01-20-2005, 10:17 PM #1
U.S. Christians Issue Gay Warning Over Kid Video starring SpongeBob SquarePants
The American Taliban Speaks Again:
U.S. Christians Issue Gay Warning Over Kid Video
Thu Jan 20
By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Christian Conservative groups have issued a gay alert warning over a children's video starring SpongeBob SquarePants, Barney and a host of other cartoon favorites.
The wacky square yellow SpongeBob is one of the stars of a music video due to be sent to 61,000 U.S. schools in March. The makers -- the nonprofit We Are Family Foundation -- say the video is designed to encourage tolerance and diversity.
But at least two Christian activist groups say the innocent cartoon characters are being exploited to promote the acceptance of homosexuality.
"A short step beneath the surface reveals that one of the differences being celebrated is homosexuality," wrote Ed Vitagliano in an article for the American Family Association.
The video is a remake of the 1979 hit song "We Are Family" using the voices and images of SpongeBob, Barney, Winnie the Pooh, Bob the Builder, the Rugrats and 100 TV cartoon stars. It was made by a foundation set up by songwriter Nile Rodgers after the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks to promote the nation's healing process.
Christian groups however have taken exception to the tolerance pledge on the foundation's Web site which asks people to respect the sexual identity of others along with their abilities, beliefs, culture and race.
"Their inclusion of the reference to 'sexual identity" within their 'tolerance pledge' is not only unnecessary but it crosses a moral line," Dr James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, said in a statement on Thursday.
Rodgers was astounded at the attack. "That is so myopic and harsh. You have really got to look hard to find anything in this that is offensive to anyone. The last thing I am going to do is taint these characters," he told Reuters.
Dobson was quoted by the New York Times on Thursday as having singled out the wildly popular SpongeBob during remarks about the video at a Washington D.C. dinner this week.
SpongeBob, who lives in a pineapple under the sea, was "outed" by the U.S. media in 2002 after reports that the TV show and its merchandise was popular with gays. His creator, Stephen Hillenburg, said at the time that although SpongeBob was an oddball, he thought of all the characters as asexual.
It is not the first time that children's TV favorites have come under the critical spotlight of the U.S. Christian right. Tinky Winky, the purse-toting purple Teletubbie, was in 1999 declared a homosexual role model by Rev. Jerry Falwell.
01-21-2005, 02:15 AM #2Retired Vet
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Yea it was on the news here in Ireland. My daughter and I love Sponge Bob, gay or not. However looking at it this morning I see he gave Patrick chocolate for St.Valentines day!.
Anyway I think its cool, I believe your either born gay, straight or bi and its not learn't so I've no problems with my children viewing 'gay' cartoons.
01-21-2005, 05:32 AM #3Banned
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- Nov 2004
IMO this cartoon video should be banned imediatly or it will spoil the brain and morals of the youth in america.
01-21-2005, 06:06 AM #4Originally Posted by Militia
Ya'll think us Christian conservatives are bad......
Let Muslims like this guy take control, and you would be squealing....
01-21-2005, 07:35 AM #5
Tock....you never fail to find the extreme right! This notion is absurd and I disagree with it (banning) I watch it and have never seen anything offensive.
01-21-2005, 07:58 AM #6
My kids and I watch SpongeBob all the time. I must admit I find him rather atractive.
01-21-2005, 08:03 AM #7Originally Posted by Militia
Oh Please, Have you ever even seen this cartoon? Its a sponge for Pete sake...The poor bastard lives in a pinaple.
01-21-2005, 08:21 AM #8Originally Posted by Will Power
01-21-2005, 08:53 AM #9
i have no problem with sponge bob , i was very much tempted to steal one of those inflated sponge bobs sitting on top of burger king roofs !
01-21-2005, 09:15 AM #10Retired Vet
Originally Posted by Will Power
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01-21-2005, 09:31 AM #11Originally Posted by BOUNCER
Glad I could bring a chuckle to your day.
01-21-2005, 10:32 AM #12Originally Posted by 1victor
This was on the news headlines on my SW Bell-Yahoo DSL browser. It's not like I go looking for this craziness -- it's all over the place.
This planet if chuck full of crazy fools . . . getting upset over a damm gay sponge . . .
01-21-2005, 10:34 AM #13
He's Manly who says he's gay?
01-21-2005, 10:53 AM #14
OK, you tell me who wouldnt want to plug the sponge. Hes sponge-tastic
01-21-2005, 11:16 AM #15
The New York Times
January 20, 2005
Conservatives Pick Soft Target: A Cartoon Sponge
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 - On the heels of electoral victories barring
same-sex marriage, some influential conservative Christian groups are
turning their attention to a new target: the cartoon character
"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
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."
The video's creator, Nile Rodgers, who wrote the disco hit "We Are
Family," said Mr. Dobson's objection stemmed from a misunderstanding.
Mr. Rodgers said he founded the We Are Family Foundation after the
Sept. 11 attacks to create a music video to teach children about
multiculturalism. The video has appeared on television networks, and
nothing in it or its accompanying materials refers to sexual identity.
The pledge, borrowed from the Southern Poverty Law Center, is not
mentioned on the video and is available only on the group's Web site.
Mr. Rodgers suggested that Dr. Dobson and the American Family
Association, the conservative Christian group that first sounded the
alarm, might have been confused because of an unrelated Web site
belonging to another group called "We Are Family," which supports gay
"The fact that some people may be upset with each other peoples'
lifestyles, that is O.K.," Mr. Rodgers said. "We are just talking
Mark Barondess, the foundation's lawyer, said the critics "need
On Wednesday however, 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."
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
01-21-2005, 01:27 PM #16Writer
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
Does that mean Spongebob is going to hell?
01-23-2005, 04:36 AM #17
Sponge Bob..no doubta game to familiarize kids with the gay lifestyle! There is no hiding the fact that Squidward is on fire..he is angry all the time, likes cafe curtains in his house...No 'Bob, he does get a bit to chummy with that fat starfish fella(maybe that is his life-partner)...maybe that is a sort of symbolism-the starfish and Bob! Most cartoons nowadays are trying to brainwash kids into acceptance of various lifestyles...either gay,hun or inner-city crackhead..take your pick!
01-28-2005, 08:50 PM #18
Another little update . . .
From The National Business Review, 1/24/05:
Muddling SpongeBob: Gay or straight?
By Francis Till
A low level media war has broken out in the United States over a
perplexing, but extraordinarily peripheral, issue:
Is cartoon character SpongeBob ... gay?
Last week, no less a source than the New York Times said
Christian-rights activist James Dobson had "outed" SpongeBob, claiming
he was the star of a "pro-homosexuality" video.
To his eternal discredit, he did this at a black-tie inaugural dinner,
delivering an inadvertant black eye to the Bush administration and
sending howls of derisive glee through the liberal media.
In covering the story, which has itself achieved cult status, the LA
Times recounted the following events in an editorial:
"Does anyone here know SpongeBob?" Dr. James Dobson asked darkly,
addressing a black-tie audience at one of Tuesday's inaugural events.
Dobson is the founder of Focus on the Family, one of the nation's most
outspoken conservative Christian groups. SpongeBob holds hands with
his [pink!] starfish pal Patrick, and likes to watch the imaginary
television show "The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy."
A video starring a number of cartoon characters -- among them Arthur
the aardvark, Big Bird, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Jimmy Neutron --
advocating tolerance, created by the by the We Are Family Foundation.
The video will be distibuted free of charge to 61,000 public and
private elementary schools in the United States on March 11, 2005, in
celebration of a proposed National We Are Family Day, the Foundation
What do all these cartoon characters actually do on the video?
Sing the overworked disco hit "We Are Family," for starters.
But there's a lesson plan that comes with the video and wrap around
comments from such dangerous figures as Bill Cosby -- so anything
could happen, really.
The LA Times noted that the video promotes a "tolerance pledge" for
schoolkids that could extend to sexual identity -- but the NYTimes
notes that the pledge is available only on the Foundation's website
and is not part of the video.
The insidious pledge (borrowed from the Southern Poverty Law Center,
according to the NYT) includes the line:
"I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs,
culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different
from my own."
Well, it's so ... obvious.
"We see the video -- as manipulating and potentially brainwashing
kids," Mr Dobson's spokesperson told the New York Times on Wednesday.
"It's a classic bait and switch."
A "homosexuality detection expert" at the similarly conservative
Family Research Council told the NY Times that words like "tolerance"
and "diversity" are part of a "coded language that is regularly used
by the homosexual community."
Astute followers of the American religious right will recall a similar
incident in the not very distant past (1999) when an overwrought Rev
Jerry Falwell almost torpedoed his career by "outing" the amorphously
androgynous Teletubbies character Tinky Winky as gay -- gay because of
"his" purple coat, triangular head adornment (the gay pride symbol is
a triangle) and red vinyl purse.
Time magazine reminds its readers this week of the slinky Tinky
kerfuffle and names other cartoon characters held by some to be gay,
among them Muppets Bert and Ernie.
So, what does SpongeBob have to say about all this?
The Syracuse Post-Standard called him and asked.
SpongeBob, being both a sponge and a cartoon, uses the voice of East
Syracuse native Tom Kenny to do his singing and Mr Kenny scoffed at
"SpongeBob" told the Post-Standard:
"I could maybe see it their way if this was a video with Barbra
Streisand and Madonna and Judy Garland," Kenny said, a tongue-in-cheek
reference to performers who supposedly have large gay followings.
"We're talking about cartoon characters here, and these people are
just trying to make a video that (says) it's a positive, good thing to
be respectful of people different than you.
"Let me ask you, who would you rather go bowling with, SpongeBob and
his friends or the Rev. James Dobson? Who would you rather go out with
and have a few beers? Probably the only common ground I have with the
Rev. James Dobson is that I haven't seen the video, and I'll bet he
hasn't either. All he knows (Kenny dropped into an angry backwoods
voice) is that it's a little yellow guy full of holes who's saying
it's OK for men to be with men.
"It's very entertaining. The entertainment industry could use more
people with that kind of wild imagination."
But that probably won't happen soon.
On the other hand, Mark Barondess, the foundation's lawyer, told the
NYTimes that critics of the video "need medication."
Just not amyl nitrate poppers http://www.adhl.org/amylnit.html.
Stop Elmer Fudd web site: http://www.ElmerFudd.US/
Covert text file server: http://www.notserver.com/
Scientology crooks: http://sf.irk.ru/www/ot3/otiii-gif.html
FRice Antiwar: http://www.skeptictank.org/antiwar.htm
FRice Tree Sit: http://www.skeptictank.org/treesit/treesit.htm
01-28-2005, 09:12 PM #19
does it really matter to you guys what a christian conservative group warns eachother of??? they are issuing a warning or whatever it is so that others who are christian conservative will be aware of the "offensive content" and not watch it, or prevent their children from watching it... honestly... it doesnt affect you in any way, shape or form if a group of conservative christians decide to watch or not watch a cartoon... i dont see how them chosing not to watch it makes you any worse off... if they dont wanna watch it who cares??? let em not watch it... if they find something morally offensive about it, let them find it morally offensive... personally i dont see a difference in you guys getting offended and becoming verbally critical of their personal belief or viewpoint... if i'm not mistaken it is their personal viewpoint that that spongebob is offensive, and therefore they are verbally critical... whether they watch it or not, or say not to watch it, won't change whether you can watch it... so all of you should just shut up and forget that they exist... let them have their oppinion... just as you shall have yours...
01-28-2005, 09:50 PM #20
This isn't some large movement by conservative Christians, its a few organizations that probably aren't as wrapped up in this as these articles would portray.
This news article was completely wrong, the word got out and it was all spin. I saw the guy who made the comments, and he said that the video is being passed to elementary school teachers, and that the discussion pamphlet for teachers says to directly discuss homosexuality to elementary students. This is what he took offence to. Not the actual content of the video or Spongebob or any of that.
01-28-2005, 09:50 PM #21Originally Posted by EatRite
And if these idiots can't take what they dish out, then they need to get into another line of foolishness.
01-28-2005, 10:08 PM #22Originally Posted by UrbanLegend
Originally Posted by UrbanLegend
Rev. Dobson made the comments quoted in the news stories. The only spin thrown at the media is coming from Dobson as he tries to mitigate his embarrassment.
Actually, as the news stories say:
The LA Times noted that the video promotes a "tolerance pledge" for schoolkids that could extend to sexual identity -- but the NYTimes notes that the pledge is available only on the Foundation's website and is not part of the video.
The insidious pledge (borrowed from the Southern Poverty Law Center, according to the NYT) includes the line:
"I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own."
Evidently Rev. Dobson thinks it's ok to disrespect people whose sexual identity is different from his. Then again, his attitude does accurately reflect Bible teachings, which calls for killing gays, as well as adulterers, witches, sabbath breakers, people of other religions, etc etc etc.
So, ya, this guy is a nutcase, he's got lots of other nutcases supporting him, just like Hitler back in 1930's Germany. Deserves to have the light of day thrown on his activities, and I'm glad to oblige . . .
01-28-2005, 10:21 PM #23
Why don't they focus their energies on the priests they have molesting children instead of cartoons?
01-28-2005, 10:26 PM #24Originally Posted by Tock
I don't know what to tell ya. The 'guy' I saw talking was bothered by the pamphlet that was given to teachers with the video. He seemed more concerned about elementary school kids hearing about sexual relations of any kind than the video.
Maybe this wasn't Dobson talking that I heard? I don't know. This wasn't a recent thing so I can't recall.
The LA Times article doesn't paint a very good picture of him (Dobson)......if the guy thinks a video can brainwash kids then hes off his rocker. I wouldn't defend that guy/these people if I saw him saying those things.
01-28-2005, 10:40 PM #25Originally Posted by Peanut Butter
Because the Catholics are working with them against abortion. If Protestants start ragging on Catholics about their child molesters, it would generate resentment . . .
It's easier to pick on gay cartoons . . .
01-29-2005, 03:31 AM #26Retired Vet
Originally Posted by Peanut Butter
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01-29-2005, 03:53 AM #27Associate Member
Originally Posted by Tock
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01-29-2005, 11:19 AM #28Originally Posted by carbs-rule
I've been kicked out of the military for being gay, refused a job as a Dallas cop because I'm gay, endured countless "faggot" remarks by coworkers and supervisors, and thrown out of a time-share presentation for no other reason than that I'm gay. Predatory heterosexuals roam the streets of town looking for vulnerable queers to beat up, rob, and sometimes kill. Judges here in Texas give light sentences to straights who murder gays http://gaymormondad.blogspot.com/200...ber-28-on.html
and all this crap is rooted in what preachers like the idiot Dobson say about homosexuality and the Bible.
Ya, I take my past 30 years of discrimination and violence seriously, and I take the thousands of sermons preached every week against gays and the hundreds of millions of dollars raised by Christian bigots to finance anti-gay politicians seriously. Being straight, I'm sure you've not had to deal with this sort of stuff, so it's easy for you to just blow it off.
No one really gives a rats ass about Spongebob Squarepants. What sucks is the attitude behind Christian bigotry that prompts the sort of comments Reverend Dobson made at a presidential inauguration function. What also sucks bigtime is that Christian pig-headed bigotry that has gotten a lot of state governments to pass State Constitutional amendments to prevent gays from EVER marrying, and their effort to do the same to the National Constitution.
Ya, I take this stuff seriously, because it affects about half of the things in my day-to-day life. So, I like to point out how stupid these meddlesome anti-gay bigots are when opportunity arises. Sorry if that annoys you . . . but folks like me have a lot at stake . . .
01-29-2005, 11:39 AM #29
Live and let live is my take on things. If the holy rollers are correct and homosexuality lands the sinner in hell then that is their problem too. As long as gays don't try to push their lifestyle on me or those around me why should I care what they do?
01-29-2005, 12:20 PM #30Originally Posted by Benches505
But just as gays shouldn't push their sexual orientation on heterosexuals, heterosexuals shouldn't push their orientation on gays. Ya, that broom sweeps both ways . . .
But the Feds are having a tantrum because PBS did an episode of a kid's program that admits to the mere existance of lesbian couples in Vermont. The show doesn't make any recommendations one way or the other, but the Conservatives want to stifle this bit of information -- it's like they don't want the issue of homosexuality brought up unless it's couched in condemnatory terms and painted in a negative light, the same way the Christian Fundamentalists want the subject discussed: "It's EVIL and will get you sent to HELL!"
Sheesh . . .
Here's the latest on the PBS Bunnyrabbit story which clearly shows that Bush Administration officials just plain hate queers:
Education secretary condemns public show with gay characters
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's new education secretary denounced PBS
on Tuesday for spending public money on a cartoon with lesbian
characters, saying many parents would not want children exposed to
The not-yet-aired episode of "Postcards From Buster" shows the title
character, an animated bunny named Buster, on a trip to Vermont -- a
state known for recognizing same-sex civil unions. The episode
features two lesbian couples, although the focus is on farm life and
A PBS spokesman said late Tuesday that the nonprofit network has
decided not to distribute the episode, called "Sugartime!," to its 349
stations. She said the Education Department's objections were not a
factor in that decision.
"Ultimately, our decision was based on the fact that we recognize this
is a sensitive issue, and we wanted to make sure that parents had an
opportunity to introduce this subject to their children in their own
time," said Lea Sloan, vice president of media relations at PBS.
However, the Boston public television station that produces the show,
WGBH, does plan to make the "Sugartime!" episode available to other
stations. WGBH also plans to air the episode on March 23, Sloan said.
PBS gets money for the "Postcards from Buster" series through the
federal Ready-To-Learn program, one aimed at helping young children
learn through television.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said the "Sugartime!" episode
does not fulfill the intent Congress had in mind for programming. By
law, she said, any funded shows must give top attention to
"research-based educational objectives, content and materials."
"Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the
lifestyles portrayed in the episode," Spellings wrote in a letter sent
Tuesday to Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of PBS.
"Congress' and the Department's purpose in funding this programming
certainly was not to introduce this kind of subject matter to
children, particularly through the powerful and intimate medium of
She asked PBS to consider refunding the money it spent on the episode.
With her letter, Spellings has made criticism of the publicly funded
program's depiction of the gay lifestyle one of her first acts as
secretary. She began on Monday, replacing Rod Paige as President
Bush's education chief.
Spellings issued three requests to PBS.
She asked that her department's seal or any statement linking the
department to the show be removed. She asked PBS to notify its member
stations of the nature of the show so they could review it before
airing it. And she asked for the refund "in the interest of avoiding
embroiling the Ready-To-Learn program in a controversy that will only
In closing, she warned: "You can be assured that in the future the
department will be more clear as to its expectations for any future
programming that it funds."
The department has awarded nearly $100 million to PBS through the
program over the last five years in a contract that expires in
September, said department spokesman Susan Aspey. That money went to
the production of "Postcards From Buster" and another animated
children's show, and to promotion of those shows in local communities,
The show about Buster also gets funding from other sources.
In the show, Buster carries a digital video camera and explores
regions, activities and people of different backgrounds and religions.
On the episode in question, "The fact that there is a family structure
that is objectionable to the Department of Education is not at all the
focus of the show, nor is it addressed in the show," said Sloan of
But she also said: "The department's concerns align very closely with
PBS' concerns, and for that reason, it was decided that PBS will not
be providing the episode." Stations will receive a new episode, she
01-29-2005, 12:27 PM #31
Tock if gays would just quit identifying themselves by what they do in the bedroom perhaps people would be more tolerant. I am a heterosexual but I don't feel the need to run around and promoting heterosexuality. What I do on my time is my own business. I don't identify myself as a heterosexual, thats just a part of who I am.
01-29-2005, 12:40 PM #32Originally Posted by 1victor
Geez, people in the US casually identify themselves as heterosexual by wearing wedding rings, by holding hands in public, by shamelessly smooching in public on park benches, by having weddings in public, announcing their weddings in newspapers, by having anniversary dinners in restaurants, everytime they identify themselves as being married on forms (applications for jobs, gov't forms, credit, etc), anytime they enroll their children in school, walk around town with their kids, etc etc etc.
If heterosexuals were to keep their sexual orientation as private as you think gays should keep theirs, you'd NEVER see children anywhere, all marriages would be done in secret, and nobody would EVER ask anyone if they were married or EVER wear wedding rings.
Nope, there's no reason why gays and lesbians have to hide their relationships when hetersexuals get to flaunt theirs in public.
01-29-2005, 12:43 PM #33Originally Posted by hooker
lol probally since the bible and christain religions says homosexuality is a sin, and a true christian doesnt lead a life of sin. sponge bob is either not a christian or a hypocrite then
01-29-2005, 12:44 PM #34
Tock you expect 99% of the people to change to accomodate your views. It is unreasonable and illogical.
As far as flaunting, Discretion is always best , even in my own life.
01-29-2005, 12:46 PM #35
Billy, typical redneck hoosier crap. Show me someone who says they live a sinless life and I will show you a sinner.
01-29-2005, 12:53 PM #36
Billy ..........I'm a hoosier (born in Indiana) I had to toss that one in. Did you know in some states they call white trash "hoosiers"? I was offended at first
01-29-2005, 01:03 PM #37Originally Posted by 1victor
Well, you just don't think gays and lesbians ought to be doing the same things that you and your wife/girlfriend do. That, IMHO, is unreasonable and illogical.
01-29-2005, 01:06 PM #38
I could care less, my wife and I don't hang on each other in public and slobber all over each other in front of children. Sometimes we hold hands or something pretty mild, PDA is disgusting IMO. Tock , I could care less what you do. I think you know me better than that. I just think discretion is good in all things, homo or hetero.
01-29-2005, 01:09 PM #39Originally Posted by 1victor
not, leading a good life, accidently sinning now and then
LEADing a sinful life is the key word. one who leads, not falls to temptations
ie a serial killer, one who leads a life of killing people through his own choices. apposed to, one who shoots someone out of fear of their life
would you believe a serial killer is a christian while he is going around killing...lol no of course not, why, because he is living a sinful life. if he were truly a christian, then when he accepted jesus, if he were truly sincere, he would have made a dedication to follow jesus's teachings and the bible to the best of his ability. .obviously if he went around still killing everyone, he couldnt have meant it.
01-29-2005, 01:14 PM #40
Billy, why must you talk in extremes? A serial killer Christian? The analogy is horrible and you are far too intelligent for that one.
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