Franklin Gra­ham bashes PBS car­toon af­ter char­ac­ter’s same-sex mar­riage

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Local - BY MARK PRICE [email protected]­lot­teob­server.com

Evan­ge­list Franklin Gra­ham is ask­ing his nearly 2 mil­lion Twit­ter fol­low­ers to chal­lenge fed­eral fund­ing for PBS, af­ter a char­ac­ter on one of the net­work’s car­toons came out as gay and got mar­ried.

Gra­ham says the same­sex mar­riage of Mr. Rat­burn, a third-grade teacher on the long-run­ning chil­dren’s car­toon “Arthur,” is “pro­mot­ing the LGBTQ agenda.”

“Why should our gov­ern­ment be fi­nanc­ing PBS programmin­g that pro­motes what the Bi­ble calls sin?” Gra­ham tweeted late Wed­nes­day.

“I think many view­ers may be sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed in this con­tent de­ci­sion,” Gra­ham con­tin­ued. “I hope ev­ery­one will rise up and clearly tell PBS that they do not want to see this kind of programmin­g slipped in to try to in­flu­ence the hearts and minds of our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.”

MSN.com says fans of the “beloved” show “went wild” for the episode’s plot twist. How­ever, the Chris­tian Post re­ports The Fam­ily Re­search Coun­cil be­lieves “Arthur” pro­duc­ers are “tak­ing ad­van­tage” of the trust par­ents put in shows aimed at chil­dren.

Gra­ham’s tweets have got­ten more than 5,000 re­ac­tions in 12 hours, and his Face­book post has been shared 32,000 times as of Thurs­day morn­ing. The 15,000-plus re­sponses in­clude a run­ning ar­gu­ment be­tween peo­ple who sup­port Gra­ham and those de­fend­ing sepa­ra­tion of church and state.

“PBS and NPR: Pro­pa­ganda ma­chines paid for by the peo­ple to try to ‘teach’ us some­thing. Crazy,” said Jane Draws in re­sponse to Gra­ham’s tweet.

“I’ve been ask­ing for years: Why am I forced to fund that broad­cast­ing?” wrote Vicki Cot­tom Linker.

“We aren’t an evan­gel­i­cal chris­tian theoc­racy and mar­riage be­tween 2 men or 2 women is le­gal in this coun­try,” re­sponded some­one go­ing by the name Nirish.

“Sepa­ra­tion of church and state. Church should NOT be in­volved in any gov­ern­ment de­ci­sions. Re­li­gion needs to be away from our gov­ern­ment,” tweeted some­one us­ing the name Dy­lan­sDeadly.

The episode served as the sea­son 22 premiere, and the plot twist of Mr. Rat­burn’s gay re­la­tion­ship came as a “sur­prise” to view­ers, re­ported EW.com.

“Yep, Mr. Rat­burn is gay! Who knew?” wrote EW’s Tyler Aquilina.

Out.com notes Gra­ham is join­ing other con­ser­va­tives in crit­i­ciz­ing the episode, in­clud­ing Se­bas­tian Gorka, host of the “Amer­ica First” on Salem Ra­dio Net­work.

Gorka, also the for­mer deputy as­sis­tant to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, tweeted Tues­day that the show is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a “cul­ture war” go­ing on in the na­tion.

“Did you have any ques­tions about there be­ing a cul­ture war, ladies and gen­tle­men?” Out.com quoted Gorka as ask­ing. “Did you have any doubt in your mind?”

PBS video screen­shot

Franklin Gra­ham says the same-sex mar­riage of a teacher on the car­toon “Arthur” is “pro­mot­ing the LGBTQ agenda.”

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