This week on "The 3", a new survey was released on how homosexuality is portrayed on TV, even as 2 large corporations team up to present family-friendly programming. Also, the courts continue to be a battleground for the lives of the unborn, with some developments this week on new state pro-life laws. And, as the response to "The Response" in Houston continues to be generated, the meeting attracted thousands and prayers for America were offered.
3 - New survey tabs "gay-friendly" programming, another Family Movie Night offered by corporations
I know it's frustrating for Christians who are searching for family-friendly entertainment, perhaps even television program to watch as an entire family, or who are attempting to monitor current TV programs with respect to their appropriateness for their young children or teens to watch. Fortunately, Walmart and Proctor & Gamble recently offered another of their "Family Movie Nights" to provide an entertaining alternative to abundance of prime-time television programming that runs contrary to our deeply-held values. "Who is Simon Miller?" was a compelling, well-written spy drama that could appeal to people of all ages (with the exception of the very young, due to some of the small number of violent implications contained within it).
A number of Christian organizations have championed these Family Movie Nights, believing that in some small way the concept can a positive step to showing the television industry that there is a market for family-friendly prime-time programming. (I think it's ironic that Proctor and Gamble is receiving acclaim from Christian organizations, especially after so many, including no doubt a number of Christian people bought into the false notion that the former P&G logo was rooted in Satanic symbolism and the false rumor that P&G's president went on the Phil Donahue Show and said that a portion of the corporation's proceeds went to the Church of Satan.) For more information, visit www.familymovienight.com.
By the way, a good resource concerning the suitability of television programming for the family is the Parents Television Council website at www.parentstv.org. In fact, prime-time network programming is rated according to its family-friendliness. Interestingly enough, very few network shows listed there get a "green light", indicating the program is suitable for families.
It should come as no surprise that the organization, GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has found a number of broadcast and/or cable networks to be "excellent" or "good" regarding their inclusion of and treatment of gay characters. ABC Family, with 55 percent of its hours including gay characters or discussions about homosexuality, received an "excellent" rating in its Network Responsiblity Index, released this week. Other network ratings included:
Showtime - 37 percent
CW - 33*
TNT - 33
HBO - 31
Fox - 29*
AMC - 29
ABC - 23*
SyFy - 22
These all placed in the "good" category (* - denotes broadcast network). So, with the desensitization toward the gay lifestyle depicted in broadcast and cable television, it presents a challenge for Christian parents who do not wish for their children or themselves to be exposed to this material. For the Baptist Press report on this survey, click here.
2 - Pro-life legislation passed in record numbers in states, some face court challenges
State legislatures who passed pro-life legislation this year designed to reduce the number of abortions in their states are increasingly finding themselves in court. The good news is that, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which has been an arm of Planned Parenthood, some 80 laws restricting abortion have been passed in statehouses across America in 2011, up from the previous high of 34 back in 2005. However, some of these laws are being challenged in court, and that trend was highlighted in several states just this week:
Texas: a law allowing a woman to see an ultrasound image of her baby 24 hours prior to an abortion has been challenged, and Texas-based Liberty Institute filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of 2 Texas lawmakers who sponsored the legislation to defend the law against a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights.
North Carolina: Planned Parenthood this week filed a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina, whose legislature recently overrode a gubernatorial veto of a bill that includes a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion in the state and the opportunity for a women to see an ultrasound image of her unborn child.
Kansas: This week, the Attorney General of Kansas indicated he would appeal a Federal court ruling blocking the state's new law to prevent tax dollars from funding the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. A Federal judge on Monday said that Planned Parenthood operating in the state would suffer irreparable harm if the law were allowed to take effect. The law's supporters say that numerous organizations can provide the non-abortion women's services that are funded under Title X Federal grants to the state.
Indiana: this week, the Thomas More Law Society filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the state of Indiana, which was taken to court as a result of a new law preventing taxpayer funds from being used for abortion. The state has filed an appeal of a Federal judge's decision preventing the law from taking effect.
These are just 4 instances where pro-abortion organizations are attempting to block action taken by state legislatures, who have offered common-sense, pro-life bills. Ultrasound bills become problematic for Planned Parenthood and their ilk, because they are powerful tools in order to show abortion-minded women the truth about the life that is growing within them. Bills to prevent tax dollars from going to abortion providers are indicative of the pro-life sentiment that has been apparent in polling data and in activity in statehouses across America.
1 - "The Response" calls Christians to pray for the nation
There were 8000 people who pre-registered for it, and there were those who wanted to see 1 of the people attending "The Response" stay home. But, a Federal lawsuit could not keep Texas Governor Rick Perry away from Reliant Stadium in Houston, where he had been chief organizer, along with local and national leaders, of the prayer meeting that was called in order to pray to God on behalf of our nation. That lawsuit was thrown out of court.
The Christian Post had this early report on "The Response". Some media outlets are now saying that some 30,000 people attended the gathering. One estimate I saw puts the crowd as high as 50,000.
Dr. James and Shirley Dobson were the first speakers for the gathering, and notables such as Dr. Richard Land, Dr. Tony Evans, Jim Garlow, John Hagee, and others were at the podium throughout the day. The Governor spoke during the gathering's second hour, reading Scripture and praying for our nation, including President Obama, its challenges, and for our troops.
Here are some of Gov. Perry's comments:
Here is the link to the New York Times video of Governor Perry, including his prayer.
Does Governor Perry have the right to express his faith perspective in a public setting? Of course he does. Were his comments extremist or theocratic? Of course not. So, was "The Response" worth the media getting all worked up about? Well, I hope that media outlets in the days to come will have plenty of material about God's answers to the prayers offered at "The Response" and by his people throughout our troubled nation who truly desire to make Him famous.
Well, I will say this, God has promised to hear the prayers of His people who come before Him with humility and repentance - our nation is facing problems that the mind of man cannot solve; it will require Godly wisdom, and I believe it will require the people of God submitting ourselves before Him, so that His Spirit might move in a profound and powerful way - for the glory of God and God alone.