Wednesday, March 12, 2008

...for making your voice heard

It is time to take a stand.

Please read the following post made by Stacy McDonald on her blog, Your Sacred Calling:

I am livid.

When I was flying to visit my daughter this past week we were visually assaulted by huge displays of the most recent Sports Illustrated “swimsuit” issue. Funny thing is the poor dear seemed to have lost her swimsuit. There was a wall of magazines, facing the walkway for everyone to see, filled with images of a topless woman, arms behind her head, and wearing nothing but a string bikini bottom and necklaces.

Thankfully I didn't have my son or my little ones with me (or my husband for that matter!). But I had a long talk with my 17-year-old daughter who was accompanying me.

Then, a few days ago, I saw the same soft porn filth at Sam's Club—again, in full view of children and anyone else walking the main aisle! When I complained, the manager told me she completely agreed with me, but she couldn't do anything about it. It was the decision of the "corporate office" and that was who stocked the shelves.

Not sure I completely buy that. So what is it they need a manager for anyway? Either way, maybe the "corporate office" needs to hear from all the large families and churches who buy large quantities of food and furniture from Sam's Club. In addition to that, we verified that Costco and Wal-Mart are both carrying the magazine as well.

Recently, we discussed on my blog the difficulties some women face regarding intimacy in marriage. The results were alarming. Our poll, private emails to me, and our discussion, revealed that pornography played a huge part in harming marriages - and families. Women felt insecure, compared, rejected, and devalued. And why not? Pornography not only harms women and the way they view their bodies, it desensitizes men and fills them with an insatiable lust that can’t be quenched by godly intimacy. What do you think happens to the children?

Pornography, even the sugar coated kind, attacks marriage. And in the process, it devastates families. Ultimately, it gets to the core—it destroys godly seed. Children are either themselves harmed by abuse or the damaged marriage of their parents; or they never come to be—a destroyed marriage means no (more) children born from that union.

When we visited Alabama last year, I went into a Publix grocery store and they had plastic magazine covers over all of their questionable magazines - even those that most shoppers wouldn't consider totally obscene (People, Star, National Enquirer). I took a picture of their display with my cell phone, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it off my phone. :-) But, the photo above gives you the general idea; and it at least shows a Cosmo covered up.

I am truly getting tired of this. Aren’t you? James and I have put together a sample letter in the form of a downloadable Word document that you can personalize yourselves. You can put it on your blogs, your websites, print it out and give it to friends at church, or whatever other ideas you may have - feel free!

Since it's a Word document everyone can plug in the name of their own grocery stores, Sam's club, Barnes and Noble, whatever...and demand that they remove the filth from the view of our families. Don’t forget to complain to a manager in person, but let’s also bombard them with mail. ARE YOU WITH US?

Send THIS LETTER to your local Sam's Club, Costco, Walmart - or anyone else carrying the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Sam's Club
Attention: Doug McMillan, CEO
608 Southwest 8th St.
Bentonville, AR 72716

Attention: James D. Sinegal, CEO
999 Lake Dr
Issaquah, WA 98027-8990
(425) 313-8100

Attention: Lee Scott, CEO
702 SW Eighth Street
Bentonville, AR 72716
(479) 273-4000

Send THIS LETTER to your local grocery store, if they are displaying obscene or inappropriate magazines in their check out lines. Be sure so personalize it and don't forget to complain in person - you can do it! Remember it's for your children!

Click here to read what the American Decency Association has to say about the SI Issue. And my husband, James, had a few thoughts too.

Here's what I sent to Sam's:

Dear [Supervisor's name],

My husband and I, along with our children, live in Central Illinois; and aside from this one troubling issue, we have always been happy shopping at your ... store. In addition, our church has a Sam’s account; and we frequently purchase supplies from you for our weekly fellowship meals, as well as electronics and various other equipment needed for our church.

I have to say, I was absolutely appalled to see in your store, in full view of my children, a large display of magazines featuring a topless woman in a string bikini. Sports Illustrated is nothing more than soft pornography and I am outraged that families are subjected to this smut while innocently shopping in your stores.

The American Decency Association has this to say about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue:

Starting with the topless woman on the cover, SI gets to the real purpose of the issue – the pornographic exhibition of women for the pleasure of men. Page after page reveals erotically displayed young women in, at the most, barely there bikinis. Each lust-producing pornographic pose reinforces the message to ogling men and boys that women are nothing more than sexual objects to be used…

In addition to the nearly bare models, are dozens of photos of topless or completely nude women. There are also a number of pullout pinups… This outrageous display is basically no different than a Playboy…”

By carrying this magazine you are helping to promote a product that degrades women, harms families, and contributes to the moral decay of society. There are many others like me who don't appreciate companies that promote illicit sex and neglect the moral safety of families (and children) who shop in their stores. I plead with you to pull this offensive product from your shelves immediately.

Please know that my readers, as well as Christians in our local community, will be actively participating in a campaign to purge this, and magazines like it, from the stores we frequent. At the very least, we insist that you cover the offensive magazines from view. For those stores that refuse to hear our pleas, we will be forced to boycott them; and we will actively push for others to take a stand and shop elsewhere.

I have always considered Sam’s a family-friendly store. Please, for the good of American families and society, please stop selling pornography.


Stacy D. McDonald

Family Reformation® Ministries

Also, remember that even the models in these magazines can't live up to the standard of "beauty" the world presents. Check out this demonstration of how the images we see in magazines and on billboards are "doctored".