In 1977 when Rev. Donald E. Wildmon founded the National Federation for Decency, I wasn’t even born. By 1979, the year of my birth, Rev. Wildmon was already battling culture in an attempt to preserve morality and decency in America. In 1988, when NFD was changed to American Family Association, I was nine years old. I was far too young to understand the relentless fight of a dedicated man living in a Mississippi town many people had never heard of. The question back then was can one man really impact culture? History has already shown undeniably, the answer is yes!
After eight years of service at AFA I’m what could be considered a new hire. My co-workers include 15, 30, and 35- year veterans. I enjoy hearing 30 year vets reminisce about the days of Rev. Wildmon sleeping in his car, hand-writing letters, and working at kitchen tables. Stop anybody in the halls here at AFA and they will quickly tell you about meetings with brother Don when he painted the picture of where America was headed without activism from Christians. Some stories I heard were so vivid and passionate that I began to think I was there when they happened… then I realized I was only 12 at that time. AFA employee stories vary by person, but one thing is consistent. All say brother Don nailed his “predictions” time and again.
Over its 38 year history, the American Family Association has driven a stake in the ground when it comes to standing for truth and morality in our nation. We have fought battles no one thought we could win. Companies too big to care about “one man” quickly cared when their bottom lines took a hit. How did that happen? Many people don’t realize that AFA’s success hasn’t been because of one man. On the contrary our success has been the result of one man’s resolve to equip and motivate millions to act as one man. All across the country working moms, stay-at-home moms, dads, pastors, CEOs, and educators have rallied around one central conviction: Morality and righteousness in America matter.
In a time when so many disagreed that we were engaged in a culture war, AFA persevered. Under immense pressure from secular media and even some churches and religious leaders, AFA would not relent. Today under the leadership of Tim Wildmon, AFA continues to remind Christians that we have a voice in culture. The war rages on but something interesting is happening. More and more “peace-loving” Christians have awakened to the fact that secularists have never sought to make peace. This fight has always been about suppressing morality and silencing Christians in America.
I recently read a Christian Post article in which a law professor said he would have described himself as a “civilian in the culture wars.” Dr. John Inazu, associate professor of law and political science at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, delivered a presentation earlier this month entitled, “Religious Liberty and the American Culture Wars”. In his presentation, Inazu warned attendees that, “Christians who have so far avoided controversial ‘culture war’ issues will likely be pulled into those battles as their religious freedom becomes threatened due to gay marriage.”
Thirty-eight years ago Rev. Don Wildmon warned of this very thing. Sensing the cultural shifts that were on the horizon, Rev. Wildmon made it his aim to mobilize and equip Christians to engage in the battle. I’m grateful to be in the fight. I’m grateful for the American Family Association and its longevity. My husband and I have four children who, much like me in 1988, don’t really understand what’s at stake in America. But like brother Don and my veteran co-workers did for me decades ago, I fight for them. If you’re a Christian and you are waking up to the realization that we’re in the middle of a culture war, I’m fighting for you…and your children too.