CBBC broadcasts programmes aimed at children aged between six and 12. With that audience, most shows can be assumed to have some didactic content, not always explicit but real nonetheless.
Hence a story about a violinist may pique the tots’ interest in music; one about explorers may interest them in geography; one about RAF pilots… well, you catch the drift.
At the same time, films showing a triumph of good over evil may, if nothing else, teach them the difference between the two or, as a minimum, that one exists.
It’s not for nothing that Aristotle once said (and Francis Xavier repeated), “Give me a child and I will show you the man”. The Greek knew that the best opportunity to educate people for life is when they are young.
By the looks of it, CBBC knows it too. That’s why its children’s drama The Next Step showed a graphic depiction of a lesbian kiss.
That’s par for the course these days. What’s surprising is that some residual resistance is still mounted, as witnessed by a flood of complaints inundating the BBC.
Modernity clearly still has work to do: some individuals seem to punch breaches in its totalitarian indoctrination in amorality. Defending such ideological ramparts, the BBC came out swinging.
Its children’s network, declared the Corporation, “could and should do more to reflect the lives of LGBTQ+ young people… This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be.”
It would be a much more important part of the BBC mission to make sure that every child knows not to follow a singular antecedent like ‘child’ with a plural personal pronoun ‘their’.
That, as a matter of fact, would be more in keeping with the BBC Charter: “The Mission of the BBC is to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.” Not a word there about reflecting “the lives of LGBTQ+ young people”.
Being way outside the target audience, I can’t judge the entertainment value of The Next Step. Its informational aspect is doubtless superfluous if it indeed exists. By the time they reach the mature age of seven or eight, children have already learned about the delights of homosexuality at school. However, the drama’s educational value is worth discussing.
The key to that discussion is provided by the BBC’s exercise of moral equivalence in the next paragraph of its defence: “CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing, and it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like.”
This is where amorality comes in: the Corporation effectively denies that sex, and by extrapolation anything else, has a moral content. Children, according to them, “can be who they want to be”, except agents exercising moral judgement.
Showing a romantic relationship between a boy and a girl is, for an organisation committed to “high-quality and distinctive output”, the same as showing a romantic relationship between (or presumably among) people of the same sex.
Children can choose one or the other, leaving me feeling sorry for those who gravitate towards, say, bestiality or necrophilia, which have yet to be condoned by our “high-quality” broadcaster. It’s consumer choice gone mad: if the little ones can choose their computer games, why can’t they choose their sexual perversion to “feel they belong”?
I’m not suggesting intolerance of homosexuality. In England specifically, it has been tolerated for centuries. Everybody knew that Geoffrey was ‘a confirmed bachelor’ and Harold ‘not the marrying kind’, and nobody cared.
However, tolerance isn’t the same as endorsement. Things to be tolerated are by definition less than praiseworthy. If they weren’t, no tolerance would be needed.
Hence, though homosexuals are to be protected from abuse and generally tolerated, society too must be protected from propaganda of homosexuality as a valid, morally neutral exercise of free choice.
A society in which such basic things don’t go without saying, and those who do say them risk censure, is in dire straits indeed. It has lost its moral, and therefore any other, way. Those interested in the practical ramifications of aimless moral meandering could do worse than reread The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
P.S. Some of my readers, being of sound empirical disposition so characteristic of the English, may ask about the possible remedies for this malaise.
This format doesn’t allow a protracted exposition of this theme – nor am I sure that such remedies exist any longer or, if they do, that I’m capable of prescribing them in all their complexity. I can, however, propose the essential first step: take the BBC licence away. Let it peddle its notion of morality in the open commercial market.
P.P.S. I hope you can join with me in prayers for the great Pope Benedict XVI, who is very ill and frail.