Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA


Once again Dr. James Dobson and his conservative group that runs Focus On The Family have jumped on the bandwagon of infinitesimal stupidity. You might remember Dobson assailing the children’s movie “Shark Tale” a short time ago. According to Dobson, Shark Tale has undertones that subscribe to the Gay/Lesbian agenda (whatever that is) and is an attempt by the gay movement to subvert Christian children by brainwashing their minds.

Dobson says the father shark was way too acceptable of the differences in his son’s life. The fact that the son was a vegetarian and liked to pretend he was a dolphin was just too much for the Bible-minded radio preacher. To Dobson, a shark being vegetarian is like a child saying they are homosexual. And obviously, the dolphin bit is way too close to cross-dressing for this maharishi of marriage and family values. Dobson tried to get the movie banned, but sanity prevailed and his tantrum was quickly forgotten by parents even of the right wing whacko variety. Some things are just too laughable to believe.

Well folks, Dobson’s at it again. This time the culprit is Sponge Bob Square Pants, if you can believe that. It seems the sponge with the big smile is appearing in a new music video by the We Are Family Foundation along with other famous cartoon characters like Barney, Blues Clues, Arthur, The Muppet Show, Little Mermaid, Madeline, Rugrats, Bob the Builder, Clifford the Big Dog, Sesame Street, Kim Possible, Lilo & Stitch, and Jimmie Neutron, all singing the famous disco hit We Are Family, written by Neil Rodgers, who created the video. According to Rodgers, the video was made to teach children about multiculturalism, which he feels gets to the root of being an American.

Despite the fact that the video has appeared on hundreds of television shows, Dobson reported at a black-tie dinner for President Bush that the Square Pants creators had enlisted the cartoon in a “pro-homosexual” video. The makers, Dobson said, were going to mail it to thousands of elementary schools to promote a “tolerance pledge” that includes (among other things like race) tolerance for differences in “sexual identity.” In case you’re curious concerning what this pledge says, here it is:

“To help keep diversity a wellspring of strength and make America a better place for all, I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own.”

What Dobson doesn’t tell you is that the pledge, borrowed from the Southern Poverty Law Center, is neither mentioned in the video and it’s only available on the group’s Web site. To show you the depth to which Dobson’s people have sunk, here’s how Paul Batura, spokesperson for Focus on Family, tried to spin their view on the video: “It’s a classic bait and switch. This video is an insidious means by which the organization is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids.” Diversity and tolerance it seems, have taken on new meaning for right wingers.

While it's true that many gays and lesbians think the sponge is way kewl, there is no truth whatsoever that they have attached any agenda to him other than to have some fun. Fun is what cartoons are about, no? Be it for kids or older folk.

Then there’s this from Ed Vitaglino, news editor for AFA Journal, a monthly publication of the American Family Association, “A short step beneath the surface reveals that one of the differences being celebrated is homosexuality. The 'Tolerance Pledge,' for example, encourages signees to pledge respect for homosexuals and work against 'ignorance, insensitivity and bigotry.' Most Christians are now aware of what those code words mean. If you are a person who accepts the homosexual lifestyle, then you are tolerant. If you don't, then you are a bigot who is motivated by ignorance and hate."

An editorial in the Louisville Courier-Journal on Friday reads, “Dobson is wrong. The video makes no reference to sexual orientation. When push comes to shove, some religious extremists would turn their back on the shunning, taunting and bullying that gay children are exposed to, in order to thwart any message that young people should be tolerant of different sexual identities. And, remember, they do this ugliness in the name of Christianity.”

You know, if the whole issue didn’t underscore the bigotry and intolerance of these people, it would be funny. Let's not let this be the legacy of Sponge Bob Square Pants!!

# posted by Marcia Ellen @ 1:35 PM
I dig your blog and this post on SPONGE BOB is hilarious. These American Family folks would be funny too if they weren't so powerful. Every time they go after mainstream inocuous cartoon figures, they may get laughed at but they demonstrate their power. No one is safe if they can assassinate a cartoon character.

I long for the day when progressives aren't the ones keeping their voices down for fear of rousting an angry republican. I look forward to the time when THEY are afraid to spew their rediculous lies because they fear we might beat the crap out of THEM.

You have a great attitude...and that is powerful because it's infectuous. I get the feeling you create an environment of lightheartedness around you that repels bullshit, propaganda, and lies. Nicely done.

stay cool
Thanks Sky!! Coming from you, that's a HUGE compliment, muchly appreciated. I feel humor must be injected into a lot of these issues, otherwise we get too serious about it. The only power that organizations like Focus On The Family and the AFA have is that which is given to them by the people. The more people come to realize that what these organizations and their leaders say is laughable, the less seriously people will take them.
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