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Protecting Our Children

Discernment and Alternatives

By JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton

Alternatives are available to the choices we are given by the mass media culture. For one, e very February, Sports Illustrated publishes a steamy swimsuit edition that has elicited angry letters from fans of legitimate sports who are offended by pages filled with soft porn. Now readers can opt out of this issue by calling (866) 228-1175 and request not to receive that week's issue.

Those who opt out of this issue will have their subscriptions extended by one issue. If you make the call, be sure to thank Sports Illustrated for giving families that option

Another choice is to beware of exposure to an entertainer who captivated millions of children in the popular movie, “The Parent Trap” in the 1998's. Lindsay Lohan started out, as did Britney Spears, to be a “wholesome child star,” but, like Spears, she is moving to images, parts and photos that do not keep her in that category.

Lohan made the PG-rated movie “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” and the mother-daughter body-swap flick, “Freaky Friday,” but since then has moved on to “Mean Girls,” which included enough profanity, sexual content and teen drinking to warrant the first PG-13 rating in the 18-year-old actress's career. Since then, Lohan has also posed for racy photos.

The Parents Television Council is urging parents to lobby for more control over cable television content. You can urge your community officials to send a letter indicating their support of cable choice, by writing to: Parent Television Council, 707 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif., 90017. We shouldn't have to pay for cable television programs that we do not want.

You can stop by the service desks of stores and either thank the manager graciously for providing covers for magazines inappropriate for children to see, or you can request that they do so.

You can check your home and remove everything that will introduce your children or grandchildren to sexual lingerie images or sexual swimsuit images. It takes little in today's world to create sexual feelings for young men. Curiosity encourages them to seek experiences that create the same feelings. Addiction comes quickly in today's world because of the explicitness of the images available and because of the Internet, movies and television.

You can make a decision to choose good DVDs for your family viewing. The Parent's Television Council awarded its seal of approval to “Highway to Heaven, Season One.”

It's all up to you – the future of your family, the future of your environment and the future of moral values in today's world.

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