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Running Against Sodom and Osama

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American Family Association Action

Donald Wildmon is a United Methodist minister from Mississippi whose ministry has been to run his American Family Association since 1977. The AFA began as a conservative culture watchdog for the entertainment industry, believing in a direct correlation between the values represented by American TV, movies, and popular music and the decline of American moral behavior. From humble beginnings, the organization has grown to employ a staff of 150 and to claim over 3 million supporters.

The AFA is known for its campaigns against abortion, pornography, and gambling and its unapologetic stance against “the homosexual agenda.” It calls for boycotts of corporations that are “pro-homosexual,” like sponsors of the TV show “Ellen,” and the Ford Motor Company’s advertising campaign targeted to the gay market. “You have to use language that your audience understands,” Wildmon explained at the summit. “Politicians respond to votes; corporations respond to money.” The combination of AFA’s outspoken stance on pornography, abortion, and gambling, its nasty attacks on the “homosexual agenda,” and its hardball tactics have, in the past, isolated it from the other big Christian Right organizations. But Wildmon’s co-sponsorship of the 2006 summit, through his political action arm, AFA Action, indicates a shift further to the Right for this coalition.

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