AKA Donald E. Wildmon
Birthplace: Dumas, MS
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Activist, Religion
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Moral crusader
Military service: US Army (1961-63)
Donald Wildmon is the founder of the American Family Association, a group that believes the entertainment industry is responsible for most of America's problems. AFA preaches that movies, situation comedies, and adult magazines like Playboy "normalize and glorify premarital sex", which erodes American values, weakens society, fractures families, and leads directly to increasing teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, gay, lesbian, and alternative lifestyles, and abortions. AFA stands against premarital sex, abortion, pornography, gambling, unfiltered internet access in libraries, "the homosexual agenda", the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the separation of church and state.
Wildmon first came to national attention in 1977, when he was an ordinary hellfire-and-brimstone preacher at a small-town Methodist church. He delivered a sermon asking his congregation to stop watching television for a week, punishing Hollywood for all its prime time "sex, profanity, and violence", and ironically, Wildmon's "Turn the TV Off Week" received large attention on television. With that taste of fame and an itch for a much bigger pulpit, Wildmon quit his ministry and started the National Federation for Decency. In its early years, NFD provided lists of alleged smut-sellers to Attorney General Ed Meese's commission on pornography, and criticized Charlie's Angels, Dallas, Saturday Night Live, Three's Company, The Last Temptation of Christ, and TV actress Morgan Fairchild. As NFD grew famous, its name proved too easy to ridicule, so in 1987 NFD was renamed the American Family Association (AFA).
It was Wildmon's AFA that spotted Mighty Mouse "endorsing opium" when an episode of the kids' cartoon briefly showed the rodent hero sniffing a flower. AFA objected loudly when a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts provided a sliver of the budget for Todd Haynes's art-house movie Poison. Wildmon's AFA pressured 7-Eleven into pulling Playboy off its shelves, filed a flurry of complaints against Howard Stern's radio program before he fled to satellite radio, and mobilized boycotts of Disney to punish the conglomerate for allowing gay visitors to hold hands at their amusement parks. AFA pressured prosecutors to go after Mike Diana, the self-Xeroxed amateur cartoonist who became the first American artist convicted of obscenity. In 2006, when CBS announced plans to rerun 9/11, an Emmy- and Peabody-award winning documentary narrated by Robert De Niro, an AFA-orchestrated letter-writing campaign flooded the FCC and CBS with complaints about occasional swear words spoken by firefighters filmed responding to the catastrophe.
Building on the AFA's success, in 1991 Wildmon founded American Family Radio (AFR), which is now a network of more than 200 US radio stations broadcasting his peculiar brand of righteousness. Wildmon himself hosts AFA Report, which is broadcast Monday-Friday on AFR, and utilizing FCC licensing loopholes AFR has taken control of several stations that formerly aired National Public Radio programming. From AFR's loins came AFR News, which provides syndicated newscasts to AFR affiliates and to radio stations where the broadcast schedule is not overtly religious. Wildmon is also behind Agape Press (greek for "love"), a news service where the coverage is similarly slanted to match the AFA perspective. AFA also sells a family-friendly internet filter for an annual fee of $49.95.
Presently battling encephalitis and eye cancer, Wildmon resigned as chairman of the American Family Association in March 2010.
Father: (Mississippi health department)
Brother: Alan Wildmon (media spokesman for American Family Association)
Wife: Lynda Lou Bennett (m. 1961, four children)
Son: Tim Wildmon (Vice President of American Family Association, b. 6-Mar-1963)
Daughter: Angela (b. 6-Mar-1964)
Daughter: Donna (b. 1-Feb-1966)
Son: Mark (child psychologist, b. 6-Mar-1971)
University: Mississippi State University
University: BA, Millsaps College (1960)
Theological: MA Divinity, Emory University (1965)
Alliance Defense Fund
American Family Association Founder (1977) and Chairman (1977-2010)
Coalition on Revival
Council for National Policy
National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters
Heart Attack Jun-1992
Risk Factors: Cancer
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