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The Church Of Spongebob

The United Church of Christ stands up for all sorts of political issues while their flocks stand up and head for the doors.

11:30 AM, Jul 18, 2005 • By MARK D. TOOLEY
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Before voting on same-sex marriage, the delegates were addressed by former Atlanta mayor, United Nations ambassador, and UCC pastor Andrew Young. "I'd be disappointed if we did not approve this resolution," Young said. "I think it would be consistent with our historic spirit of fairness and justice. But it also would be consistent with the spirit of grace and mercy as the path to peace and that you judge not that you not be judged."

No doubt, Young also agreed with the UCC's quick reaction to Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation from the Supreme Court. The General Synod commended her "moderating influence" on the court and urged "bi-partisan" consultation between Bush and the U.S. Senate.

With such statements in mind, Thomas noted that the UCC "has sometimes engendered cruel hostility and mean spirited attacks" for its provocative political stances. Nevertheless, he said the denomination would not be deterred. Setting the example, Thomas denounced the U.S. war in Iraq as "an unholy war of deceptions and shame, a war that continues to destroy, demean and abuse."

In a fitting conclusion to the UCC event, children's cartoon character SpongeBob Square Pants made a surprise visit. As a UCC news release explained, "SpongeBob and the UCC share something in common. They have both been accused by right-wing critics of endorsing a gay lifestyle."

Earlier this year, conservative and gay groups sparred over SpongeBob, who holds hands with a starfish and appeared in a commercial touting "diversity." Bouncers from the UCC TV spot appeared on the stage with SpongeBob, who took their arms and chirpily suggested, "Let's go find a UCC church." Such fun! It was the perfect conclusion for the UCC. Pretend bouncers, escorting an children's cartoon character, to increasingly empty "inclusive" UCC local churches.

Mark D. Tooley directs the United Methodist committee at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.