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After 25 years, AFA still working to preserve society

By Tim Wildmon

AFA Journal, July, 2002 edition

A few years ago an AFA critic said that we were so radical we “could find sex and violence in a TV test pattern.” Well, that’s not exactly true. No, it wasn’t sex and violence that we found objectionable in the TV test pattern; it was actually the way the circle and triangle combined with the small lines to form what appeared to be a black and white satanic symbol that we had a problem with. So we went on a campaign against the TV test pattern in the early ’80s. You may remember it. And, guess what. We won. That’s right, you can thank us that those godless test patterns are no longer on late at night when parents are gone to bed and many children sneak into the family rooms to see what’s on TV.

If you, even for a moment, believed any of the above paragraph, you need to get professional help for your gullibility.

This summer will mark 25 years of ministry for us here at AFA. We have a nice, yet modest building which houses about 70 employees, and we also have about 30 people who work for us around the country, primarily at the radio stations we own and operate. It’s difficult to explain to you in a short column what we do here, but I will try.

During the Christmas holidays of 1976 my dad, now 64, was pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Southaven, Mississippi. During that time he felt God call him to leave the pulpit and do something in response to the decline in public moral standards he had witnessed. Television standards of decency were beginning to erode quickly and pornography had gone from the downtown “adult” bookstores to the convenience store racks. Now it has become a multi-billion dollar industry including videos and the Internet. It became in vogue to openly attack the Christian belief system and Christians as socially repressive and anti-intellectual. The social and political homosexual movement was becoming very powerful and influential, despite their relatively small numbers. Dad soon learned there were millions of people that shared his belief that these were unhealthy trends for our society, and he felt a need for a voice to speak in defense of Christian morality, values and virtue.

Over the years, AFA has even used the economic boycott as one way to protest. Although it is a last resort, it has worked many times in getting the attention of companies who were engaged in morally irresponsible activities. I think of the 4,500 7-Eleven stores that pulled the pornographic magazines from their shelves after a two-year boycott. I think of the blasphemous movie The Last Temptation of Christ which played in fewer than one percent of theaters in the United States.

After you try the “please, won’t you change” approach several times and it doesn’t work, what choice do you really have? You put your money where your mouth is. After all, this is America.

You can organize, you can write letters, you can make phone calls on whatever issues you wish, and you can spend your money however you wish. If you don’t have the support, or if your argument has little or no merit, the person or company you are confronting can – and will – just ignore you.

Just a few weeks ago we were encouraging people to contact Abercrombie & Fitch to drop a product line of what the Associated Press called, “thong underwear for children.” That is, backless underwear for young girls 8-12 years of age with the words “eye candy” and “wink, wink” on the front area. It’s called the sexualization of children. Since we put pressure on A&F, they have pulled this item from their Web site and have told our supporters they were dropping the line.

Also, under the AFA umbrella we have the 200-station American Family Radio network. It is 11 years old and reaches across many parts of our country. It’s a 24-hour-a-day Christian radio network providing news, information, Bible teaching, music and inspiration.

In addition, we have the AFA Center for Law and Policy which consists of five attorneys and four assistants who deal in constitutional law and defending the rights of Christians who have had their First Amendment rights violated by governmental or other entities. It happens weekly somewhere in America. We really are the counter to the ACLU. And our AFA Journal goes to 180,000 homes across the country each month.

Many of you reading this have been with AFA for a long time. Some, more recently. Whatever the case, I want to thank you for supporting our work with your prayers, with your actions and with your checkbook. May the Lord bless you, and may the efforts of AFA be pleasing in His sight.