March 2012 – While I was growing up as a child of the 1990s, one of my favorite pastimes was waking up before my parents on Saturday morning to watch cartoons. To this day, I can still recall my favorite shows while eating my self-poured bowl of cereal. My parents never minded me watching those early shows because it meant extra sleep for them. They were confident in two things: 1) I was too busy enjoying the cartoons to break anything, and 2) what I was watching was safe and would not destroy my innocence.
Now that my wife and I are expecting our first child, I know those days of trusting television to be safe are over. Even channels that market themselves with safe-sounding names such as ABC Family Channel, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network are filled with content that is inappropriate at best and downright harmful at worst. Instead of parents being able to sleep in, they must now be more vigilant than ever to protect the innocence of their children.
Few know this fact better than Monica Cole, director of One Million Moms. “Being a mom is hard work,” Cole said. “Any good mother is constantly aware of the responsibilities she has to raise her children in a godly manner, protect their innocence and push back against a culture that wants to steal that innocence away.” OMM exists to help moms protect their children by warning them of current dangers and asking cultural decision-makers to be more responsible.
Some of OMM’s more notable battles of late include convincing advertisers to pull support from the MTV show Skins, which depicted deplorable teenage behavior as normal and even encouraged it. MTV later released a statement saying there would be no second season of the show due to lack of advertising support.
OMM also stood against the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s when it used an offensive and sexual name for one of its flavors. Partly due to the voice of OMM, popular grocery stores such as Stop and Shop refused to carry the product.
Another way OMM strengthens mothers across the country is by partnering with the Extraordinary Women Conference. “The E-Women Conference is a nation-wide movement helping women grow closer to God by providing tools to be better wives and mothers,” Cole said. “It accomplishes so much in such a short amount of time. Women come in and get to experience worship through wonderful music and great Bible teaching. They are also exposed to many great ministries, like OMM, that they otherwise would probably never hear of.”
OMM and E-Women have several common pursuits, but one of the most important is letting women and mothers know they are not alone. Cole said, “One of the greatest things I have experienced since working with OMM is when women tell us how they tried to fight for the innocence of their children on their own and, after discovering OMM, they realized they were not alone. We helped them learn how to amplify their solitary voice by hundreds of thousands.”
There are cultural leaders who see no value in childhood innocence and thus have no problem stealing it away. That is why advertisers can create commercials aimed at preteens and teenagers that use sex to sell tennis shoes or vulgarity to sell ice cream. That is why mothers must be relentless in the protection of their children. That is why ministries like OMM must never give up. Cole said, “Any parent wants to create a safe world for her child to grow up in. We want to help make that world a reality.”
The E-Women Conference is a place where women can experience renewal and revival through worship. The conference features Bible teaching and music. For more information or to register for an event, call 1-800-526-8673 or visit www.ewomen.net.
▶ Tulsa, Oklahoma March 2-3
▶ Greenville, South Carolina March 16-17
▶ Cape Girardeau, Missouri March 30-31
▶ Pensacola, Florida April 20-21
▶ Birmingham, Alabama April 27-28
Fall 2012 dates will be released in early summer.