Morals still sacred to American public
The American Broadcasting Company's latest assault on American society is already falling apart at the seams.

ABC has included a new drama in this season's line-up. The television show, "Nothing Sacred," centers around a Catholic priest who falls a little outside of the mainstream.

The priest, Father Ray, not only abhors the very God he is dedicated to serve, but also opposes his Catholic church on topics such as homosexuality and abortion.

"This show is not only blasphemous, but it is an insulting portrayal of the Catholic clergy and orthodox Christian teaching," said Tim Wildmon, the President of the American Family Association.

Father Ray separates from the Church on more significant issues, as well. In one episode, the priest lamented his similarity to Christ saying "you become more and more like Him until you become just like Him -- a little wooden, nailed into a life you're not sure you want."

This demonstrates the show's intent is not to encourage critical thinking, but to directly challenge Catholicism and Christianity.

While the popular media requests tolerance, ABC continues to bash Christians.

This is not a new trend for ABC. The network is owned by the Walt Disney Corporation, a name once associated with strong family values. In recent years, however, Disney -- and ABC in particular -- have instead launched attacks on social mores.

Disney's network was the first to show network nudity on its dark drama "NYPD Blue." Despite a massive public outcry, the show continues to air and continues to push the envelope of acceptable programming.

Disney's sitcom, "Home Improvement," which broadcasts on ABC occasionally strays from its reputation for family programming. In one episode, Tim Allen's character suspected his oldest son was contemplating sex. In the climactic man-to-man conversation, the father never suggested that marriage should help determine the appropriate time to dispose of virginity. Instead, the only advice the boy relieved was a hearty "not now."

This is a far cry from the old Disney films which portrayed classic family values, pure courtships, abstinence and the importance of God.

The new Disney suggests that people are only happy if they sleep around, mock the Almighty and rebel against their parents and society.

For years, Disney and ABC have continued their quest of the mainstream path undaunted, but a barrage of recent boycotts have made the parent company stop and take notice.

"Nothing Sacred" and "NYPD Blue" have been the focus of boycotts spearheaded by the American Family Association. The AFA publishes lists of the programs' advertisers for supporters to boycott. The strategy has been very effective.

"NYPD Blue" lost so many sponsors that ABC now loses money every time the show airs. "Nothing Sacred" has already lost several corporate advertisers, as well.

While many observers may see this approach as useless or frivolous, this is the same strategy that eventually sent Donahue off the air.

More prominent boycotts have been aimed at Disney by the Presbyterian Church of America, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God. While Disney tried to shrug off news of the boycotts, within three months, Disney officials were already requesting a meeting with church leaders.

While the boycotts have been generally successful, the entertainment industry is slow to react to monetary pressure.

Michael Medved, syndicated movie reviewer and media critic, says filmmakers like to consider themselves "artists" serving a higher purpose than cash. Medved also points out that the entertainment industry does not "give people what they want" as they like to claim.

The most successful movies to leave Hollywood are family films. While G-rated movies make more money on average than any other class of films, studios still produce hardly any children's films.

While ABC may continue to challenge social norms, Americans must not allow their views to be redefined. Regardless of what company officials believe, as far as America is concerned, many things are still sacred.

Dave Johnston is a senior mathematics major.