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October 2005 Newsletter
WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS! When I look back and remember that only Cosmopolitan Magazine was being covered here and there five years ago when we got involved in this, I marvel at what has happened. Albertsons has a policy of covering 16 magazines and has discontinued four, many other stores all over the state and in other states, too, are getting inappropriate magazines covered, four cities in Utah are 95% child appropriate and several others are close. Eighteen cities have passed resolutions indicating that they want their community to be child-appropriate and Citizens for Families has about 6,000 members. More information is on our web site, and there is a statewide effort to develop community standards that are appropriate for children.
We are steadily moving toward decency, but only because of your persistence in thanking managers and making requests for covers for inappropriate magazines as well as working with city councils to pass resolutions that indicate that your city would like to have a child-appropriate community standard. FLASH! Hansen Classics has donated to us lots of their lovely family figurines with plaques that can be engraved. If you have a store you want to recognize for being family friendly, contact me and you may award a Hansen Classic figurine to your store or your city council at no cost!
FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Our policy is to educate and thank. We will want to Support El Matador in Bountiful as they open since they have chosen to withdraw their request for a beer license and NOT sell beer. Enjoy their good food and then thank the owner for this new policy so he realizes how important it is to the community. You may want to attend the city council meeting hearing at 7 p.m. on November 8, which will involve an official request for the city to restore the ordinance as it was giving automatic protection to areas very close to places frequented by children; otherwise there can be variances approved everywhere.
Below is a report of where we are, but first let me list what we need in order to keep moving toward decency.
Let me suggest a new way to approach managers. I was at the cash register at a Target store. I asked the gal if she would call the manager. She did. Notice that I didn't use any of my time to do this. When he came I said, "I really think you are wonderful!" Of course he smiled. Then I continued, "I appreciate so very much that you are covering some of the magazines that are inappropriate for children." He is still smiling. Then I said, "You are about 75% appropriate for children. Could you please cover the other three or four magazines?" He said, "It's hard, but I think I can." I said, "You obviously know it is important. By the way, Fred Myers in Bountiful is close to 100%. I think you can do it." He asked me to keep reminding him when I came in and he would really try.
Products: The LDS DVD, Safeguarding Families, that we have worked on for almost a year is out. It is available at Deseret Book Store or online at strengthenthefamily.net. Hopefully grandparents will use it to show their grandchildren, families will use it for Family Home Evenings, wards will use it for fifth Sundays for their adults and their youth, and everyone, as a result, will be more cognizant of how the Spirit works and the importance of raising their personal media standards.
One mother called and said she had hesitated using a DVD for her whole family home evening. She worried that it wouldn't hold her four children's interest, ages 9-16. She said, "Not one of them even wiggled." Another father had a son who had piercings and spiked hair. He tossed it at his son. The boy watched it and then said, "Dad, I'd like to talk." The father said he had the best talk with his son that he had in 10 years.
On the second DVD in the set is a section for parents and leaders. Some of the best counselors in this area are talking in a way so people understand addiction and realize that they can get on top of this problem. There is a section on commonly asked questions, i.e, "What do I do if I find my 17 year old is involved in pornography?" A third section explains the need for higher community standards. PLEASE help us get this DVD used. We think it will help lots of people.
Our other materials help people. A bishop used his fifth Sunday by having his ward listen to "Who Will Speak for the Children?" He said his ward loved it and had me mail him 40 CDs because so many families wanted it for use in their homes. By the way, this CD is nondenominational, as is the video, Protecting Our Families in Today's world," available at Deseret Book or on our web site. People Speaking Out for Decency –How to Establish a Community Standard is a nondenominational workbook to help communities raise their community standard. To Strengthen The Family is a handbook for parents in a nondenominational or LDS format. I saw a book used by a high councilman today. He had about six tabs on pages and I think had marked something on almost every page of the book. I predict there will be fewer problems in his stake because the people are being taught.
Another new book meant to help women who have husbands or sons involved in pornography is available at Deseret Book. It is called "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief" by Rod Jeppsen. We have needed this for a long time.
A wonderful approach given to me by Maureen Whitely in Logan was to send the following letter signed by about 16 obstetricians and their staffs to the local managers of stores.
Dear community managers,
As providers of women's health care in Cache Valley, we want to write and let you know how much we appreciate your willingness to help prevent unintended exposure to pornography. We take care of patients daily whose lives and whose family's lives have been affected by this problem. Some feel that pornography doesn't hurt anyone; that the person participating is the only one affected, but this is not true. The influence of pornography is widespread. Marriages are torn apart, trust lost, and women are made to feel abused and denigrated. The effects of pornography are devastating and crippling to many women in our community. It has become so prevalent that we feel it necessary to try and stop it in any way we can.
Sadly, studies have shown that boys as young as 5 can be addicted to pornography with one viewing and that most addictions begin with swimsuit editions or lingerie ads. Men that are addicted to pornography report that pictures that we may not find offensive or inappropriate can spur them to seek further gratification. Exposure to immodestly dressed models on magazine covers makes it very difficult for them to break the habit. It's like giving an alcoholic a few free drinks and then expecting him to stay sober. With this in mind we want to let you know that we appreciate your willingness to cover inappropriate magazine covers and to locate magazines out of reach and sight of our children. If we can keep the community standard high in Cache Valley we will have more power to fight this plague as it becomes more and more prevalent.
This problem is real and unfortunately affects both women and men. It is true that we cannot remove a person's choice to view these degrading and addicting images but we have the obligation to protect the innocent, especially women and children.
Thank you for your support,
Sincerely, Women's Health Center, Budge Clinic which includes 16 obstetricians and several of their staff
If you need help passing a city resolution, please call Tami Kader at firstname.lastname@example.org or (801) 825-1163 if you live north of Bountiful or Carol Brown at (801) 571-3670 if you live South of Bountiful.
We have received a letter from Elder Merril J. Bateman, LDS Quorum of the Seventies saying he will review our DVD and among others a letter from Ann Hardy, House District 20 of the Utah House of Representatives acknowledging thanks for the changes she sees as a result of our efforts.
Silence infers consent. How grateful I am to be a part of 6,000 of you who stand for decency. Please continue speaking out in polite ways.
JoAnn Hamilton, President, Citizens For Families
Copyright 2007 - 2011, JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton