Tuesday, November 29, 2005

We'll Have A Gay Old Time

After We "Out" The Cartoon Characters, Who's Next?

There he goes again. Dr. James Dobson, the fella who makes Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson look like left-wing radicals of the 60s, is taking his family "values" act on the road, preaching -- more like pontificating -- to all who would listen, the virtues of the "straight" and narrow-minded.

You remember James Dobson, don't you? If not, let us refresh your memory. Dobson, a psychologist by degree (they really do let anyone in, don't they?), is founder and chief spokesperson for Focus on the Family -- an organization "increasingly concerned" about the direction families in his America are headed. His is a ministry -- read as "cult" -- thinly veiled as the savior of all that is good and heavenly in our nation, advanced, of course, "by reasonable, biblical and empirical insights."

Now, if Dr. Dobson were just another evangelical blowhard, we'd shake our heads in disbelief, let out a soft sigh, and walk away. But no. Dr. Dobson was not content to merely attack our lost family values and heathen lifestyles from the bully pulpit. No sir. He had to go after one of America's most honored and favored pastimes -- the cartoon. And not just any cartoon, but that yellow and squishy absorbee who lives in a pineapple under the sea -- SpongeBob, SquarePants.

Ah, it all comes back to you now. Yes. Dr. James Dobson was the guy who outed SpongeBob, linking him in untold sexual (or was it asexual?) exploits with his often dumbfounded starfish pal, Patrick. [The Community Alliance has since learned that it was SpongeBob's pet, Gary -- the snail that meows like a cat -- who let the sponge out of the moist cello-wrap.]

The insinuation is, as freaky as it is fiendish, that cartoon characters somehow have sexual identities and preferences, and watching them in certain left-wing, pinko, commie cartoon videos will, in ways that only Freud understood, turn your children into homosexuals. [SEE, Will SpongeBob Make You Gay?]

Okay, it was nearly a year ago that Dobson went on his anti-sponge tirade, so we've had ample time to regroup and reflect. Now that the good doctor is besmearching SpongeBob's holey name and porous qualities on college campuses and at local laundromats, reflect we will.

So, SpongeBob is flaming, even at the bottom of the sea. But what of Bert and Ernie? We see those twin beds moving closer and closer by the day! Then there's Winkie Dink. Why, even his name says "Gay." Tell us how "Woody" Woodpecker got his name, and what to make of a Pink Panther. And how about Gumby? Let us tell you, they didn't call his sidekick "Pokey" for nothing!

Let's call a spade a spade, boys, and a gay blade a gay blade. Snaggle Puss - Gay. Elmer Fudd - Gay. Winnie the Pooh - Gay, and darn proud of it. Wile E. Coyote - Gay (and dumb, too. For all that money he spends on Acme products, he could buy dinner for the whole family at Peter Luger's)!

How interesting that human sexual characteristics are now ascribed to cartoon characters and two-dimensional stick figures, and how appropriate that these preposterous labels are affixed, in a manner which could barely pass the "straight-face" test, by, well, cartoon characters and two-dimensional stick figures masquerading as human beings.

Truly, our world needs more folks like Dr. James Dobson, if for no other reason than to remind us that birth control is a good thing. Certainly, we need no reminding that Big Bird, Barney and Popeye the Sailor Man (who had, we are told by cartoon historians, a wistful romp in the spinach patch with his arch rival, Brutus) are not members of our families - immediate or otherwise. They are, alas, mere cartoon characters - amorphous in the context of sexual preference.

Yes, if Donald and Daffy walk like ducks and squawk like ducks, they probably are ducks. As to their sexual preferences - or lack thereof - frankly, that's their business - a matter best left for dinner table discussion amongst Huey, Dewey and Louie (who, by the way, never hung out with the opposite sex, if you know what we mean).

Now, we don't know if Mickey Mouse is gay - although the no-shirt look and those red blousy shorts tell us he's a bit light in the pants. Personally, that's his business, not ours - or for that matter, Dr. Dobson's.

The draconian neocons, who thrive on telling us how to live our lives, seem to miss the very point that the SpongeBobs, Big Birds and Winnie the Poohs are so poignantly conveying to our children - that diversity and acceptance of our many differences are good things.

Of course, Dobson and his ilk fear diversity and difference. For variation debunks the "superman" myth (hey, didn't Superman wear tights?), and dissimilarity destroys their ill-conceived notions of a master race destined to control both mind and matter.

Sure, SpongeBob is decidedly gay. And the Tazmanian Devil is straight as an arrow. We ask you, which one would you rather have as part of your family?

So, what does any of this cartoon-bashing and Dobson-dribble have to do with our quality of life on Long Island. Well, nothing. Or everything. That's for you to decide, which, by the way, is precisely our point!

"Let's go, Patrick. Time to blow this popcorn shrimp stand..."


  1. Please tell me Bugs Bunny is not gay, NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH BEING GAY, For all those Seignfeild Fans. When it comes to any religious fanatics we need to remind ourselves about 911. Religion taken to any extreme is dangreous

  2. This is a so-called community alliance? And yet you savagely attack conservative Christians in your community by mindlessly parroting liberal media smear from the beginning of 2005? Get your facts straight. Dr. Dobson never called Sponge Bob gay. He objected to the use of the Sponge Bob character in a We Are Family Foundation video scheduled to be distributed to 61,000 schools promoting the homosexual lifestyle to 6 and 7 year olds. Even the New York Times acknowledged Dr. Dobson's true statements about this video. But please don't confuse us with the facts.

    I hope the other readers of this smog, I mean blog, will examine the facts for themselves. Try the links found at the search below:

    You most definitely owe the conservative Christian community in West Hempstead an apology for this stupid outrage.

    The Rev. Raymond E. Lorthioir, Jr.
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    West Hempstead

  3. "Savagely attacking Christians?" We don't think so, Pastor. Attacking ignorance and misinformation we'll admit to, but not an attack on faith or belief.

    Pastor, it defies credulity for anyone who buys into the lunacy of the Dobson drool to call anything or anyone "mindless." If we were of the ilk to be offended, we'd certainly take offense to your characterizations, let alone your substitution of fact with fancy.

    You say that Dr. Dobson was not calling SpongeBob gay (thank God for that), but rather, he objected to the use of SpongeBob (against his will, no doubt) in a video "promoting the homosexual lifestyle."

    Have you viewed the video, Pastor? [It can be seen in its 3 minute entirety via the link in this blog ("Will SpongeBob Make You Gay?")].

    Apparently, you have not, as there is absolutely nothing in this video that could possibly, by any stretch of even the most vivid imagination, be construed as promoting anything other than tolerance for other people (or, at the very least, other cartoon characters).

    While a cameo appearance by Barney the purple dinosaur - whether on the video or at a Birthday party for your neighbor's 6 year old - may be construed by many of us as "gay," in the colloquial sense, it cannot, by any reasonable measure of thought, be seen as promoting homosexuality.

    As for the allusion to a New York Times' "acknowledgement" that Dr. Dobson's statements about the suspect video are 'true" -- again, we don't think so. We also don't believe that an editorial as appeared in another New York paper many years ago, "acknowledging" the existance of Santa Claus -- to a little girl named Virginia, at least -- makes it so.

    Blind faith may lead us to believe many things, Pastor -- some good and righteous, others not so. We must not, however, allow ourselves to be blinded by the rhetoric of hate, intolerance, and a self-created hysteria, advanced by any person or adherents to any particular ideology, where SpongeBobs, Barneys, and American Dolls, of all things, are derided and held in contempt as the forerunners of society's decline.

    Call the blog a smog, if you will, but let the fog lift on those who would besmearch a benign video featuring a hapless sponge -- of which homophobics, in West Hempstead and elsewhere, need have no fear.

    We make no apologies here for our effort to "out" the truth, attempted kicks from the sidelines that are woefully off to the far right, notwithstanding.

  4. It must be very difficult for blustery people to admit errors in their reporting. In the most indirect way possible you conceded the point. Dr. Dobson NEVER did say that SpongeBob is gay “(thank God)” – did he?

    I have to withdraw my demand for an apology. I’m new to this blogging thing, and I was operating under the delusion that this blog was somehow connected to the West Hempstead Civic Association of which I have been a member in the past. Silly me. I forgot that blogging is just an individual shooting his mouth into cyberspace. There’s no need for outrage on my part. You represent no one but yourself.

    I followed your link to view the film clip. Unfortunately, CNN’s website refused to let me see it, yelling some excuse about how I don’t have the right programs and plug-ins, even though I can see other stuff on CNN. Perhaps it’s because it’s such old news. However, it doesn’t matter. Dr. Dobson conceded your point back in February. He said then, “ . . . the video is harmless on its own. . . .” http://www.family.org/docstudy/newsletters/a0035339.cfm I will accept your word for it, and his. However, his concern at that time was, “the way in which . . . childhood symbols are apparently being hijacked to promote an agenda that involves teaching homosexual propaganda to children.” Although Focus on the Family is satisfied that the present “We Are Family” curriculum contains no overt propaganda, it advises parents to remain vigilant. http://www.family.org/cforum/feature/a0035835.cfm

    Finally, you’re hiding behind your blustery tolerance preaching and scurrilous attacks on Focus on the Family. If you agree with the radical homosexual agenda, why don’t you just out yourself? Hey, it’s your blog. Be bold. Be visionary. Tell us all what the brave new world of that agenda will look like. What will society look like? What will the family look like? What will marriage look like? What will the role of the state be in promoting this new vision of marriage, family, and society? Who will do the indoctrinating of the little ones? What rights will parents have in raising their children? When we finally get the state out of our bedrooms, will there be polygamy? Will sexual relations between adults and children finally be legalized? Will we continue to have first amendment rights to disagree with all this? You might even describe what the world will look like when those wretched dinosaur bigots who proclaim the historic Judeo-Christian worldview are finally silenced and eliminated. That should be a good sermon on tolerance.

    It’s your blog. You have the last word.

    Pastor Ray Lorthioir
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    West Hempstead

  5. Actually, we'll give you the last word on this one, Pastor. All we'll add is this:

    Peace on Earth. Good will toward men - and sponges. And to ALL a good night! ;-)

  6. When I first read this blog, I also felt that it was off the mark in terms of accuracy.
    The defining issue is whether a school can take the place of a parent in inculcating “values” to their children or whether schools act in loco parentis with participation of parents. The latter is what most Americans support.

    The Pastor is correct. The video, "We are family" was distributed to over 60,000 schools. While the video (which I did review) was funny and cute, the website which offered it also promoted the accompanying material which included homosexuality, cross dressing and sexual variance (what defines variance?). This material endorsed having discussions with children as young as 5-6 years old. The American Family Association brought this to the attention of the American public. The group that promoted the video quickly removed this portion of the material from their website. If this material was so main stream, why would they pull it?

    A recent ruling by the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals in California upheld the right of a school district to distribute a sex survey to children as young as seven without parental consent. The court ruled that parents have NO constitutional right to object to a sex survey given to their children. The judge who issued the decision, Judge Stephen Reinhardt is the same judge who ruled that the pledge of allegiance was unconstitutional. One of the questions asked a child to answer “Yes or “No” to “Can’t stop thinking about sex”. The plaintiffs in the case, Fields v. Palmdale School District asked the court en banc (the entire 47 member appeals court) to re-hear the case.

    On November 17th, the U.S. House of Representatives in a bipartisan spirit voted 320-91 (with 22 members not voting) for a resolution asking the Ninth Circus to re-hear the case en banc. The resolution states "the fundamental right of parents to direct the education of their children is firmly grounded in the Nation's Constitution and traditions." and that the ruling "undermines the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children." Congressman Tim Murphy (R) who sponsored the resolution stated: "I believe the Court's decision overreached the issues in the case, overreached in its conclusions, and needs to be overturned." "On behalf of every parent in America, Congress calls upon the courts to correct this deplorable injustice."

    Sexual conduct is not the equivalent to immutable differences such as race, color, and ethnicity. Most people have come to realize that when the government steps in and provides protection based on one's sexual conduct, who can say what form of sexual variance should be protected and not the other. This slippery definition gives rise to instrumentalism. This is the process wherein protection without gradation is provided to any and all sexual variance, behavior. The first piece of legislation is the foundation for the next. The question is where can the line be drawn once the sexual Pandora’s Box is open? Who can say what is immoral versus moral? Who is to define what is on the continuum or for that matter, where it ends? Talk about legislating morality?
    Approximately two years ago, New York City passed a law protecting its residents based on sexual variance. This year, the NYC Human Rights Commission ruled that if a person feels like a women, they can legally use the Women’s restrooms. The ruling did not require the biological male to be cross dressed while using the restroom. Is this common sense?

    When Pastors, Priests or Rabbis speak out in opposition to sexual conduct, they have an absolute first amendment right to speak. If they hold true to their beliefs, one would expect to hear it without compromise. Just last month, the Vatican’s newspaper published an article by Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a psychologist. His article discussed the church’s position on homosexual priests and was critical of homosexual conduct. Whether people choose to agree or disagree, the debate should be confined to the position not the entity or the person.

    Public policy debates belong in the public square and serve to strengthen our Republic. The debate should be robust and unfettered. It must include parents and those of faith.

    Educating our children is a partnership between parents and schools. Let’s stick with the basics, reading, writing and arithmetic. Congress and the American people certainly agree.

    Nassau County Civic Association, Inc www.nassaucivic.com

  7. As poignant, relevant and timely today as when first posted back in 2005.

    Indeed, educating our children is essential and key, particularly in the arena of tolerance, acceptance and open-mindedness.

    Reading, writing and arithmetic are crucial, but these "basics" alone do not make for a more complete society, or, for that matter, a kinder, gentler, more peaceful world.

    We should resolve that, yes, faith can be a good thing, giving hope in times of hopelessness, strength and comfort in a world full of fear and uncertainty, and direction to those who may lose their way.

    Blind faith, however, coupled with the misguided dogma and inciteful rhetoric of the Dobsons, Limbaughs, Hannitys, and, for that matter, Bin Ladens of the world, is too often a destructive force, more evil having been done on this earth in the name of one God or another than anything else.

    We need to embrace one another, without the labeling, the ostricizing, the silly, petty, medi-grabbing nonsense that only serves to divide us, as human beings, let alone to seperate the sponges from the seaweed.