Arthur and the Loss of Innocence
Welp, there’s one less show my kids will be allowed to watch. A lot of people have been discussing the recent episode of the classic PBS show “Arthur,” which not only reveals that Arthur’s teacher, Mr. Ratburn, is homosexual, but actually shows Mr. Ratburn entering into a homosexual “marriage.” I know that I’m late to speak up about this episode, but to be honest, it was hard to find the right words to say—See, I grew up on Arthur. A lot of us did. My parents trusted it as a show, and I enjoyed watching it. Not only did I enjoy the relatable stories, I also valued the lessons it taught. This month, however, it taught me one of the most important lessons I will ever learn: there is no episode of any show in this world that you can allow your child to watch without you watching it first.
My childhood feels as though it’s been tainted. Let me explain. There are several major issues that need to be addressed in this episode. Besides the obviously problematic gay “marriage,” the officiant (Ratburn’s sister) is a blatantly secular woman with an unnaturally masculine aura. Her role is played by Jane Lynch, herself a real-life lesbian with a clear and unquestionable agenda. The children and the audience are initially fooled into thinking that she is Mr. Ratburn’s main love interest (since she happens to share a nickname with the real love interest)—a notion that shocks them. His mild personality clashes with her commanding dominance, and the kids are worried that he will be miserable if he has to marry her.
Patrick—Mr. Ratburn’s actual love interest, is a gentle and easy-going chocolatier who gives out free candy to children (creepy, no?) and is just a little too friendly. He seduces the children, and audience, into seeing him as being highly compatible for someone like Mr. Ratburn.
At the very end of the episode, the Mr. Ratburn and Patrick get “married” and the surprised children (who have discovered that the mysterious woman is Mr. Ratburn's sister), gather at the refreshment table to discuss what they have just witnessed. As they talk, Francine notes that “It’s a brand new world,” a not-so-clever nudge at the way our society has embraced the “love is love” campaign. This ends the episode, and, in turn, ends a long (and once happy) relationship between myself and Arthur.
What in the world happened? There used to be shows you could trust to be both wholesome and entertaining, but these days, the politically correct thing to do has become the norm. Arthur is prime evidence that things that were once wholesome, or, at the very least, innocent, have been twisted over time by a system saturated in sin. A lot of traditionalist voices have been warning people that political correctness is becoming law, and yet there are people who are so desperate to fit in that they will abandon their faith, their worldview, and even logic itself to defend a temporal, man-made morality. Virtue-signaling to get social media “likes” has become more important than following ancient Church teaching over the past fifty years. Supporters of traditional family values should be highly discerning and Christians in general should be terrified. It’s a brand new world alright, and it has raised an army of people who seek to extinguish the influence of the Church.
So what will become of our children in a world that normalizes things that are contrary to our faith? How will we avoid heterodox thinking in the Church when people who claim to share our faith destroy the pillars that support it? First and foremost, fervent prayer and intercession are in order. If we are to win this fight, it will be by the power of God. Secondly, we must abandon things that push an agenda that goes against Church teaching. This will mean sacrifice. Music, films, television programs and websites that go against the Church aren’t worth indulging in. There will be a time to engage these things, but it should be the older and wise that do so. Young hearts and minds are not strong enough to fight against the tides of secular morality. For some, this recent development has come as a shock; others have seen the progression of sin in the world enough to expect such things. Regardless of who you are, if you are clinging to Christ, you must be on your guard. Until PBS removes the episode and repents, neither myself nor my household will be watching "Arthur," and we encourage others to do the same. ___________________________
“Let it be understood that those who are not found living as He taught are not Christian—even though they profess with the lips the teaching of Christ.” ~Justin Martyr “Error, indeed is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced more true than truth itself.”
~Irenaeus of Lyons
“Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.” ~1 Peter 5:8