Today, I saw that Arthur’s teacher, Mr. Ratburn, is gay! In fact, he’s marrying a another male-whatever-he-is. Should I boycott and block all PBS shows? You know I love Jesus and I want to be a good Christian! Seems like when Jesus people can’t fathom someone or something in our country, we must immediately purge them. (Much easier to deal with issues/people that way.)
However, if I allow my kids to watch this show, or others like it, I could be called a liberal. I could be accused of watering down the Truth. I could be helping homosexuals go to hell!
The struggle is real for many.
Honestly, I’m not going to boycott the Arthur cartoon on PBS. I’m not going to condemn it. And I’m not going to try and rewrite Scripture. You can call me a liberal or blasphemer. That’s your prerogative and so is boycotting Arthur, for that matter.
The truth is, I’m going to let my kids watch it if they want. I’m going to answer their questions about homosexuality (like I already have been doing). Most importantly, I’m going to teach them not to use degrading language regarding gay people. I’m going to make sure they are not preoccupied with someone else’s sexuality but are busy learning about all sorts of things. I’m going to guide them in entertaining the thoughts that even if it’s a lifestyle we do not understand, what we can understand is that we love people who are gay. We love people who we’ve always known as gay. We love people who have since come out as gay, and we are not going to condemn anyone.
Unfortunately I’ve already done all of the hurtful things: used ugly language, boycotted, gotten angry, and judged. I’ve lashed out on people who have lived a battle I’ll never face. In fact, I’ve spewed hate from my Jesus-loving-mouth regarding gay people.
Fortunately, I’ve decided that since Jesus did not spew hate or boycott gay people, and He’s the greatest example of love, I’m going to be more like Him. I don’t have to water down or rewrite Scripture to fit my beliefs because it’s already all there. On Judgement Day, I don’t want to be accountable for how much hate I put out in the world in the time He gave me. I want to be accountable for loving God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I want to be accountable for loving my neighbor as I have loved myself.
If I tried to “protect my kids from homosexuality” I’m fighting a losing battle. I love people who are gay. I don’t want to protect my kids from them. I used to do that, but it’s a lost cause. This world has so many things that I can’t “protect them from” as much as I’d love to at times.
In fact, I want to prepare them for real life. They are going to grow up and probably have gay friends. They might be gay even though their Dad and I love Jesus. However, I know people who are gay and love Jesus as much, or more, than me, and that gives me peace. That’s not an easy road for parents, but we don’t have to choose hate, ever. This may be counter-church-culture, but He doesn’t expect us to hate our gay kids. He does expect us to love them, unconditionally, as challenging as that already is for all of us parents!
Boycotting and protecting children from issues has its place, I’m sure. Through my own sin and mistakes, which have humbled me, I’d rather my kids be loving and accepting instead of degrading and angry.
Too many times, we Christians think we need to exert our judgement and control on everything that goes against The Bible with a complete lack of grace, humility, mercy, and love which also goes against The Bible.
We tend to be legalistic and fearful, shutting down people who need Jesus the most, when we ourselves came willingly to a God who gave us the choice to accept or reject Him.
Who or what is more likely to damage our children? Mr. Ratburn, a fictional character? Or could it be the behaviors we teach that instill fear, superiority, or judgement over people who are unlike us? The answer to this question reveals so much!