FCC Hard-of-Hearing to Indecency Complaints

by Ed Vitagliano

(AgapePress) – Even a staff writer for the normally left-leaning Washington Post appeared shocked to discover that the Federal Communications Commission intends on doing practically nothing to discourage vulgar language on radio airwaves.

Writing about an Alabama woman who filed a complaint after hearing a radio talk show host use a vulgar term for female genitalia, columnist Frank Ahrens reported in the Post that the FCC in fact allows virtually anything.

“This column receives a dozen calls or e-mails a week from listeners complaining about vulgarities they've heard. They wonder, is there anything you can't say on the radio?” Ahrens wrote. “Strictly speaking, from the FCC's point of view — which is grounded in court decisions — the answer is: No.”

AFA Journal made a similar discovery last year, when it reported in its March issue that an FCC spokesman admitted even the F-word would be allowed on network TV, or radio, under certain circumstances.

The statement came during a Journal investigation into why the FCC allowed a CBS show to use the s-word. American Family Association had filed a complaint concerning the episode, and in a written response the agency said the use of the profanity was “not actionably indecent.”

The FCC said in the letter that it defined indecent material as “that which, in context, depicts or describes in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory activities or organs.”

That means the F-word, for example, could be used on TV or radio if it were used as a curse word and not in a sexual context.

FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani suggested to the Washington Post that the indecency laws were more like a sieve than a wall of protection. “There is a fear of enforcing [indecency laws] lest we fall afoul of the First Amendment, which is a legitimate concern,” she said. “But if that fear is so overwhelming that you never enforce because nothing meets the rules, then it's a meaningless law.”

(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)

JC Penney, Nordstrom Bolt from Christian Online Mall

by Jody Brown

(AgapePress) – A pro-family group is reporting that two of the largest department stores in America have severed ties with a Christian online shopping mall after being targeted by advocates of online porn.

According to the American Family Association, JC Penney and Nordstrom have severed their relationship with KingdomBuy.com after an organized online effort by members of Yahoo! sex clubs. The e-mail campaign targeted KingdomBuy.com because of its affiliation with AFA, a Mississippi-based pro-family public policy group whose actions recently caused Yahoo! to remove much of the pornography from its Internet servers.

According to a statement from AFA, the Yahoo! sex club members directed their campaign at retailers involved in KingdomBuy.com's “faith-based giving program” — a program supporting more than 9,000 churches, ministries, and Christian schools and missionary organizations. Five days after the e-mail campaign began, JC Penney and Nordstrom decided to immediately cancel their association with the online shopping mall.

The AFA statement quotes a Nordstrom spokesperson, who says “Nordstrom cannot continue to do business with KingdomBuy.com because [it] is a Christian organization.” Alisha Perez confirmed Nordstrom would reconsider its business relationship with KingdomBuy.com if references to “Christianity” and “Christian” were removed from the mall's website. Perez refused to confirm if her company's decision was related to the e-mail campaign launched by the Yahoo! sex club members.

Gary Sutton is president of KingdomBuy.com. Sutton tells AFA he is shocked that reputable retailers such as JC Penney and Nordstrom would be persuaded by a small group of porn advocates.

“After a period of good relations with these stores, I can't believe they could be persuaded by a boycott threat,” Sutton says. “From all I know, JC Penney and Nordstrom don't even sell porn. What are they worried about?”

An official with the American Family Association says his organization and KingdomBuy.com have been targeted because of their “Christian identity.” Buddy Smith, executive assistant at AFA, points out that JC Penney and Nordstrom continue to be involved with other websites that support homosexual non-profit organizations. “It is highly inconsistent for these respected retailers to discriminate in this fashion,” Smith says.

Under KingdomBuy.com's giving program, a percentage of purchases go to support Christian organizations of the buyer's choice. Major retailers affiliated with the online shopping mall include Wal-Mart, Dell Computer, Avon, FTD, Office Max, and Hickory Farms. Sutton says his hope is that people will continue to do online shopping and support the churches and ministries through KingdomBuy.com.

JC Penney has not returned phone calls to comment on this story.

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