August 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The co-creator of “Veggie Tales” says that Christian filmmakers will need to start addressing LGBT issues in their work, but from a biblical perspective, since children are already being exposed to these narratives in secular programming.
Phil Vischer said he won’t compromise if pressed.
“If I get pressure from Hollywood to show two men getting 'married' because we’ve all decided it’s right and correct, my pushback is: ‘No, I won’t,” he stated. “Because that’s not what I believe is best for kids,’”
“It’s more about what we show as normal rather than explicitly showing something and saying, ‘that’s wrong,’” he said. “I’m portraying the positive rather than the negative.”
“At least for now,” said Vischer. “I do believe that at some point we’ll be forced to figure out how to explicitly address it.”
Christian families don’t have the choice of whether to expose their children to LGBT issues, he said, with society having placed them on the par with civil rights.
“Parents are definitely going to have to deal with a growing LGBT presence in children’s media,” Vischer said.
“It’s going to show up more and more as the world has decided that LGBT issues are in the same categories as race and civil rights issues,” he said. “So to say you shouldn’t have a same-sex couple on 'Sesame Street' is the equivalent of saying you shouldn’t have a black couple on 'Sesame Street.'”
When the PBS Kids TV show “Arthur” featured a homosexual “wedding” earlier this spring, he said, it was a “shot heard through the Christian parenting world.”
“Arthur,” the longest-running animated series for children in the U.S., premiered its 22nd season in May with the surprise “marriage” of Arthur the Aardvark’s teacher Mr. Ratburn to another male.
The program is geared for children ages four to eight, according to PBS, and has the educational purpose of helping children become interested in reading and writing.
The surprise homosexual “wedding” episode on the tax-funded network had the third-grade students reacting to their teacher’s same-sex “marriage” in a nonchalant fashion, and caused controversy.
One local PBS affiliate in Alabama chose not to run the broadcast over concern it would expose young children to the subject matter without parents having the choice had they not heard about it beforehand. The decision sparked criticism from LGBT advocates and disappointment from the series’ creator.
Family advocates have warned parents about pro-LGBT messaging in children’s programming from outlets such as Nickelodeon and Disney for years.
Vischer, who co-created the extremely popular “Veggie Tales” Christian cartoon for children in 1993, now has “The Holy Post” podcast, a kids’ series about the Bible, “The Mr. Phil Show,” on RightNowMedia, and he is an author.
He discussed the implications of the “Arthur” episode controversy with The Christian Post along with the need for Christian filmmakers to respond to such messages with a biblical standpoint.
“The most striking thing about that episode of Arthur wasn’t that they thought it was time to introduce kids to gay 'marriage'; it was the reaction of all the kids on the show,” Vischer said. “None of them asked questions about why two men were getting 'married'. Their reaction was, ‘Oh, OK! Great!’”
“It’s such a strong message of, well kids, of course you’re fine with gay 'marriage', because there’s nothing to question about it,” he added. “That’s a little more concerning.”
Vischer said that sooner or later he and other Christian producers will have to deal with the issue from a Christian approach. This will be difficult, he said, because of the divisiveness of the issue.
“I think it will have to be addressed at some point,” he said. “I do think it's a matter of time.”
“But right now, I think it would be difficult for a couple of reasons,” said Vischer. “First, the nuance of how to treat LGBT issues isn’t agreed upon within the Church, and secondly, some parents may want to have that talk with their kids.”
“It’s tricky because it’s so divisive,” Vischer said. “It would be hard to do it in a way that works and matches everyone's expectations.”
“It would be easy to do it poorly,” he continued. “It’s still so controversial. I'm not sure what I would add that would be helpful enough in the conversation that it’s worth the number of people I could offend.”
Vischer plans for the time being to keep presenting biblical truth in his productions and focus on the positive.