Thursday, January 20, 2005
Don't Worry -- This'll Only Hurt A Lot
"Does anybody here know SpongeBob?" Dr. James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, asked the guests Tuesday night at a black-tie dinner for members of Congress and political allies to celebrate the election results.'Cause, y'know, seeing an animated anthropomorphized sponge wearing squared-off pants and holding hands, or whatever, with an animated anthropomorphized starfish wearing purple-and-green Bermuda shorts gets me so hot for some gay lovin'.
SpongeBob 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, SpongeBob'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."
On Wednesday... Paul Batura, assistant to Mr. Dobson at Focus on the Family, said the group stood by its accusation.
"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."
First, how terrible and lonely it must be, to be so afraid of something that doesn't even affect you. Because that is the core point. Two men or two women -- or, for that matter, two men and two women in one big group, or any other configuration of consenting adults -- are people in love. Period. And, so long as no one gets hurt, what they do is no one's business but their own.
Second, as has been stated a few gazillion times, and is the case no matter how much the evangelicals may hate it, the First Amendment of our Constitution guarantees freedom of and from religion. Which means that US citizens may worship whatever they like, or worship nothing at all.
Dobson (and Donald Wildmon, and Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson, and, and, and...) can't seem to get past this. They also can't seem to get past the I-would've-thought-blazingly-obvious contradiction that, if gays are condemned to hell, then their all-powerful God really doesn't need any help. Of course, they also can't see the obvious contradiction inherent in a character named Mermaid Man, so perhaps I shouldn't expect too much.
The creator of Spongebob has said the character is not gay. Googling "spongebob gay" gets, shall we say, a lot of active discussions on the topic. I haven't asked any of my gay friends if they have adopted Spongebob as a hero; none of them have mentioned it.
If Dobson et al. are so very offended by gays and gayness, they don't have to look.
But here, to me, is the really big thing: These hateful, spiteful, frightened people are so freaked out by even the potential for gayness that they are:
- attacking a public service announcement based on being nice to each other;
- saying that suggesting people be nice to each other is a "bait and switch", i.e., "be tolerant of each other's differences" equals "it's okay for boys to shag" (which I suppose it actually does equal on several levels, but not as a direct substitution, you godly putz);
- saying a talking sponge holding hands with a starfish is a threatening icon of gay sex.
(2) (meaningful only to SE Michigan fandom) Of course, since TW's illness, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of SpongeBob is not homosexuality but thyroid cancer.
Nothing gets by me.
We're not bad because we're just trying to brainwash everybody that tolerance is bad. Intolerance is a beautiful thing!
A psudo-christian extremist
I'm terrified and so very angry all at the same time.
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Come and check it out if you get time :-)