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Probably you have heard of the Sponge Bob Squarepants flap. Dr. James Dobson, Founder of Focus on the Family mentioned the words Sponge Bob and gay in a speech and then all heck broke loose. If you want to get media types excited, just mention a cartoon character and homosexuality in the same breath. For some reason, the combination inspires their creativity.
For instance, some reporters said Dr. Dobson outed Mr. Squarepants. Creative, but untrue. Dr. Dobson never said Sponge Bob was gay or anything like that. The real truth is that Sponge Bob did some contractual work for a gay rights outfit and Dr. Dobson pointed that out. Although it is common for big stars to perform in charity gigs without knowing much about the charity, clearly Mr. Squarepantsí handlers should have vetted this whole deal more carefully. Reportedly, he is mortified that some people now think he is gay because of the whole brouhaha.
For his part, Mr. Squarepants refuses to speak to the media directly about the matter. However, I recently was privileged to be given an exclusive interview with Sponge Bobís wife, Mrs. Sponge Barb Squarepants. Yes, I said wife. It has been an open secret for some time; Mr. & Mrs. Squarepants became an item during the filming of Mr. Squarepants recent movie debut and then were recently married with Mr. Crabs officiating. I spoke with Mrs. Squarepants by conch.
Me: Mrs. Squarepants, how are you holding up under the media pressure?
Mrs. Squarepants: Well, Warren it has been tough to absorb.
Me: What has been the most difficult thing about this ordeal?
Mrs. Squarepants: I think it has been the doubts about my husbandís sexuality. You know questions about sponges are not new. Some of us are, you know, asexual and I think many people had questions about Bob before Dr. Dobsonís insane comments.
Me: Speaking of Dr. Dobson, I understand you are pretty upset with him for his statements concerning your husband. Is that true and why is that?
Mrs. Squarepants: Yes, I am incensed that Dr. Dobson would call my Bobby gay. He is not gay and I resent Dr. Dobson trying to use him as a political tool.
Me: Mrs. Squarepants, my understanding is that Dr. Dobson did not say Mr. Squarepants was gay. Rather, he pointed that your husband was in a music video made by a group that promotes gay rights causes on its website. He further noted that the makers may be using child friendly icons to advance acceptance of gay rights issues.
Mrs. Squarepants: Oh. Well, we are still incensed that Dr. Dobson would call my Bobby gay. He is not gay and I resent Dr. Dobson trying to use him as a political tool.
Me: Maybe you didnít understand. I have learned that Dr. Dobson did not actually characterize your husbandís TV character as homosexual or even sexually conflicted.
Mrs. Squarepants: Well I am sure that he meant to and we are still incensed that Dr. Dobson would call my Bobby gay. He is not gay and I resent Dr. Dobson trying to use him as a political tool.
Me: I know there are many in the media who are misrepresenting Dr. Dobsonís comments. Are you saying you agree with the columnists and pundits who have caricatured Dr. Dobsonís views?
Mrs. Squarepants: I donít understand the question.
Me: So even though Dr. Dobson did not actually say Mr. Squarepants was gay or even a gay icon, you are still incensed?
Mrs. Squarepants: Look, sponges go with the flow, and we are sponges. So we are incensed that Dr. Dobson would call my Bobby gay. He is not gay and I resent Dr. Dobson trying to use him as a political tool.
That was pretty much that. Made me think that maybe big media and sponges have some things in common. They both go with the prevailing current, are porous and waste moves in and out of them without much notice.
Talk about nautical nonsense.
Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Director of College Counseling and Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City College (PA). His columns have been published in over 60 newspapers and his scholarly articles in journals of the American Psychological Association. He is the producer of the documentary, I Do Exist, concerning sexual orientation change. He can reached at email@example.com.
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