By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
If you ever doubted we’re living in a crazy, mixed up and definitely sinful world, just read this latest article from Baptist Press about popular Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie.
Bert and Ernie and Big Bird and all the gang have been around for decades. My children are ages 33 and 29 and they watched Sesame Street faithfully as preschoolers and young children. I watched it with them at times.
I never thought or imagined that Bert and Ernie represented a gay couple. According to the Baptist Press article, teenagers over the years have made those remarks. Really? What’s new? Teenagers have an incredible ability to made snide remarks about a multitude of topics. I know. I was one (though it be decades ago).
It didn’t help that one of the show’s writers (who is homosexual) said he always imagined Bert and Ernie as a romantically involved couple when he was writing scenes for them. That’s pretty sick. Bert and Ernie are puppets, nothing more, nothing less.
That’s basically what the show’s producers said in a statement they tweeted. The statement also noted: “They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.”
We need to be careful not to let culture rewrite history. Bert and Ernie are what they are — imaginary characters created to teach children to treat others with kindness and respect. As I view our world today, it’s apparent that millions of people never learned that lesson.
If this story does nothing else, it should remind us of the great need for parents, grandparents and the church to provide our children a biblical worldview. We can’t depend on Bert and Ernie (or today’s equivalents such as Paw Patrol) to do it especially in light of cultural tensions in our world today. Our children are getting a worldview. It is up to us to make sure it is a Jesus-centered approach.
Statistics show we’re not reaching Generation Z with the gospel. If they’re going to be reached, we (Christians) MUST do it.