Tuesday, January 25, 2005
It's OK to hold hands with a Star Fish
My goodness, I don't know whose doing the outreach for the United Church of Christ, but they sure are saavy about it. Check out their most recent press release.
Joining the animated fray, the United Church of Christ today (Jan. 24) said that Jesus' message of extravagant welcome extends to all, including SpongeBob Squarepants - the cartoon character that has come under fire for allegedly holding hands with a starfish.
"Absolutely, the UCC extends an unequivocal welcome to SpongeBob," the Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president, said, only partly in jest. "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we."
For that matter, Thomas explained, the 1.3-million-member church, if given the opportunity, would warmly receive Barney, Big Bird, Tinky-Winky, Clifford the Big Red Dog or, for that matter, any who have experienced the Christian message as a harsh word of judgment rather than Jesus' offering of grace.
The UCC's welcome comes in the wake of laughable accusations by James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, that the popular SpongeBob and other well-known cartoon characters are crossing "a moral line" by stressing tolerance in a national We Are Family Foundation-sponsored video that will be distributed to U.S. schools on March 11, 2005.
Later, an assistant to Dobson called SpongeBob's participation in the video "insidious."
Thomas said, on the contrary, it is Dobson who is crossing the moral line for sending the mistaken message that Christians do not value tolerance and diversity as important religious values.
Brilliant. I'm glad to see fairminded Christians fighting back against the 'kooky' religious right who are turning God's message into an anti-tolerance joke, but a joke that brings them cash and political power. Halielulia UCC!
But the clincher is the photo!