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Sesame Street to Introduce HIV-Positive Muppet

Discussion in 'Sesame Worlds' started by Phillip, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. FellowWLover

    FellowWLover Member

    I agree! This has been the most interesting topic to hit the forum since the inception of the "new MC". I will never understand why so many people here seem to feel that we must all be on the same page with every topic. While his opinion may be distasteful to some (or even most), Special_Ed has not resorted to personal attacks or other flaming activities that should result in making the "appropriate grievances". IMO, we shouldn't be able to get rid of someone simply because we dislike them, or what they have to say (within the confines of civil discussion).
  2. radionate

    radionate New Member

    First off, everyone please excuse any typos. I am really upset right now. I also wish I was a more eligant speaker, but unfortunatly I am not, but here goes my best attempt.

    First off, I'd like to make a point here. Where did it say anywhere that this character would have contracted HIV/AIDS through homosexual contact? My god, most likely this Muppet will be "preschool aged". Therefore how can involving a storyline about its illness translate into a "gay agenda"????? It didn't get it from sexual contact with a member of its same sex. That isn't the only form of this disease, in fact heterosexual contact of the disease has been on a increase of late. Most likely it will be handled very delicately, to let children know that not all diseases are contagious, and they don't need to fear contact with people with cancer or AIDS, as there is no way to contact it from touch. I can't believe that anyone would interpret that as a "gay agenda". Give me a friggen break will ya!

    Do I love my fellow man? Yes I do. Do I approve of everything that people do, gay or straight? Do I agree with everyone's viewpoints, gay or straight? Do I get along with everyone, gay or straight? The answer to the last three questions is of course No. But I respect their individuality, as this is America. I am greatful that we are all allowed the freedom of choice of religion, thought, politics, sexual orientation, etc. If not, this world would be a boring place. I'm also thankful that I'm living in America in 2001 for another reason. Why is that? Because I am a gay male, and am free of prosecution from religious fanatics. I have no fear of being executed for being the person that God or whatever higher being you may or may not believe in made me. Did I choose this lifestyle? No. Is it a birth defect? No more so then stupid ignorant people who claim it is. It took me twenty something years to accept who I am, and 26 years to finally admit it out loud. I, like anyone else gay or straight, am learning who I am every day and growing as a human being every day. That's why we are put on this earth, to grow as individuals and not lay stagnate in our lifetimes. But let me tell you something, I pride myself on being courteous and respectful of individuals who live on this planet. If I don't want to be chastised, why should I do so to someone else.

    So have you learned something MR. SPECIAL ED? I do love you as a human, and hope you live your life as a decent human being. Will you believe that, hmmmm.....very doubtful.
  3. Hays

    Hays New Member

    Unfortunately, I think that Special Ed's post has come to the heart of the matter. It breaks my own heart that people who are trying to do the right thing can be so mislead about personal freedoms. Sesame Street has always taught tolerance of differences, a value that is central to the American way of life. Somehow, this tolerance needs to include people we don't agree with as well as people whose freedoms we want to protect.

    That being said, I think discussions about sexuality and disease should be on a need-to-know basis with toddlers. I liked the scenario MuppetQuilter posted, because kids will probably run into someone who needs medicine on a regular basis (HIV, diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, and the list goes on.) They do need to know how to treat sick kids with tolerance. They also need to know to treat different kinds of couples and families with tolerance. More specifics I think would be cruel.

    Although I agree that someone who actually has HIV might be a better choice, I think it's not need-to-know information. I don't tell my toddler that his grandfather has emphesema, or that his grandmother has high blood pressure - it's not important right now. What's important is that Grandpa sometimes needs his inhaler, and Grammy has to rest sometimes. Toddlers have very active imaginations - and, while it's a quality I like to foster, I don't want to fill my son's head with frightening thoughts about mortality and illness, even if those are facts of life.
  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Luke & Jessica

    My grievance was certainly not with Ed's opinions, but how disrespectfully he stated them even after he was told it was offensive. It's fine to have your beliefs, but there can be no dialogue without mutual respect therefore I refuse to post to him. I have also said all I can on the subject really. I feel you guys have gone a little far in your posts, but not over the line. Ed leaves little room for discussion.

    However, I will make one final statement to all in this thread. Until you walk in someone else’s skin you cannot truly understand them. Simple, but true. People will choose to hate or be condescending to others for any reason. If they don't have one, they'll simply make one up. I don't need to fight others to prove my existence. I'm quite content, I do exist and others should just get used to it because the tide of acceptance will not likely change back. Thank God!
  5. FellowWLover

    FellowWLover Member

    While I am not defending Special_Ed's point of view (which would not be my place, and while I personally disagree with some of his points, is still his opinion, and does not really bear defending anyway), he did not call gay people "sickos"...

    This is the statement to which I think you are referring. While his example is IMO in poor taste, he was not disrespectful to members of this forum. Plain truth? You told him that he was being offensive (which is your opinion), but what you really object to is his point of view... his posts were not, in themselves, incendiary.
  6. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    I have to respond to this post because it simply isn't true.

    Ed lumped murderers and molesters into the same group as gay people and called them all sickos.

    You can battle over semantics all you want but I stated the facts without spin.

    Ed stated that his views were moral certainties rather than opinion and continued to condemn people as sinners etc. Jesus stated that it is no man's place to point out sins of others and this guy has done just that.

    No, I don't like what he said but it was the disrespect that was truly offensive - even after he knew it was hurting people. He unapologetically crossed a line and I feel there is no talking to someone with that level of disrespect no matter what his views.
  7. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed Guest


    Saying that there are moral absolutes does not mean that I'm saying I set them, there are universal absolutes and the absolutes set in the Bible. In recent times it has become a "dirty concept" to call something what it is. It wasn't my judgement call, it was God's. There is a difference between respect and intolerence, why do you seem to think they are the same thing? I can respect people as people, I just don't agree with things that they do.

    Janice & Frogboy,

    I believe it was Janice who claimed these people were born gay, but Frogboy addressed this too, so I"m answering you both now. I use the term "birth defect" because, and even you admitted, it was against the norm. When people are born with something wroing with them physically or mentally we call it a birth defect, what's wrong with calling homosexuality a birth defect as well? I was using your thought process there.

    A fetish is anything that turns someone on sexually. There really are some strange ones out there too. The only reason some gay people are torn over it is because they know that it is morally wrong. It's the same debate over commiting a crime if it benifits someone, does that make it a crime, etc. A crime is a crime, a sin is a sin.

    There are child molestors, pediphiles, and murderers who are always at conflict with what they do. They know it is wrong but yet they do it. It's an example to illustrate my point.


    I enjoy your comments, you sound like a great person to debate with on many subjects. I think that the reason why people get defensive and nasty when subjects like these come up is because they are afraid to have their beliefs challenged and maybe even swayed to a different point of view.

    I would, however, like to clarify that I do not feel that a person has been bad to bring on a gay lifestyle, I"ve actually never heard of that concept before. By judging from the scriptures I feel that it's a sin, just like any other sin. All sins are equal, and therefore I have no qualms of comparing sins with sins, and it's usually the first ones that come to mind.

    I was never relating HIV to gay people, I always saw this topic as being along the same path as the HIV infected character. Once they do this a gay character is not far behind. I think we agree on this point.

    Luke & Fellowlover,

    I have remained civil and respectful in all of my posts and will continue to be so, no matter how hostile people reat me for these views.


    1.) I never made a connection between HIV and gay people. I believe I said that this would open the door for that to be the next step. Muppet Qulter said that he'd like to see a gay character on the show and that is how is discussion began.

    2.) This country was founded by what you would consider to be "religious fanatics" but they never executed gays. THat is a myth. If you look at American History the founding fathers founded America as a Christian Nation and this meant that Christianity dictated all forms of government (and this was upheld by the SUpreme Court until the 1960's!) Even with this strong religious attitude the founding fathers allowed other religions and credes to settle here for they were loving their neighbor as they loved themself, even though they did not believe in many of the things that these people reprsented.

    3.) Whn you stait that it took you 20 years to figure out you were gay you are proving my point, people are not born gay, they just decide one day that that's the lifestyle for them. You know what else? All homosexual periodicals printed until the early 1980's PROUDLY PROCLAIMED that homosexuality was a choice and one that they took pride in making. It was not until the mid 80's that the tune changed to "This is a birth defect."


    That is what I was saying in an earlier post. There are specifics that young children just do not need to know because their minds are not rady for them.


    "Until you walk in someone else’s skin you cannot truly understand them"

    Yet you call me disrespectful and offensive, but say I need to spend a day in someone's shoes to understand them. Why aren't you holding this same rule true about myself and my views? It seems one sided to me.


    Thanks for showing that. It saves me the trouble.


    Jesus said not to specifically judge a perso of sin, not to judge an action as a sin. I have only stated actions that are sins, not anyone who has committed them. With your spin, nothing would be wrong and there would be no way to hve morals, aka situational ethics. That is not what the BIble teaches at all. I also do not aplogize when I have done or said nothing wrong.
  8. What's wrong is that it can be insulting to people. I've worked with deaf people and many of them consider it a tasteless insult to say that their deafness is a "birth defect".

    I told you what a fetish was, but I don't know whether you don't read posts entirely or just have "selected reading". I repeat, from the dictionary:

    "an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression"

    Therefore, "anything that turns someone on sexually" is not a fetish. I just hope you come to understand this.

    And no, there are other reasons some gay people are torn over their orientation. Some of society is cruel to them, and they wish they could just "fit in" with everyone, not only some. Actions are sins, feelings are not (notice I said feelings, and not thoughts).
  9. I know Nate can handle his own battles, but I don't like to see people misquoted. He didn't say it took him 20 years to figure out he was gay, he said it took him 20-something years to accept who he was. That's a big difference. I could go on, but I'm sure he'll reply in his own words.
  10. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    ...hmmm, i guess toughpigs forum isnt the only adults only muppet forum now!
  11. EmmyMik

    EmmyMik New Member

    Special_Ed, if anything this shows that your argument is weak.

    From what you're saying, a person could do everything that a "good Christian" would do, but they can't be a "good Christian" because they are gay. So on the flip side of your argument, a person could do many horrible things, and one good thing would make them a good person.
  12. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    If everyone can please try to steer this topic back to it's original intent which is how an HIV-positive Muppet might be played out on South American Sesame Street that would be appreciated.

    The imminent issue isn't how a gay couple would or would not be appropriate on Sesame Street or anywhere else for that matter. We've discussed that topic for a day now. Let's agree to disagree, but with MUTUAL RESPECT for the people who share different opinions. This isn't being done to "stifle" discussion, but rather to get the topic back on it's original intent.

    When we began discussing this original issue on Thursday, it was a very productive and intriguing discussion. As some have mentioned, the HIV-Muppet story has taken off like wild-fire nationally. On Friday it was one of the lead stories on MSNBC. Our local news here even had a five-minute package dealing with the issue last night.

    Appreciate everyone's support in moving on....
  13. FellowWLover

    FellowWLover Member

    Now here is something that I just do not understand.

    Every other thread is permitted to meander on and off a topic, even sometimes on and on about, frankly, nothing. Yet, here we are maturely discussing a timely and thought-provoking issue being asked "to get the topic back on it's original intent." And, it is not as if this discussion has raged on for months or even weeks... after "a day" it has been decided for us that we better get back on track and steer clear of any further controversy.

    Honestly, most of us probably have no real idea "how an HIV-positive Muppet might be played out on South American Sesame Street" being that the majority of posters live in the US and Europe. It does not surprise me, therefore, that the thrust of the discussion turned to other topics. What does give me pause is that we are being asked to "move on" in no uncertain terms. So much for the free exchange of ideas.
  14. Jessica, I'm thinkin' it's probably cause not everyone "expressed an opinion". If everyone had just stated their opinions were just that---their opinions---it probably woulda been more acceptable (along with not usin' "potential insults").
  15. radionate

    radionate New Member

    I'm going to adhere to Phil's wishes, but I have to make one statement, I'm just upset that I can't use the words I want to in this post.


    How can anyone suddenly think that one day a person is just going to up and decide to be gay. Human logic doesn't work like that. I think your screen name says it all.

    Thank you, and I will now return to a civil discussion about S.S.
  16. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed Guest

    Janice & Monkey boy,

    "Birth defect" is widely used for all other things people are born with against the norm, there is nothing degrading about it. I think the reason you or anyone would have a problem with it is because it calls it for what it is, according to your logic.

    Yes, I read your post, I was telling you what a fetish is. Ask Mr. Webster and get back to me.

    No, they have trouble with their orientation because they know that what they are doing is wrong.

    Even if I give you this feelings comment, once they act upon them it would be commiting a sin. You keep refering to Christ, but did not Christ say that sins begin in the mind?

    No he said: "It took me twenty something years to accept who I am, and 26 years to finally admit it out loud. "

    I understand this to be he is saying he is at least 46 years old, decided he was gay when he was 20, and became open about it 26 years after that. I did not misquote him.


    That is exactly what I am saying. It is also more than doing good things to be a Christian and if you are not living fulling in Christ then you are not a good Christian. If someone is a thief but is kind to children and little old ladies does that make it okay that he is a thief? No. THat is what I am saying, the only way to make up for a wrong is to syop doing that wrong.

    By the way, I like your Freakazoid reference in the signature. :D


    You are proving Luke's point about people fearing discussion of these subjects. If you would not like to have any more said in this thread, might I suggest we start a new thread on this subject?


    Very valid points. Now you have lived a day in my shoes. :)


    I have yet to intentionally and specifically insult others.


    Your story does indeed suggest that you were not born gay, but decided to become gay. The majority of "How I became gay" stories are the same way. Sad home life, being picked on in school, then turning to be gay in the teens or early twenties. You have not proven you were gay from birth, and in fact no scientist has, just as no scientist has proven that it's learned behavior, hgowever there have been some remarkable studies on both sides, yet they tend to disagree often.

    I also was not saying that you as a person were not a birth defect, but your condition can be considered to be a birth defect.

    I was not saying you spontaniously decided to become gay, but many experiences through your life drove you that way. It is the media who has taken this birth defect concept and ran with it.

    This was a very civil discussion and if you are leaving I am very sorry. It's nice to get a gay person's input on these things. You will be surely missed.

    "I think your screen name says it all."

    By the way, was that an insult? :)
  17. Uhh, I did quote "Mr. Webster" to you---twice, word for word the second time. I was just lettin' you know what a fetish actually is. In your version, a man bein' attracted to a woman makes him a fetishist. That's why I specified it for ya to what it actually means.

    That sounds like you're speakin' for all gay people, though. Some feel that it is wrong, but some also feel just "wronged" by society. There are all kinds of different reasons, not just the "it's wrong" one.
  18. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed Guest


    What year is your dictionary? I'm using a Webster's 1880 edition, and my definition coms from there. Since this is the version that Noah Webster himself wrote this is the correct definition. Webster has a lot of interesting definitions in here that I'm sure you and many would disagree with.
  19. I used the one online, and I have one downstairs. That must be one interesting edition if it says any sexual attraction is a fetish. Then everybody would be a fetishist, lol.
  20. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed Guest

    I assumed you used the online dictionary because I already went there and compaired your post.

    But do you have a thurough dictionary or just a cheapy type?

    It doesn't state that everyone is a fetish, but erotic things that get's them in the mood are. If homosexuality gets them in the mood then it's a fetish. It's the best dictionary out there because it's a true dictionary in Webster's own words with definitions that wre used for hundreds of years. It's our recent culture that has tried to change them.

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