Friday, January 21, 2005

SpongeBob Gay? Gimme a Break!

There are a number of things that are taking place in our culture today which are worthy of concern, and deserve our attention and action. Many times, these are identified for many Christians by the group, Focus on the Family, started by Dr. James Dobson. However, the recent "flap" over the video, We are Family, produced in 2002 by the We are Family Foundation, and being offered now to schools as part of a curriculum to promote tolerance, is not, in my opinion, one of the matters deserving our attention or concern.

Don't take it from me: Go to this link at and watch the video for yourself. You'll have to sit through a report by Keith Olbermann; but the video is shown in its entirety. There are also articles by Michael Ventre and from Reuters News Service about the video, and the attacks being made against the video and curriculum.

Details of how the curriculum builds on the video are not immediately available. We have to concede the possibility that the promotion of "tolerance" in the classroom will probably include being "tolerant" of those who live an "alternative lifestyle"; a catch-phrase that, more often than not, means, "homosexuality." Parents with children in schools that are going to use the video will certainly do well to contact the school and find out the details of what their children will be taught -- but they should be doing this now, anyway -- right?

In a way, there is something to be said for tolerance. First of all, "tolerance" does not automatically equal "acceptance" or "approval." OK, it comes close; but doesn't God "tolerate" us, in spite of our sins? I haven't yet decided if we can say, in Orthodox terms, the popular slogan of the protestant world, "hate the sin, love the sinner"; but when I consider how the substance of my confession has a regular and recurring core of thoughts and words and deeds that are repeated, don't I need the "tolerance" -- read, "long-suffering" -- of God, while I make the effort to do what is in my power to work towards the transformation to which God is leading and helping me? And if this is true for me, why should it be any different for anyone else?

As for SpongeBob being gay: Get real! He's a cartoon character, for crying out loud! What, his occasional appearance in only his underpants means he's secretly living with Patrick, or Squidward, or Mr. Krab? Give me a massive break! And if the report that SpongeBob is popular with gay men means that this is because SpongeBob is, himself, gay -- someone has been spending way too much time in front of the television set!

I need to stop now, before I blow a fuse...