Abercrombie and Fitch has raised the white T-shirt and surrendered. It is pulling its soft-core porn clothing catalog because the outcry has hurt the only thing that matters to A&F: the bottom line.
Same store sales in November were down 13% in an approving economy. Apparently showing naked people in the catalog was stimulating--just not to clothing sales.
As you may know, Abercrombie and Fitch's target customer is between 12 and 25, so it is no wonder that a catalog promoting group sex would get some parents upset. A&F claimed the catalog was not sold to anyone under 18, but let's get real here: Kids were seeing it.
The catalog itself was perplexing as a marketing tool. It describes how great group sex is, and that dolphins do it. So what kind of clothing are dolphins wearing these days? Do they have little sweatshirts on while jumping each other under the waves?
The secular New York Times described the situation using the same tactic it did during the Reagan movie drama. The controversy was generated by "conservatives," those kill joy pessimists who want to ruin all the fun.
Here's how the Times put it: "After loud and sustained protests from socially conservative groups and feminist groups, the company announced ... it was withdrawing the (catalog)."
Sure. It's only those nasty right-wingers and feminists that stirred this up. Liberal or independent thinkers would never object to their kids seeing a half-dozen nude models doing the lambada together. In the world of The New York Times, everyday Americans would have no trouble with any of that.
Are you getting the picture here? Every time an issue of incredibly bad taste arises, like this catalog and the Reagan movie, the secular press tries to marginalize the opposition by defining it in political terms.
The truth is that most non-ideological Americans are getting sick and tired of offensive displays and outrageous behavior being rammed down their throats. Secularists do not want any judgments made about personal behavior, and if you oppose that, they try to make you out to be some kind of junior Jerry Falwell, demanding that everyone convert to Christianity. It's simply dishonest.
Here's proof that regular Americans have had enough. A new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll says that 87% of Americans approve of Nativity scenes being displayed on public property during Christmas. Perhaps that's because the federal holiday of Christmas honors the birth of Jesus so there might be some context here.
But you probably did not read about that poll in the secular press. Maybe if they threw some group sex questions in that survey, it would get wider exposure.
Never before in this country has such a slender secular minority had so much power. The ACLU has succeeded in knocking nativity scenes out all over the country against the will of the people. The New York City school system even forbids any display of the birth of Jesus in its buildings. So much for the history of a national holiday.
The one-two punch of outrageous and offensive behavior and the diminishment of public spirituality is something this country is going to have to come to terms with.
Time after time commerce and the polls show that Americans want traditional values and are appalled by inappropriate material marketed to children. In the end, the will of the people will likely prevail, as the Abercrombie and Fitch situation proves. But the proponents of a secular society are fierce, and they are not going away anytime soon.