Dogs for Dancing With Tolerance

I’m not a big fan of “Dancing with the Stars” primarily because there is so little actual dancing.  The emcee talks to the audience.  He talks to the judges. Endless  commercials play.  The judges talk to each other.  We see a montage of video clips from rehearsal.  More commercials.  More talking and then… 2 minutes of dancing!

practicing my dance moves with uncle Marty

Ok, I can admit that those precious few moments of gliding and jiving is a treat to watch but I have no stamina for the inaneness of the banter in between.  I dance a little myself (usually motivated by edibles) but no one would mistake my gyrations for a paso doble or waltz.  Wilbur, however, has some real talent and is able to pirouette round and round.  He even snaps his head around like a real ballerina.

Respectful of Wilbur’s interest in dance, we plan to record this season of DWTS and watch later when we can fast forward to the dancing parts.  Which means that this one hour show takes about 12 minutes to watch.  I can easily spare 12 minutes a week doing something my brother enjoys.

I’ve seen a lot of negative chatter around the show’s choice of “stars” in the past but this upcoming season appears to be generating some hateful buzz, and I don’t like (or understand) it.

One Million Moms is one of the loudest groups vowing to boycott the show this season because Chaz Bono is a contestant.  They are “outraged” that DWTS would allow a transgender dancer (apparently he offends their loving and tolerant Christian sensibilities) as well as Carson Kresley — fashion icon who happens to be gay.

Why do humans attach labels and stereotypes to each other leading to intolerance and fear?  Live and let live!  Love and let love, I always say!

Here’s a portion of a recent post on One Million Moms, just to give you a (bitter) taste of what they are encouraging:

This is completely unacceptable and Christians should not watch the show, no excuses! Kressley will be paired up with a female dancer, and since Chasity, transformed to Chaz after her sex change in 2009, will also be paired with a female dancer. To push the envelope even further for a program that could be a family show but is obviously not, Kressley is also author of the children’s book  You’re Different and That’s Super, a children’s book promoting the homosexual lifestyle to children.

As a curious canine I read, and in my understanding Christians are taught to emulate compassion, tolerance, acceptance, peace and love.  I don’t remember Jesus ever teaching his followers to promote hate, intolerance, anger and bigotry.

Instead of being the bullies (toward the LGBT individuals) why don’t they use their voice to promote anti-bullying?  I suppose I’ll never understand some humans…

Wilbur - spreading peace through dance

In doggie circles we don’t discriminate the way you bipeds do.  If I meet a dog who’s a jerk, well I choose not to hang out with him — and that’s the only way I judge.  All the park pups get a fair shake because we don’t care about “labels” — every size, color, shape, sexual orientation, neutered or au natural we’re all the same species.  We’re all interconnected so why would we shun any one delineation of dog?

Take a lesson humans, love and let love!

And if you tune into DWTS next week, Wilbur & I would love to discuss it with you.

ps:  For a very funny, sarcastic take on One Million Moms’ stance, check out this post from the Good Men Project (daddy bloggers).



  1. Atticus, When I saw the headline of your post, I knew exactly what the topic was going to be, and I rushed to read it! I have been reading about Chaz as a contestant on DWTS (along with some of the hubbub in response), and I already told my husband we must watch, even though we’ve never watched the show before. If turning on the tv can lend my support for the open-mindedness of a show that reaches millions, I’m all for it! I hope the One Million Moms will just end up sputtering midst their own distress.

    I didn’t know anything about this other contestant who is gay, and I am rather surprised if this is the first time this has come up. Isn’t this Hollywood and show biz? A gay dancer hardly seems novel or even worth discussing. And shouldn’t that be the point–that our interest is in dancers (if that’s what they do on this show!) and whatever glitz the producers want to bring to a television show.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing
    Judy Stone-Goldman recently posted..Letter to the Editor of The New Yorker Magazine, from September 2001

  2. Trish says:

    Atticus, Intolerance “all in the name of God” really fires me up. Really? God is supposedly loving and accepting — except for gay people (or people of a different faith)?? I have never understood that hateful thinking and am now declaring myself to be part of One Million Bloggers against One Million Moms in support of ALL LGBT Individuals (whether on television or not). I don’t watch DWTS (I prefer So You Think You Can Dance — more dancing) but I’m just flabbergasted people would boycott the show because of Chaz & Carson Kresley. It is my hope that one day we, as a society, will look back at this period of intolerance and slap our hands to our forehead in disbelief that people who love each other were prevented from marrying, discouraged from being on television and otherwise shunned or discriminated against. Progress is just too slow sometimes.

    My blood pressure is boiling! I need to go drink something (which I’m sure those One Million Moms are just fine with).

    caregiving. family. advocacy.

  3. Lynn U. says:

    Unfortunately, the decision to cast Chaz and Carson is about the only thing interesting about the show. In my house we are big fans of So You Think You Can Dance, which has both amazing choreographers and incredible dancing, in addition to showcasing many different kinds of dance. I keep hoping they will include canine musical freestyle (dancing with dogs), but not so far. Do you think Mama and I could maybe be special guest stars?
    your friend,
    Lynn U. recently posted..More Dancing!

  4. Atticus says:

    Judy — we are right there with you & your hubby in our support of this season’s DWTS. As I pointed out, all the silly talking & judges etc.. is extremely tiresome, but I think taping & watching w/o all that non-dancing stuff will be good. The more of us who stand up in support of diversity (of humanity!!) may actually open some people’s minds. maybe not those One Million Moms (who are these intolerant bigots anyhow?!? mothers of bullies, I suspect).

    fyi: Kresely is the adorable fashion guy from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. I think he might have other fashion-related programs too.

  5. Atticus says:

    Oh Trish, you know I’m fired up too!! Intolerance & discrimination are two stances that this dog (all dogs!) do not understand. I’m sure you’ve dealt with your share of this in relation to Robert. Different is wonderful!! and we, as a society, need to embrace and respect our differences. Some people are even intolerant of dogs!! (shocking)

    I’m especially perplexed by the folks who yell “small government” yet are staunchly for laws that affect our most personal liberties (who we marry, if we want to carry a fetus, etc…). Humans confuse me…

    Here’s to strong support of Chaz and Carson! I have to believe there are more loving (and godly) people in this country…

  6. Atticus says:

    Lynn & Taz — I’ve heard from a lot of folks who prefer “So You Think You Can Dance” and I’ve never seen that show either. I see a lot of dvr action in our future… :)

    As I wrote this yesterday I was actually thinking about you guys and wishing there was a Dancing with Dogs show! Of course, you two would be shoe-ins for the championship! Maybe we should start lobbying television producers…

  7. June Sockol says:

    I sell Cookie Lee jewelry ~ a couple of years ago Carson Kressley was at our annual convention. He was so funny and nice. He seemed like a decent person to me. What ever he chooses to do behind closed doors is his business. Same with Chaz.

    If this group is so worried about tv corrupting their children, why don’t they just get rid of their tv’s? It’s my choice what I choose to let my children watch. I decide if it’s appropriate or not. I don’t like these groups speaking for me or my family.
    June Sockol recently posted..Medication and ADHD Part 2

  8. Big surprise! This is one of your best pieces of work since I came on board. I need to talk to you by phone. I hope you’ll call or send your #.

  9. Dear Atticus,

    You don’t know this, but I am a HUGE fan of dance. All kinds of dance, I have even seen performances of people dancing with dogs, they were quite entertaining. I don’t watch DWTS for the same reasons you mentioned, too much chatting, not enough dancing, and the dancing is sub-par when compared with So You Think You Can Dance.

    I have a few choice comments for the people that are raising heck about Carson and Chaz being on the show this fall. First, Carson is known for being a fashion “diva” that gently pushes people out of their comfort zone but still allows them to be themselves. He had a TV show called “How to Look Good Naked” that was about body acceptance and helping people play up their good attributes and down play any body issues such as scars, lost limbs and having a non-Hollywood body type. He lovingly coaxed his charges into accepting the good with the bad and having appropriate perspective about their bodies. The final step to his process was a nude photo shoot and a billboard with one of the photos displayed in the LA area. (all in good taste!) I think he is a terrific role model for DWTS to choose for this season.

    Next is Chaz, if he wasn’t the child of Sonny Bono and Cher, would we even be having this discussion? I think that feeling like one gender, but being trapped in the body of the other gender must be hell. Chaz has very publicly shared his journey, which takes a lot of courage in today’s society. How can anyone tell someone that they must remain miserable because they were born with the wrong sexual equipment?

    Finally, I have been a practicing Christian for my whole life. I have never understood how some Christians can pick and choose what part of the Bible they want to follow while ignoring other “inconvenient” parts. Jesus was known for visiting, dining with, and befriending the “dredges” of society which in biblical times were the tax collectors (people who cheated their neighbors), harlots (women who had to charge for sexual acts in order to have an income), and lepers (people that were considered “unclean” because they had an incurable disease – reminiscent of the AIDS crisis in our time).

    The religious people of Jesus’ time were horrified that he associated with the “dredges” of society, that he healed people and performed other miracles on the Sabbath. They were threatened by the substantial following he was building of Jews who were not going to blindly follow the Jewish laws any longer. The whole basis of Christianity is reflecting the love that God and Jesus had for the world by mirroring Jesus’ actions including accepting people that are different, helping the less fortunate and offering opportunities to lead a Godly life to people that fall short of the mark. (We all fall short in some way) The only part we “get” to avoid is the dying for our sins, but again that is the point of Christianity. The people protesting DWTS are not practicing what they preach, and need to be held accountable for their hypocrisy.

    With love and acceptance,


  10. Atticus says:

    “I don’t l ike these groups speaking for me or my family” — Amen to that, June!! And how fun to have Carson K at your annual convention. I think he comes off as a genuinely nice (and funny) guy.

  11. Atticus says:

    Yeah, a “favorite” from Bill! That makes my puppy face blush :) mama sent a private email to you with more contact info — yes, we must bark & talk soon. xxxooo

  12. Atticus says:

    Catherine — you make me very happy with your thoughtful and absolutely right-on comment! I completely forgot about that show that Carson Kresley did — you are right — it was an amazing show about acceptance in every way. These “million moms” should look at him as a hero, not a pariah.

    And agree that Chaz is extremely courageous to share his story so openly. It Cannot be an easy road at all but we all have the God-given right to be who we’re supposed to be. Kudos to him for his strength and dignity through all the dissent (haters-talk).

    I like that you say these so called “Christians” need to be held accountable for their hypocrisy, but how we do that on a large scale? One of our blogger friends suggested One Million Bloggers against One Million Moms! hey, maybe that’s a start… I think the religious hypocrisy is so great on the world stage that individuals feel it’s “ok” to behave in that manner. When dogs rule the world….. we’ll see some changes!

    Many thanks for your Pawsome comment, Catherine! :)

  13. Jeff Burbank says:


    I like your sense of fairness when judging “bipeds.” It’s a shame so many of those humans are full of intolerance. Like you I’m not much of a DWTS fan but as an ex-soldier I really could care less about the preferences of someone who may have been in my foxhole. My only concern, to quote Metallica, was would they “stand and deliver.” I didn’t always think this way but as you discussed your mama’s “halftime” awhile back, as I’m well into mine, my thought process and rationale has changed. My son has commented on how much I’ve “mellowed.” He wasn’t sitting with me during the World Series last year but I guess that’s true. And it’s a good thing. Glad to see you’re feeling better and busting moves. If you want some awesome TV though, see if Mama Heidi will let you join her for SOA. The first two episodes have been tense, emotional, unexpected, etc. Tonight I’m catching up on the final two seasons of Rescue Me which is awesome too! Best to you and Skye says hi. She and I are going to the local Bark Park Saturday morning early so I can get her out before the heat sets in then put on my leather, hop on the bike, and take a one way ticket to midnight. I think Sammy Hagar called it Heavey Metal! Rock on brother!!

  14. Atticus says:

    Jeff — I am SO happy to hear your point of view! Especially as an ex-military man — extremely refreshing and doglike! :)

    I’m a mellow dog, but you wouldn’t have know that during last year’s World Series — lol! So I understand what you are saying.

    Don’t even talk to me about SOA — you Know we cut the cable & we’re Dying to see it! We haven’t even seen season 3 yet (on “long wait” list with netflix for those discs — arg!) Last we saw, Jax’s baby was kidnapped & Gemma was fleeing & we Need to know what happened! Maybe we’ll start on Rescue Me (which we’ve never seen) thru netflix…

    Hope you & Skye have a blast at the Bark Park this weekend! and then, “get on your bad motor scooter & ride”! :)

  15. Ouch…had no idea…I am not a DWTS fan….actually watch very little tv at all these days…so thank for clueing me in! WHY does it matter…give me a break, are you not living in the year 2011…..whatever people, GET with the program, take a look around you…wake up world! I loved your closing remarks, and THIS is why I love you Atticus…..have fun dancing with your brother:)

    Rita Brennan Freay
    Rita Brennan Freay recently posted..Foster Care, Adoption and Giving Back

  16. My comment just disappeared…
    Well anyways, you know what I think about that. Let’s ignore the haters and dance with the lovers. Those kind of people have no life otherwise they’d be busy with themselves and not telling others what they have to do or not. I am deaf on both ears when it comes to people like that.
    If they don’t like the show they can watch something else or throw their TV away. Live and let live!

    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress
    Franziska San Pedro recently posted..Painting As An Experience Rather Than Making A Picture

  17. Fiona Stolze says:

    It was really interesting to read this. I don’t know the show since I’m on the other side of the pond. Regardless of that I find the whole issue of people boycotting something because of issues such as transgender or being gay totally out of touch with reality. I agree completely with what Franziska says – these people either watch the show and enjoy it, or switch off and watch something else.

    It really throws organised religion into question. It’s time we all started supporting each other and exercising more acceptance and tolerance. Hounding specific segments of society is old hat and serves no purpose whatsoever. It’s such a shame that so much focus is put on issues such as this one. I prefer to bring focus and awareness to matters that really matter.

    Thanks for sharing Heidi.

    Fiona Stolze
    Inspired Art and Living
    Fiona Stolze recently posted..Time to Overcome Fear and Stop Being a Scared Rabbit

  18. Atticus says:

    Rita I love that you are so emphatic! “Get with the program! Wake up world!” — that’s exactly how I feel! From a dog’s point of view, all this silliness around who’s dancing is just, well… Silly!

  19. Atticus says:

    Franziska — Love your line “let’s ignore the haters and dance with the lovers”! You summed up my blog perfectly in one sentence — thank you!

  20. Atticus says:

    Oh Fiona, you understand my point so well! In our world — today’s world — we need acceptance more than ever. and, sadly, much of “organized religion” doesn’t seem to subscribe to this simple premise. I suppose open-minded peeps, like you & my mum, and dogs need our voices heard more than ever! Power to the peaceful peeps and pups!!

  21. Donna McCord says:

    I missed the opening show of DWTS since my sis is here and we were talking instead of watching TV! But I probably will watch in the future, although I too prefer So You Think You Can Dance. Catherine Black already said beautifully what I too believe, that the lack of love on the part of the people who are supposed to be representing Jesus is very sad. Those of us who love and want to follow and reflect Jesus to the world are not showing the world who He is by being judgmental and unwilling to understand or accept people right where they are. I have to also have compassion for those who do that because they are not aware of how their actions are pushing people away from the One they think they are serving rather than drawing them to Him. I am praying that they will be able to recognize how they are behaving is not pleasing to God and that they will rethink how they choose to present Him to a world that needs Him so very desperately. Thank you, Atticus, for inspiring discussion on this important subject!

  22. Atticus says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Donna!!! You always speak the Truth and you know that I love (and depend on!) you for that. I continue to hear from commenters about “so you think you can dance” — I suppose I need to find that show and check it out.
    Donna, you and Catherine should “friend” each other on fb. I’ve (yes, it’s me Heidi!) known Catherine since grade school and I think you two have very similar (fabulous!!) attitude and opinion about things.
    Thank You Donna for supporting our discussions with deeply profound comments! You are greatly appreciated!! :)

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