not a ban of the entire program, despite what the progressives and LGBTQ trolls across social media are spewing.
Anyway, APT Programming Director Mike McKenzie released an official statement to local news site AL.com, explaining his decision by arguing that “parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision.” In other words, most parents prefer to be able to step out of the room to wash the dishes or fold the laundry without having to wonder whether or not little Billy and Susie will be learning about gay marriage or sexual topics from a random government-funded cartoon. I’m sure this comes as quite a shock to leftwing extremists and LGBTQ advocates.
Sadly though, this isn’t the first time the “Arthur” franchise has pushed the limits. In the 2005 spinoff series “Postcards From Buster,” viewers were treated to an episode in which a traveling character visited some families from Vermont, two of which included lesbians. Although PBS didn’t send it out for national airtime, the episode did make its way to WGBH in Boston, where it was then aired independently. Alabama Public Television also yanked that episode and once again cited parental trust as their reason for doing so.
While I certainly respect and agree with APT’s reasoning, I tend to believe that “parental trust” is only a small issue within the larger context of what is actually taking place. It doesn’t require a doctorate in Child Psychology to see that the “Arthur” scriptwriters and producers have taken it upon themselves to intentionally indoctrinate impressionable children into believing homosexual marriage is not only culturally acceptable, but completely normal. That is the bigger picture here — the more pressing perspective — and I fear that it is being overlooked even by many conservatives and Christians in the name of “education.”
You see, those on the Left and within the LGBTQ community have spent the last several days claiming that “Arthur” is just “educating kids on an alternative form of marriage that they will encounter in the real world one day.” As far as they see it, there’s no harm in this, particularly since the cartoon isn’t visually graphic or explicit. Many alleged conservatives even echoed this sentiment on social media, firing off comments like, “It’s just a freaking cartoon, people.” and “Kids will eventually learn what gay marriage is anyway.”
But that’s not the point.
The whole problem with this line of thinking is that it completely ignores the reality that a government-funded television program is not supposed to be utilizing subliminal messaging to convince your child to think a certain way about topics reserved for adult conversation and parent-child discussions. For example: To think that two men marrying each other is normal or that it’s even an acceptable form of marriage. It isn’t normal and it doesn’t meet the definition of marriage. So to attempt to sway naive and innocent children into believing that it is, in fact, normal and acceptable, is a blatant transition from harmless education to harmful indoctrination.
And anyone with a shred of honesty knows it.