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View Full Version : US right attacks SpongeBob video - is a vehicle for pro-gay



Eric McTavish
01-21-2005, 09:46 AM
:shock: AAAA--WHA??? :shock:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4190699.stm

US right attacks SpongeBob video
US conservative groups are up in arms over a music video featuring children's TV heroes such as the cheerful cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.

Focus on the Family and other groups say the video - a remake of the Sister Sledge hit, We Are Family - is a vehicle for pro-gay propaganda.

The video's makers plan to mail it to US schools in the spring to promote tolerance and diversity.

They say the attack is based on a misunderstanding.

The video also features children's favourites like Bob the Builder, along with characters from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.

But James Dobson, founder of right-wing Christian group Focus on the Family, singled out SpongeBob at a black-tie dinner in Washington in the run-up to President Bush's inauguration, the New York Times said.

SpongeBob - who appears on the children's cable channel Nickelodeon - is seen as an icon for adult gay men in the US, apparently because he regularly holds hands with his sidekick Patrick.

His creators deny that he is gay, but he is not the first such character to cause controversy.

In 1999 conservatives claimed handbag-carrying Teletubby Tinky Winky, an import from the UK, was a bad role-model.

'Easy lesson'

Nile Rodgers, who wrote the song and is founder of the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) which released the new video, says it is intended to help teach children the values of co-operation and unity.

"We believe that this is the essential first step to loving thy neighbour," he said. "And the fun and exciting format makes it a lesson that's easy for children to learn."

But conservatives say it sees the video as a cunning attempt to promote homosexuality.

They point to the fact that the WAFF is linked to a pledge being promoted by some liberal groups which includes a recognition of tolerance of sexual identity.

"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organisation is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," Paul Batura, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, told the New York Times.

Mr Rodgers said the groups may have confused his foundation with an unrelated organisation with a similar name that supports gay youth.

WAFF spokesman Mark Barondeso told the newspaper that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased".

Drea Beth
01-21-2005, 10:03 AM
You know, I don't think I've ever seen SpongeBob hold Patrick's hand. He went to the prom with Pearl Crabs... that has to count for something. And they had a whale of a good time! :)

Can't wait to have a discussion with my friend here at work who is a major Dr. Dobson fan, but who's 1 year old is mesmerized by SpongeBob. Should be a good one. :twisted:

Cyranno DeBoberac
01-21-2005, 01:46 PM
"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organisation is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids,"

...and insidious manipulation and brainwashing kids is supposed to be the exclusive domain of the church!

:roll:

Phoenix McHeit
01-21-2005, 01:50 PM
I just LOVED this part:
WAFF spokesman Mark Barondeso told the newspaper that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased".

:aok::aok:

Margaret
01-21-2005, 03:42 PM
Until a cartoon character is drawn wearing a "I am happy to be homosexual" shirt and is voiced to say "Hi kids, I am here to promote and encourage a homosexual lifestyle" will I believe that they are doing so.

Small children of both genders do hold hands. On field trips with the wee ones, espically when they are walking thru crowded areas, the kids we chaperoned were encouraged to hold hands so they would not get seperated from their 'buddy group'. Shocking, I know.

Geeze o petes! This stuff frankly amazes me sometimes...

Kae
01-21-2005, 03:58 PM
I am with you on that.

I agree about increasing their medication.

Artemisia
01-21-2005, 05:28 PM
I love Spongebob - but now I wonder if they had the same take on that one Teletubby.

Ya wake up in the morning and UUHHGGHH it's a wonder people actually think this way.

Personally, I think we should all be on medication, it would make the world so much more pleasant.

Galleywench
01-23-2005, 04:55 AM
Sounds like someone should live in a pineapple under the sea.

Dedeley
01-23-2005, 10:17 AM
conservatives say it sees the video as a cunning attempt to promote homosexuality.

Liberals might see a leettllee bit of paranoia among the ranks of the conservatives who might actually believe this.

Cyrano - you are quite right. It's only OK to brainwash kids if it's done by the church.

Why don't "these people" who look for cunning attempts at brainwashing in the smallest and most innocuous of things, spend their time more wisely working on things that everyone agrees are heinous? If we all did that, rather than looking for homosexuality in Sponge Bob, and criticizing Harry Potter for promoting witchcraft, imagine how much good work could get done. :rant:

Lug Ironjaw
01-24-2005, 05:10 PM
It never amazes me how the religious right needs to 'out' various children's characters.
First it was Bert and Ernie, then Tinky Winky, now Sponge Bob.

I miss the age where radicals and psycho-religious freaks were slapped in the mouth and told to shut the hell up. Look at the 1970's cartoons. Look at Bugs Bunny. Hell, Bugs went in drag for a lot of cartoons AND he kissed Elmer Fudd on the mouth. Yet nobody whines that Bugs Bunny is gay.

The church reall needs to step back and look at itself. In the age of re-assigning pedophile priests, anti-abortion radicals killing abortion docs because 'the murder of babies is wrong' and the antiquated and moldy views and such turning Sunday mass into a mini "beg for cash" and condemn everyone to hell session, the church has enough to do without worrying why a CARTOON CHARACTER holds hand with another cartoon character. ( Now if Patrick put his hands down the square pants, we'd have reason to worry...but it hasn't happened yet, and I think the church is just being pissy because they need something to be pissy about. )

Look at the problems of our society. I doubt that homosexual cartoon characters will bring this country down. A band of Bible-thumping Jesus Psychotics may, but not any cartoon character. And WHY haven't they bitched when the Simpsons had the gay character episode? Homer took Bart to a Gay Steel Mill and nothing was said. Smithers fantasizes about a 3/4 naked Mr Burns and nothing is said. You know why they leave the Simpsons alone? Because the Simpsons would fire back and shred the Religious Right, just like other shows like South Park and Family Guy have. FEr chrissakes, South Park has "Big Gay Al" and Mr Garrison toting around "Mr Slave" and yet the religious psychos go after a Sponge that is secure enough in his manhood that he can hold hands with his friend.

I say the Church can complain about gay cartoons when its priests stop touching kids.

AnnaFaerie
01-24-2005, 06:32 PM
Since when did "the church" become catholic? I'd lay money the people pointing fingers at Sponge Bob aren't Catholic....most of them are probably Baptists.....it sounds more their style. And before I get flamed....I'm a Baptist and have been all my life.

You know all religions have their nuts. Thats all this is about........a bunch of nuts pointing fingers.......hoping no one will look at them.

Jessa
01-24-2005, 07:05 PM
Why don't "these people" who look for cunning attempts at brainwashing in the smallest and most innocuous of things, spend their time more wisely working on things that everyone agrees are heinous? If we all did that, rather than looking for homosexuality in Sponge Bob, and criticizing Harry Potter for promoting witchcraft, imagine how much good work could get done. :rant:

Exactly!

Witch hunts like this get started not by those who seek to do good, but by those who seek to gain power. Since various Christian denominations have held the majority for centuries, its Christianity that we see getting co-opted for political gain. Setting people against eachother by searching for sin in cartoons is a great red herring to keep them from paying attention to the real problems. The people with real power and money pushing thier neo-con extreme right adgenda aren't doing it out of a sense of moral duty. They are doing it because if people are squabbling over Spongebob and voting based on "moral values", they won't notice as much when their leaders let social problems fester so that beaucrats can line their pockets.

The abuse of religion for polical gain has been going on ever since the pharos claimed a devine mandate.

kendermom
01-25-2005, 01:25 PM
This is repulsive to me. How can these people go after CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING? Its already been through focus groups, parents groups, marketing, etc (animation major here, thanks) and they still find it offensive.
Anyway, why do they think that homosexuals want to convert the youth? Is it because they are trying to convert the youth to their religion? Got news for them - homosexuality isn't a religion and it isn't something that can be taught or pushed for through brainwashing.
What, do they think that one bright sunshiney morning Jane or Joe wakes up in their clean cut suburban bedroom and looks in the mirror and says to him or herself "Hmmmm I think I'd like to persure a lifestyle that isn't socially or religiously acceptable, that will possibly make me lose my family, friends and job; make high school a waking nightmare, and possibly make me the victim of a hate-crime murder. YEAH! That's a super idea!" And with that, they pack up their worldly possessions and move to the slums of San Francisco?
These guys are retards. They're also the same guys that are pro-life and pro-death penalty (Richard Jeni, 2005) Make you fear for the future of politic in our country, doesn't it?

Cyranno DeBoberac
01-25-2005, 01:51 PM
Dateline Hollywood:

SPONGEBOB CLAIMS HE’S NOT GAY, JUST ‘EXPERIMENTING’

Animated character angrily reacts to right-wing
accusations

Hollywood — In an emotional, tearful press conference
held in the town square of his hometown of Bikini
Bottom, Spongebob Squarepants reacted to accusations
by conservative Christian leader Dr. James Dobson that
he promotes a “gay agenda.” The Nickelodeon animated
character said he was distraught about his private
life being thrust into the public square and then
proclaimed that while he did “explore various sexual
identities” in the past few years, he is purely
heterosexual. “I was simply experimenting, like so
many other sponges out there do,” Spongebob
Squarepants stated. “I am not a homosexual and do not
necessarily support the gay agenda.”

The controversy over Spongebob Squarepants’ sexuality
began recently at a black tie dinner for conservatives
where Dr. Dobson, president of the conservative group
“Focus on the Family,” told attendees that Spongebob
had appeared in a “pro-homosexual video.” His
assistant later told the New York Times that the group
behind the video, in which Jimmy Neutron and Barney
the Dinosaur also appeared, “is manipulating and
potentially brainwashing kids.”


Spurred by the statements of Dr. Dobson, who is known
to have deep connections in the gay community and
special insights into the gay agenda, investigative
reporters flooded into Bikini Bottom looking for clues
to Spongebob’s alleged deviant sexual behavior. Within
days, articles began appearing in leading newspapers
with evidence of several gay liaisons conducted by the
seemingly asexual animated character.


The New York Post soon ran a grainy black and white
photo on its cover with the headline “STAR-KIST” that
showed Spongebob involved in a heavy make-out session
with his “friend” Patrick the Starfish. The next day,
the Washington Times led with several anonymous
sources who claimed to have seen Squidward the Squid
putting several of tentacles deep inside one of
Spongebob’s many absorbent pores.


“Many of the accusations in these articles are false,
but there is a grain of truth that I am now forced to
reveal to the world,” Spongebob elaborated at his
hastily called press conference. “I don’t regret
experimenting, but I can now safely tell the world
that tentacles are not my thing.”


Executives at Nickelodeon said the policy of parent
company Viacom forbids the cable network from
discriminating against Spongebob because of private
sexual behavior. However, Nick is considering moving
Spongebob to sister network Showtime, where he would
star in a censorship-free reality program about
exploring his identity in the repressive town of
Bikini Bottom.


Asked for comment, Dr. Dobson said he would not be
satisfied until Spongebob Squarepants is “back in
France where he belongs,” and added that he was still
waiting for Nickelodeon to deal with “the extremely
disturbing behavior of Jimmy Neutron. I have evidence
that he put his ray gun certain places that many
Christian parents would find extremely upsetting.”

Mistress Kristi
01-25-2005, 10:06 PM
I think it is completely rediculous to be up in arms about a cartoon, but I think it is equally rediculous to blame the church (either Catholic or otherwise) for this. It is one group of people who associate themselves with a church. However I know many faithful church goers who are not anti-gay, in fact they're not anti-anything except hate maybe and they're more excepting of others than a lot of people I've read on here.

We always talk about how open we are on this board but then we trash talk others because we are the majority. I don't usually post like this so I apologize if I offend anyone but I would like everyone to keep in mind that we have Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Jews etc. on this board along with Pagans, and trashing their religions isn't cool just because you don't agree. Ok, my two cents, have fun attacking.

Dedeley
01-25-2005, 11:47 PM
I don't think anyone is attacking any particular religion or sect, even though some of the posts may read that way. I think we are all in agreement here. Every single person that has thought enough to post on this topic has done so with, I believe, the intention of sharing shock that a simple children's show can be turned into the finger-pointing focus of one group. We just express it differently, and some of us more vehemently than others.

From Avenue Q:

If you were gay, I'd shout, Hooray!
And here I'd stay, but I wouldn't get in your way.
You can count on me, to always be
Beside you every day, to tell you it's OK,
You were just born that way, and as they say,
It's in your DNA, you're gay.

Lug Ironjaw
01-26-2005, 12:17 AM
Do you want to know WHY people get pissed about things like this and attack a particular church or faith?

I endured almost 16 years of eduction by a particular religious denomination. Let's say that their teachings did not quite match up to the man they were supposedly following. This man ate with prostitutes, lepers, and Pagans, and he never judged anyone. He loved all. His followers, on the other hand, have deemed it their task to place everyone who does not follow their particular belief in hell.

Honestly, when was the last time you heard a Buddhist group complain that a child's character was gay? Almost never. How many Jewish '700 Clubs' are there?
When's the last time a Shintoist knocked on your door and wanted to tell you about their religion? Practically never.

Now I know not ALL of the followers of any religion are bad or evil, though some tend to be more loud-mouthed than others, Pagans included. I'd slam a Pagan just as fast as your right-winger if they acted stupid. I have in the past reprimanded Pagans for being stupid and reinforcing the stereotype that all others percieve of the religion.

It's just that I am tired of a group of people trying to tell everyone that their morals are correct. Watch the 700 Club. Listen to them tell you to give them money because they will recieve 10 times their amount back. POOR folks send in their cash and most of them get nothing but a thank you note. Then watch Benny Hinn. He'll heal you, then in his 3,000 nehru suit he'll ask you for money for his ministry. And Listen to the messages. If you don't accept a certain carpenter as your savior, you're doomed to hell. Hell, Hell, Hell. They just love Hell.

Well I'm tired of Jerry Falwell and his cronies telling me what's right. I'm tired of being told I'm going to hell. I knew a Rabbi, and when he found out what I was he didn't tell me I'd be condemned. He stated that he disagreed with my choice, but he respected my decision. In College I was berated for 15 mins by a nun who told me my soul was forefeit. See what I mean. Some faiths accept others openly. Some faiths concentrate on their flocks, and leave Sponge Bob alone. Most faiths have psychopathic followers and these are the loudest ones that get on the media. But does the leadership of the faith condemn the crazys? No. They remain quiet. And that is just as bad as agreeing with them.

Now not ALL Christians , Jews, Pagans, Muslims, etc are bad. There are probably very devout and caring people in each faith. That's fine. I just don't want anyone else forcing their moral beliefs on me. I don't care what you follow, leave me alone. And leave my television characters alone. There's nothing wrong with Sponge Bob. There's nothing wrong with most of children's programming. ( Well maybe Blue's Clues...I never trusted that dog.) There are more imprtant issues in the world right now than bitching about an animated sponge that holds hands with an animated starfish.

Take care of the homeless, starving, sick, and poor first. Then tell Sponge Bob to stop holding Patrick's Hand.

Mistress Kristi
01-26-2005, 03:04 PM
I understand exactly why people attack other people's faiths. But just because I understand doesn't mean that it is right. I'm sorry that you feel oppressed by others, but that doesn't give ANYONE the right to oppress in return. I'm not attacking anyone I'm just stating a point that very often I have to read people trash talking the Christians because they are either the minority on these boards or are just quieter about their faiths. It just upsets me that these grandiose statements are made regarding billions of people's faiths because there are some jerks who want to remove a cartoon character. I think it is uncalled for, if you want to attack the people who are doing it, yay! go for it! But if you're just going to spew hate for a group of people because they happen to go to church every sunday, well that's just wrong.

I apologize for thread jacking. Even if Spongebob is portrayed to be gay I still think he is fabulous. He teaches love and support for your friends and to always do your best and that is something that kids need to know. *hugs* to all.

Blue Pixie
01-27-2005, 01:31 AM
Honestly- I find this downright funny- there no other name for it. I mean I nearly killed myself with lauger when I just read the post subject- and had to try and stop crying because it was so funny. I mean seriously- I amount I hate spongebob- I was force to watch him when a babysat- but there was nothing wrong with it, beside that I still don't undertand how he can live in a pinapple under the sea- but that's just me. I mean it's sad that they (as in that particular group) have to start picking on a cartoon! That's usually the first sign (in any bulying case- and this to me is them being bullies) that they have a problem with themselves.

Personally any one person, group, sect, etc, that finds the need to pick on some else because there different is no different them a bully you find on the school playground. They have issues with themselves.

I know people would will say, well hey I don't agree with you but I still respect you- and that's ok. I wish we had more people like that.

But still back to the subject- this is just too funny, I have to tell some of the other students about this! :lol: Thanks for posting it!

Susie Sweetz
01-27-2005, 12:11 PM
I am not a fan of sponge bob. However, I see no reason for anyone to see into a cartoon as anything more than what it is. Some people are trying to stir up more publicity and sometimes the more stupid the accusation the more attention it gets.