LGBTQ+ Conversations + Your Kids
Continuing the conversation regarding a recent My Little Pony episode on Netflix, I also saw that the PBS kids cartoon show Arthur recently had an episode with a gay wedding (article linked).
Reading both articles made me wonder:
What do/would you do about letting your young children (if they are grown, imagine if they were young today) watch the episode if they regularly watch a show like Arthur? Would you let them view it and then discuss before and/or after? Would you just skip the episode? What would you do?
I ask because we know that in today’s day and age, our children are going to be exposed to this subject and LGBTQ ideals much earlier in life than any of us were. Would you make your children aware at an earlier age so you could help them discern at a much earlier age? Interested in hearing responses and having good discussion.
We have two relatives who are actively homosexual, so our daughter has been aware of homosexuality from a very young age and we have simply taught her that while we are absolutely certain that the practice of homosexuality is sin, we treat everyone with respect, dignity, and the Love of God regardless. We have taught her that for ANY sinful behavior we spot in someone’s life, we have to EARN the right to address them on it. Relationship first, Listen second, Exhort last.
If this had happened when she was watching Arthur daily–because she did–I would have tried to make it just “happen” that she miss that episode and go on, but if she happened to catch it, we would have talked about it. She has always been advanced intellectually, so she would have understood on that level, and we can only pray the Lord protects the message we have instilled about sex being a beautiful thing to be shared between a married man and woman, since she hears the opposite message EVERYWHERE else!
First, we would have quit watching the show. Kids are indoctrinated enough, I wouldn’t just let my young minds sit and watch it every single day. Not only for them, but to let that producer and that network know we are not going to support their trash. And it’s not just around this issue, there are many other shows where the attitudes portrayed was something I didn’t want my kids picking up and thinking it was “normal” (Simpsons, SpongeBob, Caillou), or shows that go against other beliefs and truths, or seem to promote another kind of spirituality (Bill Nye the Science Guy, Power Rangers, Harry Potter.)
There is plenty of other opportunities in this world to have real-time, real-life teaching moments, to teach sin, truth, and to bring it back into the light of the gospel (sin is powerful, we all are sinners, and Christ is the only One who can overcome it, we need Jesus), to teach being a respecter of life and honoring and loving others, even if we disagree with them and we absolutely know they are wrong in their beliefs and lifestyle. All while building a strong foundation in Christ and the truth of the Word. All while pouring in the salt and light into their minds, hearts, souls, and spirits, so that, when they have grown in stature and wisdom, they can go out and be that salt and light…we can’t give away what we don’t have. I don’t have to invite Satan and evil into my home, to teach my children how to stand and fight against it.
“Churched kids” are leaving the church at an alarming rate. Generation Z (my kids’ ages) are at least twice as likely to be atheist as any previous generation, including millenials. There is a political agenda in the government schools and the media that is an attack on families, on marrage, on sexuality, and all things Christian. You better believe I am not going to let my children just sit there to be brainwashed, drinking in their poisons, so that they too will “call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Is. 5:20)
If I’m remembering correctly, the episode of Arthur was televised without warning to parents, which is more upsetting than the content. I would want warning about any topic that my kids might have had questions about (9/11, death of a character, etc., not just political or controversial subjects).
I think everyone’s situation is going to be different. Some people need to talk about LGBTQ earlier than others if they have an extended family member, neighbor or someone else they are close to who is LGBTQ. Regardless, there is no point in sheltering kids for too long, because LGBTQ parents are part of preschools and our communities. Some kids are going to notice that Jimmy has 2 Moms and some kids won’t. You have to know your own child and decide when the time is right for a discussion.
It’s more important than ever to sit down with your children when they are watching TV and know what it is they are watching. Same goes with every book from the library!
I would have pulled the plug on that show. Were there no indications in any other topic shown? My kids were not permitted to watch The Simpsons. We dumped that show in the first season, midway through the second episode immediately after Bart who had be asked to pray for the meal on national TV said, “Thank you for nothing God, we earned it ourselves.”
Martin Luther said that children should never be introduced to a polemic that they are not ready for. The polemic being the heavy argument of the truth that would dovetail out of many conversations about same sex marriage. I agree with that. But there are many steps in the process to Christian maturity for a child in Christ to grow through that are the parents job to teach and reinforce. Many of those involve Biblical examples and teachings of love and marriage that would be considered offensive to those who practice and believe in same sex marriage.
I don’t want to get in an argument about how much TV and which programs are appropriate for kids to watch, because I believe each parent (or pair of parents) has both the right and the responsibility to decide what is right for their family, knowing their child(ren) better than anyone else, and examining their own conscience before God. (Maybe it is obvious I have felt judged before…)
I would like to point out, however, that there is a vast difference between Arthur, which is a program designed to teach interpersonal relationships among kids and behavioral values (which are not usually bad, even though they are not explicitly Christian); The Simpsons, which is a program designed as social satire directed at adults (NOT that that excuses cracks at Christianity or any other faith); and Spongebob, which I’ve only recently learned was originally designed as a program to teach kids about marine biology. Regarding The Simpsons, can we establish, once and for all, that just because a program is ANIMATED, does NOT mean it is meant for children? (Regarding Spongebob, we just think it’s stupid.)