My wife and I have had a long and storied history with the American Family Association. We go back so far with this organization, in fact, that we pre-date its current name. It used to be called the National Federation for Decency, and Cindy and I founded an NFD Chapter in Humble, Texas, back in the 1980s.
Our Chapter meetings were interesting, because a lot of "characters" showed up, not all of who had the same notion of decency. Once, a fellow showed up who was a conspiracy theorist. He believed that television was evil, because the government had secretly turned every TV receiver into a combination camera and transmitter. They used it to spy on the citizenry. If we were watching the TV, the government was watching us.
Another guy showed up just once, a European. He didn't really hold to our and the NFD's idea that "decency" inheres in the absence of smut. He had ideas about how people ought to treat other people decently, that kind of thing. Since then, I have often wished that I had really had the ability to listen to him that evening. Sometimes, I even wonder if we entertained an angel unawares.
The guy who ran the regional NFD organization was kind of nutcase Fundamentalist. But maybe so was I; I had not yet discovered Anglicanism and become a nutcase Anglican. This pastor held a Rally for Decency in Civil Society, or some such thing, which Cindy and I attended. The onliest thing about that was that the pastor's definition of decency was basically that women should not wear shorts, and Cindy wore shorts to the rally that day. We both felt like the guest at the wedding feast who had crashed the party without the proper clothing. At this rally, the pastor also told us that the Bible defined "nakedness" as any skin being visible above the knee. We went out later that week and bought Cindy some new, very long jogging shorts, cut ridiculously below the knee, so that she should not be seen running around the small Texas town "naked".
We eventually realized that the Humble Chapter of the NFD was going nowhere, so we dropped out of active participation. But we still read the NFD/AFA magazine and supported their boycots where we could.
It was still in the 1980s when my thinking started to depart from that of Don Wildmon and the AFA. I remember that the AFA magazine had featured an editorial by Tim Wildmon, Don's son, about the absolute scandal of bumper stickers on which was written "Shit Happens". He objected to the coarse language. I fired off a letter to Tim Wildmon, letting him know that he had missed the point entirely! I told him that his objection should have been that the bumper sticker denies two basic truths of Christianity: God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. By stating that "Shit Happens" the bumper sticker leaves God out of the picture. It also purports to give man an excuse for his own misdeeds. Curiously, I never heard back from Wildmon or the AFA.
But I promised you Kate Upton and Carl's Jr., didn't I? Today, I received an email from the AFA, asking me to boycot Carl's Jr. and Hardee's for running the following "sordid titillation" ...
I guess that since leaving the AFA and buying Cindy some regular length jogging shorts (she has great legs!) I have gone over to the dark side, but I am somehow not shocked or even titillated by the Kate Upton commercial. Maybe I'm just getting old. It did make me want a hamburger, I will admit.
Using sexy girls to promote products has been done for a very long time. I'm sorry to tell Mr. Wildmon and the AFA, but I think they lost this battle at least as early as 1950 ...