When we earn the privilege of being persecuted
Don Wildmon
Don Wildmon
AFA/AFR founder

November-December 1993 – Sometimes life is the opposite of what it seems. Sometimes when we are being persecuted, we are actually being blessed. With our finite minds we find that hard to understand, but that doesn’t affect the truth of the matter.

During the past several months, as we have fought the battle against the vulgarity and violence in NYPD Blue, this truth hit home with me. Many of the secular TV critics, angry with our protest and our success, have rolled out all the negative terms they can find in describing me. Censor leads the list. But there are some new ones.

Jonathan Storm, TV critic for the The Philadelphia Inquirer, stretched his mind to write: “The Rev. Donald Wildmon and his menagerie of reactionary bozos...” He goes on to criticize the “cowardly” station managers “at more than 30 of ABC’s affiliates” who refused to air the program. (Actually, the number was 61, but Mr. Storm didn’t want to give us that much credit so he cut the number in half. At least he didn’t lie. You could say he simply told a half-truth.)

Down in Macon, Georgia, the local paper had big headlines which read: “Macon station will ‘censor’ NYPD Blue.” Of course, there was no censorship involved, but the folks at the Macon Telegraph wanted to leave the impression that those who protested the filth on NYPD Blue were censors. (They said nothing about the dozens of other programs offered to, but turned down by, WGXA, the ABC affiliate. And they said nothing about scores of articles submitted to the Telegraph which they “censored” by refusing to run them.)

In the course of telling their readers about us good censors, Robin Stacy referred to me in this manner: “Christian fundamentalist fund raiser, a Tupelo, Mississippi, minister....” It looks good, you know, to make it appear that money was the motive in our efforts against NYPD Blue. To the best of my knowledge, that is the first time I have been referred to as a “fund raiser” as my primary job.

Tony Kiss, Entertainment Editor for the Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen-Times, was not to be outdone. Speaking about AFA, he said: “The association is headed by the Rev. Donald Wildmon, an ultra-conservative minister famous for leading protests against firms he says are morally permissive.” Mr. Kiss felt that ultra-conservative was much more negative than simply conservative. But I doubt very seriously that you will ever see him referring to anyone from the networks or Hollywood as being “ultra-liberal.” In the eyes of the secular media, there is no such creature.

Of course, the TV critics and newspaper writers have been doing their best to discredit AFA and myself for about 16 years. What do I think about it? I praise God for it! I consider their condemnation a high honor. It means that I’m doing my job right.

Standing on a mountainside by the Sea of Galilee, the Galilean Carpenter spoke: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

I’m serious when I say this—I thank God for the high privilege of being persecuted for righteousness’ sake. I am indeed a blessed person. I have made the right enemies—and the right friends—in life. For that I am thankful.  undefined