Thursday, January 20, 2005

Dobson won't tolerate SpongeBob

Thanks to Rob's Blog for calling my attention to the story in the New York Times about James Dobson's tirade against a video depicting cartoon character SpongeBob promoting multicultural tolerance.

Though the video says nothing about sexual identity, Dobson thinks the video is "pro-homosexual." A spokesman with the Dobson organization says the video is "manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids."

Only a Fundamentalist demagogue who has made a career of "manipulating" and "brainwashing" people to read the Bible through medieval lenses could find cartoon characters teaching tolerance so threatening.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bruce,

It's obvious that you don't agree with Dobson, and you feel he is making an issue of something that you don't think is important. That's fine, just leave it there. You don't have to make fun of him.

>Only a Fundamentalist demagogue who has made a career of "manipulating" and "brainwashing" people to read the Bible through medieval lenses could find cartoon characters teaching tolerance so threatening.If you really have a problem with Dobson - your brother in Christ - I'd suggest you contact his office and let him know personally. That seems like the more reasonable thing to do.

--Roger

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Roger,

You talk as though you think Dobson is omnipresent and readily accessible by every Christian.

Dobson's messages are nearly omnipresent, but teh communication is one-way. He's getting his message out through direct mail, radio, television, and newspapers. I'm using whatever means of communication are available to me.

If you've got some direct two-way link to Dobson and can arrange a conversation with him, I'd love to talk to him.

Anonymous said...

Bruce,

They have a contact form on their webpage. Also, here's their phone number.
(800) A-FAMILY (232-6459)
I'm interested to know their reply to your comments...

Roger

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Roger,

I called for Dobson and was connected with a cheerful young lady called Christy. She read a statement from Dobson about the video and is supposed to e-mail the statement to me.

I'll comment on Dobson's statement when I receive it.

Anonymous said...

Bruce,

Sounds good - and please be more specific this time using Scripture references so that we can compare/contrast your views with those of Dobson's.

Roger

P.M. Prescott said...

When Jerry Falwell went off the deep end over the Teletubbies (sic). All it brought from the general public was groans of disbelief and cries of "Get a Grip"
Dobson is setting all Christians, not just the nut cases like him, up to ridicule and scorn over his own intolerant agenda. The intolerant cannot stand the notion of toleration, the issue he is against is not homosexuality that is his smoke screen. He is against the concept of toleration, accepting people as they are, not as you would want them to be: cookie cutter clones. Education is about teaching people how to think for themselves, that means being tolerant of ideas different from your own. IT IS VITAL THAT BE TAUGHT IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Dobson advocates Brain Washing and Indoctrination on thoughts and ideas that only coincide with his own. Who elected him to decided that for me or my family. Pluralistic societies can only survive by toleration, prime examples of what happens when tolerance isn't allowed are Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka,most of Africa, and the entire Middle East.
Just a few rhetorical questions for you and Mr. Dobson. Will the earth stop spinning on it's axis if Christian heterosexual children go to school with students that are openly homosexual? (as an English teacher I hate using the word gay as a noun, too many poems use the word correctly)
Will it kill them to either ignore them or actually make friends with them and recognize them the way God does? As sinners the same as anyone else?
How will it harm them to understand that they are human beings that have been given Free Will by God and the Constitution to decide the most private and intimate aspects of their lives and identities.
I am well aware of what Exodus, Leviticus, and Romans say on the subject, but it is a violation of the establishment clause of the First ammendment for me or even James Dobson to force non-believers into believing what the Bible says. My beliefs stay my beliefs, you may share yours, like you have on this post, but you do not have the right and I certainly hope not the power to force them on me or I on you.
Tolerance is the acceptance of something different than what you are or believe, be it gender, race, color, creed, religious belief and sexual orientation. You may not like it but you live with it, and they have to live with you. Just one more thought on the subject, If marriage and civil union are legally the same, then an ammendment to preserve the sanctity of marriage is not about legal rights, but the definition of a word. Do we really need to pass constitutional ammendments over definitions?

Leighton said...

Patrick,

Dobson is on record as claiming that gay marriage will destroy the earth, so I'm not sure how rhetorical your questions really are.

Cheers,
Leighton

Anonymous said...

Patrick (and Bruce too),

Tolerance also includes tolerance of other Christians in whom you disagree with. These folks are your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Looking at many of the posts on here and other similiar blogs, the comments border on hatred. There's mocking, belittling, ... "nut cases", "wingnuts", etc. Any credible argument that you may have is lost by that kind of behavior. Nobody is helped by it. But don't take my word for it...

James 4:11
Don't bad-mouth each other, friends. It's God's Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You're supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it.

Matthew 5:22-24
I'm telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother "idiot!' and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell "stupid!' at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill. "This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

Roger

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Roger,

Dobson's people never did send me a copy of the statement that they read to me over the phone.

As for some biblical references for my differences with Dobson, my views on the family have been available to the public for more than five years. Here are some links to some real exegesis (the kind that comes from someone who has actually studied Greek, Hebrew and biblical theology -- not just psychology):

The Christian FamilyDead Head Leads SBC FamilyWomen's IssuesPerhaps you can use some of your connections with the Almighty Dobson and get him to return my call.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Sorry that the three links I posted above have all run together -- it didn't do that in the preview.

The links should read:

The Christian FamilyDead Head Leads SBC FamilyWomen's Issues

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

It did it again. Sorry

Leighton said...

Bruce,

Blogger's comment interpreter it a little bit wonky in how it interprets line breaks after HTML tags. To get around it you have to cheat a bit by making sure the last part of a line isn't a closing HTML tag.

For example:

Your first link'
Your second link'
Your third link'

You can also double-space and that will show up, just so long as you don't try to end a line with an HTML tag.

The fact that this doesn't show up in the preview is a bug, but looking at their tech support page, I'm not sure they know it's a problem.

Leighton said...

I've just reported it as a problem to their tech support, so with a little luck maybe it will be cleared up in a few days.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Thanks Leighton

Anonymous said...

Bruce,

Give them time. To clarify, I wasn't talking about your differences with Dobson in general, I was referring to the reasons that prompted you to post the story about the cartoon.

Seriously, I don't think we should take the verses that I posted earlier lightly.

Roger

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Roger,

You know and I know that Dobson is never going to be available for a conversation.

Your point is not well taken -- no matter how long you care to refuse to acknowledge it.

Find another issue to troll on. That should not be difficult.

P.M. Prescott said...

In the paper yesterday a spokesperson for one of the two groups having a hissy fit, yes I will use descriptive phrases to voice my disdain for people that I feel deserve it, anyway, stated that even though the video in question never brings up the issue sexual orientation, it could be inferred. Shazzam who would have thunk it. Those that are so insistant on interpreting the Bible LITTERALY, actually have the capacity to infer! Notice it is rather selective inference. Dr. Dobson as a Psychologist should know that he is a classic case of PROJECTION.
John the Baptist called the Pharisees a brood of vipers
Jesus called them Hypocrits and his only scathing chastisements were directed at them.
For anyone speaking as a believer of Christ to be against toleration does not understand the central message of his ministry. Jesus said "Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you." If you can't get on board with that concept you need to rethink your basic belief.

Anonymous said...

Bruce,

1) Sorry if I wasn't clear or used a poor choice of words...but when I mentioned to you about talking to Dobson, I meant talking to Focus on the Family and not so much a personal conversation, although that would be great if you could talk to him. I trust that the organization can faithfully represent his views to you.
2) My feelings are that you used this post as an opportunity to make fun of Dobson, and I think it's confirmed by your attitude (towards Dobson ... and me). Otherwise you would take the time to represent his position on this issue (by finding out exactly what it is) and compare and contrast your views on the topic to enlighten the readers, as opposed to just give those that already agree with you a chance to re-affirm their negative view of Dobson. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm just being honest - that's what appears to be going on here.

Please - let's use these conversations to debate, not denigrate. In regards to my earlier scripture references, am I misinterpreting them?

>Your point is not well taken -- no matter how long you care to refuse to acknowledge it.

Find another issue to troll on
.

I have not been antagonizing in my posts...so why are you trying to get rid of me? I can see that this makes you uncomfortable. God's word does that to us sometimes. But when we acknowledge that and repent, it ends up getting rid of some behavior or attitude that needed to be dealt with, so that we might be sanctified, and be in alignment with His will. So, please, don't grieve the Holy Spirit.

Patrick,

Where in the Bible does it give Christians the 'ok' to treat others with disdain? --Even if you feel they may deserve it (whatever that means)? As I heard a pastor once say, 'Don't be a fruit inspector!' While Christ (as He was the God-Man) could accurately see a man's heart - I don't believe we have the right to handle situations in this manner. Even Dobson (who you said that you 'disdain') has not called those that disagree with him 'nut cases'. That's why we shouldn't judge others, we end up judging ourselves.

Galatians 6:1
Doing Good to All
1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
(emphasis is mine)

>Jesus said "Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you."

I'm included in the 'others' as well. So please, hear me out.

Patrick and Bruce, prayerfully consider what I'm saying.

Roger

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I have better things to do than look for boogers behind every bush! I have seen SpongeBob a number of times, and although I think it is a little silly, I have never connected it to homosexual men or behaviour. Isn't it about time for fundamentalists to simply preach the love of Christ. That would take care of many more problems in this world of ours than to antagonize everyone who doesn't believe the way they do. Sharing the Gospel is one thing; forcing a fundamentalist mindset on others is another. As a more liberal Christian mother and grandmother, I'm getting a bit tired of the fundamentalists trying to run everything their way. And this comes from one who once WAS a fundamentalist!

Anonymous said...

An update was posted on the web today...

Dr. Dobson Takes on Media over 'SpongeBob' Controversy.

Dobson reiterates that he...
did not criticize a cartoon character, as has been widely reported, but was warning parents that the group behind a "diversity" video may put material in teachers' hands that could prompt them to teach kids that homosexuality is equivalent to heterosexuality.

Roger

P.M. Prescott said...

Roger, you sound like some busybody politically correctionist trying to dictate other people's vocabulary, thoughts and ideas. Your response to any criticism of Dobson would make me think he is the equivalent of God himself. He is the one making an idiot of himself in public even further voicing his homophobia. If you disagree with my views I welcome you debating the issue, I already have a mother and she is a big enough cross to bear without a person I've never met nagging me the same way. Your arguments so far have only been about our tone, vocabulary and manner. You have yet to refute the main issue which is the Fundamentalist mindset of intolerance toward any opposing thought or even life style. Somehow you think a smokescreen of righteous indignation counts as a counter argument. Style without substance. I've always felt those that get on the high horse of righteous indignation need to take a look at the animal. It most likely has long ears and brays instead of neighs.

Anonymous said...

Patrick,

No, Dobson is not God. God is God. That's why I was so careful to use scripture references earlier - so we would focus on Him and what He has to say.

Roger