Along with the Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and “Sesame Street,” the children’s television network Nickelodeon took to social media this month to recognize Pride Month, which celebrates those who identify as “gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.” The Bible says that children are to be raised in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
“Celebrating #Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month,” it wrote on June 13, including an emoji of a rainbow flag, generating 330K likes on Twitter and 430K likes on Instagram.
The post included a graphic with a multi-colored SpongeBob SquarePants, Schwoz Schwartz of “Henry Danger” — played by Michael Cohen, who was born female but identifies as male, and Korra of “The Legend of Korra”, who was confirmed by co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino in 2014 to be lesbian.
The post caused some to think that Nickelodeon is implying that SpongeBob is homosexual, although late creator Stephen Hillenburg had previously stated that he “never intended” for the character to be seen as such and that he is “almost asexual.”
Nickelodeon asked followers in other posts if they know the history behind the Pride flag and the meaning behind each stripe — with one post featuring a video including children talking about Pride Month.
Another mention featured Luna from “The Loud House” playing an electric guitar with a rainbow spotlight shining down on her. “Luna’s rocking out with Pride,” the caption read.
Nickelodeon, which became America’s first cable channel for children in the 1970’s, is known for shows such as “Paw Patrol,” “Blues Clues,” “SpongeBob SquarePants”, “The Loud House” and Tyler Perry’s “Young Dylan.”
Other major children’s networks — Cartoon Network and Disney Channel — likewise recognized Pride Month, with both having special Pride playlists for youth.
“Our world is changing every day and it’s the courage of individuals that bring forth progress,” Cartoon Network tweeted on June 10. “While the world continues to push for equality, CN celebrates the people and families within the LGBTQ+ community, all month long and all year round. #HappyPrideMonth”
It created a “Pride Playlist” featuring episodes from the cartoons “Steven Universe” and “Craig of the Creek.” In 2018, “Steven Universe” featured episodes where the female characters Sapphire and Ruby became engaged and “married,” locking lips after being pronounced “Garnet.”
In the “Craig of the Creek” episode “The Haunted Dollhouse”, which also depicts an occultic seance, witches Courtney and Tabitha are caught kissing in the dark. The two first revealed their feelings for each other in the episode “The Curse.”
Disney Channel posted a video to social media on June 15 featuring actress Raven-Symone’, who is in a relationship with another woman, speaking about what “pride” means to her.
“We couldn’t agree more with @ravensymone — #PrideMonth is all about celebrating our authentic selves! #expressyourself,” the outlet wrote.
It also released a “Disney Pride” musical playlist on Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify and Pandora, featuring music from “High School Musical”, “Frozen”, “The Lion King”, “Aladdin”, “The Thing About Harry” and other productions.
The long-running children’s show “Sesame Street” posted about Pride Month twice so far in June, writing, “On our street, we accept all, we love all, and we respect all. Happy #PrideMonth” and “Love always wins. #PrideMonth.” The latter used the various colors of show characters, from the yellow of Big Bird, the red of Elmo and the blue of Cookie Monster to form a rainbow heart in the center.
As previously reported, homosexuality and drag have made their way into children’s programming in recent years. In 2017, the preschooler-geared cartoon “Doc McStuffins” featured an animated depiction of the lesbian moms of two children. That same year, “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” included a scene where two boys locked lips, as well as two girls.
In 2018, World of Wonders debuted the cartoon “Drag Tots,” which featured animated “baby drag queens” voiced by cast members of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and Netflix announced the children’s series “Super Drags,” which centered on the fictional tales of drag queen superheroes.
Last year, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” featured lesbian aunts during its final season, and Mr. Ratburn, the elementary school teacher in the long-running PBS children’s cartoon “Arthur” came out as homosexual, “marrying” an aardvark named Patrick in the episode “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone.”
The new Disney-Pixar film “Onward,” which centers on wizardry and necromancy, also features a line where a cyclops police officer — voiced by a homosexual screenwriter — subtly reveals to viewers that she is a lesbian, and the reboot of the PBS animated children’s show “Clifford the Big Red Dog” introduces a girl named Samantha who has two mothers.
Ephesians 6:4 teaches that parents are to raise their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Psalm 78 also outlines that God’s law is to be passed down from generation to generation, that children may not rebel against the Lord as their fathers once did.
“He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children, that the generation to come might know them — even the children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their children,” it declares.
“That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation — a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.”
The late British preacher J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) once exhorted in his message “Duties for Parents”, “You must not think it a strange and unusual thing that little hearts can be so full of sin. It is the only inheritance which our father Adam left us; it is that fallen nature with which we come into the world; it is that inheritance which belongs to us all.”
“May the awareness of it make you more diligent in using every possible means which seem most likely, by God’s blessing, to counteract the evil. Let it make you more and more careful, so far it lies with you, to keep your children out of the way of temptation.”