March 07, 2005

Buster vs Bill O'Reilly

I'll preface this rant by saying that Bill O'Reilly is, by and large, a good journalist and I agree with some of his opinions. However, his "ignore it and it'll go away" stance on homosexuality makes my skin crawl.

By now we should all know about the PBS "Buster the Bunny" fiasco: A cartoon bunny visits Vermont, shows kids where maple syrup comes from, and introduces a kid with two mommies. Then new secretary of education, Margaret Spellings, threatened to pull PBS' funding if the "offensive" show wasn't removed.

Now Bill O'Reilly sounds off on how this was corrupting our nation's youth:
It is well known that many in the communications business believe that a subliminal "gay is OK" message is imperative to foster tolerance in America. On paper, the theory looks good, and is good if the child is mature enough to process the situation. But introducing homosexuality into the little kid culture angers many Americans who believe sex in general is an inappropriate topic for small children, and that is a legitimate point of view whether Barney Frank or PBS likes it or not.

The sexualization of children is one of America's great scandals. Kids today are blasted out of a G-rated life far too early thanks to a greedy, irresponsible media and fanatical special interest groups.

"The Sexualization of Children"? Hardly. The word "Lesbian" was never used, there was no talk of sex, just a cartoon bunny informing kids that some kids have two mommies instead of a mommy and a daddy. Buster was not showing them pictures of what two mommies do behind closed doors or anything, this was introducing kids to a concept of family that some of them might not be familiar with yet. Just like children's programs introduce kids to the idea that other kids in their class might have darker skin than they do, and that's okay. If little Billy went over Johnny's house to play, and met his parents, Debbie and Julia, he would be "exposed" to this. And he would be

Just as traditional couples first introduce kids to the mommy/daddy family concept long before having the "birds-and-bees" talk, kids today should be introduced to the concept of mommy/mommy and daddy/daddy families. That's all this program is guilty of. For a party that claims to be for "family values", it never ceases to amaze me how much effort they put into harming other kinds of families than their own.

Even as adults, the concept of same-sex unions is all you need to understand. Once you have that, you'll probably never have to think about it on a deeper level. I've had many gay friends over the years, and not one has sat me down and talked graphically about what they did to their partner the other night. Come to think of it, no straight friend has ever described his sexual history to me either.

Actually, most people are repulsed by the idea of other heterosexual couples in bed. From your parents to your co-workers to people on the street, most people just don't want to think about other people in bed, even WITHOUT the parties being gay. This is fairly normal. I, personally shudder to think about what Mr. and a former Mrs. Rush Limbaugh did in the sack, but you don't see me calling for him to be pulled off the air. (Okay, bad example, but you know what I mean.)

There is a distinct difference between sex and lifestyle, for all walks of life. Most rational people agree that sex should be kept off the television. However, simply showing people who have an alternative lifestyle is not sex. Buster the Bunny was not introducing sex to the PBS audience, he was introducing a family. The two-mommy family is just an alternative, like the family in which the Mom works and the Dad stays home, or even the family where the mom stays home and the dad is a long-haul trucker/National Guardsman/travelling salesman and isn't home that much.

Let's make something perfectly clear: Buster and other same-sex union supporters are not introducing "Homosexuality" to kids, because sex doesn't enter into it. We're just talking about families. There are two cartoon women on the TV, doing nothing but smiling. The kids probably didn't think anything about it until the O'Reilly Scool of Parenting started raising a fuss. I find no small amount of satisfaction in the irony that technically, these parents are the ones bombarding kids with the sexual images, not the "fanatical special interest group" that is PBS. The kids thought they were just watching a cartoon about maple syrup and mommies.

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