Monday, February 11, 2013

#417: Don Wildmon

Donald E. Wildmon is the founder and chairman emeritus of the American Family Association, aptly designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Family Radio. And that should be sufficient to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that he is a deranged, ululating monster (how else do you account for this) and loon. The AFA was originally founded as the National Federation for Decency, and arranged their first advertiser boycott in 1979 directed at Sears for their wildly immoral shows All in the Family, Three’s Company, and Charlie’s Angels. Later, Wildmon got help from Falwell to organize the Coalition for Better Television.

Wildmon and his gang also launched campaigns agains M*A*S*H, Dallas, Disneyland, Blockbuster (for stocking NC-17 rated movies), and many others. Currently, they are mostly irate about portrayals of gay people ashumans, and AFA has long since expanded to call for boycotts of companies that treatgays as humans in general. In the twisted mind of Wildmon, however, it is he and his fellow bigots who are being persecuted, as stated explicitly here, where he also urges his followers to pressure JC Penney to fire DeGeneres because she is openly gay. No, self-awareness is not his strong side).

Wildmon’s, and AFA’s, general philosophy is described in the documentary “Speechless: Silencing the Christians”, which is a study in persecution complexes. Their framing idea is that Christians are persecuted and silenced and stripped of their freedom (especially free exercise of religion) in the US today since they are not allowed to discriminate against other groups at whim. The fact that gay right groups are given a voice and not prohibited, for instance, is a clear violation of Wildmon’s religious freedom. So there. You can see the celebrated AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer express that sentiment here and here, where he explicitly asserts that religious freedom was never intended to apply to other groups than Christians. Whereas freedom of religion only applies to themselves, that pesky Biblical Commandment against speaking falsehoods, on the other hand, only applies to everyone else (random example). Paranoia runs rampant, to put it mildly, and as Wildmon puts it: “Christians will soon be treated like Blacks in the Jim Crow era,” a typically inapt comparison.

Their boycott tactics are often successful, however, so Wildmon and his gang remains a threat to freedom.

Don’s son Tim “How do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believein God” Wildmon is currently president of AFA (he used to run Agape Press until it merged with the American Family Radio to create One News Now). “Every religion is not equal. That’s my belief. That’s logic,” says Tim Wildmon, but his willingness to use logic hasn't altered the AFA’s success formula one bit.

Diagnosis: Though Don himself is semi-retired, his organization is one of the most dangerous in the US, and has caused a lot of harm. However – though I may be overly hopeful – it does seem to have overplayed its card a bit and therefore to find less traction with companiesthese days.

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