Wednesday, June 21, 2006


The Outing of Sponge-Bob SquarePants [Political Affairs Archives]
By Thomas Riggins

Thank the gods for the faux Christian Right! One of their hate groups, Focus on the Family, has uncovered a sinister [left wing?] plot to corrupt America’s youth. David Kirkpatrick reported in The New York Times of 1/20/05 ("Conservatives Taking Aim At Soft Target") that James C. Dobson, the Focus founder, has denounced Mr. Sponge-Bob SquarePants for taking part in a "pro-homosexual video."

Not since the Tele Tubby scandal a few years ago has the so-called X-tian Right (I use the "X" because I don’t think Christ would want his name associated with these jokers) made such an important contribution to the defense of the Republic.

The video is going to be sent to thousands of elementary schools throughout the nation. It was made by the We Are Family Foundation founded by Nile Rogers, who wrote the song "We Are Family" after 9/11. (Not to be confused with the pro-gay advocacy group called We Are Family-- a different outfit. Our X-tian friends may have done this).

Besides Mr. SquarePants, the video features other suspicious characters whose sexual identities may be a problem for Mr. Dobson-- such as Barney. Mr. SquarePants behavior on his own show may also be an issue as well. He does hold hands with his friend Patrick and he has questionable television viewing habits. Mr. Kirkpatrick reports that he and Patrick (while holding hands mind you) watch "The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy"-- a fact, I am sure, that has not been missed by Mr. Dobson and his inquisitional friends.

Mr. SquarePants has also become "a camp figure among adult gay men." Mr. Dobson cannot be pleased with this information. Mr. Dobson was first alerted to the possibility that Sponge-Bob might better be called Sponge-Bob HotPants by another organization claiming to be X-tian, namely the American Family Association.

Both groups are committed to the prevention of same sex marriages-- arguably the most important issue of the last two thousand years or so. Is the Sponge-Bob video subliminally programming the elementary school children who watch it to be tolerant in the future of same sex unions, or even, heaven forbid, to practice them?

However, the video itself, which has already been shown on network television, according to the Times article, has "nothing in it or its accompanying materials [that] refers to sexual identity." Nevertheless, there is that troubling handholding.

What is the real purpose of this video? Why is it being sent to elementary schools? The video makers state its purpose is to "teach children about multiculturalism" and "tolerance." Perhaps this does not make sense to Mr. Dobson. He may think elementary school children have enough problems just learning one culture. How can they learn many?

In any event, Mr. Dobson, and others of his ilk, will have none of this un-X-tian propaganda foisted off on the children of America. He is quoted as saying, "We see the video as an insidious means by which the organization [the We are Family Foundation, but Dobson is probably confused about this] is manipulating and potentially brainwashing [with a sponge yet!] kids."

But surely these so-called X-tians have Sunday schools to correct any ideas of tolerance and respect for others that may have contaminated their children in the public school systems.

Meanwhile, on the editorial page of the same issue of the Times, we learn that homophobia is weakening our national defense. The government has a serious shortage of people who can read and speak Arabic, as well as other languages, so that there is now a backlog of 120,000 messages in Arabic that, characterized as a "looming threat," remain untranslated.

The Times is rightly upset because in the last few years 20 vital Arabic specialists were discharged by the military for being gay. The mindless homophobia displayed by the government puts all of us at risk. Suppose somewhere in that backlog of 120,000 messages is another 9/11 plot.

No doubt it is more important to purge the armed forces of gays than to get through that backlog and provide security to the American people. Maybe Nile Rogers can send a few of those videos staring the insidious Mr. SquarePants to the Pentagon big-wigs, although I don’t think "tolerance" is a very high priority for Mr. Rumsfeld and his cronies.

--Thomas Riggins writes frequently for Political Affairs' online edition.

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