BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A United Methodist “church” in Alabama has decided to host a “wedding party” featuring a free screening of the “Arthur” episode surrounding the same-sex “wedding” of Mr. Ratburn after Alabama Public Television said that it would not air the broadcast.
The screening is a joint effort between The Sidewalk Film Festival, the Shout LGBTQ Film Festival and the First United Methodist Church Of Birmingham. A Facebook page for the June 15 event outlines invites all ages to the “free celebration & screening of the Arthur episode ‘Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,’ followed by two additional surprise cartoon episodes.”
“There will be wedding cake, sparkling apple juice and surprises,” it states.
“Weddings take places at churches all the time. So First Church seems like a perfect venue for the cartoon in my opinion,” Rachel Morgan, who works with both festivals, told AL.com. “[The church] frequently communicates to the community that they are an ‘open place for all,’ and I think this event reflects that statement.”
United Methodist Church of Birmingham is led by Stephanie Arnold, who, according to ABC News, has urged the denomination to allow “full inclusion” of homosexuals in the Church.
As previously reported, the episode of “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” depicts elementary school teacher Mr. Ratburn as “marrying” an aardvark named Patrick. It also features the voice of lesbian actor Jane Lynch, who plays Ratburn’s sister, Patty.
The broadcast opens with Ratburn, Arthur’s teacher, receiving a phone call on his cell phone. His ring tone plays out Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.”
After students hear Ratburn discussing floral arrangements during the brief call, they ask if flowers will be on their quiz.
“No, they’re for a wedding,” he replies.
“A wedding? Who’s getting married?” Muffy Crosswire exclaims.
“Me,” Ratburn discloses, as the students loudly gasp.
As Arthur and his friends later discuss the shocking development at a restaurant, suddenly Ratburn walks in with Patty, who the students assume is his fiance. Being worried about Patty’s demanding and harsh nature, the students seek out ways to thwart the supposed relationship and stop the wedding.
Upon attending the event with intentions to object, Arthur and his friends discover that Patty is actually Ratburn’s sister, and question among themselves who their teacher might be marrying. Within moments, Ratburn walks down the aisle with Patrick, and the students smile. Ratburn winks at the camera.
Alabama Public Television decided to play a rerun of another “Arthur” broadcast for the premiere instead of the “Special Someone” episode last month. It reportedly did the same in 2005 surrounding an episode where Buster visits a girl who has two mothers.
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” Mike Mckenzie, director of programming, told AL.com.
“More importantly, although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards, parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision,” he explained. “We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for Arthur also watch the program.”
Galatians 5:24 states, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”