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Protecting Our Children

Be Aware of What is Coming and Speak Out!

By JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton

“MTV, the controversial cable network known for promoting sexual immorality, is set to launch a new channel dedicated to all things homosexual,” was a statement on the home page of the American Family Association Journal, in August 2004.

The article continued: “Scheduled for a February 17 debut, the network will be called Logo, and feature gay-themed movies, re-runs and reality-oriented re-runs, according to The Detroit News.

A concern for pro-family groups is that the plan is to offer Logo as part of the basic cable package, rather than as a premium channel like HBO or Showtime. Donald Wildmon, editor of the AFA Journal states, “That means parents have to worry about kids scanning past a channel with 24-hour-a-day homosexual programming on their way to watching cartoons.”

It seems that people should not be required to pay for a basic package of programming that might include channels they don't want to view. Making cable ala carte would allow people to bring into their homes and pay for only that which they want. If you would like to support cable being purchased ala carte, e-mail Chairman Michael K. Powell at Michael.Powell@fcc.gov or write: Federal Communication Commission (FCC), 445 12 th St. S.W., Washington, D.C., 20554.

The answer to problems like these? Speak out on issues! An example of a success is reported in The Wall Street Journal: Victoria 's Secret has cancelled plans to televise its annual fashion show this year. That happened as a result of Parents Television Council's (PTC) members sending thousands of complaints to the FCC. Also the FCC reversed the “F-word” decision because of public outcry. It is definitely the time to speak out for decency, and it is rewarding to see that it makes a difference.

Parents who are upset about violent content in their kids' video games now need to worry about nudity and sex, according to the AFA Journal, (August 2004): “An article in CNN/Money highlighted a growing trend within the video game industry to add sleaze.” The sleaze includes nudity and sex. Supposedly the games will be rated, but it is likely that the ratings will be stretched as the movie industry has done. In the CNN/Money article, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said they plan to listen to their customers. If we say nothing, we will get the explicit games available in so-called family-friendly locations.

To assist the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) efforts to crack down on the marketing and sale of violent entertainment to children, Parents Television Council is offering an easy-to-use online complaint form through its website, www.ParentsTV.org. If you see R-rated films, anything incorrectly labeled, no rating at all for violent content, or M-rated video games being advertised in inappropriate venues, or being sold to children, you can file a complaint with the FTC through the PTC's website. All complaints will be directly forwarded to the FTC. Remember that silence is taken as consent.

Another thing you can do is write your congressmen and ask them to protect your home and community from indecency and obscenity on television, radio, cable and satellite. You can locate your congressman by visiting the House or Senate web sites at www.house.gov or www.sentate.gov.

Other than speaking out, I suggest that you play any new computer/video game before you allow your children to do so, see the videos, etc., and thoroughly check out what you bring into your home. Never rely solely on printed ratings. In my opinion, you cannot afford to omit this action in your home.


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