Had you told me that as a grown man with two adult children that I would, for any reason, write the words My Little Pony (MLP) in an article (or anywhere) I would have advised you to seek psychiatric care. Nevertheless, here we are. The company that produces the children’s television show, MLP has announced that they are adding a homosexual couple to that television show. In the same article we learn that the children’s show Arthur already has a gay character.
Of course television production companies are adding same-sex characters and couples to their shows. The new morality demands it but this is not mere virtue signaling. It is catechesis, instruction. Catechesis is a Greek word for instruction. It is the noun from which we get another noun, catechism. Confessional Protestant churches (e.g., Lutheran and Reformed) have used catechisms since the mid-16th century as a way to instruct the children of believers. A catechism is a little book (usually, except in the case of the 1994 Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church) of questions and answers (except in the case of the 1994 Romanist catechism). More broadly, however, catechesis is simply instruction of the young and new converts.
To be sure, we are always being catechized. Madison Avenue (i.e., the advertising agencies) are constantly seeking to catechize us in the virtues of their products. I can recall far too many advertising jingles: “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.” In the 1960s television catechized me on the virtues of cigarettes. They would make me “cool,” “hip,” and “sophisticated.” They neglected to mention the connection with lung cancer and an early death.
Today TV is selling us on the third wave of the sexual revolution. Just as they dressed actors as physicians in the 1950s and early 60s to sell us on the idea that cigarettes were good for our health, so too, now, they are trying to sell us and our children on the sexual revolution. They want to program your child to think that human sexuality is an arbitrary social convention, that it has nothing to do with nature. Of course that is absurd but sexuality is product and Hollywood knows how to move product.
To one degree or another Hollywood has long been subversive of what they saw as oppressive, bourgeois social norms. Some of the earliest films, before the creation of the Hays Office (the Motion Picture Production Code), in 1930, films were unrated. Cinema was the original “Dark Web.” Film makers immediately created graphic pornography. Conservative Christians (e.g., the Christian Reformed) in the period reacted to the new medium by forbidding it. That ban carried over to television for some years. It was relatively common for such families to own a television and even to watch it but to roll it (televisions use to be small boxes set on carts to be wheeled about) into the closet before the minister or elders came to visit. The Hays Code was eliminated in 1968 and films almost immediately became more violent, coarse, and explicitly sexual. In response, Hollywood created the current movie ratings system (G, PG, R etc).
Those who are under 30 probably have no idea that as late as the early 1970s homosexuality was still regarded as a mental illness. In 1958 Martin Luther King, who wrote a regular column in Ebony magazine, took it as a given that homosexuality was a mental illness and unnatural. Homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973 because of political pressure from the increasingly active and influential gay lobby. To this date, there is no unambiguous scientific evidence to suggest that the earlier understanding was wrong. Indeed, the sexual revolutionaries may have a point. The new sexuality demonstrably is an arbitrary social construct that needs to be deconstructed. Read more»