If you need any more proof that conservatives don’t just want to protect their own kids from material they find objectionable, they don’t want anyone to have any access to it, ever, check out the One Million Moms freakout over Archie Comics at Toys ‘R’ Us. They’re writing to the chain:
As a mother and a member of OneMillionMoms.com, I am extremely disappointed to learn that select Toys ‘R’ Us stores are now selling ‘Archie’ comic books with a same-sex wedding displayed on the front cover. I am referring to the ones where the front cover reads “Just Married” with two men marrying, one wearing a service uniform. I am aware that Toys ‘R’ Us employees do not actually set up the displays; they leave this up to the vendor. Your company should be aware of the merchandise being sold in your stores nonetheless. These comic books are displayed at the front checkout counters so they are highly visible to employees, managers, customers and children.
Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in your toy store. This is the last place a parent would expect to be confronted with questions from their children on topics that are too complicated for them to understand. Issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, which is becoming extremely common and unnecessary. A trip to the toy store turns into a premature discussion on sexual orientation and is completely uncalled for. Toys ‘R’ Us should be more responsible in the products they carry.
If your children are too young for a discussion about the fact that sometimes two men or two women love each other the way Mommy and Daddy do, they are also probably far too young to see any other comic books or tabloids that are displayed routinely at checkouts, or to any of the violent or sexual toys or games that are regularly peddled at large toy chains. There’s always the option of shopping for toys while your children are at school or with another parent. And if your children are old enough to read, but you don’t want them reading the cover of this one comic book, hand them a new or favorite book while they’re at the checkout line.
I do sympathize with parents who want to expose their children to age-appropriate content, but I draw the line at those who think they have a right to a world where they don’t have to be exposed to anything that contradicts their worldview, and who are prepared to demand that, rather than to try to find reasonable workarounds. And if you want your kids to share your views even in a world that doesn’t, you’re probably going to have to raise them to believe strongly enough even when they’re exposed to new things. Keeping Archie comics out of Toys ‘R’ Us won’t keep gay couples invisible in the world the One Million Moms’ kids will grow up in.
Archie Comics co-CEO John Goldwater has a typically classy response to the kerfuffle. He says: “We stand by Life with Archie #16. As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone. It’s an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday. We’re sorry the American Family Association/OneMillionMoms.com feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people.“