Do you remember that time that conservative Christians blew a gasket over the Arthur cartoon that featured a same-sex wedding between rats?
Well, they have yet to stop talking about it.
This time, high school senior and “aspiring political influencer” Evan O’Bryan, writing for the Illinois Family Institute, expresses outrage over things like the Pride Parade and a drag queen reading stories on PBS Kids.
Acknowledging that the Arthur episode showed only a brief glimpse of the wedding, O’Bryan says:
… conservatives were concerned about the slippery slope, which they have been told is not real.
It appears, however, that not only is the slope real, but it’s also worse than most conservatives feared.
I can’t help but ask: A slippery slope to what? Becoming a decent, more tolerant person? Becoming LGBTQ+ allies? Rejecting the LGBTQ+ bigotry they might learn in church? Or does O’Bryan think children seeing a same-sex wedding will suddenly become gay? Homosexuality isn’t transmitted through the television — or through a gay teacher — but even these small lessons in acceptance an help children embrace their identity, whatever it may be, as they grow older.
Not surprisingly, O’Bryan’s concern is with sin, “highly sexualized content”, and “moral decay”:
Exposing young children to highly sexualized content cultivates an inappropriate awareness of sexuality in toddlers and preschoolers. What the media and the government are trying to do to children is despicable, and the worst part is kids do not understand what is being done to them. They do not understand the brainwashing that is occurring, the normalization of ideas and behaviors that are abnormal, and the insidious agenda that encourages children to question their sexual identity. Children should not have to think about these things. No one should have to think about these things but especially not children, because they are impressionable and easily confused.
According to The Washington Post, one out of six Generation Z adults are part of the LGBTQIA+ juggernaut. When will we say enough is enough? We have tolerated and ignored this moral decay — this sin — for too long. It seems that many conservatives have become complacent; they are just watching the world crumble before them.
This guy thinks the Gay Agenda won’t be complete until six out of six children come out of the closet…
In any case, if there are conservatives who have become “complacent” on their homophobia, I have yet to see it. Also, I’m not sure if O’Bryan actually watched the content he’s railing against. Overly “sexualized content”? The Blue’s Clues Pride Parade involved cartoon animals going on floats as they waved rainbow flags while an announcer gave a list of some of the different sexual orientations present in various families that love each other.
The drag queen story hour in question involved a drag queen reading a picture book all about love and diversity to a virtual crowd of children (and their parents). At times, Lil Miss Hot Mess told the unseen viewers to shake their hips and twirl — which is a thing kids enjoy doing — and that’s about as “risqué” as it ever got.
What is “highly sexualized” about that?
Conservatives often use the “kids are too young to be exposed to that!” card whenever two men or two women hold hands or kiss in public, but they never seem to have the same issue with kids seeing straight couples doing those things — and more! — on TV. Watching adults show affection is somehow only “highly sexualized” when the couples are gay.
O’Bryan says he’s “been raised in the faith and Christian education since preschool.” He’s young and in a bubble. But that’s no excuse for promoting bigotry; plenty of students his age understand that love is love — and you don’t need to reject Christianity to accept that. Blame him for the essay. Blame the much older adults at IFI for publishing the essay. Blame them for not warning him about the future embarrassment that could come with a bio that brags about supporting the “MAGA movement” and includes O’Bryan’s hobby of “challenging the mainstream liberal narrative with those who haven’t yet reached the truth.” (Spoiler: That’s easier to do when you spend some time in liberal or atheist circles.)
I look forward to, one day, embracing him with open arms and forgiving him for writing pieces like this. Until then, his bigotry deserves to be condemned and challenged. It’s not like anyone in his bubble is willing to do that.