13 Aug 2012

Getting both sides of the story

Jemimah was watching an inane cartoon over the weekend, and I kept catching snippets of it as I passed in and out of the room. It is the video above, but it really is vacuous, and the ending isn't there, so I wouldn't bother watching if I were you. I haven't.

Anyhow, I gathered from the snippets I did see that the polar ice caps were melting through the actions of the originally sounding Dr Death and that Iron Man needed Iceman to step in and freeze everything up again to stop everyone drowning. Iceman was unaware of the disaster because he was having a hissy fit and had locked himself in a room because everybody was wanting him to freeze things in the hot weather and he couldn't be bothered helping.

Around the same time as all this is happening, a dill of an adult named Flatman is lecturing at a conference on Global Warming. During his lecture my daughter and all the other kids watching are treated to the current theories about greenhouse gasses and how they trap the heat from the sun. Flatman disagrees with all of them, believing instead that Mr Sun is just being mean.

Throughout the rest of the programme as the water rises higher and higher, we hear Flatman droning on incessantly. "The water won't rise any higher. There is no such thing as Global Warming."

Ironically, in the cartoon, Flatman is right. It is not Global Warming that is causing the water to rise; it is Dr Death. If he doesn't get to a higher place, though, he's still going to drown.

The real question is this: Is there such a thing as Global Warming?

I don't need to tell you my beliefs. They're irrelevant here, and I'm not all that well read on the latest theories and evidence. All I will say is that many people, including many Christians, do not believe the current theories and wonder whether the current rise in temperature might not be merely a part of normal a cyclical rise and fall of temperatures over the ages. Many Christians believe that Global Warming is a form of idolatry, placing our planet higher to the God who made it. All of us, I'm sure, believe that God is in control and that this is all part of his great plan.

This cartoon, though, portrayed all those who don't believe in Global Warning to be cranks like Flatman, lacking in knowledge and insight.

According to this cartoon, Global Warning is a fact.

Sound familiar? Evolution is taught as a fact on Australian children's television too, as well as in her schools. It's not. Evolution is just a theory too.

I really resent my daughter being taught theory as fact. To me it smacks of 1984 and telescreen brainwashing. Is this cartoon entertainment or subliminal indoctrination? I really begin to wonder.

All of us have a worldview, and many of us would like to share our beliefs with our kids. Is that indoctrination or brainwashing as well? I'd like to think that in my case it is not, because I don't just teach my daughter one side of the argument - I teach her both. Most homeschoolers I know are the same. My daughter knows far more about the theories of evolution than I knew at Primary School. On the other hand, she also knows the Creation side of the argument and understands what makes the two different. As she watches telly she can hear the Evolution mindset being presented, and she knows which bits she agrees with and which she doesn't.

After this weekend she knows a bit more about the theory of Global Warning. Not much more, because as I said I need to read up on it before I can teach it to her, but enough to know that there are Christians on both sides of the argument and that she needs to beware of what is being presented as fact.

I find that sad. I find it sad that my ten year old can't relax and watch a bit of inane but age appropriate telly without being brainwashed and having her Christian worldview challenged. And I find myself wondering why the scriptwriters felt a need to write it in the first place.

Am I unreasonable? Have you too found examples like this on children's television, or in modern children's literature? Is it okay to politicise children's media? Do you think that like Flathead we are misinformed and plain wrong if we don't agree with the commonly held theories? What is your opinion on this topic?

Education? Entertainment? Indoctrination? Brainwashing?

Come and talk to me.


  1. No. You are not being unreasonable. I have found cartoons that my boys watch to be full of political theories too. I wish that the cartoons would just be good clean silly fun entertainment!

    My husband and I too present both sides of the argument on evolution/creation and global warming.

  2. Oh for those inane old cartoons. Roadrunner and the Looney Tunes. Maybe I was just naive and they too were full of politically correct brainwashing? If they were, we didn't fall for it. We hear the evolutionary theory in many of the kids programs. The grandchildren love dinosaurs but some of the content is just plain wrong.

  3. How interesting! Just today I had a discussion with my children about global warning, more specifically I had given them a sentence starter for a creative essay, and son 13 had turned his story into one full of the polar ice cap melting etc. I had observed aloud to the children how interesting that is, how 25yrs ago it never would have occurred to us to be writing about such things. back then we were worried about a nuclear fall out.

  4. lol It's even in the advertising. Do you remember the ad for red meat [i think it was] that used evolution as it's arguement for eating the stuff?

    Arguement no 1 for ditching the t.v but I'm outnumbered in this house.

  5. Hi Jeanne,

    I have had similar thoughts to you over the years on different things like this. On the weekend I took my eldest dd to our local uni open day to check it out. Evolution, feminism, global change, sustainability, agents for social change were catch phrases we heard regularly throughout the day. It made for an interesting discussion on the way home. :)

  6. Not unreasonable. I like that you present each side to her too. Logan and I have had some interesting discussions lately. I want to throw the tv out the window these days.

  7. I think you are spot on with your assessment. My friend just checked a book about penguins out for her 3 yo old daughter at our local library...turns out two BOY penguins are falling in love in this tale. :( What irritates me is the BLATANT aiming of belief systems/theories/etc at YOUNG children! Like this 3yo or your daughter. Grr. ;)

  8. Ah yes, I've heard about this book. I haven't seen it though.

  9. No you are not being unreasonable at all. I totally agree with you and I like your reference to 1984!
    Thy Kingdom Come!

  10. Global warming is "fact" here. Evolution is "fact" and creationism is for homeschoolers as is young Earth. Some individual teachers (our community is very Christian and Catholic) have said evolution is a "theory" and not been challenged probably because no ultra-right-wing students attend public school anymore and the students who were in class couldn't care less.

    In fact one news show featured a homeschool Mom using an Apologia book to drill her son on the fact that global warming isn't true.

    Science in America has become an insane litmus test. Supposedly "all" Christians believe Evolution is a joke and supposedly "everyone else" believes Creation is a joke. Nothing is that cut/dried.

    I have never visited the Creation Museum (it's about 1/2 hour from us), but every homeschool group goes and my most recent Churches has taken groups.

    Sadly or happily (depending on your viewpoint) students who want to study medicine or science have to know what is being taught about evolution whether they believe it or not.

    Homeschooling in high school, even though we did it for only a year, was brutal for science. There ARE decent products on the market (The DIVE cds for example) that can be used by both believers (using an Apologia book) and non-believers (using any other book). It took a little sorting to organize it, but it worked. If your children have a science career goal it maybe best to trust that you have grounded them well and let them do a secular science course thru one of the online public schools so they are prepared for college science. It will also, potentially, make their transcript more appealing to more competitive colleges. (Just my 2 cents on that)

  11. jeanne at her age looking at history would be the most informative, around scotland and the islands across to scandanavia are intresting these islands were hugely affected by global cooling and the terrible weather that resulted from it the crops that they formally grew would no longer grow there and many places now longer have populations;at the same time in alaska the native indians say the the galacia came down in THREE WEEKS and destroyed their village and completle froze over the bay this bay is now free of ice after generations (happened in the last ten years) and the few remaining decendents are looking forward to reclaiming the tribal lands. climate change is real it has always happened some times quickly sometimes slow if the present climate change is caused by man? Probalbly we've wrecked everything else BUT God is still in control and will have his way the main thing on the politilcal side is that it is being used as an excuse to bring in controlling laws that a free people should have the intelligence to see the source. Have fun looking at histroy (and how scotland had a pleasent climate once -for a while anyway history of crops grown will always give you an idea of the climate) also the history of europe shows that the westward expansion was primarily caused by the climate so who was in control of the climate then- He is in control and his plans all come to pass (thank goodness for that) I've read the Greenland is looking forward to global warming and being able to plant gardens

  12. It is everywhere and especially on our favourite animal documentaries on secular TV. We are always discussing Creation and evolution in our household. I believe it is vital for our children to learn about this false teaching to be able to stand up when they are older.


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