Alabama Methodist church to screen shunned ‘Arthur’ episode
Birmingham, Ala. – A Methodist church in Alabama is screening an episode of the PBS children’s show “Arthur” that has been shunned by Alabama Public Television for featuring a same-sex wedding.
AL.com reports that Birmingham First United Methodist Church will serve wedding cake and sparkling apple juice at its free screening of “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” on June 15.
APT showed a rerun when the episode aired nationally May 13. Programming director Mike Mckenzie said parents trust that their children can watch the station without supervision. APT offered a similar response in 2005 when it refused to air another “Arthur” episode featuring a same-sex couple.
First United’s senior pastor, the Rev. Stephanie Arnold, has urged Methodists to keep struggling for “full inclusion,” saying “we want to extend God’s love and grace for all people,” despite a recent vote by leaders of the nation’s largest protestant denomination to strengthen its ban on gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex marriages.