Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I’m fascinated by weird religious panics about kids’ pop culture from the last few decades, from D&D being accused of teaching kids witchcraft to He-Man being picked apart for occult symbolism. So I’m honestly surprised there hasn’t been some loud, widely-publicized moral panic about Steven Universe from the religious fundamentalist crowd yet. I mean, think about it, we have a popular cartoon show aimed at children that features:
- At least one canonical same-sex couple, as well as at least a couple major examples of same-sex attraction
- A main character who is stated to have been born out of wedlock and raised by a non-traditional family unit
- At least a few instances of “suggestive” dance moves
- Magic and violence being shown as a good and positive thing
- A major symbol for the good guys being a five-pointed star
- Use of mystical/magical crystals (fundies are still suspicious about that aspect of new age culture, right?)
- Seeing the future via a “third eye” (this is one thing I recall that fundies complaining about occult elements in cartoons back in the 80s LOVED to rail about)
- A character who uses shapeshifting to turn into animal forms (another aspect of “occult” religions and beliefs that 80s-era fundies got their undies in a bunch over) or even to transform from a female form to a male one
- A character who defies the gender binary and is attractive to both men AND women
I mean, I certainly wouldn’t agree with such a moral panic, but in a world where The Loud House can get yelled at by One Million Moms for featuring a pair of gay parents in one episode, I’m honestly baffled that this entire show managed to slip by the religious types’ radar.
Man, fundies really lost their touch since the Satanic Panic ended, huh?