Jan 202005

We’ve gone from the Christian Rights concern about Barney’s (the purple dinosaur) sexual orientation, to Jerry Falwell’s obsession with Teletubby Tinky Winky’s handbag to now having James Dobson of Focus On the Family claiming Sponge Bob Squarepants is complicit in advancing the homosexual agenda.

On the heels of electoral victories barring same-sex marriage, Dobson asked guests at a Tuesday night black-tie dinner for members of Congress and political allies, “Does anybody here know Sponge Bob?” Sponge Bob needed no introduction. In addition to his popularity among children, who watch his cartoon show, he has become a well-known camp figure among adult gay men, perhaps because he holds hands with his animated sidekick Patrick and likes to watch the imaginary television show “The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.”

Now, Dr. Dobson said, Sponge Bob’s creators had enlisted him in a “pro-homosexual video,” in which he appeared alongside children’s television colleagues like Barney and Jimmy Neutron, among many others. The makers of the video, he said, planned to mail it to thousands of elementary schools to promote a “tolerance pledge” that includes tolerance for differences of “sexual identity.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I would think the hidden agenda of a talking sponge would be contraception, not homosexuality.

What must these groups be thinking? I mean really, what?s moral about teaching tolerance? Never fear, Dobson?s here to protect us from the evils of cartoon characters. Dobson tells this group, “We see the video as an insidious means by which the organization is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids,” he said. “It is a classic bait and switch.” WOW! We?sure would NOT want to be teaching children about tolerance now would we? No telling where that might lead us. We might become a peaceful people or something dangerous like that.

What?s really going on is that Dobson?s group is actually, explicitly attacking the ADL – Anti-Defamation League, which was founded to stop anti-Jewish hate. The ADL came up with the “We are the world” program aimed at getting children to look past their differences – race, gender, religion, etc. The differences in sexual orientation are but one of a list.

So the real headline here might read “Anti-Gay Hate Group Attacks Jewish Program Teaching Tolerance to Children.”

But, the Right — I never realized how they have to keep discovering new cultural ENEMIES while they are in political power, to feed to their paranoid constituency so as to keep the preachers in power.? Hate feeds on itself, and like the shark (true or legend?) that has to keep swimming forward, they must stay ahead of their own “Christian” Soldiers, or get consumed by them.

As Dr. King said, “No lie can live forever.”

Those minor observations aside, I’d like to posit that it takes A VERY DEPRAVED mind to ascribe sexual motivation to a cartoon character or a children’s show character.? (I know that there are cartoons that depict sexual acts, and I know that some cartoon characters. ? such as Fritz the Cat – are sexually active. Those are overt sexual references)?

Sponge Bob is a cartoon character.? He is a work of fiction.? He has no life outside of the cartoons in which he appears.? J. Derida might point out that assuming that a cartoon sponge and a cartoon star fish are having sex with each other off screen is an enormous leap from what can be read in the script. (He’s dead though.)

I think children will need to learn about tolerance.? I think they’ll be okay with persons of color and those with alternate lifestyles.? It’s the gun toting maniacs and fascists who want to control the perceived morality of fictional characters that children will be likely to despise. I think they should learn to be understanding of those maniacs too. As the current Sponge Bob movie soundtrack says, “Everybody is a goober-head.”

This is a perfect opportunity to dismantle the obscene religiosity of the GOP.? They’re silent with respect to poverty and murder yet manage to yell bloody murder at the sight of a children’s cartoon.? Its all about GOP tactics of “Dodge, Divert, and Distract.” I think its time we held them accountable. Where’s Dobson’s outrage at the 22 and 25 newly widowed mothers and fathers receiving $12,000 for the death of their beloved in an immoral war?? Not only do we need to scream about the absurdity of the Sponge Bob attack, we need to tie the religious wrong’s silence about killing and suffering into it.? “Why does the religious right care more about whether Sponge Bob appears gay than they do about children orphaned by the war in Iraq being plunged into poverty due to the absence of substantial death benefits?”? Juxtapose the fixation about government control of cartoons with the silence about death and poverty.? It is time for the Dems to strike a blow at these obvious hypocrites.

And I have some advice for Dobson, ?Focus on your own damn family.?

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