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American Family Association

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Title: American Family Association  
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Subject: Speechless: Silencing the Christians, French Connection (clothing), United States pro-life movement, 2 Live Crew, Christian right
Collection: 1977 Establishments in the United States, 501(C)(3) Nonprofit Organizations, American Christian Political Organizations, American Family Association, American Pro-Life Organizations, Boycott Organizers, Censorship in the United States, Christian Organizations Based in the United States, Christian Organizations Established in the 20Th Century, Christian Politics, Christianity in Mississippi, Conservatism in the United States, Non-Profit Organizations Based in Mississippi, Obscenity Controversies, Organizations Based in Mississippi, Organizations Established in 1977, Organizations That Oppose Lgbt Rights, Organizations That Oppose Same-Sex Marriage, Political Organizations in the United States, Tupelo, Mississippi
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American Family Association

American Family Association
Founded 1977 (1977)
Founder Donald Wildmon
Type Public charity 501(c)(3)
Tax ID no. 64-0607275 (EIN)
Members 180,000 paid subscribers (
Key people Tim Wildmon, President
Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis
Revenue $17,955,438 (2011)[1]
Employees 192
Volunteers 175
Website .net.afawww

The American Family Association (AFA) is a United States fundamentalist Christian values.[2][3][4][5][6][7] It opposes same-sex marriage, pornography, and abortion.[8][9] It also takes a position on a variety of other public policy goals and has lobbied against the Employee Free Choice Act.[10] It was founded in 1977 by Donald Wildmon as the National Federation for Decency and is headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi.

The AFA defined itself as "a Christian organization promoting the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and posted a 2011 budget of over US$16 million.[15] AFA owns 200 American Family Radio stations in 33 states, seven affiliate stations in seven states, and one affiliate TV station KAZQ TV) in New Mexico.[16][17]

AFA has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as of November 2010 for the "propagation of known falsehoods" and the use of "demonizing propaganda" against LGBT people.[18]


  • Operations 1
  • Campaigns and issues 2
    • Boycotts 2.1
    • Published media 2.2
    • Sexual morality 2.3
    • View on media 2.4
    • Opposition to other religions 2.5
    • Homosexuality 2.6
    • One Million Moms/One Million Dads project 2.7
  • Criticism and controversy 3
    • Intellectual freedom 3.1
    • Stance on homosexuality 3.2
    • Marilyn Manson 3.3
    • Labeled a hate group 3.4
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7


Reverend Donald Wildmon served as chairman of AFA until he announced his retirement on March 3, 2010. His son, Tim, is president of AFA. AFA is governed by an independent Board of Directors. AFA Journal is a monthly publication with a circulation of 180,000[19] containing news, features, columns, and interviews. In addition to the publication, AFA Journal articles are made available online. The journal reviews the content of prime-time television shows, categorizing them based on profanity, sex, violence, homosexuality, substance abuse, "anti-Christian" content, or "political correctness". The categorization is accompanied by short descriptions of the content of the episode under review. The review also lists the advertisers of each show and invites readers to contact the advertisers or television networks to express concern over program content.[20]

American Family Radio (AFR) is a network of approximately 200 AFA-owned radio stations broadcasting Christian-oriented programming.[6] (formerly AgapePress), the AFA news division, provides online audio newscasts and a daily digest of news articles, Associated Press stories, and opinion columns.[21]

The AFA Foundation is a planned giving program that allows participants the ability to set up bequests, charitable gift annuities, trusts and wills, that will provide income with tax advantages while supporting charity.[22] In July 2011 the Charity Navigator gave the foundation a four star rating for sound fiscal management[23]

Center for Law and Policy, the legal and political arm of the AFA, was shut down in 2007. It specialized in First Amendment cases. The Center for Law and Policy lobbied legislative bodies, drafted legislation, and filed religious-discrimination lawsuits on behalf of individuals.[17] Chief among its efforts were the recognition of Christmas in seasonal print advertisements; the criminalization of homosexuality;[24][25][26] lobbying against same-sex marriage, and in opposition of equal-rights and hate-crime legislation that would include sexual orientation and gender identity under categories already protected[27][28][29] and advocating censorship of print and electronic media.[30]

Campaigns and issues

The AFA has a history of activism by organizing its members in boycotts and letter-writing campaigns aimed at promoting socially conservative values in the United States. The AFA has promoted boycotts of a number of television shows, movies, and businesses that the group considers to have promoted indecency, obscenity, or homosexuality. In addition to promoting activism via mail to AFA members, 3.4 million subscribers receive AFA "Action Alerts" via email.[6]


The AFA has boycotted companies for various reasons, most often relating to 7-Eleven, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Airlines, American Girl, Blockbuster Video, Burger King, Calvin Klein, Carl's Jr., Clorox, Comcast, Crest, Ford, Hallmark Cards, Hardee's, Kmart, Kraft Foods, S. C. Johnson & Son, Movie Gallery, Microsoft, MTV, Paramount Pictures, Time Warner, Universal Studios, DreamWorks, Mary Kay, NutriSystem, Old Navy, IKEA, Sears, Pampers, Procter & Gamble, Target, Tide, Walt Disney Company, and PepsiCo. The AFA has criticized the People's Republic of China for its persecution of Christians.[34][35][36]

In 1986, 7-Eleven stopped selling [144] House Speaker-Designate John Boehner and the governors of Louisiana, Minnesota and Virginia were among those signing the statement.[145] The SPLC addressed the new website statement; Potok was quoted by David Weigel of Slate magazine as saying, "the SPLC's listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities – and repeated, groundless name-calling."[146] The American Independent News Network (AINN) noted that the AFA had recently denounced Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan as a lesbian unfit for office – AINN stated that "she's not" a lesbian – and that Fischer said Hitler's savage and brutal methods were only possible because he and most of his stormtroopers were gay.[147] Jillian Rayfield of Talking Points Memo noted the irony in the website calling the SPLC a "radical Left" group "spreading hateful rhetoric" yet elsewhere declaring that the debates of the Christian right "can and must remain civil – but they must never be suppressed through personal assaults that aim only to malign an opponent's character."[139]

See also


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  23. ^ Charity Navigator- Retrieved 2012-09-25
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  104. ^ On February 19, 1999, in Coosa County, Alabama, Billy Jack Gaither was beaten to death with an axe handle and his body was burned because he was homosexual.
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  108. ^ Renaldo, Jody (August 2, 2000). "Mississippi Gay Lobby calls for an investigation into the Mississippi based American Family Association and Donald Wildmon.". Equality Mississippi originally as Mississippi Gay Lobby. Archived from the original on July 30, 2007. Retrieved June 27, 2009. 
  109. ^ Renaldo, Jody (June 8, 2005). "American Family Association steals and uses copyrighted pictures as part of its boycott against Kraft Foods".  
  110. ^ The following photos were taken at the last Gay Games events and are shown here for the sole purpose of educating Kraft customers to the types of activities Kraft is supporting.
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  117. ^ Losh, Elizabeth (2009). Virtualpolitik: an electronic history of government media-making in a time.  
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  119. ^ Christian Conservative Leader Calls for No More Mosques in U.S., CBS News, 2010-08-12. Retrieved on November 23, 2010
  120. ^ a b Homosexuality, Hitler and Don't Ask, Don't Tell Bryan Fischer, AFA website, 2010-05-27. Retrieved on November 23, 2010
  121. ^ Fischer, Bryan (August 7, 2012). "Why we need an Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households". Twitter.
  122. ^ "U.S. pastor advocates abducting children from same-sex homes". Toronto Sun. August 9, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  123. ^ Olson, Walter (August 10, 2012). "The New Campaign Against Gay Parenting". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  124. ^ Severson, Kim (2012-10-14). "Seeing a Homosexual Agenda, Christian Group Protests an Anti-Bullying Program". The New York Times.  
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  128. ^ a b c Hall, Randy (June 30, 2005). "'"Christian 'Hate Groups' Accused of 'Anti-Gay Crusade. Retrieved June 27, 2009. 
  129. ^ Besen, Wayne (April 6, 2011). "Extremism Flying Beneath The Radar". Falls Church News Press. Falls Church News-Press Online. Retrieved April 22, 2011. Indeed, the AFA's noxious views were on full display this week, when the group's star radio personality, Bryan Fischer, insulted African Americans. 'Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete,' said Fischer. 'Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it's no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits.' 
  130. ^ McEwen, Alvin (November 23, 2010). "Family Research Council, American Family Association Named as Anti-Gay Hate Groups". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 22, 2011. Yesterday, the Southern Poverty Law Center added five more organizations to its list of anti-gay hate groups, including some names that are long overdue. The new groups are: 1. American Family Association... 
  131. ^ Schlatter, Evelyn (Winter 2010). "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda | Southern Poverty Law Center". Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  132. ^ Waddington, Lynda (November 23, 2010). "Groups that Helped Oust Iowa Judges Earn 'Hate Group' Designation; SPLC Adds American Family Association, Family Research Council to List".  
  133. ^ "SPLC's Anti-Gay Hate List Compiled With Diligence and Clear Standards | Southern Poverty Law Center". December 23, 2010. Archived from the original on March 17, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2011. 
  134. ^ Eichler, Alex (November 23, 2010). "13 New Organizations Added to Anti-Gay 'Hate Groups' List". The Atlantic Wire. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved April 22, 2011. In the winter issue of Intelligence Report, the quarterly magazine of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Evelyn Schlatter takes a look at 18 advocacy groups that speak out against homosexuality. The report says that the groups, which include the American Family Association and the Family Research Council, are responsible for 'demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.' Schlatter notes that 13 of the 18 groups will make SPLC's list of 'hate groups' next year. 
  135. ^ Benen, Steve (December 18, 2010). "This Week in God". Political Animal. Washington Monthly. Retrieved April 22, 2011. In November, the SPLC, a respected source for decades on monitoring extremists and hate-based organizations, raised quite a few eyebrows with its updated lists, which included some leading religious right entities – including the Family Research Council and the American Family Association – along side mainstays like the KKK. 
  136. ^ Banks, Adele M. (November 29, 2010). "Religion News Service: Hate group watchdog adds Family Research Council to its list". The Pew Forum. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Archived from the original on April 23, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2011. Mark Potok, director of the center's Intelligence Project, said the groups were not chosen because of their beliefs that homosexual activity is sinful. 'The religious nature of these organizations has absolutely nothing to do with our listings,' he said in an interview Monday (Nov. 29). 'The listings are based on the propagation of known falsehoods and demonizing propaganda.' 
  137. ^ Nelson, Josh (November 29, 2010). "Judge-ouster supporters blast 'hate' label". Retrieved April 22, 2011. The law center, which has monitored extremist groups and hate speech for 40 years, is known for its successful litigation against white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nations. The group said it listed groups like the American Family Association because they 'have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.' The report said mere opposition of same-sex marriage isn't enough to get listed as a 'hate group.' 
  138. ^ Mantyla, Kyle (November 29, 2010). "Religious Right United In Outrage Over SPLC Hate Group Designations". Right Wing Watch. People For the American Way. Archived from the original on April 11, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2011. Many influential Religious Right groups found themselves placed upon the SPLC's updated list, including the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, National Organization for Marriage, and Liberty Counsel. And to say that they are not happy about it would be a massive understatement. 
  139. ^ a b Rayfield, Jillian (December 15, 2010). "Boehner, Cantor Back Family Research Council Campaign Against SPLC". TPMDC. Talking Points Memo. Retrieved April 22, 2011. Unsurprisingly, the FRC was not happy about the designation, and labeled the list 'slanderous.' And today they launched a 'Start Debating, Stop Hating' website, and took out a full page ad in Politico, Dave Weigel reports. The ad says: 'The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal fundraising machine whose tactics have been condemned by observers across the political spectrum, is doing just that.' ... Ironically, the ad argues that 'our debates can and must remain civil – but they must never be suppressed through personal assaults that aim only to malign an opponent's character,' right after it refers to the SPLC as 'the radical Left' that's 'spreading hateful rhetoric.' 
  140. ^ "Southern Poverty Law Center Defames Mainstream Pro-Family Groups as 'Hate Groups'; DefendChristians.Org Calls on Congress to Defund the SPLC". Christian News Wire. Christian Communication Network. November 24, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2011. The Southern Poverty Law Center has released a new list of 'hate groups' that includes many highly regarded, mainstream Christian organizations because of their opposition to homosexuality. 'The Southern Poverty Law Center has utterly discredited themselves by this provocative attack on organizations that promote traditional family values,' said Rev. Gary L. Cass, of DefendChristians.Org, a ministry of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. 'Labeling mainstream conservative organizations as "Hate groups" is defamatory and is simply an intimidation tactic. We call on Congress to cut off their funding.' 
  141. ^ Barber, J. Matt (November 26, 2010). "SPLC: The wolf who cried 'hate' – Self-marginalizing left turns itself into a punch line". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on April 27, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2011. Most notably, the SPLC has placed alongside the Klan and other neo-Nazi organizations, the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council (FRC) and the Mississippi-based American Family Association (AFA). Their crime? 'Anti-gay ... propagation of known falsehoods' (read: recognition of stubborn, politically incorrect scientific and theological facts that are beyond serious debate). I say 'most notably' because these two groups alone contain membership rolls in the millions. 
  142. ^ Rossomando, John (December 6, 2010). "Southern Poverty Law Center: Social conservative organizations are hate groups". The Daily Caller. Retrieved April 22, 2011. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) says it will not back down from its decision to label the Family Research Council and other socially conservative groups as hate groups, on par with the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nations, for their views about homosexuality. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins recently asked SPLC to retract the hate group designation, but SPLC Intelligence Project Director Mark Potok told The Daily Caller that will never happen. SPLC's Winter 2010 edition of its Intelligence Report magazine lists the Family Research Council as a hate group alongside the American Family Association, the Traditional Values Coalition, and 11 other social conservative groups. 
  143. ^ Williams, Ken (December 17, 2010). "Commentary: Bravo to Southern Poverty Law Center for calling out hate groups like NOM, Family Research Council". San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. Hale Media, Inc. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  144. ^ a b "Start Debating/Stop Hating".  
  145. ^ a b Potok, Mark (December 15, 2010). "SPLC Responds to Attack by FRC, Conservative Republicans". Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on April 20, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2011. This morning, 22 members of Congress and a large number of other conservatives signed on to a public statement attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for listing several anti-gay religious right organizations as hate groups. Published in two Washington, D.C., newspapers as a full-page ad, the statement was organized by the powerful Family Research Council (FRC) and other 'pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and the family.' The statement, whose signatories included House Speaker-Designate John Boehner and the governors of Louisiana, Minnesota and Virginia, ran under the headline, 'Start Debating/Stop Hating.' It accused 'elements of the radical Left' of trying to 'shut down informed discussion of policy issues' and decried those who attempt to suppress debate 'through personal assaults that aim only to malign an opponent’s character.' The SPLC, it said, was engaging in 'character assassination.' 
  146. ^ Weigel, David (December 15, 2010). "Boehner, Cantor, Bachmann, Pence and More Against the Southern Poverty Law Center". Weigel: Reporting About Politics and Policy. Slate. Retrieved April 22, 2011.  Mark Potok is quoted as saying, "the SPLC's listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities – and repeated, groundless name-calling."
  147. ^ Birkey, Andy (December 15, 2010). "King, Hurley sign letter of support for 'hate groups': Conservatives come to the defense of Family Research Council, American Family Association". Iowa Independent. The American Independent News Network. Archived from the original on April 10, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2011. The Mississippi-based American Family Association recently said Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan should be disqualified from office because she's a lesbian (she's not). The group's director of issue analysis for government and public policy, Bryan Fischer, has said nearly all of Hitler's stormtroopers were gay, because 'he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual soldiers basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after.' Fischer has also argued for laws making homosexual sex illegal, claiming it is as lethal as intravenous drug use. 

Further reading

  • Hunter, James Davison (1991). Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America. New York, NY: BasicBooks.  

External links

  • American Family Association official site
  • AFA Journal
  • American Family Radio
  • American Family Association Collection (MUM00008) owned by the University of Mississippi, Archives and Special Collections.
J. Matt Barber of [140] In response to the SPLC's announcement, some members of the Christian right "called on Congress to cut off their funding."[139] calling the list "slanderous".[138] The AFA was greatly displeased with the designation as a hate group,

In November 2010, the SPLC changed their listing of AFA from a group that used hate speech to the more serious one of being designated a hate group.[130][131][132][133][134][135] Potok said that the AFA's "propagation of known falsehoods and demonizing propaganda" was the basis for the change.[136][137]

The Southern Poverty Law Center, in a 2005 report, stated that the AFA, along with other groups, engaged in David Lane.[129] Lane helped AFA put constitutional opposite-sex marriage amendments on the ballots of 13 states.[128]

Labeled a hate group

Paul Cambria, lawyer for rock band Biloxi, Mississippi.[127]

Marilyn Manson

The Southern Poverty Law Center, through its Teaching Tolerance program, has encouraged schools across the U.S. to hold a "Mix It Up at Lunch" day in order to encourage students to break up cliques and prevent bullying. In late 2012, the AFA called the project – begun 11 years earlier and held in more than 2,500 schools – "a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools", urging parents to keep their children home from school on October 30, 2012, and to call the schools to protest the event. "I was surprised that they completely lied about what Mix It Up Day is", Maureen Costello, the director of the center's Teaching Tolerance project, which organizes the program, told The New York Times. "It was a cynical, fear-mongering tactic."[124]

In August 2012, Fischer compared the children of gay parents to slaves, tweeting that "we need an Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households".[121][122][123]

In May 2010, Bryan Fischer, the AFA's director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy,[119] wrote a blog post on the AFA website[120] detailing purported allegations that Adolf Hitler was a homosexual, and concluded by claiming that the Holocaust (which actually included gay victims of Nazi persecution) was caused by homosexuals in the Nazi German military: "Nazi Germany became the horror that it was because it rejected both Christianity and its clear teaching about human sexuality. These are mistakes no sane culture should ever make again."[120]

In June 2008, AFA's news website, OneNewsNow – which had begun replacing all instances of "gay" with "homosexual" in re-posted [117][118]

The American Family Association has objected to having their comments on homosexuality described as homophobia and akin to racism or sexism, saying that their beliefs are based in religion.[111]

In 2005, Equality Mississippi publicly spoke out against the AFA for the use of copyrighted images on the AFA web site in its boycott against Kraft Foods for being a sponsor of the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago. The photographs, which were used without permission, were owned by and retrieved from Equality Mississippi encouraged to file suit against the AFA and offered to support the suit.[109] As of March 2009, the images were still on AFA's web site.[110]

In July 2000, the AFA sent out emails and letters calling for gay community.[108]

In 1998, multiple organizations voiced criticism of a series of AFA-sponsored full-page newspaper advertisements that promoted religious ministries involved in the ex-gay movement. In response to the advertisements, the Religious Leadership Roundtable said the ads employed "language of violence and hatred to denounce other people". IntegrityUSA criticized the ads, calling them "evil" disregarding Christian teachings about the "dignity of every human being". DignityUSA also criticized the advertisements, which they said were "misleading and destructive".[105]

During the same time, the City and County of San Francisco passed two resolutions. Resolution No. 234-99 "calls for the Religious Right to take accountability for the impact of their long-standing rhetoric denouncing gays and lesbians, which leads to a climate of mistrust and discrimination that can open the door to horrible crimes such as those committed against Mr. Gaither."[104] and Resolution No. 873-98 was specifically directed at "anti-gay" television advertisements. AFA unsuccessfully challenged these actions as violating the Free Speech and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment in American Family Association v. City and County of San Francisco.[103]

Supervisor Leslie Katz denounces your rhetoric against gays, lesbians and transgendered people. What happened to Matthew Shepard is in part due to the message being espoused by your groups that gays and lesbians are not worthy of the most basic equal rights and treatment. It is not an exaggeration to say that there is a direct correlation between these acts of discrimination, such as when gays and lesbians are called sinful and when major religious organizations say they can change if they tried, and the horrible crimes committed against gays and lesbians.

On October 19, 1998, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, led by Leslie Katz, wrote a letter to the AFA in response to an advertisement placed in the San Francisco Chronicle by the AFA regarding homosexuality and Christianity. The letter stated:[103]

In 1998, the Internet filtering software CyberPatrol blocked the AFA's web site, classifying it under the category "intolerance", defined as "pictures or text advocating prejudice or discrimination against any race, color, national origin, religion, disability or handicap, gender or sexual orientation..." AFA spokesman Steve Ensley told reporters, "Basically we're being blocked for free speech." CyberPatrol cited quotes from the AFA for meeting its intolerance criteria, which included: "Indifference or neutrality toward the homosexual rights movement will result in society's destruction by allowing civil order to be redefined and by plummeting ourselves, our children, and grandchildren into an age of godlessness"; "A national 'Coming Out of Homosexuality' provides us a means whereby to dispel the lies of the homosexual rights crowd who say they are born that way and cannot change"; and "We want to outlaw public homosexuality...We believe homosexuality is immoral and leads ultimately to personal and social decay."[5][26][99][102]

Former AFA California leader Scott Lively[25][100] is a co-author of The Pink Swastika (published 1995), which claims that all of the major leaders in the Nazi regime were homosexual, a claim which is rejected by historians.[101] He has since co-founded Watchmen on the Walls.

The AFA has been criticized by a number of organizations for their stance against gay rights.[25][98][99]

Stance on homosexuality

Individuals in the media industry have criticized Donald Wildmon, the founder of AFA. Gene Mater, Senior Vice President of CBS Television, has stated, "We look upon Wildmon's efforts as the greatest frontal assault on intellectual freedom this country has ever faced" and Brandon Tartikoff, former NBC Entertainment President, stated that Wildmon's boycott campaign was "the first step toward a police state."[97]

Intellectual freedom

Criticism and controversy

The organization has also criticized GEICO for a commercial showing Maxwell the Pig in a car with a human girl, saying it suggests bestiality.[96]

On December 6, 2012, One Million Moms released a statement on their website, again objecting to JC Penney's use of Ellen DeGeneres as spokesperson in a Christmas-themed commercial, saying, "Since April, JC Penney's has not aired Ellen DeGeneres in one of their commercials until now. A new JCP ad features Ellen and three elves. JCP has made their choice to offend a huge majority of their customers again."[95]

The One Million Moms expressed opposition to Marvel and DC Comics issues which featured gay characters. They described the story lines as a "brainwashing and desensitizing experience" for children, written to "influence them in thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable."[94]

AFA created One Million Moms and One Million Dads, two websites with the stated goal of mobilizing parents to "stop the exploitation of children" by the media. It uses these websites to organize boycotts and urge activists to send emails to mainstream companies employing advertising, selling products, or advertising on television shows they find offensive.[90] In 2012, the group started and then backed off from a failed campaign against the hiring of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson for department store chain JC Penney.[91] They opposed her employment on the grounds that DeGeneres is "an open homosexual".[92] At a taping of her show, DeGeneres informed her audience of the fizzled effort: "They wanted to get me fired and I am proud and happy to say JC Penney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson."[93]

One Million Moms/One Million Dads project

The AFA's founder, Don Wildmon, was "instrumental" in initially setting up the Arlington Group, a networking vehicle for social conservatives focusing on gay marriage.[17]

In 2000, vice president Tim Wildmon spoke out against gay-straight alliance clubs in schools, stating, "We view these kinds of clubs as an advancement of the homosexual cause."[85] In 2004, the AFA raised concerns about the movie Shark Tale because the group believed the movie was designed to promote the acceptance of gay rights by children.[6][86] On the October 11, 2005, AFA broadcast, Tim Wildmon agreed with a caller that cable networks like Animal Planet and HGTV featured "evidence of homosexuality and lesbian people" and added that "you have to watch out for children's programs today as well because they'll slip it in there as well."[87] In 2007, the AFA spoke out against IKEA for featuring gay families in their television ads.[88] In June 2008, the AFA protested a Heinz television advertisement, shown in the United Kingdom, which showed two men kissing, which Heinz then withdrew.[89]

In 1996, responding to a complaint from an AFA member who was participating in an AFA campaign targeting gay journalists, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram transferred a gay editor out of a job that occasionally required him to work with schoolchildren. The AFA targeted the editor due to cartoon strips he created, which were published in gay magazines. The paper apparently acted on the AFA's unsubstantiated statement that the editor was "preoccupied with the subjects of pedophilia and incest."[84]

The AFA actively lobbies against the social acceptance of homosexual behavior ("We oppose the homosexual movement's efforts to convince our society that their behavior is normal").[82] The AFA also actively promotes the idea that homosexuality is a choice and that sexual orientation can be changed through ex-gay ministries.[83]

The AFA expresses public concern over what it refers to as the "homosexual agenda". They state that the Bible "declares that homosexuality is unnatural and sinful" and that they have "sponsored several events reaching out to homosexuals and letting them know there is love and healing at the Cross of Christ."[81]


On August 10, 2010, Bryan Fischer, AFA's director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy, posted on his blog that "Permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America, let alone the monstrosity planned for Ground Zero. This is for one simple reason: each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government." This was in response to a 1991 memorandum circulated by the Muslim Brotherhood where they call for "grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house", as well as the ongoing debate about building the Park51 mosque and Islamic community center near Ground Zero in Manhattan. Fischer continued: "Because of this subversive ideology, Muslims cannot claim religious freedom protections under the First Amendment."[80]

On July 13, 2007, a Hindu prayer was conducted in the U.S. Senate. Rajan Zed, director of interfaith relations at a Hindu temple, read the prayer at the invitation of Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who defended his invitation based on the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. AFA sent out an "Action Alert" to its members to email, write letters, or call their Senators to oppose the Hindu prayer, stating it is "seeking the invocation of a non-monotheistic god."[76][77][78] The "alert" stated that "since Hindus worship multiple gods, the prayer will be completely outside the American paradigm, flying in the face of the American motto One Nation Under God."[79] The convocation by Zed was in fact disrupted by three protesters from a different Fundamentalist Christian activist group, Operation Save America, in the gallery; they reportedly shouted "this is an abomination", and called themselves "Christians and patriots".[76]

On November 28, 2006, following the election of Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress,[72] the AFA released an "Action Alert." The Action Alert, entitled "A first for America...The Koran replaces the Bible at swearing-in oath: What book will America base its values on, the Bible or the Koran?", requested subscribers to write to their Congressional representatives and urge them to create a "law making the Bible the book used in the swearing-in ceremony of representatives and senators."[73][74][75]

Opposition to other religions

Wildmon has been accused of saying that he believes Hollywood and the theater world are heavily influenced by Jewish people, and that television network executives and advertisers have a genuine hostility towards Christians.[69][70][71]

View on media

Speaking in defense of Mike Huckabee's statements that people with AIDS should be quarantined, the head of the AFA of Pennsylvania said Huckabee's comments were being taken out of context, and that the measures Huckabee recommended in reference to people with AIDS were appropriate.[68]

The AFA has repeatedly lobbied Congress to eliminate funding for the pederasty in the Far East."[67]

Sexual morality

Speechless: Silencing the Christians is a 2008 documentary series hosted by Janet Parshall. The documentary series explains the AFA's position against the drive towards political correctness, and how various factors, such as hate crime laws and other discriminatory actions, are threatening the Christians' existence. In 2009, a one-hour special version of the program was produced and aired on commercial television stations, where AFA purchased the air time.[65]

On April 16, 2007, following the Virginia Tech Massacre, the AFA released a video titled The Day They Kicked God out of the Schools, in which God tells a student that students were killed in schools because God isn't allowed in schools anymore. The video claims that the shootings at Virginia Tech and Columbine, among others, are in part the result of: decreased discipline in schools; no prayer in schools; sex out of wedlock; rampant violence in TV, movies, and music; or abortions.[63][64]

Published media

In July 2012, they considered boycotting Google due to Google's "Legalize Love" campaign which supports LGBT rights.[62]

In 2012 the AFA led a boycott against Archie Comics when they published a comic book featuring a same-sex marriage.[61]

In November 2009, the AFA called for a boycott against clothing retailer The Gap, Inc., claiming the retailer's holiday television advertising campaign failed to mention Christmas. "Christmas has historically been very good for commerce. But now Gap wants the commerce but no Christmas" wrote an AFA spokesperson. The Gap soon released an advertisement in response to the boycott, specifically referring to Christmas, albeit with a number of other holidays that take place at the same time of year and added the word "Christmas" to in-store decor.[59][60]

In December 2008, the AFA issued an "Action Alert"[57] which called for members to protest about the Campbell Soup Company, which had purchased two two-page advertisements in the December 2008 and January 2009 issues of LGBT magazine The Advocate. The Action Alert said that Campbell's "sent a message that homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy of support". The advertisements showed a married lesbian couple with their son. AFA spokesman Randy Sharp said "the Campbell Soup Company is saying 'we approve of homosexual marriage.'"[58]

On August 25, 2008, the AFA announced their boycott of Hallmark Cards for their decision to start selling same-sex wedding cards.[56]

On Independence Day 2008, the AFA announced a boycott of McDonald's,[54] which had a director on the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. In October 2008, AFA announced the end of its boycott following the declaration to be "neutral on same-sex marriage or any 'homosexual agenda' as defined by the American Family Association" by McDonald's in a memo to franchisees.[55]

In Spring 2005 the AFA launched a boycott of gay pride celebrations.[43][50][51] After meeting with representatives of the group, Ford announced it was curtailing ads in a number of major gay-themed publications, due not by cultural but by "cost-cutting" factors. That statement was contradicted by the AFA, which claimed it had a "good faith agreement" that Ford would cease such ads. Soon afterwards, as a result of a strong outcry from the gay community, Ford backtracked and announced it would continue ads in gay publications, in response to which the AFA denounced Ford for "violating" the agreement, and renewed threats of a boycott.[52] The boycott ended in March 2008.[53]

In 2005 the AFA boycotted the company American Girl, seller of dolls and accessories, because the company supported the charity Girls, Inc., which the AFA called "a pro-abortion, pro-lesbian advocacy group".[49]

In 2003, the AFA, with the American Decency Association, Focus on the Family, and Citizens for Community Values, lobbied and boycotted Abercrombie & Fitch, calling on "A&F to stop using blatant pornography in its quarterly catalog."[47] In December 2003, the company "recalled the holiday catalog from all its stores, saying it needed the space on the counter for a new perfume" and stated it would stop printing catalogs and start a new campaign.[48]

During the summer of 1993 the AFA purchased full-page ads in The New York Times, USA Today, and Los Angeles Times denouncing the sexual and violent content of the upcoming ABC police drama NYPD Blue.[41] It also urged ABC affiliates not to broadcast the program and citizens to boycott sponsors of Blue. About a quarter of the 225 existing ABC stations followed suit, but such affiliates were mostly in rural areas of the US. The AFA campaign increased hype for the show in larger American media markets, and Blue became one of the most popular shows of the 1993–1994 television season.[42] In 1996, the AFA launched a boycott against Walt Disney Company when the company began giving benefits to same-sex employees in domestic partnerships. The AFA has claimed that Michael Eisner, the CEO of The Disney Company, "was involved in a media group that actively promoted the homosexual agenda" and was pushing the "gay agenda". The AFA ended the boycott in the spring of 2005 after Eisner left the company.[43][44][45] Tim Wildmon stated "We feel after nine years of boycotting Disney we have made our point."[46]

Christian Leaders for Responsible Television (CLeaR-TV), affiliated with the AFA, has approached sponsors of programs that it considered immoral. In 1989, CLeaR-TV successfully persuaded General Mills, Ralston Purina, Domino's Pizza, Mazda, and Noxell to withdraw advertising from Saturday Night Live.[39] AFA also boycotted PepsiCo that year also for supporting Madonna, whose video for "Like a Prayer" Wildmon felt was sacrilegious.[40]

The case was settled by the parties without a court ruling. [38]

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