[Typos, for the most part, are my fingers' fault!]
Supporters of American Family Association often are not aware of the extensive nature of the "ministry." Hopefully, after reviewing what your AFA has accomplished during 1994, you will renew your membership. Below is a brief sketch of some of AFA's accomplishments during 1994. Obviously, we cannot possibly include a summary of all our activities. But we can highlight a few of them. 1994 marked our 17th year of ministry.
1. Began Aletheia, a national Bible club for high school students. This organization came out of the situation in Jackson, Mississippi, where the school system fired Principal Biship Knox when he allowed student-led and student-initiated prayer. AFA was approached by a group of students seeking help in forming such an organization. AFA now has three pilot projects for Aletheia in high schools. We are developing resource material and developing the concept. We expect a tremendous increase in the number of Aletheia clubs next year once we get all the kinks worked out. The students meet during their free time at the school under the supervision of a Christian faculty member. The AFA Law Center has developed a "Students Bill of Rights" and we provide legal representation where students are denied the right to organize an Aletheia club. The purpose of Aletheia is to support and encourage traditional Christian values among high school students. Aletheia gives the students a history of the background of the Christian influence on the founding of our country. The three areas which Aletheia covers during the course of a school year are faith, family and freedom.
2. Developed and printed an anti-porn comic book called "God's Quiet Voice: John's Dilemma." The 16-page comic is designed to teach children early about the dangers of pornography. It is intended as a stand-alone product and can be used as a supplement for Sunday School students in grades 3-6. Research shows that children are first introduced to pornography at age 11. Response to the comic has been very good and future comic books designed for children dealing with various moral issues are planned.
3. Launched a "War on Divorce" by helping develop and distribute a six-hour video "Marriage Savers" series. AFA invested more than $100,000 in this project which provides some of the finest material available in not only helping troubled marriages, but also in preparing individuals for marriage. This is not an "entertainment" series of videos, but a serious look at marriage. The Marriage Savers kit has the six one-hour videos, a textbook by Mike McManus entitled Marriage Savers and a Leader's Guide. This was a joint effort between several groups including the Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission.
4. Distributed approximately 450,000 copies of "Homosexuality in America: Esposing The Myths." This well done and documented 24-page research publication has been very well received and will make a big difference in our efforts opposing the approval of the homosexual lifestyle. [NOTE: Contributors quoted in this piece include discredited "pyschologist" Paul Cameron, former Congressman and superhomophobe Bill Daneymeyer, and the Bible! -RK]
5. Continued to strengthen our Outreach Services division to help individuals who are having problems with pornography. We held our first seminar for those addicted to pornography who were seeking help and filled up with 14 individuals. We are currently planning another seminar and then plan to take the seminar regional so we can help more individuals. In addition, we have identified across the country approximately 300 Christian counseling centers to which we can refer those who call.
6. Participated in the founding of Alliance Defense Fund, Inc., an organization which raises funds and supports legal cases of pro-family causes across the country. AFA is cooperating with other ministries in this joint effort despite the fact that we have our own Law Center. AFA not only is coopertaing but joining in the funding of this organization to fight leftwing liberal groups such as the ACLU and People for the American Way. Don Wildmon [AFA] is a founding member along with Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Larry Burkett of Christian Financial Concepts, Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, and Martin Maddoux of Point of View.
7. Published and distributed over 100,000 copies to Christian leaders of a special report on the "Re-Imagining Conference" held in Minneapolis. The conference was supported by leaders in several "mainline" churches. Participants promoted lesbianism and the worship of the goddess Sophia.
8. Continued the operation of our AFA office in Washington to track legislation and other movements which affect the family. Our office is located only two blocks from our nation's capital and contains the studio used in porducing our radio program AFA REPORT. The program is a daily 30-minute feature offered over the USA Radio Network and made available to approximately 1200 local radio stations.
9. Continued publishing, in the AFA Journal, our bulletin and newsletter insert entitled "Christians and Society Today" for local churches and groups. Many of the approximately 170,000 churches and other groups reproduce the insert and distribute to their membership each month.
10. Helped promote the 14th annual Pornography Awareness Week October 30-November 6. Mailed information and resources about Pornography Awareness Week to apporximately 170,000 pastors and churches. Several thousand participated using materials provided by AFA. Many governors and mayors proclaimed the week and many activites were held around the country. AFA began the annual Pornography Awareness Week in 1981.
11. Continued our monitoring of network television programs. This monitoring is the largest and most extensive of any in the country. Approximately 3000 individuals participated in the monitoring program during the Spring and Fall monitoring periods. Through the program we can identify the top sponsors of sex, violence and profanity, and the leading anti-Christian sponsors, as well as secure much more information concerning advertisers. We also did monitoring on pro-homosexual programs and advertisers and released this information. These projects take thousands of man hours and cost thousands of dollars. All the information is stored in our computer for future reference and to use in identifying the leading sponsors of sex, violence, profanity and anti-Christian sterotyping. (In addition to the monitoring process, every prime-time network program is taped at our AFA offices for potential review and future use. Each program reviewed in the AFA Journal has been screened by an AFA staff person.) This resource information is used by many individuals and groups.
12. Continued to lead the nationwide effort opposing NYPD BLUE, the soft-core, violent series on ABC. Because of our efforts, 61 ABC affiliates across the country refused to air the initial episode and approximately 40 affiliates still aren't carrying the program. We alerted advertisers about the program and forced ABC to fill their ad slots with free and greatly reduced-in-price ads. Thus far ABC has lost approximately $20-25 million potential advertising income on the program. Please understand that if ABC is willing to air the program at a loss, we cannot keep them from doing so. However, we can make it very expensive for them and we have been very successful at that. Our efforts have thus far kept ABC or any of the other networks from running another R-rated series.
13. Produced and distributed nearly 400 billboards across the country. We have several billboards available including one opposing pornography, one promoting abstinence in preventing AIDS, one offering a phone number where those addicted to pornography can call for help, and one encouraging involvement in moral issues. These billboards are placed locally in cooperation with groups and churches.
14. Continued taking the battle to hundreds of local communities. We now have approximately 450 local AFA affiliates, with at least one affiliate in each of the 50 states. These local affiliates are fighting and winning many local battles. In addition, we now have 20 state directors. AFA provides these affiliates with much support, including materials and legal advice. We held our annual training seminar for the affiliates.
15. Continued to send a complimentary subscription of the AFA Journal to approximately 170,000 pastors. We have done this for 17 years and consider this a mission program. Because of the AFA Journal, many denominations and thousands of pastors are now involved in the fight for the family.
16. Continued our membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. AFA had our annual audit of our financial books. AFA books are handled by an accounting firm separate from AFA to assure as much accuracy and accountability for funds as possible. The audit was done by a CPA firm othr than the one which regularly keeps our books, thus providing even more protection. AFA owns our property and all our equipment. We buy nothing on credit and try to get the most of every dollar given to us. We try to be the best stewards of the money entrusted to us that we can possibly be.
17. Continued our efforts to get advertisers to pull their advertising from objectionable programs. Our efforts have hurt the networks so much that they formed the Network Television Association - composed of ABC, CBS and NBC - to combat us.
18. Continued our boycott of Kmart, one of the largest distributors of pornography in America. The boycott has been endorsed by approximately 750 Christian leaders (heads of denominations, bishops, superintendents, etc.). We have distributed approximately 20,000,000 "Boycott Kmart" cards to churches and individuals. This boycott has been going on for four years. Partly because of our efforts, Kmart has reported seven straight quarters of declining profits. Because of our efforts, the pension groups in both the Southern Baptist Conventions and the United Methodist Church, the two largest Protestant denominations in America, have withdrawn millions of dollars they had invested with Kmart.
19. Sponsored and promoted the third annual "Meet At City Hall" project on the National Day of Prayer. Groups in approximately 3000 local communities met at their city halls on May 7 from 12:20 to 12:40 p.m. and prayed for a moral revival in our country.
20. Continued supplying 3200 Christian leaders (heads of denominations, bishops, superintendents, directors of missions, etc.) and 1300 Christian broadcasters with the AFA Journal and information on issues of importance.
21. Continued our efforts to end television's exploitation of sex, violence, profanity and anti-Christian bigotry. How effective is the AFA? Jeffrey Hadden, University of Virginia sociologist specializing in religion and TV, said: "The bottom line is that Donald Wildmon and the AFA are for real ... Wildmon has been a lot more effective than the media have given him credit for."
22. Continued publishing the monthly AFA Journal with an average circulation of nearly 500,000, making it one of the most widely circulated publications of its kind in America. The Journal is filled with vital information and action suggestions containing addresses, phone numbers, etc.
23. Continued our efforts opposing pornography. Not only is your AFA fighting pornography on the local level in conjunction with our local affiliates, but your AFA Law Center is helping in the battle in the legal arena.
24. Continued providing free legal help to Christians to defend their First Amendment rights and helping prosecutors in obscenity trials through your American Family Assocation Law Center. The AFA Law Center has five full-time attorneys fighting in the courtrooms for the rights of Christians. Last year your AFA Law Center helped hundreds of individuals via phone calls and letters, and was involved in scores of cases defending the First Amendment rights of Christians. Our in-house AFA Law Center also helped save AFA hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and served to discourage potential lawsuits designed to bleed us financially.
How effective is your AFA? We will let one of those who oppose us answer that question. Gene Ross, editor of Adult Video News, a publication promoting the pornography industry, said: "If you don't learn the lessons of history you're doomed to repeat them. I have yapped at this time and again - learn from the American Family Association. It's a well-tooled, well-oiled ... machine. It gets things done effectively ... the American Family Association has done its job effectively."