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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Friday, January 21, 2005

SpongeBob LeatherPants

Reuters reported today that a newly released cartoon video remake of Sister Sledge's hit "We Are Family" has caused two Christian Conservative groups to issue a "gay alert" (I'm not joking, they call it a gay alert). The video is meant to be a celebration of tolerance and diversity, but according to a spokesman for the American Family Association:

"A short step beneath the surface reveals that one of the differences being celebrated is homosexuality"
The other group calling the video into question is everybody's favorite, Focus on the Family. This is the same Focus on the Family that went after Katie Couric back in 1998. According to the AFA, it's not the video itself that they object to, but rather the teacher's guide that comes with the video and the We Are Family Foundation website which "contains elements that promote the acceptance of homosexuality" [insert bad Liza Minnelli joke here].

If you're interested in seeing what all of the uproar is about, Keith Olbermann has a link to the full video in this article. The cartoon starts about 2 1/2 minutes into the clip, although I think his commentary is actually more interesting than the cartoon itself.

This isn't the first time SpongeBob has been accused of promoting homosexuality. Internet users have been debating his sexuality since a 2002 Wall Street Journal article which revealed his popularity in the gay community.

At times like this it's usually best to go to the source, so who better to comment on SpongeBob's sexual orientation than SpongeBob creator and sometimes marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg. According to Hillenburg, "I always think of them (SpongeBob and his friend Patrick) as being somewhat asexual." That's right, asexual! Now there's a new controversy for you. What kind of example does an asexual sponge set for our kids?