I cannot believe what I just read on BBC News, World Edition [http://news.bbc.co.uk/]. I'm pasting in the whole article, withholding my comments til afterwards :
BEGINNING OF ARTICLE--
HEADLINE: US right attacks SpongeBob video
US conservative groups are up in arms over a music video featuring children's TV heroes such as the cheerful cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.
Focus on the Family and other groups say the video - a remake of the Sister Sledge hit, We Are Family - is a vehicle for pro-gay propaganda.
The video's makers plan to mail it to US schools in the spring to promote tolerance and diversity.
They say the attack is based on a misunderstanding.
The video also features children's favourites like Bob the Builder, along with characters from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.
But James Dobson, founder of right-wing Christian group Focus on the Family, singled out SpongeBob at a black-tie dinner in Washington in the run-up to President Bush's inauguration, the New York Times said.
SpongeBob - who appears on the children's cable channel Nickelodeon - is seen as an icon for adult gay men in the US, apparently because he regularly holds hands with his sidekick Patrick.
His creators deny that he is gay, but he is not the first such character to cause controversy.
In 1999 conservatives claimed handbag-carrying Teletubby Tinky Winky, an import from the UK, was a bad role-model.
Nile Rodgers, who wrote the song and is founder of the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) which released the new video, says it is intended to help teach children the values of co-operation and unity.
"We believe that this is the essential first step to loving thy neighbour," he said. "And the fun and exciting format makes it a lesson that's easy for children to learn."
But conservatives say it sees the video as a cunning attempt to promote homosexuality.
They point to the fact that the WAFF is linked to a pledge being promoted by some liberal groups which includes a recognition of tolerance of sexual identity.
"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organisation is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," Paul Batura, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, told the New York Times.
Mr Rodgers said the groups may have confused his foundation with an unrelated organisation with a similar name that supports gay youth.
WAFF spokesman Mark Barondeso told the newspaper that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased".
-- END OF ARTICLE
OK. W. T. F. What is happening to our country? "...a cunning attempt to promote homosexuality"? You've got to be kidding me. Have you ever seen SpongeBob? What could be more harmless than a SPONGE THAT WEARS PANTS?
And what's this about it being "... a vehicle for pro-gay propaganda" -- ??? When did tolerance and diversity become a BAD thing to teach kids??? Since when does the sight of two children (or sponges, for that matter) holding hands mean the children must be dangerous and deviant homosexuals???
I am totally floored. I have to ask, are the people who spend their days finding things to be up in arms about, the people who think being gay is the worst thing someone can be and that all of American society is heading for Hell, shouldn't they be focusing their energy on some other matters that, I don't know, MATTER? Like the fact that our country is AT WAR, or perhaps those pesky little TSUNAMIS....
Is SpongeBob really that bad? I mean, SERIOUSLY?