Last Monday, May 13, the long running PBS cartoon Arthur ran its season premiere for its 22nd year. In and of itself, this could be cause for celebration. In what I have seen of it in the past, it seemed like a clean, kid-friendly program, and there has been a shortage of such programs in recent decades. Unfortunately, this particular episode strikes Arthur off the “clean and kid-friendly” list with an enormous, lavender-colored X.
The writers chose to feature a homosexual “wedding” in this episode.
It begins with the children learning that Mr. Ratburn, Arthur’s teacher and a longtime main character on the show, is going to get married. The students observe Mr. Ratburn speaking to an uptight lady, and they fear that she is Mr. Ratburn’s fiancée. The children attempt to concoct a plan to prevent this miserable marriage from happening, but ultimately none has the courage to stand up and object at the wedding. But then they see that the uptight woman is just Mr. Ratburn’s sister, who is officiating at the wedding. When they see Mr. Ratburn begin walking down the aisle, he is arm in arm with his “fiancée”—who just happens to be a man. The children are all relieved that he is not going to marry the woman who would have brought him misery, and all celebrate this “wedding.” This is all clearly calculated to lead the viewer to see this homosexual “marriage” in a very positive light.
Later in the episode at the wedding reception, Arthur and his pals discuss the wedding and their disbelief that Mr. Ratburn is married. Francine tells the group, “Yep, it’s a brand new world,” perhaps a nod of approval to the changing cultural times. Then both grooms are shown dancing together at the reception.1
The brainwashing of America’s youth has just gone to another level. This homosexual advocacy was not featured in an obscure, late-night program that would only be seen by adults. The writers, as well as PBS executives, knew that many children would be viewing this without any adults in the room. I am uncertain how long the writers who chose to implement this perverted plot twist have been with the show. I am uncertain as to what outside forces may have compelled the writers to do this; whether the PBS organization, its sponsors, or various militant homosexual groups. Apparently, this is not the first time Arthur has at least hinted in this direction.2 Regardless, it is frightening. PBS and Arthur’s writers have shown utter disregard for parents seeking to rear moral children in favor of promoting an agenda of perversion. And, make no mistake about it, homosexuality is a perversion of sexuality and of marriage (Gen. 2:18-24; 19:5-7; Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:26-27).
What should be our response? First of all, let this serve as a warning that parents must be more vigilant than ever. Leaving children unattended in front of a television set should be avoided, and PBS children’s shows cannot be assumed safe viewing. Also, if one so chooses, one can voice his displeasure by contacting PBS and/or by signing the online petitions at the two websites listed in the endnotes below. And, most importantly, Christians must remember that despite the present cultural push toward perversion, God’s Word will ultimately stand:
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you (1 Pet. 1:24-25).
1 “PBS Kids airs gay marriage on ‘Arthur.” American Family Association. May 16, 2019. <https://www.afa.net/activism/actionalerts/2019/pbs-kids-airs-gay-marriage-onarthur/>. Information about the content of this episode is largely derived from this article.
2 “In 2005, a spinoff of the series called Postcards from Buster, Arthur’s best friend, met children with two moms while on a trip to Vermont. Controversial at the time, PBS eventually pulled the episode after then Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings disapproved of the publicly funded network’s program, according to the outlet. There were, however, some PBS affiliates that chose to broadcast it anyway.” “PBS Kids airs gay marriage on ‘Arthur.” One Million Moms. May 15, 2019. <https://onemillionmoms.com/ current-campaigns/pbs-kids airs-gaymarriage-on-arthur/>.