Holy gay propaganda, Batman!
The editor in chief of LifeSiteNews, John-Henry Westen, is accusing the new film The Lego BatmanMovie of seeking to "indoctrinate the little ones" to the gay agenda.
Westen -- whose website is an arm of a Canadian anti-abortion group, the Campaign Life Coalition -- warned readers to "beware" of the animated film, as it "promotes gay adoption" and other LGBT rights causes.
"It was chock full of pro-gay propaganda," Westen wrote in his review. "Think the sexual innuendo of the Flintstones minus the real humor. It seemed the creators were so anxious to subtly indoctrinate the little ones into the gender ideology that making it humorous came as a distant second thought."
As evidence, Westen points to a piece in PJ Media that outlines storylines with "subliminal (and potentially powerful)" messages. For example, in Lego Batman, there is a running gag that Robin, after being adopted by billionaire Bruce Wayne, believes he has "two dads." (Batman, not wanting to reveal his secret identity to his new charge, convinces the youth he has joint custody with Wayne.)
Moreover, the main plot centers around the emotionally aloof superhero's unwillingness to love -- or hate -- others. The Joker, pining for Batman's hatred, plots an elaborate scheme to win his attentions. The PJ Media writer, Michael Hamilton, termed their relationship a "he-ro-mance" of "star-crossed dudes."
The film also includes playful nods to the franchise's camp history. In homage to the spandex costumes of the 1960s TV series, Batman Lego includes a few dress-up parties and the return of Robin's sparkly cape.
All of this amounts to a hidden agenda, according to the two conservative news sites.
"Few parents and fewer kids will question any of it, because there's a way to interpret all of it as technically innocent," Hamilton wrote. "That's what makes these messages subliminal (and potentially powerful). LEGO Batman makes them seem plain as vanilla and American as apple pie."
These messages are "subtle enough most people won't notice. But failing to notice grants them normalcy, as though you'd be crazy or cruel to suggest anything was amiss here," he continued.
The presumption in this argument is that LGBT people and their stories cannot be "innocent," "vanilla," or "American." But this is fake news. According to GLAAD, major film studios are still failing miserably in their inclusion of LGBT characters, which makes them the engine of straight propaganda, not gay.
So if Lego Batman portrays a world where a superhero or his sidekick or, indeed, a villain could be gay, questioning, or gender-nonconforming -- that is a truer reflection of reality, where a record number of Americans identify as LGBT. And it should be celebrated, not criticized.
Is Lego Batman "pro-gay propaganda"? Watch the trailer below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.