Will SpongeBob Make You Gay? No, But He Might Make You Stupid.

In November 2004, the We Are Family Foundation released a kids’ music video featuring over 100 characters from children’s television programs, such as SpongeBob and Barney. The DVDs were sent to over 61,000 elementary schools, along with teacher’s guides for after-viewing discussions to promote “diversity and tolerance in classrooms.”

At the time, James Dobson, then president of Focus on Family, criticized the foundation’s “tolerance pledge” that encouraged kids to be “understanding” toward those of different cultures, races, or sexual identities.

Because my daughter attended one of the participating schools, I investigated the program and concluded that it did, in fact, promote more than “understanding” and crossed over into advocating moral equivalence between heterosexual and homosexual parents. Although I wanted my daughter to be around people of all faiths and belief systems, I didn’t want the schools to undermine our own. That’s when I stopped letting my kids watch the show at our house. (I didn’t think the show was “gay” or even morally damaging. But, if SpongeBob was going to be a pawn of the Left, he could stay in “Bikini Bottom” and out of my living room.) Seven years later, my kids still watch other shows — such as the fantastic Phineas and Ferb — even though their friends still watch the little sponge who lives under the sea.

Today, however, FoxNews reports on a new study that says parents have other reasons to resist the show.

Click here to find out more.

There is No Moral Equivalence

Just a quick 9/11 thought after reading commentary on Patheos and elsewhere.

I’m finding the moral equivalence and hand-wringing from many Christians on this day to be obscene.  There is a profound moral difference between America and its jihadist enemies.  If you cannot see that difference then you are most likely overcome with ignorance, foolish ideology, or malice.

Fortunately for you, however, you are protected from the natural consequences of your ignorance and malice by fellow citizens who see the world clearly and are willing to lay down their lives for you, your spouse, and your children.

We are not perfect.  We have never been perfect — not in 2001, not in 1941, not in 1861, not ever — but imperfect people can still fight courageously for a just cause.  And that is precisely what we are doing today.

Lies We Tell Ourselves

I deserve good things in life.

I will have just one more cookie.

If only I could make a few, small changes, I will be happy.

I will cancel HBO after the free six month trial.

If only my spouse could make a few, small changes, I will be happy.

When I express my opinions, people find me interesting.

My job can and should fulfill me.

We will use that treadmill.

God wants me to be happy.

I don’t watch much TV.

My church should meet my needs.

I’m so over Facebook.

My success is due primarily to my own hard work and my intelligence.

I’ll use the credit card just this once.

My failures are due primarily to bad luck or the misjudgments of others.

They don’t like me because they’re jealous.

The God I believe in would not do that.

I’m smart.

I can change the world.

I can change my family.

I can change myself.

I’m a good person.

And now for the truth:  “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Depravity Watch

Thanks again to the indispensable Walter Russell Mead, I ran across this piece from the Washington Post telling the chilling truth that 1 in 3 Americans who began their lives middle class has slipped “down the income ladder.”

It’s certainly true that this number includes hard-working Americans who’ve fallen on hard times, folks who’ve made all the best decisions but face involuntary job loss, medical bills, or other misfortunes.  But who is hardest hit?

Downward mobility is most common among middle-class people who are divorced or separated from their spouses, did not attend college, scored poorly on standardized tests, or used hard drugs, the report says.

Shocking.  Simply shocking.

As Mead says, there is a fairly simple strategy for staying middle class: Go to college, get married, stay married, and stay off the hard drugs.  There are no guarantees in life, of course, but do those things and the odds are with you.  Deviate from that formula and your life is harder.  It’s pretty simple in concept; sometimes difficult in execution.

I like Mead’s conclusion:

Do those simple things and the odds are on your side.  The keys to a financially successful life seem to be family, education, sobriety. Seems boring and obvious, doesn’t it?  But it also suggests that American life isn’t quite as bad as the press wants to paint it.

There are lots of scary economic trends out there, but pessimism can be overdone.  Take a deep breath and relax, millennials.  The press hypes bad economic news and troubling trends the same way it hypes hurricanes and for the same reason: panic sells.

America is still a place where hard work and smart thinking pay off; most of you are going to get out of your parents’ house sooner than the press would have you believe.

The connection of poverty and downward mobility to personal choices is a message of hope, not hopelessness.  It is only in the bizarre world of political correctness and mindless self-esteem that this is considered bad news.  To some it is apparently more important that we not assign blame than it is to confront reality.  For any given individual, there is a path — not a guarantee, but a path — to prosperity.

Sex, Gender, and Gravity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One afternoon in Ithaca, N.Y., my kids were playing on the swing sets in the park when a little tike wearing a football jersey ran into my daughter’s path. I lunged for the swing — I jerked the chain so abruptly that I feared whiplash — and shared a “wow, that was close” exchange with the kid’s mom.

“How old is he?” I asked. The lady looked at me with no trace of irony as she placed her kid on the swing and said, “His name is Jill, and she’s three.”

As I tried to match the pronouns and antecedents, she explained that she belonged to a group of parents who rebelled against gender stereotypes, allowing their children to decide their genders after they’d been exposed to both options. I’d learned of this in a philosophy class at NYU. My professor argued that children are born with “sex” but taught “gender.” They claimed children unwittingly learn certain gender signifiers that dictate their behavior. Little boys, they claim, don’t naturally want to play with trucks, and little girls aren’t naturally drawn to dolls, if unsullied by eager parents who try to indoctrinate their children with heterosexist ideas about “gender.” According to my professor, gender roles cause people to live according to the very limited ideas of others. The ultimate goal, of course, is androgyny, where no differences between males and females exist.

“I’m going to raise her as gender-neutrally as possible and let him decide which gender she prefers at the age of eight.”  (Oh, eight . . . that’s when my son dug up our yard one square foot at a time, because he was convinced he’d find buried treasure.)

Read the rest here, if you can stomach it.


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