Sunday, January 23, 2005

Dobson: Intolerance on Display at Election Celebration

Who would have thought that SpongeBob Squarepants could be controversial? How about Dr. James Dobson, who Michael Crowley, of Slate, refers to as "The religious Right's New Kingmaker". As Slate reports:
Dobson earned the title. He proselytized hard for Bush this last year, organizing huge stadium rallies and using his radio program to warn his 7 million American listeners that not to vote would be a sin. Dobson may have delivered Bush his victories in Ohio and Florida.

Now that the Religious Right has successfully motivated the church-goers to vote against the more moderate John Kerry, their attention is now turning to more important issues like cartoon characters. As reported in the New York Times, Dobson at an election celebration in Washington D.C. spoke:
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."

Since when has "tolerance" become a dirty word. Since when is respect something to be avoided. Has our nation sunk into the total morass of bigotry, ignorance, and hatred? Is this what President Bush meant in his inaugural address about "spreading liberty"?

And what was that "pledge"?

Going to the We Are Family Foundation website, you can find that pledge which was part of the Southern Poverty Law Center's National Campaign for Tolerance:
Tolerance is a personal decision that comes from a belief that every person is a treasure. I believe that America's diversity is its strength. I also recognize that ignorance, insensitivity and bigotry can turn that diversity into a source of prejudice and discrimination.

To help keep diversity a wellspring of strength and make America a better place for all, I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own

Imagine that. Respect for others. Perhaps Dr. Dobson needs to be reminded of the biblical scripture from Matthew 22.36-40:
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."

Senator Kerry we need you badly on this one. We have people influencing decisions in this country who don't believe in simple respect of each others' differences. They view those who profess respect as encouraging the sinners. I am scared John.

Pull us from the waters of Intolerance and Ignorance!



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