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Sesame Street to Introduce HIV-Positive Muppet

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

  1. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I generally don't wade in to these sorts of raging debates and certainly don't discuss my religion alot, but I've read your hateful and inflammatory posts and well-intended but misguided holier-than-thou righteous schtick with an increasing sense of alarm and outrage, both as a human being and a Christian.

    Ed, as person who values free speech as one of the basic tenants of freedom and democracy I say you are entitled to your own opinion, however ignorant, poorly reasoned and thoroughly stupid it may be.

    However, as a normally accepting and tolerant Christian (and on behalf of accepting and tolerant Christians everywhere) I'm compelled to say please sit down and shut up.

    Ed said:

    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.

    You are cloaking ignorance and intolerance in the robes of God something that is a terrible affront to Christianity. You are using the general to attack the specific. To say your are only citing examples of immoral behavior is frankly B.S.

    Your agrument is inherently contradictory. You say in one breath Jesus said not to judge an action as sin. That's very true. But in the next sentance you say that you want to cite actions that are sins.

    What's that? That's the sound of someone trying to dig himself out of what he knows is quickly deepening hole.

    Unless something happened when I was out, you haven't supplanted God yet Ed. So unless I'm wrong please go back, reread the bible and pay special attention to the new testament because there is a few hundred pages that specifically address why what you are doing here should not be.

    The bible does contain several passages which declares homosexuality immoral. It also contains several passages condoning slavery. How do we judge what's what? We must always act and think with the most precious, important and fundamental tenant of Christianity in mind - to accept and love those we have issue with.

    To love those like us is easy, to withold judgement of those unlike us is hard. That is the challenge we have as Christians, one we all too often fail to succeed at.

    I am friends with a great many gay people who are honest, loving, caring and beautiful people - people to whom it would never occur to say some of the unfortunate, spiteful things the likes of which you have said in this forum. Whether or not you, I or anyone else agrees with their lifestyle is totally irrelevant. If they harm no one, their choices, beliefs and decisions are between God and themselves, no one else. Being Christian does not bestow anyone with the right to pass judgement on anyone on religious or moral grounds and doing so is simply arrogant presumption.

    I know you will insist that you are not judging, but you are in fact by your words and actions. Do you really believe that your misguided sense of moral superiority justifies your behavior? If so I'm sorry that you have yet to come to full understanding and appreciation of your own religion.

    Judge not, lest ye be judged.
  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Does this mean hetrosexuality is a fetish too? lol

    Using Webster's dictionary to defend a religious position - this keeps getting sillier and sillier - poor Ed, tricks are for kids!

  3. trekkie1701E

    trekkie1701E New Member

    <Trekkie-- thanks for joining the discussion and sharing your experiences. Sesame Street has long made a habit of including children and adults with disablities and it is one of the things I love about the show.>

    Thanks! I have great memories of Sesame Street and I still hold the show very close to my heart. I also consider the years I had surrounding it -- Unique and very fun experiences in special ed at elementary school -- the greatest of my life. So, Sesame Street has that much more meaning -- Compassion, admiration, love -- for me.

  4. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed Guest

    Buck the Beaver,

    It alarms me that many Christians in this country have become so desensitized to what is right and wrong that they would rather look the other way than face what the Bible says and live what it teaches.

    I have never said anything hateful or judgemental.

    You are saying that we were never told what actions constitue as sins, which is totally wrong. I am calling the actions as they are classified in the scriptures.

    The Bible does not condone slavery. I suppose you'll also argue that it condones polygamy. Everything in the Bible, such as these topics, were only played out for a set period of time to full fill God's purpose. For example, the multiple wives issue was only carried out in order to build the Earth's population up. When things became of no more use to God's purpose they were stated as such. Homosexuality was never condoned in the Bible and out right called for what it is, a sin.

    I do love my neighbor, I just don't care for things they do. Just because I am tolerent of other people does not mean that I have to accept what they do as being moral.

    I assume you are also one of the breed who feels it's wrong to preach the gospel to other people, in fear of hurting their feelings and shattering their religious views?

    I used Webster's dictionary because Noah Webster was a strong Christian man and the father of definitions. It would do you good to learn more about him.
  5. Hey everybody, I think we Muppet fans should all keep a look-out on the internet!

    I have been to two message boards already that have erupted in this SS topic, and they have false information!!

    One board I went to has a thread that's titled, "Sesame Street is sooooooo dirty! They are bringing an AIDS puppet to the show! Unclean!"

    People like that clearly do not know the facts of what is actually goin' on. At both boards that have had these reactions, I have posted messages straightenin' things out and tellin' 'em the real facts behind the story---one poster didn't even bother to say it was only in South Africa for now!---if he even knew that.

    So I urge everyone to keep your eyes open at other boards you visit, and post the real information on what is goin' on here in case you see this story bein' mangled.
  6. MuppetQuilter

    MuppetQuilter Member

    Thanks for the heads up. This story really has gotten misrepresented all over the place.
  7. It sure has...I'm just tryin' to make sure we all keep lookouts at our "other boards"!
  8. trekkie1701E

    trekkie1701E New Member

    Alright, Special_Ed & everyone, let's not start a holy war:) ! Some people believe "every" word in the bible while others do not. You either believe it or you don't. Even if you don't believe everything, it doesn't make you a bad christian.
    I still believe in what we all heard as younger kids, "If you're good, you'll go to Heaven; If you're bad, you'll go to ****."
    We're all only human.

  9. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    I agree that the whole 'HIV' topic is getting somewhat lesser attention than the 'gay' scenario but i also don't agree that this isn't a valid connected issue. If the Sesame Street producers anywhere in the world are looking at introducing controversial adult topics into childrens television then it's very valid indeed to question whether a gay person/muppet could be introduced and would be a right or wrong move. Both are potential 'hot potatoes' in the media, both are adult subjects not usually discussed at this level, both are ideas that could theoretically be 'workable' in some scaled down way to a producer intent on handling these kinda subjects. If half the population of South Africa were homosexual rather than HIV and they wanted to educate little kids about how different people have different feelings then can you honestly say that they wouldn't have introduced a Muppet who felt that way too ? I doubt it !

    I think the thing to warn people about, rather than steering them off any undesirable topic, is for people to watch carefully what they say in relation to others. In other words, if you have strong opinions then fine state them, but use that MUTUAL RESPECT we are always talking about to judge how you state them in relation to the other people that are also here on the board. I think Special Ed especially has been guilty of going full steam ahead and using pretty strong words like 'birth defect' when he blatently knows how people are going to react to that. I do agree that is definitely NOT the way forward but I also think to an extent we need to be able to discuss this here without having to stick rigidly to what was said in the news reports - after all, it's also going on at every other 'news' message board and be handled ok so it'd be a shame if the most well known 'Muppet' one couldn't handle it.
  10. FellowWLover

    FellowWLover Member

    And here we get to the heart of the matter...

    Do we have to grant others a blanket of morality for them to consider that we are "tolerant" of their activities? Is one's own morality compromised if one stands silently by and does not speak out against what one considers to be immoral behavior?

    Moral dilemmas such as these stretch into everyday life. If Ed believes the homosexuality is a sin, I will also wager that he believes it would be sinful as well for him not to try to shed light on the subject. Some Christians believe that active evangelizing (as in preaching the gospel) is the duty of true Christians.

    It is indeed a tricky wire to walk. Is Ed truly tolerant? Or is his strong feeling about the morality of homosexual behavior discrimination in itself?
  11. Jackie

    Jackie New Member

    Who's to say what religion in the world is right? There are hundreds and hundreds of cultures. Each believing that they are right and no one else is. There is a family down the street from me who tells a friend of my brother's all the time that he's going to (for sake of this board) heck for being of the Jewish religion. Things like that really upset me. I think it's very ignorant to believe that you are completely right and no one else is.

    I do not believe in god or a religion, but I don't expect other people to believe that. I couldn't possibly say that I am definitely right that there is no other "powers" out there that created everything. I just believe what I choose to believe and I try to be a good person with what I have. I know many bad people who have religion, and I know many good people who have a religion. Same with the people who don't. Every person is different, and I try to judge people individually, for who THEY are inside.

    It's good to incorporate other people's views into your own. It's not good to just stick to old written beliefs that could POSSIBLY be outdated. We have to question authority sometimes because it's not always right. I know for a fact that if I did believe in a God I would question him QUITE often.

    Back to what I was trying to say now...God never came down from above and said to me, "Jackie, all gay people are morally wrong." That's like God saying to me..."Jackie, kill your brother and prove your faith to me." I wouldn't hurt my brother, and I would not believe that gay people are any different from me.

    I can't understand how a gay person feels because I don't have those type of feelings. But if they feel attracted to a person of their sex the way I feel towards my boyfriend, then I believe what they feel is a truly good thing.

    I love my friends on this board and everything that makes them them, and when someone tells them that they are wrong, it hurts me because they have no right to say that. I don't care if you believe it, but DO NOT tell them that they are wrong. Everyone is FREE to believe what they need to believe. Just as Special Ed needs to believe in what he believes in. We can't change his mind, but just as Sesame Street trys to do...it educates children to be open in their acceptance of other people, something in which parents can't always provide.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    When it started out, Mr. Noodle kinda creeped me out (i dunno why). Now that I know he has this, I can't watch it anymore. Mainly because I've been such a doofus about not liking him, now I feel so sorry, and I respect him.

    Of course, repecting someone who wears a nerd ensamble (as Homer Simpson would say), capering about, and wearing a goofy grin on his face is a new one to me!

    At least he goes out and does his job. I salute Mr. Noodle.
  13. Joggy

    Joggy Member

    My thoughts on everything I've seen here... not meant to agree or disagree with anything, just my opinions...

    What I see in today's world is two ways of thinking. One is: "Life is BAD. If you find something good coming your way, you're lucky." Or: "Life is GOOD. If anything bad happens, that's bad luck."

    Call me naïve or childish, but I believe in the second option and I always believed in it, and I always will. I think this is an attitude that should be taught to children, because it helps them appreciate life. I see so many people in my neighbourhood who have no idea how to enjoy life, simply because their lives had been nothing but learning hard things about life - such as "Life is about work", "Nobody in the world can be trusted because everyone is different", "Never mind, everybody's gonna die somehow". No wonder every young person in my country is slaved to partying, drinking, sex and drugs. When I grew up, every conflict in life like racism, sex, wars and diseases would be discussed whenever I felt I needed to know it - either in school or by my parents.

    One way to accomplish this is to offer children a safe world to flee to, without losing grip to the real world. Which is where TV comes in. I think serious considerations should be taken when making, and letting children watch, such TV shows. Henson's always been good at this. After all, isn't the dream of 'another world' the reason why all the Muppet fans loved Fraggle Rock and/or Sesame Street as a child? Isn't this the main factor of true Muppet fandom?

    Nevertheless, there's the mentioned "without losing grip to the real world". Which is where SS comes in. Sesame Street always managed to teach children about tough things in life, to a certain extent. Such as death (Mr Hooper) and racism (for instance, in the beginning, so many people were against Susan and Gordon because they were black). But never in a way like: "Kids, watch out. The world is bad and dangerous and here's what you can do to survive." Which SS has never been about and, I hope, never will be. What Annika wrote about an US version, Zoe's cousin coming to visit, would be a very good way, I think.

    We're not even talking about a US version - AIDS and HIV is a serious problem in South Africa and I think this new Muppet would be just as useful for teaching children there to appreciate people with the disease, as Gordon and Susan are for teaching children that black people and white people are the same.

    I wonder what would happen if this were the 60's and someone would say "We're gonna bring black and white people together in a kids' show". I think we'd have the same sort of discussion then.

    About the homosexuality thing - that's something that cannot be solved. People will always disagree. Some will approve of it, some won't. Some because they find it perverse, others because the Bible says or doesn't say so or because they find it morally wrong. Everyone has a right for their own opinions, as long as we leave eachother alone and don't insult other people. What we do have to keep in mind in especially this discussion is the difference between homosexuality and, let's say, murdering. Killing a person is against the human rights. Homosexuality isn't. Nobody is being harmed (well, unless you don't wear protection…) when a man loves another man or a woman loves another woman.

    About homosexuality on Sesame Street - as far as I know, sex has never been a Sesame Street topic and I think it's wrong to teach children about it at the age of four. Toddlers do not need any sexual education because they have different ideals, mostly needs like food and love.

    There's been hetero love on SS, for example Maria and Luis' marriage, and even though this leaded to the birth of a child, the sexual part has never been involved. It's just loving eachother.
    If there would be a homosexual couple on SS, that would be the way to do it, but I think we already have perfect role models - Bert and Ernie. Sure, they are not homosexual. They're just friends. But they are two boys living together and being the closest of friends and loving eachother (why else do they constantly say "I like you"?)

    One final word on the whole thing: What I have noticed is that the US are always very careful and scared about presenting topics to kids. Europe, at least Holland, seems to be more tolerant. Remember how shocked, or at least surprised, everyone was when Bear devoted a whole episode and a book to "potty time"? Let me tell you - in our version of Sesame Street, it is SO common for a character to say "poop" or "pee" and any other variation of it. Last season, they devoted one episode to swearing (Tommie the dog learns that yelling 'SH##' at an adult is not a decent thing to do). Dutch SS even shows kids going to the toilet with the door open, or actors taking a shower, and there's never been a fuss about that. It's everyday life and there's no need to keep it a secret.
  14. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed Guest


    It's more than being a good or bad person. IT's accepting Christ into your heart and living it.


    Great post, as always. I didn't use the term "birth defect" to get a reaction, I used it because that is what they classified it as. If they're born with it and it's against the norm, as they so claim, then it's indeed called a birth defect.

    Fellow lover,

    I don't not think it is sinful to be silent when you have a chance to evangelize to others and steer them on the right path, however it is not the right thing to do. If you see someone drowning do you just watch them die or try to save them?

    I never said I wasn't descriminating, I said I was tolerent of other people, just not accepting of their actions.


    There are a lot of facts that support Christianity as the one true religion. For example there are things in the Bible mentioned about the earth in general that were not known by science until a few decades ago. Even the widely accepted theory of evolution has flaws in it so large you could drive a semi truck through them.

    Not everyone can be right, can they? THere can only be one true religion.

    Religion is not what makes a person behave badly or goodly. I'm not sure how or why people have that concept.

    THe Bible can NEVER be outdated and you can NEVER question God because He is ALWAYS right. You may remember two people who questioned God, Adam and Eve? 'Nuff said.

    Do you not recall when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son to prove his faith to Him? You can never question what God commands you to do.

    You will be in my prayers.
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm an easy going guy, but let me say this. GET BACK TO THE TOPIC.

    Really, I think everyone is entitled to an opinion (even if we all disagree, we're not The Buddy Bears, you know). In my opinion, I see nothing wrong with an alternate life style, and I don't think it's really about against the bible as xenophobic thoughts (sorry, that's my opinion). I have an aunt and her friend (We say Two aunts) that are lesbians. I don't give a rat's fez about it. They are my favorite aunts, and they always give me all this stuff for Christmas (even though my sister gets more. I wish I were cute).

    But Ed is entitled to his opinion as much as Luke's or Joggy's. So what ever he says, he says it out of free speech and no one can really blaime him for that!
  16. FellowWLover

    FellowWLover Member

    Special Ed,

    Well I certainly did not mean to speak for you. I figured that you probably felt it was your Christian duty to bring the "immorality" of homosexuality to the attention of the public, since why else would you be posting here? It seems clear that most people on the forum (at least of those who have participated in the conversation) disagree with you. Unless you are trying to change their attitudes, or at least present a case for the "other side", what is your purpose?

    I do have one query, though. How is it possible for you to be both discriminatory *and* tolerant? To me, someone is discriminatory if their views translate into actions... for instance, if you had a gay neighbor who you shunned or a gay employee who you refused to promote simply based on their sexual preference.

    I do, however, think that it is possible to disagree with the morality of a homosexual lifestyle without being discriminatory, therefore being tolerant, although still opposed. For instance, you could be civil to your gay neighbor, and amiable with the lesbian employee without drawing their lifestyles into question. I thought that was what you were trying to say when I quoted you.
  17. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed Guest


    There is no such thing as luck, everything is divinely thought out as part of a master plan.

    THese things were not discussed with children decades ago and the children of these decades did not suffer from the +things you have mentioned here. It is only when we started to thrust this junk onto young minds that their immoral behavior skyrocketed.

    There is harm in homosexuality. What a joke, saying there is not!

    So you're saying that the Dutch Sesame STreet has tried to replace parenting?


    I have a similar aunt, and I know what it's like. Are you saying you are being bought into accepting your's by gifts?

    Thanks for reminding everyone that this is FREE SPEECH!

    Fellow Lover,

    I am here to debate the issue in a logical way, but the other members here resort to either name caklling, anger, or try to change the subject.

    I meant I'd be considered discrimitory because I refuse to accept homosexuality as being a good thing. I am tolerent because I live with these people without physically harming them. Your last paragraph is what I was trying to say. Perhaps our definitions of discrimination are different?
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You're welcome, though I don't agree with you.:D or should it be :mad: ?

    Aw forget it.

    But I accept it, mainly because I'm an easy going guy, and my philosophy is, if it feels good, do it. Of course it does not include making fun of anyone, killing anyone, or anything like that.

    But really. Could we get back to the point? This is about Africa. South Africa. HIV is a big deal over there! WHy? I don't watch the news much!
  19. Joggy

    Joggy Member

    Originally posted by Special_Ed

    There is no such thing as luck, everything is divinely thought out as part of a master plan.

    Well, fine if you believe so... People may indeed think that way, and I respect that.

    There is harm in homosexuality. What a joke, saying there is not!

    I can only say one word: Arguments, my friend. Arguments. I don't say this because I disagree with you (anyone has the right to an opinion), I say it because I think just saying things without giving any good reasons and just making me seem ridiculous, like you did here, is just as big a 'joke' as my point about 'there's no harm in homosexuality'.

    You would have stated your point just as clearly if you would have said "I don't agree with you." Because right now, you seem to be making fun of things I believe, and I certainly do not hope that is your way of handling a discussion.

    So you're saying that the Dutch Sesame STreet has tried to replace parenting?

    I never said anything like that. I'm just saying that over here, very normal topics (to me) like hygiene (going to the bathroom) are easily talked about in children's programming, whereas in America, people seem to be more hesitant against those things mentioned in kids' shows. That's all. No parenting involved here.
  20. radionate

    radionate New Member

    Everyone on the board,

    Please accept my personal apologies. I know I said I would no longer post, but I feel I need to defend myself. I will stop posting to this thread as long as Mr. Special Education will stop:

    a.) Responding to me
    b.) Misquoting me
    c.) Leave me out of the conversation compleatly, as you cannot have a discussion about a subject this touchy on a computer. It's just too frustrating for me, and I don't have that much time. I have a life to live, not a lifestyle to defend.

    1.) I am 27 years old. I was born gay. I was not picked on, did not have a sad home life, was not molested, or anything else that turned me gay in my teens. I have proven I have been gay by birth from my own life and testimony. Just because we haven't found a genetic explaination yet, doesn't mean it doesn't exsist. There has been a great majority of advances in genetic research. We don't know why a lot of things happen in the world, but that doesn't mean they aren't natural events, it just means we lack the technology, knowledge, and know how to figure out why. So you did indeed misquote me.

    2.) When I was a teenager I finally found the word to describe what I was feeling. Homosexuality. It was a word I could not utter out loud until my twenties. On April 20, 2001 I proclaimed out loud for the first time that I was gay. I am one of the lucky ones. I have a fantastic support group of friends (mainly straight), who love me and are there for me. Many gays do not. For my blessings, I thank God everyday. For I know that he did not instill anything on me that I could not handle. I also know that I am not a sinner in his eyes.

    3.) I also made a decision when I came out that it would serve a purpose. I am very highly visible in both my community and 2 state area. Therefore I have not faced many descriminations or hardships, as I have been embraced by most. I am lucky. But others are not. I pick my fights carefully, and this WAS one of them. I don't really want to get into it here, as I don't care to share with you. But know this. I chose to speak up here, many did not. Please drop this topic, and move on. I find it odd that you have signed onto MC only to post in this thread. Get out of the dark ages. You obviously have a computer. Use it to expand your horizons. Educate yourself, and don't infer things into peoples conversations.


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