Tuesday, January 25, 2005

My Goofy Denomination

Never let it be said that the UCC doesn't have some good PR people working for them.  From an e-mail I received this morning from the UCC Office of Communications:
As you know, the Spongebob Squarepants controversy in which Spongebob holds hands with his friend, a starfish has become a popular topic in the blogosphere. The UCC has extended an unequivocal welcome to Spongebob. You can read more about the UCC's response to James Dobson and Focus on the Family at http://www.accessibleairwaves.org. We appreciate your support in getting the word out about an alternative evangelical message.

The Rev. John H. Thomas, general minister and president of the UCC, welcomes SpongeBob Squarepants to the UCC's national offices in Cleveland. [January 2005] Randy Varcho/UCC Photo

More below the flip.

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.

>>Read more here:


Help me, if you will, spread the good news:  the UCC extends an extravagant welcome, even to cartoon characters caught up in a frenzy of sexual correctness.  Put it on your blog, tell your friends with children, start wearing t-shirts that say:  SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: BECAUSE GOD IS STILL SPEAKING.

And above all, share the larf, eh?


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