American Family Association Issues at Hand:
Target Boycott, Christian Movie review, Liberal Hypocrisy, Media Bias
Sequel to Christian Movie hit opens #4 in box office
Christian movie review
June 2016 – God’s Not Dead 2 came in fourth in box office sales during the first weekend of its April 1 release. It was out-grossed by Batman v. Superman (in its second week in theaters), Zootopia (fifth week), and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (second week). Miracles from Heaven, another Christian film in its third week at theaters, came in fifth.
God’s Not Dead 2 grossed $7.6 million in its opening weekend. Its forerunner opened to $8.6 million in 2014.
Other Christian movies opening in spring 2016 grossed the following amounts during their first weekends: Risen, $11.8 million; Young Messiah,$3.2 million; and Miracles from Heaven, $14.8 million.
At press time, GND2 has grossed $19.2 million.
firstliberty.org, 4/8/16; thewrap.com, 3/30/16
June 2016 – On April 21, AFA called for a boycott of Target stores after the retail giant publicized its policy to allow transgender individuals access to opposite-sex bathrooms and fitting rooms.
On its website, Target stated, “[We] welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity. … Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”
“Target’s policy poses a threat to women and children,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon. “We think many customers will agree.”
AFA pointed to the very real danger posed by predators and voyeurs who would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” Wildmon said. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
AFA also criticized the policy for ignoring customers who are simply uncomfortable with the presence of strangers of the opposite sex in such a personal setting.
At press time, more than one million people had signed the boycott pledge in its first eight days. Find more information at afa.net.
Liberal Hypocrisy: Stars peg hypocrisy gauge
June 2016 – North Carolina and Mississippi both passed landmark legislation this spring to protect citizens’ rights. North Carolina House Bill 2, commonly called the “bathroom bill,” overturned a previous ordinance in an effort to prevent individuals from being victimized by people of the opposite gender in public restrooms, locker rooms, and changing areas.
Mississippi HB 1523 seeks to protect business owners’ liberty to decline service based on religious convictions (such as a bakery not being fined by the state for declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding). Both bills have been lambasted by media stars as “anti-LGBTQ.” In addition, they have apparently prompted a number of businesses and entertainers to withdraw performances from the two states.
For example, in North Carolina, PayPal cancelled plans to open a payment center in Charlotte, and singer Bruce Springsteen cancelled a Greensboro concert. Following suit, singer Bryan Adams cancelled a show in Biloxi, Mississippi. In each scenario, the “discriminatory” bills were cited as reason for cancelling.
“Apparently, business can be refused on personal convictions only if those convictions are in line with the left-wing agenda,” observed AFA VP Buddy Smith.
breitbart.com, 4/11/16; theatlantic.com, 4/12/16
Media Bias: Big 3 big on bias
June 2016 – In 2014 and 2015, ABC, CBS, and NBC avoided any mention of abortion as dangerous or harmful to women, according to Media Research Center. After compiling data on news coverage of abortion by the three networks, MRC found that their focus was on abortion as a necessity for women’s health.
However, they gave no time to abortion clinic abuses and emergencies reported by sources such as LifeSiteNews and LifeNews. Only the scandal surrounding the videos on Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts got a total 25 minutes of coverage among the three networks.
“They’ll report certain dangers … that make the abortion industry look good and the pro-life movement look bad,” MRC’s Katie Yoder said. “But they won’t talk about how abortion harms women.” (See related story here.)
onenewsnow.com, 3/29/16; newsbusters.org, 3/23/16; mrc.org, 1/14/16
Pope issues statement on families and life
June 2016 – In early April, the Vatican released Pope Francis’s 256-page exhortation to the church called Amoris Laetitia (Latin for “the joy of love”). This landmark document comes as a tour de force of the Pope’s practical theology regarding issues of sex, marriage, and family life. While Pope Francis has been seen by many as ushering in a new, more inclusive chapter for the Catholic church, this document makes no official changes to doctrine. It does, however, point to a less rigid relationship between the strict religious parameters of Catholic leadership and personal responsibility of laity.
“I understand those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion,” Pope Francis noted. “But I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness. We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them.”
Interestingly, Amoris Laetitia provides greater grace and inclusion to divorcees (who are often denied communion). However, the document repeatedly notes marriage as a union between a man and a woman and affirms the traditional and foundational pro-life view of the Catholic church: “So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life.”
usatoday.com, 4/8/16; lifesitenews.com, 4/8/16
All that’s left is the stink
June 2016 – In a study examining TV ratings and content, Parents Television Council found that in a sample two-week stretch in 2014, there were zero hours of TV-G programming, a 100% decrease from 1997. On the other hand, TV-14 shows increased 160%, while TV-PG shows decreased 39%.
While the rating labels imply that both TV-PG and TV-14 ratings are suitable for children at different ages, PTC found the content of both is often equally unsuitable for children. Between 1997 and 2014, there was a 156% increase in sexual situations and coarse language in shows labeled TV-PG.
“The industry should have to answer why TV-G rated primetime series are extinct, why the lines between TV-PG and TV-14 shows are blurred, why more adult content is being shown on TV-PG shows, and why nudity and violence are increasing on broadcast TV overall,” said PTC president Tim Winter.