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TK's MORNING BUZZ: The American Family Association Is Singling Out Movie Gallery for Carrying Adult Entertainment Simply Because It's the Chain of Choice

3 Jul, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

I once read a line that's stuck with me ever since: "It is futile to attempt to legislate morality."

I agree wholeheartedly. And while I may not buy adult literature, frequent red-light districts or allow my kids to listen to Eminem, I have no problem with people doing otherwise. It's called "choice," and it's an important component of this thing we call freedom.

I write this as one of our own is coming under attack. The American Family Association, those gracious moral shills for us all, have singled out Movie Gallery for carrying adult entertainment. The AFA Web site has a special section devoted to trashing the dynamic Dixie chain, complete with employee testimonials, a "resources" page and free downloadable banner ads that read, "Learn the Truth About Movie Gallery, Your Local Porn Dealer."

The AFA last December even staged a "rally for decency" outside Movie Gallery headquarters in Dothan, Ala., that attracted more than 200 protesters.

Don't these guys have anything better to do with their time? Yes, Movie Gallery carries adult entertainment, primarily -- by the AFA's own admission -- in back rooms separate from the main store.

But the chain isn't forcing anyone to rent or buy adult videos, and has even taken the extra step of displaying them in a separate room so that those who are easily offended don't even have to look at them.

Movie Gallery is simply giving people who want adult entertainment the choice to obtain it. It's no different from Wal-Mart selling guns -- except I've heard a lot more instances in which someone was killed or seriously hurt by a gun rather than by an adult video.

The viciousness of this attack also surprises me. It's not like Movie Gallery is a chain of dedicated porn stores; adult entertainment is merely one of many video categories the chain carries.

But maybe Movie Gallery's prominance -- and dominance in the rural South, the Bible Belt -- is what attracted the AFA's vitriol. Moral crusaders such as the AFA crave attention, and with Movie Gallery the AFA seems to have found the perfect candidate for getting the biggest bang for its buck.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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