Sunday, February 06, 2005

Topic of the Week - The Christian Right on Morality in our Media

On January 20th, James Dobson, former Director of Focus on the Family, the right-wing Christian Colorado Springs based ministry claimed that SpongeBob SquarePants is being used to promote a homosexual agenda. Yes, SpongeBob SquarePants. He was interviewed on Good Morning America and stated "We are protesting this cartoon and spreading the word to parents that this animated music video promotes the homosexual agenda." "Their inclusion of the reference to 'sexual identity" within their 'tolerance pledge' is not only unnecessary, but it crosses a moral line."

(Note - Dobson's ministry is awesome in scope - Focus on the Family publishes books and magazines, disseminates Dobson's weekly newspaper column to more than 500 papers, and airing radio shows—including Dobson's own—that reach people in 115 countries every week, from Japan to Botswana and in languages from Spanish to Zulu. The ministry receives so much mail it has its own ZIP code).

This is just one example of The Christian Right's well orchestrated, organized campaign to put pressure on the Bush administration and the FCC in refining the rules on "morality and the American Family" in our media. The Christian Right's agenda regarding the gay community, incorporating their Christian values into mainstream media and promoting their many other issues on redefining the FCC indecency law is vast. Their letter writing campaigns, telemarketing campaigns, grass roots campaigns, etc. are being conducted daily by The Christian Right to refine the "rules of decency" in our media through this pressure on the FCC and the Bush administration. For more information on the FCC Indecency Law click on http://www.fcc.gov/eb/broadcast/opi.html

My opinion? As consumers, we have a choice - either watch a specific show on television or switch the channel and/or turn off the TV. Please don't claim how television programming, radio listening, magazines, newspapers and all other media is adversely affecting morality in America or how it is coercing children's minds. As parents, it is your home and you are responsible for your kids television viewing and/or values you teach your children - don't blame it on the media and take personal responsibility yourselves. My two cents.

Your opinion? Click on 'Comments' below.

p.s. Michael Powell, Chairman of the FCC, announced his resignation on January 21st. Powell is the son of Colin Powell and was arguably the most conservative FCC chairperson within the last 25 years. A new chairperson has not been named, but I do encourage you to keep a close eye on potential candidates - selecting a more conservative FCC chairperson is rumored in Washington circles. To contact the FCC on your opinion, general information, inquiries & complaints: fccinfo@fcc.gov.

4 Comments:

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish you could've seen Nancy Giles commentary on something similar to this on this past Sunday's CBS Sunday Morning show. She was commenting on this story:
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=\Culture\archive\200501\CUL20050127b.html
and as usual, her comments were brilliant and dead-on. I tried to find a link to her piece but couldn't - sorry!
In my opinion, the fact that the Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings has NOTHING better to do than try to find subversive messages in PBS programming shows me how much trouble the educational system in this country will be with this administration's policies. I think our national literacy rate and highschool graduation statistics are a hell of a lot more deserving of Spellings' attention than some perceived homosexual undertones in a cartoon. Way to promote tolerance, love and acceptance to the most impressionable members of society: our children. These people are IDIOTS.

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger commonwealth said...

FYI: Dobson's "family" supposedly includes 40,000 churches.

I think the religious power now being built by the Christian Right in the United States is beginning to rise to the level of that exerted by the Catholic Church when it still could wield immense influence in the politics in Europe. There is an irony here. The Christian Right has been able to build its power because of the religious freedoms available in our democracy, yet the very roots of our democracy can be traced to the dismantling of the immense power of the Catholic Church. When the authority of the Vatican was at last challenged and dispersed by the only entities strong enough to do so-the growing power of the individual European states—the first step was taken. Then people began challenging both of these authoritarian bases from different directions. The Church faced the Protestant Revolution and the European States were eventually roiled by their individual revolutions. Et voila! Democracy was born. The goal of our framers was to permanently limit the powers they had dismantled, those of the church and of the state. How tragic that all that has been sacrificed through the centuries in the name of securing freedom, democracy, and the rights of the individual are now being put at risk inn the name of God.

 
At 2:59 AM, Blogger Matt A said...

As a UK Christian it is disturbing to see such a prominent and respected guy like Dobson making such an ass of himself by attacking a children's cartoon... Wise up man, do you think Jesus would do that if he were here? I bet He'd be taking a whole bunch of kids to see the movie version of SpongeBob...

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger PWB said...

Thanks for your comments, Matt.

We would certainly appreciate further insight and comments from you and your friends/family in the UK on the subject of religion and politics. I hope it is clear in our Blog that the intention is not to attack the Christian Right, Christians or Christianity in general. The intention is to stir discussion on the role of religion and politics respective of the pro's and con's of this issue.

As you are aware, in our country The Christian Right has become a strong political force, and we want to offer counter views on the policy issues associated with this strong conservative belief system. And your perspective from afar is most appreciated. I/we have always been impressed by the progressive minds and actions of the UK people.

Thanks again for your comments.

 

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