A new movie starring Tom Hanks is due to be released later this year based on the life Fred Rogers, more commonly known as 'Mr. Rogers', who presented a preschool television show between 1968 and 2001 called Mister Rogers' Neighbourhood.
Rogers, who was a Presbyterian minister, was a beloved icon to children for decades in the United States, for his nurturing and kindly persona which resonated with audiences both young and old.
A trailer for the new movie has just been released and gave the internet many feelings but a viral Twitter thread from Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, which explained why his approach to religion and theology was so unique and groundbreaking.
Ruttenberg details how Rogers incorporated Christian ethics into the programme that anyone could learn from, regardless of their faith, and how the show wasn't scared of tackling difficult subjects but did so in a compassionate and earnest manner.
While you're in your Mr. Rogers feels, a few things to remind you about his radical theology.
He was a Pres… https://t.co/t8gEURP6F5
After Ruttenberg's thread got more than 27,000 retweets, she told Bored Pandawhy she believes Mr. Rogers and what he taught children is still so important.
He offered unconditional love. He told children that who they were already was good [enough]. That it was OK to be sad or scared or hurt or angry. He took them and their needs seriously. So few people in most children’s lives were doing that. People love him because he offered them something they desperately needed.
Our society has long treated people as only valuable if they are useful in some way, and we are trending towards increased polarisation, increased us/them rhetoric, increased use of dehumanizing language and policies. If we built a society based on the inherent worth and worthiness of every person, things would be very different.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood is set for release in November.