The American Family Association
Length: 735 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)
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A simple observation of television commercials between segments of a sitcom can find many aspects of life that our founding fathers worked to eliminate. Those who laid the building blocks for this country built it with trust in God. They wanted to build a country based on the Bible. In today’s society, that goal is no longer a priority, and violence and sex are seen each and every day. However, there is one group that is working to re-establish these morals in today’s society.
The American Family Association, or AFA as it is referred to, believes that the entertainment industry has played a significant role in the deterioration of the values on which our country was founded and which keep our families and society as a whole strong. As stated on the homepage, the American Family Association, founded in 1977 by Don Wildmon, is a non-profit organization that represents and stands for traditional family values, focusing primarily on the influence of television and other media on our society. The mission statement of the AFA gives a summation of their purpose: “The American Family Association exists to motivate and equip citizens in the culture to reflect Biblical truth (AFA Online).”
The AFA believes that God has communicated the absolute truth to man through the Bible and that each person is subject to God’s authority at all times. The AFA trusts that a society based on Biblical truth best aids the well-being of a culture, and reflects the vision of our country’s founding fathers. The group believes in holding companies accountable for attacks on traditional family values, as well as approving companies who are responsible for the programs which they support.
The American Family Association was organized in an indirect manner. As stated in the AFA homepage, President Don Wildmon tells about the group’s formation in his own words:
One evening in 1977 I sat down with my family to watch TV. On one channel was adultery, on another cursing, on another a man beating another over the head with a hammer.
I asked the children to turn off the TV. I sat there, got angry, and said, 'They’re going to bring this into my home, and I'm going to do all I can to change it.
I brooded for a while and then came up with a plan for our church to turn off the TV for a week. I sent out a press release and the national media picked up on it. Through that ‘Turn off the TV Week’ I learned there were literally millions of other people around the country who felt the same way I did. That was the beginning of the American Family Association (AFA Online).
The AFA also takes action against homosexuality and pornography. This is not to say that the AFA abhors these people. The AFA believes that people need to live by the teachings of the Bible. The Bible tells us to reject sin, but also to love our neighbor. It’s on this love that the AFA bases its stand, to show its love for others by showing them the right path. According to its homepage, the AFA also does not support censorship. The American Family Association believes that people should take responsibility. They believe that government imposed censorship is different than responsibility. With responsibility, producers and advertisers would voluntarily regulate what they spread to the public (AFA Online).
The American Family Association has accomplished much. As stated in the AFA website, the association has played a vital role in many issues. The AFA played a fundamental role in the Disney/ABC cancellation of the pro-homosexual show Ellen. The AFA led the campaign to encourage responsible advertisers to drop from the show. The AFA and other pro-family groups sponsored a rally in support of Judge Roy Moore of Alabama who refused to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom (AFA Online).
The AFA leads the effort to clean up the Howard Stern Radio Show. To date, over two-thirds of all advertisers dropped from the show in monitored areas. The AFA promotes Pornography Awareness Week; has distributed 400,000 copies of the "Fight Back Book," a comprehensive resource guide of TV advertisers; and promotes Shatter the Silence, a national observance to bring awareness to religious persecution throughout the world. The AFA leads efforts to expose abuse of tax dollars by the National Endowment for the Arts (AFA Online).