JESUSLAND—What a difference a day makes! It seems like just yesterday that one could log onto the Sears.com website, write "mature" into their search engine, pick "Movies and TV Shows" from the drop-down menu, and order DVDs like Lesbian Sistas 3, Hot Mamas Like Young Chicks 3, Hot and Exotic or Snatched: Curse of the Pink Panties 2 from their online catalog.
Oh, wait: That was just yesterday!
Yesterday was also the day that the American Family Association (AFA) sent out an email blast to its supporters, stating, "Under the new leadership of Chairman Edward Lampert, Sears is now offering hard-core pornographic DVDs and music. Not just a few x-rated products, but scores of them... Not only does Sears' website allow children to view its pornographic offerings online, it will sell them to children. During our online check-out process, we were never asked to verify our age... Technology allows Sears to remove and stop selling these products within minutes, if they want too. AFA has tried more than a half-dozen times to reach out to Sears quietly and professionally. Basically, their single response was, 'We're going to keep on selling them!'"
Actually, we doubt Sears was quite that emphatic, but we're certain the AFA, which tends to get a bit shrill itself, took it that way.
Anyhoo, the email asked recipients to "Take Action."
"Unless Sears hears from you, they will continue to sell hardcore pornography," the email warned. "If you can only do one thing, please: Please make a personal phone call to Sears, so your concerns are clearly understood. Call Sears' corporate headquarters directly and ask to leave a message with Chairman Edward Lampert's office."
And of course, they politely provided the phone number so their legion of religious fanatics could browbeat Lampert (or, more likely, several members of his staff; we doubt Lampert answers his own phone) into not selling adult material on the company's website, even though they themselves were perfectly free not to buy any.
See, if someone doesn't want to buy something from an online retailer, they're free not to buy it. On the other hand, if they don't want you to buy something from an online retailer, and they place hundreds or thousands of calls to that retailer demanding that the retailer stop selling that something, that's called "censorship."
And guess what? They were successful!
"We sincerely apologize to any customers who were offended," Sears wrote to the AFA today. "Our agreements with our vendors prohibit content that is pornographic or sexually explicit in nature. We are removing these items that do not meet our guidelines. We regularly review our processes to ensure compliance by our vendors, and we encourage our customers and community to help us flag any items that they believe might violate our guidelines."
And sure enough, half an hour later, none of those (or hundreds of other) DVDs were available at Sears' online store.
"Thank you for taking action and convincing Sears to get out of the pornography business," AFA president Tim Wildmon wrote in a follow-up email today. "Together, and with God's help, we are making a difference."
So just remember, folks: God doesn't want you to watch porn. The American Family Association said so, so it must be true.