Jerry Falwell and Tinky Winky

February 21, 1999

It occurs to me that either you know what my title means or you don’t, and if you don’t, I’m going to have a hard time explaining it. The story goes like this. A week ago the national media reported that Jerry Falwell had attacked “Tinky Winky” for being a gay cartoon character on the children’s TV program, Teletubbies. I confess that I was completely in the dark when this story broke. I can say with total honesty that I had never even heard of a program called Teletubbies, and nothing at all about this fellow “Tinky Winky” who is purple and has a triangle coming out of his head. It seems that Dr. Falwell’s magazine, The National Liberty Journal, carried a “Parents Alert” written by a senior editor warning readers that some homosexual publications have embraced Tinky Winky as a sort of crypto-gay cartoon character. Meanwhile, the very mainstream Washington Post called Tinky Winky a “gay teletubby,” and People magazine says that homosexual men have made Tinky Winky a “camp icon.” Several writers in the Chicago Tribune have had great sport with this, seizing upon this opportunity both to trash Jerry Falwall and to make light of those who believe homosexual behavior is wrong. It is a mark of our current cultural darkness that tolerance of perversion has become the unwritten law of the land.

There are several lessons to be learned. First, the homosexual lobby has made great inroads into American culture in the last few years. Jerry Falwell is right when he says that role modeling the gay lifestyle is harmful to the moral lives of children. Second, Dr. Falwell did nothing wrong nor did the writer who penned the “Parents Alert.” We need to be informed on these issues. Third, if you decide to speak out for truth and against error (especially if you decide to stand against evil), you can expect very little applause and a great deal of opposition and perhaps some character assassination. That just goes with the territory.

Finally, parents should take heed to what their children see and hear. Most American children watch 21 to 35 hours of television each week, reaching a total of 29,000 hours by the time they are 18 years old. This is more time than a child spends in the classroom. If someone says, “Lighten up,” I reply that what your child sees and hears shapes the heart for good or for evil. Parents, you are called to guard your children from that which could destroy them. That even includes what they watch when you aren’t watching with them.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?