This kind of stuff really makes me angry. The Bigotry and fear that some groups promote is truly mind bending.
Apparently, Focus on the Family has decided that the very popular (and very funny) childrens cartoon hero SpongeBob Squarepants is gay… and thus is evil.
The BBC has a story on it this morning.
Apparently there is a video using many popular cartoon characters being created that will be sent to schools to promote tolerance and acceptance to children.
Focus on the Family will have none of that of course.
“We see the video as an insidious means by which the organisation is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids” [said a FoF rep]
…. 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.
Men Kids can’t hold hands! Especially not Men Kids with Sponge pants and a starfish body!!
How Ridiculous can these “Family” groups get anyway??
JaneM asks whether I am overreacting and limiting Focus on the Families’ right to free speech.
Yep, I deliberately overreacted precisely because I see this is as a total over reaction to something completely benign. You have to be pretty darn paranoid to believe that a child would take anything out of what goes on in that show as “homosexual”. They make fun.. mainly for the amusement of older audiences.
Yes, of course they can scream about SpongeBob being gay all they want… that doesn’t make it anymore ridiculous a charge and I believe they are doing exactly what their name indicates they are against. They are creating the potential for conflict in families when there is no need to.
If they were so concerned about “Focusing on the Family” they’d understand that children are born with no prejudices whatsoever… something that it appears these videos are working to encourage. It’s certainly something that Sesame Street and the Muppets, arguably the most influencial and greatest children shows ever created, strive for.
Instead, they’re trying to force their own prejudice on children because of what they fear.
And here’s the review they link to on SpongeBobs recent movie.
It’s obvious, though I’m loath to write it, that The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie doesn’t just allude to the building mystery surrounding its characters’ sexuality (see the Conclusion for more on this), it repeatedly plays with it. It revels in adult-minded asides that fly right over kids’ heads and straight into the disbelieving stares of parents.
“Is it just me, or do SpongeBob and Patrick act even more immature and effeminate than ever before?” asks Christianity Today movie critic Russ Breimeier. “I had to shake my head in disbelief at the site of Patrick in thigh-high leather boots and fishnet stockings—I squid you not. Do not take your kids to this if you felt that Shrek 2 was inappropriate.”
Yes.. because Shrek 2 also warped the poor minds of millions of children worldwide. If by warped they mean entertained, taught and tickled their funny bone, then I guess they’re right!
From the same review:
Stephen Hillenburg, vow that his animated star was not homosexually inclined. Sure, he acknowledged the gay community’s affinity for the show that periodically features SpongeBob and his (pink) best friend holding hands. But his explanation seemed to hold water. “The attitude of the show is about tolerance,” he pointed out. “Everybody is different, and the show embraces that. The character SpongeBob is an oddball. He’s kind of weird, but he’s kind of special.”