December 2021 – What better foundation could one find than the Ten Commandments for how to live well? They are still the gold standard for how to treat others with respect and live one’s life with integrity.
However, today’s culture seems to have been hijacked by a moral code that (1) devalues life (abortion); (2) diminishes personal freedoms (government overreach with socialist/Marxist policies); (3) disrespects others’ property (rampant destruction, burning, looting); and (4) applauds negative entertainment (ridiculing moral values in entertainment).
One man saw it coming 45 years ago this Christmas season. A few months later, in 1977, the downward direction of television entertainment was what inspired Don Wildmon to found AFA.
Twenty-four years later in an article titled “Deceit, lying have no consequences on sitcoms” (AFA Journal, 4/01), editor Randall Murphree wrote, “… literature has often been the vehicle by which we are uplifted and encouraged that morality can triumph over immorality” (emphasis added).
Reviewing the early decades of AFA ministry, he cited how sitcoms of the 1980s and 1990s had a field day depicting moral behavior as a thing to ridicule.
Ironically, Murphree wrote, “… Christian characters are frequently the liars in sitcoms.” It was like a purge of moral uprightness from prime-time television.
For example, in the 1980s series Amen (NBC), Deacon Frye was regularly a liar and a cheat. And on The Cavanaughs (CBS), a proud, self-centered priest lied to his bishop. And in Soul Man (ABC), Father Mike, series star, had his 6-year-old son lie to a parishioner. All in the name of good fun! Laugh tracks roared.
In Roseanne (ABC), one of the 1990s’ biggest “family” hits, the main character ordered a new stove for her diner; two were delivered, and she sold the extra one for cash. In another episode, her husband Dan stole various office supplies – and a desk – when he was fired. In January 1993, the father in The Simpsons (Fox) coached his children on how to lie about their ages for cheaper admission at the amusement park.
The campaign was subtle, it caught viewers by surprise, and it lulled them into laughing at sin. Unfortunately, the deluge has continued through the ensuing years. But AFA will pursue with passion its goal of cultural transformation by standing strong for biblical morality.
Visit afa.net to learn more.
The following presents the core values of American Family Association. AFA desires that these values define and drive this ministry to transform culture by fulfilling the Great Commission.
▶ Evangelism and discipleship – AFA aims to evangelize the lost and disciple the believer.
▶ Marriage and family – AFA aims to strengthen biblical marriages and equip parents to raise godly children.
▶ Morality – AFA believes true morality flows from biblical principles and directs people to the manner in which God intends them to live.
▶ Sanctity of human life – AFA upholds the truth that all human beings, including the unborn, are created in the image of God and are worthy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
▶ Stewardship – AFA believes that its ministry, as well as everything in the heavens and on earth, belongs to God, and AFA’s role in it all is that of a trusted manager.
▶ Religious liberty – AFA believes that all men and women, whether in private or public, should be free to exercise their faith without hindrance from the government.