It’s not difficult to see how some of Disney’s programs can be highly dangerous to the future well-being of children—physically, emotionally and spiritually.
By Deacon Frederick Bartels
14 December 2017
For a number of years now, homosexual activists have used the media and film industries to garner support for their cause. In an obvious attempt to indoctrinate children, it seems the latest to give the nod to this agenda is the Disney Channel. Often cited as offering a blueprint for such a media propaganda campaign is the 1989 book, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s, written by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. Many Americans are unaware of this book, its nefarious purpose and its effectiveness in contributing to unleashing a media-supported movement geared toward convincing Americans that the homosexual lifestyle is entirely normal and acceptable.
Publishers Weekly writes of the book:
“The gay revolution has failed,” proclaims the first sentence of this punchy call to arms, Madison Avenue-style [book]. To overcome Americans’ deep-rooted aversion to gay men and women, psychologist Kirk and ad man Madsen propose a massive media campaign designed to correct stereotypes and neutralize anti-gay prejudice.
In a section of the book titled “Conversion,” Kirk and Madsen contrast conversion of Americans to the homosexual agenda with political subversion:
[B]y Conversion we actually mean something far more profoundly threatening to the American Way of Life, without which no truly sweeping social change can occur. We mean conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind, and will, through a planned psychological attack, in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. (p. 153)
Just how effective has this media campaign been to win over Americans to the side of homosexual activists? Very.
A Gallup Poll on “Gay and Lesbian Rights” indicates 57% of Americans in 1987 thought homosexual relations between consenting adults should be illegal. By 1990, this percentage had dropped below 44%. Recently in 2017, the percentage of Americans who disfavor legal homosexual relations has fallen to 23%, whereas the percentage of those in favor of legalization is at 72%.
Additionally, the Pew Research Center reports that a 2001 poll indicated 57% of Americans opposed same-sex “marriage.” After only six years a strong reversal occurred: a 2017 poll indicated that 62% of Americans now approve of same-sex “marriage,” whereas only 32% oppose it. This steady uptick in approval is found among Catholics and Protestants as well as people who are unaffiliated with any particular religion. The recent Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision in 2015 solidified Americans’ attitudes in favor of homosexual behavior with the legalization of same-sex “marriages” across the nation.
How is the Disney Channel involved in the media campaign to advance the homosexual agenda?
CitizenGo recently posted a petition against the Disney Channel for two of its new children’s shows, “Andi Mack” and “Star vs. The Forces of Evil.” “Andi Mack” is a television comedy-drama series created by Terri Minsky that premiered on April 7, 2017. “Star vs. The Forces of Evil” is an animated comedy-adventure series created by Daron Nefcy that airs on Disney XD.
CitizenGo reported on “Andi Mack”:
One of the Disney’s new TV shows, Andi Mack, features the first gay storyline on the Disney Channel. In a recent episode, a 13-year-old character “realizes” he is gay and “comes out” to his friends. His friends accept and affirm his same-sex attractions, and they applaud him for expressing his “true self.”
The “Star vs. The Forces of Evil” cartoon that aired in February featured the first same-sex kiss for a Disney episode. Noah Michelson, writing for HuffPost “Queer Voices,” characterized the same-sex kiss as a “beautiful moment” for kids:
It’s a beautiful moment and one that could be incredibly influential for kids who are soaking up social cues about what it means to be a boy or a girl—or any gender in between—and what supposedly is or isn’t possible because of how they identify.
And that’s not the only same-sex intimacy going on. When characters Star, Marco, and Jackie (in a recent “Just Friends” episode) attend a concert performed by their favorite band called “Love Sentence,” members of the audience are moved by the exciting music to embrace in a kiss that includes same-sex couples.
Homosexual activists often claim that Christians and others in America who disapprove of homosexual lifestyles are stereotyping, homophobic or unjustly discriminating against people who experience same-sex attraction. This disapproval is often equated with racism and bigotry. Do these charges have any merit?
In the first place, the Catholic Church makes it clear that any unjust discrimination against homosexual persons (people who experience same-sex attraction) is unacceptable:
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (CCC 2358)
However, homosexual sex-acts are opposed to the natural moral law and intrinsically disordered. As such, they can never be condoned or approved as if they are a morally permissible alternative-lifestyle choice:
Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (CCC 2357)
The Catechism notes that Scripture presents homosexual behavior as “acts of grave depravity.” While there are many examples to be found, I here offer two. The first is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. The context of the passage below (Rom 1:24-29, 32) is people who have rejected honoring God and given themselves over to ungodliness, wickedness and idolatry:
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice…. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.
According to St. Paul’s divinely inspired teaching, homosexual acts are unnatural, out of sync with the created order and thus also opposed to God’s plan for human sexuality. The second example I offer is from Jude (1:5-7):
Now I desire to remind you, though you are fully informed, that the Lord, who once for all saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their own position, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgment of the great day. Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire
Homosexual acts place a person’s soul in peril. That’s also the case with all sexual impurity, whether adultery, fornication, pornography or other kinds. God calls all people to a sexual ethic of purity, holiness, and chastity exercised according to their state of life, whether married, single, religious or as an ordained member of the clergy. Said another way, the tradition of the Church prohibits unchaste, impure and/or immoral sexual behavior on the part of any persons regardless of their sexual tendencies, desires or temptations. All Christians—in fact, all people by virtue of their creation in God’s image and likeness—are called to holiness and the life of moral perfection and virtue. Everyone must resist sinful temptations, undertake the battle against sin and live in harmony with the loving plan of God, which includes homosexual persons:
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (CCC 2359)
The Church is, therefore, not discriminating against people who experience homosexual tendencies, applying a sexual ethic only to them. On the contrary, all people are called to God’s standards of chastity and sexual rectitude.
What about the claim that Christians who disapprove of homosexual lifestyles do so only out of fear?
Although there may be people who harbor an irrational fear or anxiety toward those who experience same-sex attraction, disapproval of homosexual acts is not at all based on fear but on the word of God, the natural law, charity, concern for what is true and the common good. We have already briefly looked at the word of God. What about these other concerns?
Let’s begin with the natural law. Although few people can articulate what the natural law is, everyone uses it daily. Stated simply, the natural law is God’s Divine Law of truth written on the human heart that is recognizable by reason. It might be described as man’s gifted share in the divine light of truth that grants him the ability to participate through the use of reason in God’s eternal law. It “expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie” (CCC 1954). When we live in accord with the natural law, we live in harmony with God’s plan and the reality of the way things really are. When I freely conform my life to the natural law, I order my life by what is true. Further, the natural law’s precepts are universal in scope and it is called “natural” because “reason which decrees it properly belongs to human nature” (CCC 1955).
For example, no one has to be taught about how murder or theft or adultery are wrong, disordered and evil human acts. In the same way, we do not have to be taught homosexual acts are wrong. That is why in years past the vast majority of Americans disapproved of homosexual acts: it is obvious that they are opposed to what is good and true. Approval has risen only recently due to the pervasive, well-orchestrated media campaign in favor of the homosexual agenda. Additionally, we can discern through reason (engaging the natural law) that the human reproductive system is created for a specific twofold purpose: the unity of the spouses and the transmission of new human life. The homosexual act cannot attain either of those ends because same-sex couples are not married spouses and procreation is impossible. Therefore, homosexual acts are opposed to the truth about human sexuality. To suggest these acts are an acceptable, moral means of employing the human sexual faculty is a lie.
What about the virtue of charity? “Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God” (CCC 1822). Often described as Christian love, the virtue of charity seeks the true and authentic benefit of others. To act in a charitable way is to will the true good of the other for the love of God, which is to seek the greatest possible good for our neighbor.
Homosexual acts can imperil a person’s soul. If we support or encourage these acts, we may be assisting and/or encouraging a person in making sinful choices to engage in gravely disordered activities that may end in definitive separation from God and the permanent loss of heaven. In doing so, we would not be willing the greatest good of the other but rather his destruction. This is precisely the danger the Disney Channel is dabbling in. Programming such as “Andi Mack” and “Star vs. The Forces of Evil” has the potential to negatively shape the lives of children and lead them to embrace gravely immoral behavior later as teens and adults.
Christian love dictates that we exercise fraternal correction for the sake of the eternal well-being of others. Contrary to popular opinion, the choices we make can be permanent matters of life and death. There are some choices that, when considered in light of eternity, can have terrifying consequences if left unrepentant. With that in mind, the Catechism speaks about mortal sin (an intentional turning away from God on grave matters with full knowledge and full consent of the will):
Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back.
Another angle homosexual activists often take is to portray the homosexual act as a “right” people have to express sexual love. They argue that if they’re denied this so-called right, then they are being unjustly discriminated against by withholding from them the opportunity to experience “human love.” Surely no one would want to impose that kind of unsatisfying, lonely existence on another human being, they say. Using this argument, they reduce human sexuality to physical and/or emotional gratification and marriage to a mere social arrangement.
But that kind of an argument doesn’t hold up. All we need do is take it to its logical extent to expose its fallacious nature. If we say that people have a “right” to experience sex as they see fit in order to experience “love” as they so wish it to be, then we would also have to say that adultery or fornication or pedophilia or polygamy or polyandry or incest are “rights” as well. After all, people desire (are tempted) to do those things too. The bottom line is, there is no “right” to engage in intrinsically disordered human acts any more than there is a “right” to lie or cheat or steal or murder.
Let’s get back to the Disney Channel for a moment. The greatest danger here is that children who watch these kinds of shows portraying homosexuality as entirely normal will be indoctrinated into the lies of the homosexual agenda. They may become conditioned by these programs to think that homosexual acts are natural forms of expressing human love, equivalent to married love between husband and wife. Given their age and level of susceptibility due to an under-developed capacity for judgment and reason, they might become confused about the nature of their own human sexuality, which can be magnified in the future during adolescence. They may feel it necessary to experiment sexually with same-sex partners, “just to find out what it’s all about” or answer questions they might have about their own sexuality that arose due to the content of these programs.
It’s not difficult to see how these programs can be highly dangerous to the future well-being of children—physically, emotionally and spiritually. Further, media-programing of this nature tends to promote the devaluation of marriage and family. As such, it poses a threat to the common good of all.
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Top: TODXS on Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/206263753.
In Text: ABC Tel., flickr, creative commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/disneyabc/16864312772. Creative Commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/.
Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo. He holds an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry and is a Catholic educator, public speaker, and evangelist who strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel.