High-Profile Crusade


A story from MI on The American Family Association.

To some, the American Family Association is one of the greatest protectors of conservative values in this nation. To others, it is a group of mean-spirited censors who deal in half-truths and intimidation.

Either way, the Tupelo, Miss.-based organization has a long history of activism, largely aimed at what it considers the pernicious influence of the media. Its local affiliate, the Holland Area Family Association, has been active for a decade, but its previous local efforts have largely been sound and fury with little results.

Over the years, the group led drives against the sitcom \"Ellen\" for its perceived promotion of homosexuality, radio shock jock Howard Stern, the National Endowment for the Arts and the presence of adult magazines in federal prisons.
\"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,\" he said. \"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.\"
Wildmon then came up with a plan for members his church to turn off the TV for a week. He sent out a press release and the national media picked up on it, beginning a high-profile crusade against indecency.
That crusade came to Holland in March 1990, with the organization of the local chapter. That August, the group made its first public display, placing billboards around the city that said, \"Pornography victimizes women and children.\"
The group has staged numerous demonstrations at stores that rented adult movies, and in 1993 led a successful drive against a local restaurant\'s weekly lingerie show.
Irv Bos, a member of the HAFA board from the beginning and its current vice president, said his work as an apartment owner has shown him there is a link between pornography and marital problems.

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