I haven't weighed in on the Flyweight undercard fight between James Dobson and Spongebob Squarepants yet because, frankly, it seems so ludicrous to me. One reason is I have no real interest in contributing to much energy to Teletubbies II. Another is that James Dobson has diminished his credibility so much in my mind that he has fallen from fairly reasonable, family-oriented religious figure to an arrogant joke approaching the level of Jerry Falwell.
That being said, I think there has been one area of this conversation that has been left completely alone by the left side of the blogosphere. While everyone has been quick to jump on Dobson for attacking a harmless cartoon, and they should, they've done nothing to address his actual charge. The Focus on the Family website had this clarification:
From the outset, let's be clear that this issue is not about objections to any specific cartoon characters. Instead, Dr. Dobson is concerned that these popular animated personalities are being exploited by an organization that's determined to promote the acceptance of homosexuality among our nation's youth.
Dr. Dobson and FOTF believes that there are organizations in America that are attempting to push changes in the social attitudes of our country towards homosexuality.
He's right, isn't he?
There are many organizations in this country that are trying to achieve just such a goal, but the Left doesn't talk about it, even when a wingnut has gone so out of his way to cherry pick it for us and have, as his main source of proof, a children's cartoon. No, we simply say, "Come on! Spongebob isn't gay! There isn't a grand conspiracy!", and Red America just looks at us and laughs. The fact that even WE will hide from the gay rights movement just confirms, in their minds, our own duplicity. The most thoughtful piece from the left on this issue came from James Wolcott, and even HE turned it into a column about abortion, not gay rights.
The fact is, we are for the rights of homosexuals. We want America to become a more tolerant place towards homosexuals. We want the images of homosexuals in our pop culture to be beyond the Will and Grace stereotypes. But when faced with the type of intolerance that is so hysterical that it can't be taken seriously by such a notable Right-winger, we watch the pitch go by so we can make it a shrill punchline amongst ourselves. This is a elitest mistake.
We should be making it a national punchline.