Statue of Virgin Mary at Center of Michigan Disagreement

Informed Communities Battling Spread of Movie Gallery Porn

by Rusty Pugh

(AgapePress) – The consensus among pro-family groups is that one of the nation’s largest video rental chains needs to be sent a message about dealing in hardcore pornography.

Movie Gallery is the country’s third largest video store chain. Pro-family groups have waged an ongoing campaign to persuade the company to remove the “back rooms” where hardcore pornography of every description is rented or sold. Randy Sharp, special projects director for the American Family Association, says though it is not an official boycott, the campaign seems to be having an impact.

“Through the exposure of the media and the education throughout America that Movie Gallery does engage in the distribution of hardcore pornography, a lot of citizens in towns who are learning of a Movie Gallery opening up or expanding in their community are beginning to speak out,” he says. “They want more information. No one wants a pornographer moving into their community.”

Sharp says many communities have taken a proactive stance, and he believes this is making a difference.

“Many communities are standing up to Movie Gallery before they open their doors, and those citizens that do have a Movie Gallery already are beginning to picket the stores and contact their local law enforcement,” he says. “We’re seeing in the case of West Point, Mississippi, where obscenity charges have been filed, and in other communities, the city attorney has written letters to Movie Gallery, effectively putting them on a thirty-day notice — ‘Either get rid of the pornography or we’re going to press the charges.’”

Sharp says the campaign against Movie Gallery has not reached the status of a full-fledged boycott, but rather a consistent campaign of community education by state and local AFA chapters, as well as other pro-family groups.

(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)

by Allie Martin

(AgapePress) – A Michigan homeowner says he has a right to display a statue of the Virgin Mary in his front yard despite objections from the local homeowners' association.

When Jamal Saba and his family moved into their new home in Canton, Michigan, he spent $10,000 to have a statue of the Virgin Mary placed in his front yard. Now the leader of the homeowners' association has threatened to take Saba to court if he does not have the statue removed.

Edward White III is with the Thomas More Law Center. He says the Saba family has a constitutional right to display the statue. “It comes down to a homeowner's right … to beautify his property as he sees fit, but beyond that is a family that has a devotion to the Virgin Mary and wants to share their devotion with the public.”

White is hopeful the homeowners' association will back down from its legal threats before the case goes to court. Regardless, he says the Sabas' rights will be vigorously defended.

The Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes religious freedom through education and litigation.

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