When Bob Keeshan, the folksy mustached man better known as Captain Kangaroo, interviewed with The New York Times in 1965, he revealed to the reporter the philosophy behind his popular children’s morning television program.

“We have respect for our audience,” he said. “We operate on the conviction that it is composed of young children of potentially good taste, and that this taste should be developed.”

Generations of children would be charmed and shaped by the congenial Keeshan, who got his start playing Clarabelle the clown on the “Howdy Doody Show.” But it was in his role as “the Captain” where the Long Island native would hold court on morning television on CBS for nearly 30 years.

Captain Kangaroo is a long-ago memory for many, but it’s significant to consider that the escalation of culture’s coarseness certainly seemed to correlate with his fade from morning television. CBS, eager to compete with other network morning shows, began shifting and then reducing his time in the morning lineup.

Instead of the Captain and colleagues like Mr. Green Jeans, CBS shifted to the normal morning fare of shining the light on culture’s misfits, murderers, and overall mayhem. Ratings and advertising dollars went up – and innocence and goodness went down.

Fred Rogers was another mainstay in children’s television back in that era. With his zippered cardigans (made by his mother) and blue sneakers, “Mr. Rogers,” an ordained Presbyterian minister, reminded us that part of doing well in life was doing good for others in any number of ways – from being neighborly and friendly to recognizing we’re all made in God’s image.

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility,” Rogers said. “It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”

Many of us saw Bob Keeshan and Fred Rogers as our heroes because the values and morals they were teaching to children complemented those the children were receiving in home, church, and school.

Sadly, Keeshan and Rogers are long gone – and culture now seems obsessed and committed to seducing our children. This seduction manifests in many ways, some subtle and some blatant – but all damaging and destructive.

Our children are being seduced into believing so much that just isn’t true. They’re being told abortion is healthcare and compassionate. They’re being lied to about biological realities – that men can become women and women can become men.

The word “seduction” is derived from the Latin word “ducere” which means to “lead astray” – and that’s exactly what modern popular culture is working overtime to do when it comes to brainwashing and corrupting children.

Culture works to separate children from their parents, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually. This is the genesis of pushing and promoting government-sponsored so-called preschool which is usually glorified daycare. In many cases, young children are spending more of their waking hours with public school educators than with their parents. Is it any wonder, then, that moms and dads are losing influence?

Seduction manifests in television programming for children that now features sexually confused cartoon characters, or radical environmental nonsense subtly or not so subtly slipped into otherwise harmless scripts.

School curriculum seduce by omission. Erased from textbooks are the inspirational stories of America’s heroes and founders. Admittedly imperfect men and women, they’re omitted because they don’t conform with the new narrative which prioritizes certain radical issues over success and the country’s Judeo-Christian roots.

The seductors don’t approve of Christians – at least orthodox believers in Jesus who hold that Scripture is literal and true. So, people of the Christian faith are demeaned and demonized. They want to marginalize followers of Jesus and make the faith look unattractive. The goal is to seduce the young into believing in nothing – or better yet, the gospel of political correctness.

Marketers, advertisers and entertainers seek to seduce by separating sex from marriage. They mock fidelity and dismiss commitment as something temporary and old-fashioned. They also seduce the young into thinking life is all about finding personal happiness – despite the fact they’re constantly redefining what it even means to be happy at all. Service is honorable – but not at pregnancy resource clinics, which by saving innocent lives are somehow hurting women.

Jesus had zero tolerance for those who tried to seduce children, and neither should we. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,” He told His disciples. “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

Strong words from a strong Savior whose timeless message still applies today.


Image from Shutterstock.