“… when good people do nothing…”

By: American Decency Staff

"Evil triumphs when good people do nothing." Edmund Burke We live in such a busy, stress-filled age don't we? I know I certainly feel that we do. Yet, that doesn't change the need for us to do what we can do for the glory and honor of God – even in regard to the things right before our eyes where we live and call home.There isn't a lot of self-glory in taking stands for righteousness in our local place. It is hard and often painful work. It is far easier to just click a button and send an email off yonder and feel that we have done our part. I think that is fine and good, but we are falling into a trap if we feel that's all we need to do. CHRISTIAN ACTIVISM This email from a grandmother in the greater Dallas, Texas area seeking counsel. . … the Mayor and City council are taking the stick your heads in the sand approach. They have not responded to my pleas to enforce the obscenity laws in place that clearly state the displays and representations are illegal. I have e-mailed and attended Novembers meeting, but nothing. I e-mailed several churches in the area to see if anyone else would stand with me, but not one reply. Do you have advice? Should I just get out the phone book and start calling and asking for help? Any ideas are welcomed! J.B. Texas MY COUNSEL Most mayors and city councils themselves don't know what to do on these fronts. There isn't a lot they can do. This comment below comes from a regarded Christian lawyer friend who works as an assistant state attorney general: "My guess is that prosecutors do not bring charges against stores such as Victoria Secret because such stores have become so prevalent in malls that it would be very difficult to find a jury that would agree the lingerie displays are patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with regard to what is a suitable matter for a minor to view. …" "… in order for a matter to be harmful to minors it must meet the following requirements: (1) it describes or represents, in any form, nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sado-masochistic abuse; (2) considered as a whole, it appeals to the prurient interest in sex of minors; (3) it is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what it is suitable matter for or performance before minors; and (4) considered as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors." There are a number of Christian ministries and attorneys that receive our emails. If I'm wrong please tell me. So here's our counsel. FIRST PRAY ABOUT IT (IS THIS WHAT GOD WOULD HAVE YOU DO?) BATHE THIS WHOLE PROCESS IN PRAYER. (1)Go speak to the VS store manager (not a clerk). The store manager will politely tell you there is nothing they can do. That it is the corporate office that makes the decisions regarding the displays. [Though please note that when a sustained public pressure does come they can and do make changes – if only for a short season.] (2) The VS store manager will give you the phone number of VS headquarters. Once you do get through to some public relations person they will thank you for the call and politely notify you that they will pass your comments on to those who make such decisions for future reference. Still you do need to make this call. Here's why. (3) You also need to contact the mall manager. When you express concern to the mall manager, they will ask you if you have spoken with the VS store manager and/or VS corporate? Therefore it is important that you do that. (4) The local mall manager will also tell you that VS is complying with their contract. And, they probably are. There is a lot of latitude in what is permissible. As stated above, their displays are not legally obscene. They are often pornographic but pornography is protected by the First Amendment (obscenity is not but VS is clearly not displaying obscenity). This is the line that VS pushes. Most corporations don't presently use pornographic displays because there is still a recognition that the general public doesn't like this. VS knows they are controversial (and they play off it) but as long as the money is flowing they are happy. They don't care about what those who are disgusted by them think only about those who will spend money with them and who care less about the offensive nature of the manner in which they display their products. (5) At this point, or earlier, you really have to count the cost. It takes a lot of fortitude to stand up and stay in the battle. Victoria's Secret knows this. They know there is a lot of indignation out there but they also know it takes a big commitment to keep on keeping on – telling others, speaking up, rallying troops, etc.. I have seen some wonderful people join the fight and grow weary after 6 months or less. (6) What I have just outlined is only the preliminary stuff. Counting the cost, making initial contacts, finding out that ordinances and obscenity laws almost never will be the solution. (7) There is more specific advice I could give. If you will stand with us in forming a team of people who will keep this concern alive, contact us at your earliest convenience. We will remain in this battle for decency at the public mall. Please email me at: bjohnson@americandecency.org or call 1-888-733-2326 and ask for me. I hope to hear from you. Make sure you read yesterday's email. You will see that we are not alone in this concern. https://americandecency.org/main.php?f=updates_new/2007/december/12.12.07 . =========================================== Mark your calendar for the last weekend in July. July 25,26,27 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning service) It's a call for grassroot activists to come together for a time of encouragement, spiritual refreshment, fellowship with like-minded, vision sharing, strategizing. For further information, contact us at 1-888-733-2326. As you come across articles or make news yourself, please let us know. We can and are making a difference. American Decency Association Bill Johnson, President P.O. Box 202 Fremont, MI 49412 ph: 231-924-4050 www.americandecency.org

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