5/5/10

Culture-Sick Greeting Cards

Greeting cards came on the scene some 150 years ago—mostly sentimental verses or simple humor; but in last decade or so, greeting cards have changed dramatically. It started with locker-room humor and has escalated to soft porn. Many times the offensive cards are displayed right next to wholesome cards low on card racks, at toddlers’ eye level.

Lauren Green at FOXNews.com quoted Chris Gacek of Family Research Council in an article titled “Greeting Cards Gone Wild.” Gacek said, “If you’d shown these to my grandmother 40 years ago, she would have been in shock.” Greeting cards with lewd poems and verses show bare bottoms and scantily-clad women. Green referenced a card with a couple entwined in bed with details of a sexual fantasy. It’s “prominently displayed close to wholesome birthday cards for friends and family,” she said.

Some of the steamy cards have already been pulled from shelves, but that doesn’t mean parents can let up their guard. The greeting card industry has no controls, such as those that monitor television, radio, and movies. Jack Withiam of the Executive Greeting Card Association argues that government controls would amount to violation of freedom of speech. Hallmark spokeswoman Linda O’Dell agreed, saying, “Cards have always reflected what’s going on in the culture.”

Exactly. Greeting cards are like a chart at the foot of a hospital bed revealing a sick culture of filth and immorality. And it’s not just pervasive sexual images. Cards also reflect a non-biblical perception of gender roles. Hallmark Cards rolled out a line of same-sex wedding cards and "coming out" cards in 2008 with the goal of being "as relevant as possible" to as many people as possible. It’s suggested that the greeting card industry is simply reaching out to different kinds of people with different needs. “Our intention is to have a wide variety in the spirit of kindness,” O’Dell explained. It’s sexual license wrapped in "tolerance."

Gacek admits that it’s hard to regulate the greeting card industry, but suggested a couple of ways to deal with them: “The industry might segregate those cards,” he said. Or perhaps stores could “put them in a wrapper or something, so you know something about them or avoid them.”

And that’s where Christians and other concerned citizens can make a difference. We can suggest that stores be responsible, and particularly place these cards where children cannot see or have access to them. Christians must take a stand against pornography wherever they find it and at whatever level it presents itself, before it escalates into something worse. The National Coalition Against Pornography reports that there are more outlets for pornography in the United States than McDonald’s restaurants, and we don’t need greeting card stores adding to that problem.

What choices can we make to curb the inroads of pornography in our culture? (1) Before we take our "stand," we need to get on our knees and seek God. We need to examine our own hearts for any compromise with wickedness. (2) We must act as salt and light in our wicked culture (Matt. 5:13-14), speaking the truth in love, especially to store owners who may feel pressure to carry these cards. (3) We need to support legislation that battles porn.

Pornography perverts everything that is good and holy, and it destroys our children's innocence. Porn is a lie; it promises lasting excitement (Proverbs 9:17), yet can't deliver. We can rationalize these cards as being a "little thing," but there are consequences to every sinful choice (Prov. 14:12).

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