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We’ve been seeing online chatter in Japan this week about reports, originating from a French website, that an American church says the characters and storylines of Pokémon caused homosexuality in teenagers in the late 1990s.

The “phallic appearance” and even the names of individual pokémon were designed to encourage gay feelings in teenagers, apparently.

According to French website Christ News, American pastor and televangelist Creflo Dollar has released a “study” explaining the multiple ways in which the Pokémon series can corrupt young minds.

Many Pokemon have a phallic appearance, they say, which “encourages teenagers to enjoy these kinds of shapes”.

▼ Which is clearly ridiculous

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▼ This doesn’t look like a penis at all.

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▼ Neither does this

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▼ Or this

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Christ News also cites Ash’s relationship with Brock as being inappropriate.

▼ That was one time, ok?! ONE TIME!

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…and says the names of the Pokémon, in all languages, are designed to “guide young people towards the choice of homosexuality”.

▼ But we can’t see anything wrong with a name like Squirtle.

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▼ Or Slowpoke/Yadon

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▼ Or even Jigglypuff

Luckily, we’re pretty sure Christ News is a satirical website (my high school French is a bit rusty, but with headlines like “Game of Thrones: 6 reasons to boycott that Satanic TV show”, they’ve got to be kidding, right?)

And as for the guy they say released this “study”, Pastor Creflo Dollar? He’s real. He’s the televangelist multimillionaire who last year asked his followers to donate $300 each to help him buy the world’s most expensive jet. We can’t find anything on the record from him about Pokémon, though…yet.

Source: Christ News, My Game News Flash
Featured image: via The Pokémon Wiki

Other images: Bulbapedia (Sudowoodo), Bulbapedia (Weedle), Bulbapedia (Onix), BulbagardenPleated Jeans, Wikipedia (Squirtle), Bulbapedia (Slowpoke)