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Dobson vs. SpongeBob

How utterly ridiculous. In a copycat move reminiscent of Jerry Falwell going after the teletubbies, Evangelist James Dobson is calling on schools to reject a video by a non-profit group that includes the cartoon character SpongeBob on the grounds that it "promotes the acceptance of homosexuality."

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.

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.

The real beef the evangelicals have is the tolerance pledge on the foundation's website, that:

.... asks people to respect the sexual identity of others along with their abilities, beliefs, culture and race.

As Instapundit said, "Not many people, forced to choose between SpongeBob Squarepants and James Dobson, are going to pick Dobson." 3Martini has more.

Here's Dobson, in his own words :

"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."

As the lawyer for the foundation that sponsored the video said about the critics, "they need medication." Better yet, as James Wolcott suggests , from this point forward, let's call James Dobson "Sponge Dob Stickypants."

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  • Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 09:45:32 PM EST
    Er, frist!! While I'm at it.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 10:07:07 PM EST
    Please note, for the record: it's Sponge*D*ob Stickypants. Wouldn't want to mess up something so important. [Thanks, I fixed it.]

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 11:14:10 PM EST
    Another insidious method to mentally molest a captive audience of modest schoolchildren and promote the sodomite deathstyle.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 11:34:29 PM EST
    I am embarrassed that this creep is from my state. Here's a little entertaining and enlightening information about Mr. Frist: from my blog Mr. Dobson is just like the rest of the religious fanatics out there. He's been raised and educated in an environment that promotes ignorance and stupidity. An environment that bases their faith upon a book that is up to 85% incomplete and inaccurate (as do the large majority of Americans.) The Bible from one of twelve tribes. There are eleven other bibles that are lost forever - that we'll never see. [Ed. text deleted due to length and off topic.] Sorry about getting off topic... sorta...

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#5)
    by Kitt on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 11:47:21 PM EST
    Keith Obermann played the video on his ‘countdown.’ SpongeBob hardly appeared (twice or maybe thrice) - I saw more of the Sesame Street characters in the video and some big brown bear. What is it with Dobson? Then there’s the letter that is said to have been sent to the president regarding the manner in which his daughters dress - especially for the inaugural balls tonight.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 11:52:22 PM EST
    So barney is gay? my god how sad, isn't barney a doll?

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#7)
    by john horse on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 03:52:42 AM EST
    Now that Dobson has outed Spongebob (and I had always thought that it was Patrick), its only a matter of time before he discovers the secret ingredient in the crabby patty sauce at the Crusty Crab.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 04:21:10 AM EST
    I just love the logic here: Gays like Spongebob - ergo, Spongebob is gay. So if gays suddenly develop a love for Dodson, Dodson too is gay? Someone shuld put that logic to the test. Maybe the Log Cabin Republicans can sell t-shirts or something. After six months, we can all start petitioning television stations to stop showing anything to do with him because he too promotes homosexuality. Turn about is fair play, after all. I am so glad that I grew up with Bugs Bunny.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 05:16:13 AM EST
    Bugs Bunny? Didn't he have something going with Elmer Fudd?

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#10)
    by pigwiggle on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 05:42:20 AM EST
    The crazier these bigots are about their hatred the harder it will be for them to appear credible and relevant. We should be giving folks like this bullhorns and free airtime; you know, give them enough rope….

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 05:47:10 AM EST
    ytterby, No, you're thinking of Daffy. Bugs was always chasing women, be it real live bunnies ("I dream of Jeanie she's a light brown hare"), robots sent by evil scientists, or even the mechanical rabbit at the dog track. The rabbit was definitely hetero, although he did sometimes engage in a little cross dressing.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 06:00:36 AM EST
    I like justpaul's idea. If a group of homosexuals started the fan club "Gays for Dobson", he would be forced to boycott himself. Pigwiggle's right too, Dobson does more harm to the radical Christian agenda by speaking than a thousand angry secularists could ever wish to accomplish. Keep up the...er...good work Dobs! Falwell first, now Dobson....shouldn't they be busy praying for all us sinners instead of watching cartoons? And why haven't they called for the head of Smithers?

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 06:04:26 AM EST
    Keith Olberman played the tape and warned his viewers --it would either make them gay...or tolerant

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 06:17:36 AM EST
    I invite you to reread this post and imagine it refers to the Ten Commandmants and the ACLU: "...The crazier these bigots are about their hatred the harder it will be for them to appear credible and relevant. We should be giving folks like this bullhorns and free airtime; you know, give them enough rope…." Works for me...

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 06:23:02 AM EST
    What I find offensive is that episode that shows SpongeBob showing up at a party at Bikini Bottom dressed as Afrika Korps officer with swastika armband.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 06:30:56 AM EST
    Good with Dobson and his ilk to have gay Ken Mehlman lead the Republican party, but cartoon Sponge Bob is a threat to our youth? Go figure...

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 06:38:14 AM EST
    First Tinky-Winky, now SpongeBob. First they run out of straw men, now they berate cartoons. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." ‑ 1 Corinthians 13:11 This adult obsession with cartoon characters sure looks like some haven't 'put away childish things.'

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 06:44:41 AM EST
    "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. because the last thing the American taliban wants to see is good Christians tolerant and understanding of others differences and beliefs. gay Americans are not going anywhere do you plan on just surpressing them until they explode? what does Dobson hope to accomplish by stunts like this?

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 06:58:30 AM EST
    'Drop to the deck and flop like a fish,' Dobson.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 06:59:19 AM EST
    Well according to the prayer opening the inauguration yesterday "Jesus is lord of the United States" so Dobson being that he speaks with Jesus daily should be considered a high authority.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 07:25:10 AM EST
    Is Dobson really trying to tell us that he becomes sexually aroused when watching SpongeBob?

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#22)
    by cp on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 07:37:14 AM EST
    dr. ace, doesn't it get at all tiresome to always be an idiot? dobson is no fool. he is getting millions of dollars of free publicity out of this stunt. do you think he really gives a rat's about sponge bob? nah, but look at all the media attention he's drawn. he couldn't have paid for all that.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 07:57:53 AM EST
    Dobson and the AFA are out to lunch on this and most every cultural issue, but we should be honest enough to recognize that they just didn't make this up out of thin air. SBSP has been a gay icon for a few years at least as this 2002 WSJ article reports.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 08:10:03 AM EST
    SBSPL, Rainbows are also a longtime gay "icon". Is Mr. Dobson advocating their abolishment as well?

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#25)
    by cp on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 08:13:14 AM EST
    being a gay, or any other kind of icon, and being gay, or anything else, is not mutually inclusive. liza minelli is a gay icon, i have yet to hear or see anyone claiming she's a lesbian. just another reason to conclude that the wsj has truly reached its nadir.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 08:30:53 AM EST
    the bear in the big blue house is gay? and sponge bob? and even bob the builder??? wow, i thought bert and ernie were the only gay characters on kid's television. since these are all my son's favorite televison characters... i'd better start saving up for therapy for him now. seriously, i don't think dobson actually accused spongebob of leading a homosexual lifestyle. although he sure has an obsession with the hunky lobster lifegaurd (spongebob, not dobson). dobson's message is not that spongebob is gay. his message is that we should not be tolerant of gay people. which begs the question; what should we do instead? his message is intolerance. which is the opposite of what i understand jesus' message to be. in my world view, gay people were created by god just like me. and as such, they are deserving of the same respect, rights, and freedom that i enjoy. period!

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#27)
    by cp on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 08:40:35 AM EST
    this brings up an opportunity for me to air a theory i have, in recent years, developed. this country can no longer afford the luxury of discrimination. it is a matter of national security. by discriminating, against anyone, not for what they've done, but solely for what they are, the country has been deprived of their skills, talents, knowledge. discrimination is, by definition, an act of treason. it provides material aid and comfort to the enemy. the confederacy learned that the hard way, during the civil war. lack of manpower caused some confederate leaders to suggest the formation of volunteer black units, to be comprised of slaves. in return for serving in the confederate army, they would be freed at war's end. it never amounted to much, because other confederate leaders realized that would amount to violating the very precepts that the south was fighting for. they lost. fdr realized it during wwII. to make up for the lost manpower in vital, war industries, woman were, for the first time in u.s. history, encouraged to work outside the home. thus, "rosie the riveter" was born. it was a matter of national security. these women, and the thousands of blacks that migrated north, took jobs which freed white men to go to war. we won. astonishingly, when the fate of the country was at stake, it was no longer a social problem for women and blacks to work in jobs once dominated by white males. this brings us to the present. per gw, we are a nation at war. as such, we need the best of all our citizens, every single one of them, to be victorious. we can't get that if people are constantly being abused. how many scientists, engineers, doctors, intelligence analysts, arab linguists, etc., has this country lost, because the raw material was shunted to the side?

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 08:41:23 AM EST
    wow, i thought bert and ernie were the only gay characters on kid's television.
    LOL I had no clue. Nor about Spongebob!! So much for my Gay-dar.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#29)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 09:07:15 AM EST
    This LA Times writer discusses the Traditional Values Coalition post-inauguration party as upbeat and excited about four more 'good' years. I think the last paragraph is telling.
    Although a theme of the inauguration was the sacrifices made by members of the military, there was nary a mention of the war in Iraq at the Sheldon events, nor the price paid by U.S. soldiers and their families.


    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 09:09:15 AM EST
    cp; excellent point. i know so many smart, funny, compassionate people who are also gay. why should they be relegated to second class citizen status? i agree that the predjudice we level on people who are different is costing us on a national level. the problem is; what can we do to change it? first suggestion: stop supporting the ideology of people like dobson! geez, when i think of all the money that guy makes, sitting in his compound in colorado....

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#31)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 09:55:46 AM EST
    I doubt Dobson really cares about SpongeBob Squarepants, it's all about free pub and getting his putrid mug on TV, thereby hooking gullible morons into giving him money to continue his "crusade." Although, morons losing money over such an infantile issue kind of amuses me - just like these imbeciles who give their life savings to evangelists or College Republicans then cry poverty.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#32)
    by Mike on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 10:29:28 AM EST
    For the record, James Dobson isn't an "evangelist". He is not an ordained minister. He has a Ph. D. in child development from USC. I read the NYT article and did not see a single quote from Dobson stating that Sponge Bob was "gay". What I did see is that his organization, Focus on the Family, is upset at the "We Are Family" video, which features Sponge Bob along with dozens of other cartoon characters, because they feel like it promotes the equality of homosexuality and heterosexuality. Most other people may not interpret the video this way, but Dobson is entitled to his opinion. The Sponge Bob angle is solely a creation of the article's author, taken from the fact that Dobson used Sponge Bob as one example of the children's characters used to sell the message of the video. Actually, what this reminded me of was the attempt, a few years ago, by Hollywood to make Shaggy and Scooby Doo into stoner potheads for the live-action Scooby Doo movie. Thankfully, the studio cut the pot jokes from the movie before it was released. Why some people are so obsessed with finding a hidden agenda or secret messages in generic entertainment is something that I will personally never understand.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#33)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 12:33:20 PM EST
    cp, I never said Dobsin was or wasn't making hay out of this. I was simply showing the mirror image of overblown rhetoric. Do try to keep up, please. [Doctor Ace, you are overlimit for today. You are welcome to return tomorrow.]

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Thankfully, the studio cut the pot jokes from the movie before it was released
    Not true...I saw that awful film, and I remember Shaggy and Scoob coming out of the smoked-out Mystery Machine looking for something to eat, an obvious pot joke.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#35)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 01:14:03 PM EST
    Dobson's not alone in his quest to drag cartoon characters out of the closet. The Rev. Donald Wildmon's American Family Association is warning members against the movie Shark Tales because one of the shark characters is a vegetarian who likes to dress up as a dolphin. They take these characteristics as stand-ins for gayness and cross-dressing. The Traditional Values Coalition is upset about Shrek 2 because it includes a scene where Shrek and his donkey companion visit a pub run by a "she-male" bartender (voiced by Larry King). In the pub, the two mingle casually with a wolf in grandma's nightgown and a Pinochio who wears women's underwear.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#36)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 01:28:51 PM EST
    Why don't these nuts ever attack professional wrestling,? It has all the elements that these nuts love to hate, violence, sex, evil usually wins over good, men touching men in questionable ways and places, etc.. Is it maybe that their congregations might have to deal with a moral conflict? Whatch my wrestling or listen to my preacher. Then after we ban professional wrestling let's focus on the morally dubious sport known as NASCAR.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#37)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 01:49:51 PM EST
    Isn't ironic that the people supporting the war in iraq continually criticize theocracies (despite the fact that Iraq was not) and their policies, are the same people that want our gov't to develop morality laws to better embody a "christ like" country?

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#38)
    by cp on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 03:05:57 PM EST
    dr. ace, if you are so oblivious, that you don't even know what you meant, than i suggest it is high time for you to see that therapist. putting it off any longer will only make recovery that much more difficult. your pathetic attempt, to equate the issue of church-state separation, with the issue at hand, proves just how far out on a limb you're willing to go. no one, that i'm aware of, is attempting to foster discrimination against the ten commandments, merely keep them where they belong: in a church or your home, not in a tax funded courthouse. see, that was simple enough, keep up!

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#39)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 03:49:51 PM EST
    I don't see a major threat here since Dobson's latent tendencies will tear him apart eventually. And the end won't be pretty. Hopefully he will be closely associated with Bush in the public mind when it comes.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#40)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 07:36:48 PM EST
    The only amazing thing about this is that Dobson is belatedly realizing this now. Sponge Bob has been the "sleeper" gay cartoon for years. I'm just amazed that so few people "get it". Does this make me gay? Well, no. But my gay friends think this whole stupid mess is a riot. After all, when you really think about the sexuality of cartoons, aren't we going just a little too far? Imaginary beings having imaginary (gay) sex. Come on. That Dobson is a manic homophobe is no surprise. And why shouldn't we have gay cartoons? Is that so wrong!? Doesn't Dobson have a cross to burn on someone's lawn somewhere? Sheesh!

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 10:44:18 PM EST
    You're a puzzle, cp. [insult deleted.]

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#42)
    by soccerdad on Sat Jan 22, 2005 at 07:10:54 AM EST
    The real problem is not sponge bob or dobson but the appointment of Claude Allen as chief domestic policy adviser

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#43)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Jan 22, 2005 at 12:08:18 PM EST
    Mike. You're a bad sport. You referred to what Dobson really said. Way to ruin an orgy of self-righteousness. Fool

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#44)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 22, 2005 at 04:34:11 PM EST
    "Many a good argument is ruined by some fool who knows what he is talking about." -Marshall McLuhan

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#45)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 22, 2005 at 06:02:28 PM EST
    I was close; but for my rant, I chose Sponge Dob Square James.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#46)
    by soccerdad on Sat Jan 22, 2005 at 06:44:48 PM EST
    So Mike misses the real point. That the video was not promoting homosexuality but for tolerance and diversity, something Dobson and his ilk don't approve of.
    Chiming in, a homosexuality detection expert at the similarly conservative Family Research Council called words like "tolerance" and "diversity" part of a "coded language that is regularly used by the homosexual community."
    Link Lets stop dancing around the edges and get to heart of this. How does Mike and Dr Ace. feel about the appointment of Claude Allen? see my link above

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#47)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 09:17:04 PM EST
    Nile Rodgers of the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) was shocked that Mr. Dobson would think that WAFF has a homosexual agenda. Today if you look at the WAFF web site, you would agree with Mr. Rodgers. But with Google, you can sometimes see what used to be there. One of the things you will find is the lesson plan that WAFF provided to teachers on-line, called "Writing For Change". And this material includes: - Help students examine assumptions about the "natural order" in gender relationships. - Write the first sentence in a description of the term "lesbian" - Specify the characteristics that learners think define a person as homosexual. - Talking About Being "Out" - Uncovering Attitudes About Sexual Orientation - Introduce the concepts of homophobia and compulsory heterosexuality - Heterosexuality leads to the notion of women as inherently 'weak' and the institutionalized inequality of power. - The ‘assumption’ that women are 'naturally' or innately drawn sexually and emotionally toward men, and men toward women. And more. WAFF has removed it from their website, but you can still see the electronic papertrail. For example, do a Google search: site:www.wearefamilyfoundation.org "section i" and there you see one of the old website pages. You will need to use the Google "Cached" link, which allows you to see what was there before it got taken away. So, why is Nile Rodgers saying in the news that there is no sexual orientation material and why did WAFF have to remove/hide it?

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#48)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 07:51:28 AM EST
    Good call, Rzebro. And you can also go to Google's "Cached" link (at bottom right) to see what it said. Now, if you agree that ALL elementary school-age children should be taught about "sexual orientation" then you probably think this is a good thing. I don't.

    Re: Dobson vs. SpongeBob (none / 0) (#49)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 08:41:04 PM EST
    deleted