The right is wrong on Spongebob

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 30, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

A Memo to the Conservative Right:

Is it any wonder why people don’t take us seriously? Recently Focus on the Family’s own Dr. James Dobson, in a brilliant flash-back to the Jerry Falwell vs. Tinky-Winky scandal of 1999, proclaimed that beloved cartoon character Spongebob Square Pants is gay and is being used to promote homosexuality.

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As Christians don’t we have anything better to do than sit around and ponder the sexual exploits of fictional characters? Is it any wonder that society views us in the conservative right-wing as intolerant inbred hicks?

The &uot;We are Family Foundation&uot; recently produced a video that is being distributed to elementary schools across the country that features cartoon characters from the PBS and Nickelodeon television networks singing the song, &uot;We are Family.&uot; Focus on the Family and the American Family Association state that this film is being used to brain-wash children into believing that homosexuality is okay.

For those of us who have actually seen the video, you can clearly see that there is absolutely no reference to homosexuality or any form of alternative life-style. In fact the video itself promotes tolerance and respect. Are those ideals so threatening to the conservative-right that they must be destroyed at all costs? And the characters that these groups single out as being gay are only shown briefly throughout the entire clip. In fact, the video also features characters from such shows as Sesame Street, Jimmy Neutron, and Barney.

What is wrong with teaching tolerance and respect for people with different belief systems than our own? Do we honestly think that we will win people to our point of view by acting like a bunch of ignorant bigots? Would these same groups protest these television shows if they were featured in a video promoting racism or discrimination of Muslims?

While I do agree with the moral position taken by Focus on the Family and the American Family Association in regards to homosexuality, I sit in awe of what foolish lengths they will go to put out there message. I personally feel that I have no right to sit in judgment of another person for the decisions that they chose to make. Nor do I have the right to treat them with any disrespect. Maybe just for a second we should try acting like the reasonable and compassionate people that we proclaim ourselves to be. Perhaps then people will be more apt to actually listen to us as opposed to dismissing us before we even open our mouths.

To anyone who chooses to boycott these television shows because of the statements made by Focus on the Family and the American Family Association, you are an idiot. Take five seconds out of your day and actually watch the video in question before you decide. I promise it will not brain-wash you into participating in an alternative life-style. Don’t listen to what the media drones or the talking heads tell you. Look for yourself, and make up your own mind. Just because these people are authority figures and heads of national organizations, doesn’t make them right. In fact sometimes it just makes them rich and stupid.

Casey Simpkins