January 20 2005, 9:39 PM
Sure, he lives in a pineapple under the sea, but does that mean that SpongeBob SquarePants is a, gasp, homosexual? According to Dr. James Dobson, the answer may be yes. And that has the founder of the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family in yet another tizzy.
Now, Dr. Dobson said, SpongeBob's creators had enlisted him in a "pro-homosexual video," in which he appeared alongside children's television colleagues like Barney and Jimmy Neutron, among many others. The makers of the video, he said, planned to mail it to thousands of elementary schools to promote a "tolerance pledge" that includes tolerance for differences of "sexual identity."The video's creator is Nile Rogers (yes, that Nile Rogers -- the producer behind Chic and Madonna's "Like a Virgin").
...Rodgers, who wrote the disco hit "We Are Family," said Dr. Dobson's objection stemmed from a misunderstanding. Mr. Rodgers said he founded the We Are Family Foundation after the Sept. 11 attacks to create a music video to teach children about multiculturalism. The video has appeared on television networks, and nothing in it or its accompanying materials refers to sexual identity. The pledge, borrowed from the Southern Poverty Law Center, is not mentioned on the video and is available only on the group's Web site.Apparently oblivious to the ridicule heaped upon Jerry Falwell when he accused one of the Teletubbies of being a gay role model, Dobson isn't satisfied with that explanation. According to his spokesman:
"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organization is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," he said.