As a parent of small children, I find the children’s television landscape is filled with more fluff than substance. But a handful of shows are different. My children learn meaningful lessons from these shows about dealing with complex emotions and mastering math skills. We enjoy such programs in our household. They spark our children’s imaginations and teach them valuable lessons. Most of the time, I don’t have to worry about what’s on.
Most of the time.
By and large, children’s spaces have been free from the most controversial elements of the culture wars. Depictions of things like homosexuality and transgenderism had been reserved for the nightly news and primetime television, not shows for kids.
But the tides are turning. For example, in 2019 alone, the long-running children’s show Arthur featured schoolteacher Mr. Ratburn marrying another man; My Little Pony highlighted a same-sex couple; and a Hallmark commercial depicted two women kissing. Since then, the trends toward so-called inclusivism has only continued. Disney executives recently boasted of “adding queerness” to their children’s programming. “Our leadership over there has been so welcoming to my not-so-secret gay agenda,” Disney executive Latoya Raveneau said. “Wherever I could I was adding queerness. No one would stop me and no one was trying to stop me.”
These developments feel shocking, but we shouldn’t be surprised. The new secular orthodoxy not only affirms beliefs contrary to a Christian worldview, it celebrates them. We can only assume that these sorts of depictions will continue to seep into the content our children and families consume. At their earliest ages, children will be led to believe that what is wrong is actually admirable.