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‘Sesame Street’ introduces two gay dads and their daughter for ‘Family Day’ episode — the first married gay couple to appear on iconic children’s show

“Sesame Street” introduced two gay dads and their daughter for a recent “Family Day” episode — and it was the first time the iconic children’s TV program has shown a married gay couple, according to
Yahoo Entertainment, which called it “a bold statement for LGBTQ visibility.”

What are the details?

The outlet said in a
separate story that the episode’s two gay dads are Frank (Alex Weisman) and Dave (Chris Costa), the brother of bike-store owner Nina (Chris Costa), and their daughter is Mia (Olivia Perez).

In the
clip of the episode, the couple arrives onscreen at about the 2-minute mark, announcing in unison, “We’re here!”

After some hugs, Nina excitedly says, “OK, everybody, everybody! I want you to meet my brother Dave, his husband Frank, and my
sobrina [niece] Mia!”

Image source: YouTube screenshot

From there it’s your garden-variety “Sesame Street” stuff, but toward the end of the episode, Frank tells the group that “there’s all kinds of different families, but what makes us a family is that we love each other.”

Image source: YouTube screenshot

‘Love is love’

“Sesame Street has always been a welcoming place of diversity and inclusion,” cast member Alan Muraoka
wrote on Facebook. “So I’m so excited to introduce Nina’s Brother Dave, his husband Frank, and their daughter Mia to our sunny street. Our Family Day episode drops today on HBOMax and on YouTube … I am so honored and humbled to have co-directed this important and milestone episode. Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our Sesame family. Happy Pride to all!!!!”

‘Undeniable trend of inclusion’

“The ‘Family Day’ episode of Sesame Street sends the simple and important message that families come in all forms and that love and acceptance are always the most important ingredients in a family,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told Yahoo Entertainment. “Frank and Dave, as Mia’s dads, are the latest characters in an undeniable trend of inclusion across kids & family programming, one that allows millions of proud LGBTQ parents, and our children, to finally get to see families like ours reflected on TV.”

Here’s the episode:

Sesame Street: Family Day | Full Street Story

Anything else?

While the “Family Day” episode may have been historic for “Sesame Street,” it was far from the first time it’s touched on LGBTQ issues.

Last year, Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) blasted the program for a Pride Month tweet:

“Sesame Street” posted a similar tweet this month:

Yahoo Entertainment also noted that the narrator for an “Elmo’s World” segment in the show’s 2017 Father’s Day episode acknowledged same-sex couples by saying, “You might have a stepdad, or even two dads.” The outlet added that a “Sesame Street” episode in August 2017 (“Hello Rudy”) had a child saying “I love my moms” just before getting kissed by both of her moms.

In addition, Yahoo Entertainment noted that “Sesame Street” has also “stood up for equality by welcoming several out celebrities on the show — including Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Eichner, Billy Porter and recently Lil Nas X.”

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Gallup polls reveal record high support for gay marriage and abortion in US

The American left appears to be winning the culture wars as new opinion polls released by Gallup this week show record high support for gay marriage and the moral acceptability of abortion.

The survey results reflect how Americans are quickly reaching a consensus view on same-sex marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized it in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision, but remain sharply divided by political affiliation on the life issue.

On the gay marriage issue, 70% of Americans now say that marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages. This is the highest amount of support shown for same-sex marriage since Gallup began polling the issue in 1996. Since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the practice in 2015, overall support for it has increased by about 10%.

Notably, for the first time a majority of Republicans (55%) say they support same-sex marriage, which lines up with recent trends in the party. Former Republican President Donald Trump was the first person elected to that office who openly supported gay marriage before becoming president. Trump’s ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, an openly gay man, spearheaded an initiative in 2019 to decriminalize homosexuality globally. In the last year of his administration, Trump named Grenell acting director of national intelligence, making him the first president to appoint an openly gay person to a Cabinet-level position.

“Once opponents of legalization, Republicans have mostly come to back it. Court and legislative challenges to the legal status of same-sex marriage have simmered down since the Supreme Court issued its decision,” Justin McCarthy wrote for Gallup.

The abortion issue remains sharply divisive, but a record high of 47% of Americans now say it is morally acceptable, compared to 46% who believe killing unborn children in the womb is morally wrong.

Democrats and political independents are most likely to say abortion is morally acceptable: 64% of Democrats, 51% of independents and 26% of Republicans currently subscribe to that view.

The survey found that Americans are nearly evenly divided over whether they identify as “pro-life” (47%) or “pro-choice” (49%). Unsurprisingly, Republicans strongly identify as pro-life (74%) while Democrats say they are pro-choice (70%). A majority of independents (53%) say they are pro-choice.

By gender, most women continue to identify as pro-choice (52%) while men are more likely to say they are pro-life (50%). Americans between ages 18 and 54 lean pro-choice while older Americans lean pro-life.

A very small minority of Americans (19%) believe abortion should be “illegal in all circumstances.” A plurality of those surveyed (48%) favor restrictions on abortion but 32% say abortion should be legal “under any circumstances.”

“The nearly one-third of U.S. adults who support fully legal abortions is the highest such percentage since the early to mid-1990s, when it was consistently at that level,” Megan Brenan noted for Gallup.

These changing attitudes show how the battlefields of the culture wars are shifting. While there are ongoing legal challenges to abortion and the Supreme Court is set to consider a case that could result in the first major rollback of abortion rights since Roe v. Wade, Republicans have largely given up fighting same-sex marriage and are moving on to fight Big Tech censorship, critical race theory, and transgender ideology in schools and sports.

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Deace: Don Lemon may have been woefully wrong in his conclusions about God, but at least he was talking theology instead of woke-ology

Augustine. Aquinas.

Luther. Calvin.

Don Lemon.

Yeah, I know, but stick with me here.

Because for all the CNN host’s supreme ridiculousness, he actually landed on the target of all targets earlier this week when, on “The View,” of all places, he addressed the character of God and how it applies to life in this world.

Doesn’t matter if his arrival there was accidental. Doesn’t matter if his conclusions were wrong. Doesn’t even matter if his intentions were malevolent.

Just talking about God and not the latest social justice distraction ultimately served to let the lion out of its cage. Theology, not woke-ology, was front and center. And since it is theology that long held the privilege of being known as the mother of the sciences in the canon of Western civilization, it means any conversation that includes it as its plumb line for debate has a chance at arriving at something truly worthy — if not flat-out divine.

So many of our modern conversations have zero chance at such an outcome because they pit the inspirational and intellectual equivalent of the lint in our navel against fingernails on the chalkboard. From stem to stern, there is simply no “there” there. Yet when Don Lemon ineptly addressed the Catholic Church’s obvious and predictable refusal to bless same-sex relationships, my only wish was that he had the stamina to keep his interest parked there indefinitely.

Here’s what Lemon said: “If you believe in something that hurts another person or that does not give someone the same rights or freedoms, not necessarily under the Constitution, because this is under God, I think that that’s wrong. And I think that the Catholic Church and many other churches really need to re-examine themselves and their teachings, because that is not what God is about. God is not about hindering people or even judging people.”

Total nonsense? You betcha. But not only is God part of the conversation, assertions are being made about Him as if they not only matter, but are in fact fundamental to who we are as a people on this earth.

How often does progressivism willingly and enthusiastically give you that opening? Well, when the very existence of progressivism has as one of its chief aims to make the answer to that question “never,” you should understand why I don’t want to scare Lemon away. This is the cancel culture, after all.

Like I said earlier, I may not fully trust Lemon’s motivations for choosing this discussion, but I know with certainty that as long as I can keep him engaged there, I have a shot at saving civilization through something other than bloodshed. If you won’t even acknowledge God’s place in the world, how can you ever kneel before his will and purpose?

Not so coincidentally, the nation of Denmark now appears to be addressing the cost of ignoring the things of God for far too long. Sure, it’s not saying that out loud, but when its government announced it will limit the number of residents with “non-Western origin” in neighborhoods to a maximum of 30% within 10 years in order to “reduce the risk of religious and cultural parallel societies,” it may as well have been saying that “all of our secular utopian fantasies have hit a dead end.”

So Denmark acted. Either it addresses reality as it really is and not as it wishes it to be, as determined through hard experience, or it will die. And so it is with Don Lemon, just as it is with each and every one of us.

God exists and He has a plan for us. Without that knowledge, we are lost. So God bless you, Don, for finally picking up a map for a change.

Now let me further help you in your cause, because you are unfortunately holding it upside down.

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Catholic priests vow to defy teaching on same-sex marriage, denounce Pope Francis: ‘Deeply appalling’

A group of Catholic priests announced Tuesday they would not abide by guidance from the Vatican that says priests cannot bless same-sex couples.

What is the background?

Controversy erupted Monday when the Vatican published guidance reaffirming what has been the Christian teaching on sexual ethics for the entire existence of the Christian church: Same-sex relationships violate God’s ideal vision for marriage and human sexual expression.

Therefore, the Vatican advised, priests cannot bless such unions.

[I]t is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex. The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan.

The guidance was widely panned because Pope Francis is seen the “woke pope.”

As pope, Francis has placed great emphasis on social justice and care for the vulnerable. Such positions — although considered “liberal” by many in the West today — are central to the Christian faith, and have been since the ministry of Jesus.

What did the priests say?

The Parish Priests Initiative — a dissident group of Catholic priests — essentially expressed dismay that Catholic teaching on sexual ethics will not conform to the standards of the secular world.

“We members of the Parish Priests Initiative are deeply appalled by the new Roman decree that seeks to prohibit the blessing of same-sex loving couples. This is a relapse into times that we had hoped to have overcome with Pope Francis,” the group said in a statement, Reuters reported.

“We will — in solidarity with so many — not reject any loving couple in the future who ask to celebrate God’s blessing, which they experience every day, also in a worship service,” the statement added.

Founded in 2006, the PPI has voiced opposition to several key Catholic teachings, including celibacy among priests and forbidding women from becoming ordained.

The group, which reportedly has about 350 priests among its membership in addition to thousands of lay supporters, also supports giving communion to divorced persons and Protestants.

What does Jesus say?

When confronted by scribes and Bible teachers about divorce, Jesus grounded his teaching about marriage — and sexuality overall — in the Genesis creation narrative.

Matthew 19:3-6 (NIV) says:

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Christian marriage, then, is meant to reflect the unique “oneness” of humanity — one male and one female covenantally uniting — just as God eternally exists as multiple persons in a unique, inseparable, and unified relationship (Christian doctrine refers to this as the “Trinity”).

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Don Lemon says God is not about judging people and religion is a ‘barrier’ that keeps people from ‘actually getting to know each other’

CNN host Don Lemon said that Christians need to re-examine their beliefs and claimed that God doesn’t judge people when responding to a statement from the Vatican on same-sex unions.

Lemon, 55, made the theologically questionable comments as a guest on “The View” on Monday

Co-host Meghan McCain quoted a comment from the Vatican saying that the church could not bless same-sex unions because “God cannot bless sin,” and asked Lemon, who is openly gay, to respond.

“Do you think this sends a damaging message? How do you feel about that given that obviously you’re now engaged and going to get married?” McCain asked.

‘Well I think there are, listen, I respect people’s right to believe in whatever they want to believe in their God,” Lemon claimed.

“But if you believe something that hurts another person, or does not give someone the same rights or freedoms, not necessarily under the Constitution because this is under God,” he continued. “I think that this is wrong, and I think that the Catholic Church and many other churches really need to re-examine themselves and their teachings. Because that is not what God is about. God is not about hindering people or even judging people.”

‘Go out and have a barbecue’

Lemon went on to put the issue in the “context of race” by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who decried segregation in churches.

“So I think that religion and the pew keeps us from actually, they are barriers from people actually getting to know each other,” Lemon continued.

“So I would say to the Pope and the Vatican, and all Christians or Catholics, or whomever, whatever religion you believe out, you have to belong to out there, go out and meet people and try to understand people and do what the Bible and what Jesus actually says, if you believe in Jesus, and that is to love your fellow man and judge not lest ye be not judged,” he misquoted.

“Instead of having the pew hinder you, having the church hinder you, instead of being segregated in the church and among yourselves, go out and have a barbecue,” he concluded. “And meet people and start breaking bread with people and getting to know them.”

Some Christians on social media objected to Lemon’s watered down version of historical Christian teaching.

Here’s the video of Don Lemon’s advice to Christians:

Don Lemon Addresses Trump, Voter Suppression, Racism in Book “This Is the Fire” | The View

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‘The cool pope isn’t so cool after all’: Pope Francis says church won’t bless same-sex unions, calls homosexuality a sin

The Vatican published a document Monday saying the Catholic Church would not bless same-sex unions, a statement that likely let down a number of Catholics who identify as LGBT.

Now Pope Francis, whom progressive outlets like Rolling Stone have called the “cool pope,” is being seen as not so cool after all for not being woke enough to betray thousands of years of Christian teaching.

What did the pope say?

In a response to the question to the Holy See of “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?” the Vatican responded, “Negative.”

The pope-approved statement called homosexuality a choice and said God “does not and cannot bless sin,” which means the church, too, cannot bless sin.

Blessings belong to the category of the sacramentals, whereby the Church “calls us to praise God, encourages us to implore his protection, and exhorts us to seek his mercy by our holiness of life.” In addition, they “have been established as a kind of imitation of the sacraments, blessings are signs above all of spiritual effects that are achieved through the Church’s intercession.”

Consequently, in order to conform with the nature of sacramentals, when a blessing is invoked on particular human relationships, in addition to the right intention of those who participate, it is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord. Therefore, only those realities which are in themselves ordered to serve those ends are congruent with the essence of the blessing imparted by the Church.

For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex. The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan.

Furthermore, since blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit. This is because they would constitute a certain imitation or analogue of the nuptial blessing invoked on the man and woman united in the sacrament of Matrimony, while in fact “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”

No longer a ‘cool pope’

Rolling Stone, the leftist progressive entertainment magazine, reported this story on its website under the banner headline “Guess the Cool Pope Isn’t So Cool After All.”

Pope Francis has gained a reputation among left-wing — many non-religious or non-Catholic — fans for being woke on issues near and dear to the left’s heart (except, much to their lament, abortion). For example:

  • The pope said last year that the coronavirus is “nature’s response” to man’s mistreatment of the environment.
  • Last fall, the pontiff denounced trickle-down economics and private property and advocated for the redistribution of wealth in a papal encyclical.
  • He used his 2020 Easter address to advocate for a socialist “universal basic wage.”
  • Francis was on record saying he was considering adding “ecological sin” to the church’s official teachings in order to take on “sin against ecology … against our common home.”
  • A couple years ago, there was discussion that the pope may allow married men to become ordained priests and thereby bring an end to celibacy.
  • In December 2018, rumors swirled that the pope was considering the approval of a significant edit to the Lord’s Prayer.
  • He added environmentalism to the church’s seven works of mercy in 2016.
  • In October, the pope appeared to endorse same-sex civil unions in a documentary in which he discussed pastoral care for those who identify as LGBT. (The Vatican said the comments were taken out of context.)
  • Last November, he praised NBA players for their racial justice protests.

So it’s no wonder that the reporters and editors at Rolling Stone were taken aback by the pope daring to uphold 2,000 years of Christian teaching by calling homosexuality a sin and standing for traditional marriage.

In fact, the rag pointed out that it’s got to be tough for the pope to be cool when he’s running a backwards, two-millennia-old faith organization:

Rightly or wrongly, Pope Francis has long enjoyed the reputation as the “cool pope,” a view that has been bolstered by, among other things, his public statements in support of the theory of evolution and a 2014 profile in the pages of this magazine. A documentary released last fall even appeared to suggest his emerging support for same-sex pairings.

As it turns out, however, it’s pretty difficult to be hip and woke and with-it if you’re the face of a retrograde thousands-year-old religious institution, as the Vatican clarified in a statement on Monday that it would not bless same-sex unions on the grounds that God “does not and cannot bless sin.”

The pope’s critics, naturally, said he was somehow hypocritical for calling homosexuality a sin while numerous priests stand accused of pedophilia — a scandal the pope has condemned.