“On November 10, a video remake of the song, ‘We Are Family,’ was created using the voices and images of over 100 beloved children’s TV characters,” the American Family Association Journal reported in January. On Friday, March 11, the video performance was scheduled to “air simultaneously on the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and PBS” and to be shown in “61,000 public and private schools across the country” via DVDs that supposedly were distributed directly to the schools. Since video characters include favorites like Barney, Blue’s Clues, Bob the Builder, Dora the Explorer, Jimmy Neutron, SpongeBob SquarePants and characters from The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, children were expected to immediately connect with the content. What could be wrong with “family-friendly” characters speaking a message of “diversity and tolerance to elementary school children nationwide”? Let’s look deeper.
When Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson spoke during Inaugural Week in Washington, D.C. to “350 guests attending a banquet hosted by Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and Gary Bauer’s American Values,” he concluded his speech by sharing “a word of concern” about the video. A reporter from The New York Times who was attending the banquet published a story which was picked up by the mainstream media. The story exploded with “some of the sloppiest journalism” AFA Journal writer Ed Vitagliano said he’d ever seen when they “pounced on and spread a rumor: that AFA and FOF had claimed that SpongeBob – as a cartoon character – was ‘gay.’ The rumor was so persistent in the media that SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg was forced to issue a denial.”
Even though conservatives’ concerns were marginalized and distorted by the media, it was their duty to express them. The producer of the video is an organization named We Are Family Foundation (WAFF). While the video is “innocent enough” and not overtly sexual, according to Dobson, he believed WAFF’s agenda to be “sinister” because “childhood symbols [were] apparently… hijacked to promote an agenda that involves teaching homosexual propaganda to children.” Up until the time when conservatives began scrutinizing WAFF’s website, it contained “overtly pro-homosexual content.” The majority of it has since been removed. Vitagliano wrote, “AFA became concerned that, along with the innocuous content of a children’s video, public school teachers who were sympathetic to the homosexual movement might use WAFF materials to initiate a discussion of tolerance and diversity that would include homosexuality. And might do so without parental knowledge or approval.” Each DVD sent to the schools was supposedly accompanied by a Teacher’s Guide that AFA says was “designed by the Anti-Defamation League, a group that, among other things, promotes the normalization of homosexuality.”
Is the video an issue in South Carolina? On March 9, an email was sent to Inez Tenenbaum, State Superintendent of Education, requesting written confirmation that the “We Are Family” video had been distributed to and was to be shown in public elementary schools across South Carolina on the target date. On March 15, an email reply was received from Jim Foster, Director of Public Information, in which he wrote that the State Department of Education “cannot supply the information you seek” because “local school districts…make their own choices” and “decisions are made according to local community standards.” He stated, “The State Department of Education has no authority and plays no role in the local decision-making process regarding the classroom use of supplementary video and teaching materials such as ‘We Are Family.’” Because the video was apparently sent “directly to local school districts,” they have “no way of knowing which districts received it and which did not.”
What should we know and do about the homosexual agenda targeted toward children? Dr. Dobson wrote, “Tolerance and diversity are almost always buzzwords for homosexual advocacy. … Every individual is entitled to respect and human dignity, including those with whom we disagree strongly. The problem is not with acceptance or kindness…. But kids should not be taught that homosexuality is just another ‘lifestyle,’ or that it is morally equivalent to heterosexuality. Scripture teaches that all overt sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage is sinful and harmful. Children should not be taught otherwise by their teachers, and certainly not if their parents are unaware of the instruction.”
Young children are not able to discern truths from falsehoods; they will believe anything they are told. It is up to parents to know what their children are being taught and not to just passively go along to get along. They should monitor their children’s textbooks, teachers’ words, television programs and the like. Remember the instruction of Scriptures like Psalm 101:3 and Deuteronomy 6:6-8.
Is your child being targeted by the homosexual agenda? Find out if your child is being or has been:
• Manipulated for “political purposes”;
• Subjected to “sexual re-orientation”;
• Brainwashed by homosexual advocacy groups; or
• Coerced into signing any kind of “Tolerance Pledge.”
Thankfully, we have an advocate in U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings. Family.org reported that after Dobson’s letter was published, she rebuked the Public Broadcasting System, “denouncing the use of federal funds to produce and distribute materials for children wherein cartoon characters were used to promote homosexual ideas and purposes.” Let us follow in her footsteps by protecting our children from – and keeping taxpayer-funded education free from promoting – a family-UNfriendly agenda.