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‘D’ Is for Divorce: Big Feelings on Sesame Street

In early 1992, a census report predicted that 40 percent of children would soon live in divorced homes. As one of the most famous children’s television programs in the world, Sesame Street was determined to take on a topic most kid’s shows wouldn’t touch. They cast Snuffy, a.k.a. Mr. Snuffleupagus, for the part of child divorcee.

With a team of its best writers, researchers, and producers, a segment was scripted and shot. It went through a half-dozen revisions, with input from the foremost researchers in the field. And on a typical sunny afternoon on Sesame Street, the furry, red, elephantine muppet known as Snuffy prepared to drop the bomb on his loyal preschool viewers. 

“My dad is moving out of our cave,” he confides to Big Bird one afternoon, distraught after knocking over a house built of blocks. “I’m not sure where,” he continues, crying. “Some cave across town.”

Big Bird, naturally, is horrified. “But why?” he asks his friend. 

Snuffy blinks his long, dark eyelashes, and pauses. We know what’s coming. Well, he explains, “because of something called a divorce.”

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atheist-overdose:

Whenever i hear that atheists should shut up, i look at this picture.follow for the best atheist posts on tumblr

atheist-overdose:

Whenever i hear that atheists should shut up, i look at this picture.

Dear Conservatives

divineirony:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I know some of you are worried sick. I understand that you feel that God is being driven from our culture and strange customs are being tolerated and embraced: People are learning that sexual orientation is a varied spectrum of preferences rooted in genetics and not a binary conscious decision. Many people, even the President supports equal rights for all to marry and have families regardless of these preferences. Behaviors that used to be taboo are all over your televisions and are being generally accepted in mainstream society.

Women are in the workplace, they are moving into positions of power and they are seizing control of their reproductive systems and expressing their sexuality if/as they see fit. Even different races and ethnicities are mixing and demanding equal access to all areas of society. People are finding that the bedrock of family values is not sexual or ethinic composition but love, support and understanding.

Science education is dominated by the theories of the big bang and evolution by natural selection. Children are learning that the universe is 14 billion years old, the earth over 4 billion and that we evolved ultimately from single celled organisms and more recently from lower primate ancestors along with the other modern “great apes”. We’ve also learned that the balance of our world’s ecosystems is not static, but very much susceptible to the actions of humans. The Bible’s account of creation and balance has been completely usurped.

I can tell that some of you think this is some secular liberal plot to overthrow Christianity and force everyone to be gay atheist evolutionists. But I’m here to tell you, what you are witnessing is not some conspiracy to destroy America. It is simply that the earth is turning and time is rolling forward. The world is progressing and society is evolving. Populations are growing, science is uncovering the mysteries of the universe and humans are rethinking some of our more archaic beliefs and customs. The spread of technology is giving more people access to information that is naturally expanding their minds. It is a process that has been underway for all of human history and has indeed been met by opposition all along from those who were happy with the way things were and who saw change as decline and destruction.

I can understand why this is unsettling to an ideology that is dedicated to conserving tradition, one rooted in one book that was written before humans knew what a star was. But your efforts are futile, no matter how angry or violent your response, you can not stop the steady march of time and the tide of discovery. No matter how much shelter you find in your faith, the world around you is changing; It always has and always will. To stop this would amount to stopping the earth from spinning, or to resisting the invention of the wheel, resisting desegregation or rejecting heliocentrism. It turns out that the values that you see as objective and eternal are actually as subjective as “spicy” and “bland” and the knowledge that you seem to see as complete and everlasting is a constantly evolving body of human work. There is no war being waged on your values, no enemy in these developments but discovery itself, and if your beliefs are threatened by progress and discovery, perhaps they should be.

A failure to embrace these progressions will no doubt lead to further anger, fear and confusion amongst you as the changing world becomes a stranger and stranger place. Instead, smile and find joy and pride in human progress and discovery. Join us in welcoming tomorrow and whatever new knowledge it brings. You are invited.

this statement is so PERFECT. thank you so much for verbalizing this.
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