Trench Warfare

  You won't hear this from the secular media, but the culture war isn't over yet—and there's plenty of evidence that Christians are winning important victories. For example, did you see the recent Wall Street Journal piece about Abercrombie & Fitch? It seems Abercrombie has gone from being the hottest, hippest clothing store around to being... just another store. Abercrombie, you may recall, is the company that reinvented itself as THE place for teenagers to buy clothes. Their once-stodgy catalogs began to feature nude photos, alcoholic recipes, and sex advice from the stars. Angry parents picketed the stores. Mothers Against Drunk Driving protested the drinking article so loudly that the company recalled that particular catalog. The Michigan Attorney General even took steps to force the company to keep its pornographic catalogs out of the hands of children. Well, the Wall Street Journal reports that sales are beginning to drop. The Journal attributes the drop to teen fickleness—but I can't help wondering if these controversies haven't affected sales, as well. Abercrombie isn't the only company faced with angry parents and the threats of lost business. Last fall was caught selling a book that promoted pedophilia. We at BreakPoint, who had used Amazon to fill internet books orders, severed our relationship. And conservative leaders joined us in expressing outrage. Within a few days, Amazon quietly stopped selling the book. And then there's the recent Benetton ad campaign that featured real-life death row inmates. Benetton claimed its goal was to expose the public to "the reality of capital punishment." Clearly, Benetton was selling a political agenda along with its jackets. BreakPoint and others spoke out. Shortly after the death row campaign appeared, Sears announced it was dropping its entire Benetton line. Good for Sears. And BreakPoint was glad to be part of this victory as well. Or consider what has happened to the Disney empire. Christians decided to boycott Disney World because of its pro-gay policies and because of scurrilous films produced by Disney subsidiary, Miramax. Company officials said the boycott would make no difference; yet, Disney stock soon tumbled, and has been on a roller-coaster ever since. The company obviously got the message. They recently began heavy pro-family advertising, promoting their cruise line, a new theme park, and new family-friendly films. I'd call that a victory. Given all these quiet victories, I have to ask: Who are these people telling us that we've lost the culture war, and that we should retreat into our ghettos? Nonsense. The liberal press delights in portraying us as a bunch of backwoods bigots waving picket—and they scream "censorship" when we stop buying a company's products. Well, they only scream because the free market works. And if your unsaved neighbors get mad over your activism, help them understand that commerce is about more than selling products. For good or ill, companies market attitudes and lifestyles. We Christians are right to evaluate them carefully, and speak out when necessary. Instead of running up the white flag, Christians ought to be celebrating. The culture war isn't over yet. Not by a long shot.


Chuck Colson


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