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Beliefnet News

Christians Having a Cow Over Marge Simpson’s Playboy Debut

(RNS) The issue of Playboy magazine that will start hitting newsstands Friday (Oct. 16) bears an image of a semi-nude Marge Simpson, the cartoon matriarch of “The Simpsons.”
The ploy is in part a tribute to the Fox Broadcasting Company show, which at 20 years is one of the longest-running television shows in history.
No matter that Marge Simpson is neither really nude nor, well, real, some people are not happy to see her on the racy magazine’s cover.
The American Family Association, which calls itself “an outspoken, resolute, Christian voice,” is asking 7-Eleven stores to reconsider their decision to sell the issue.
“Pornography promotes a hedonistic lifestyle that is often highly addictive, harmful to marriages and influences anti-social and sometimes criminal behavior,” AFA says. “In the eyes of most women, pornography is degrading and highly offensive.”
7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris at the corporate office in Dallas, said the company has no plans to carry Playboy on a regular basis. “It is not a recommended item for company stores,” she said, adding that franchise stores are independent contractors and some carry Playboy. “We thought the Simpson issue would make nice collectibles. We’re not requiring the stores take it.”
She added that the magazines are being shipped in plastic wrappers so underage customers can’t peek inside.
But just seeing the cover will do damage, the AFA said. “It’s irresponsible of 7-Eleven to display porn in front of boys who pop into 7-Elevens for a hot dog or a Slurpee,” Randy Sharp, AFA special projects director, said in a statement Thursday. “A cartoon is going to be appealing to a child. Playboy and 7-Eleven and Fox are allowing that to happen,” he said.
By T.W. Burger
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • pagansister

    SHE is a cartoon character…and the American Family Association is worried about it…it is porno? Hello! Playboy is most certainly NOT a pornographic magazine. It is so tame it is almost House and Garden. They really should worry about something important…and this is so NOT important.

  • Henrietta22

    I never thought of Playboy being Pornographic, never bought it, but assumed it was done in good taste. It also was never in the catagory at the newsstands in CA, of Girle Magazines. In some parts of the country it probably is. I never watch The Simpsons so couldn’t care less about unreal people.

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    Is this the same group that, a couple of years ago, tried to make a case that a cartoon about a sponge-character was advancing a “gay agenda”? Or was that a different group of prissy little prigs?

  • David

    How to tell a liberal from a conservative 101…
    If you are mad when a cigarette company uses a cartoon to sell their product, you are a jack ass who happens to be liberal.
    If you are mad when Playboy company uses a cartoon to sell their product, you are a jack ass who happens to be conservative.

  • DK

    Really? We’re freaking out over Marge Simpson on something as tasteful as Playboy? Wow, we really have lost sight of what’s really going on. For crying out loud, has anyone heard on hentai? Cartoons are bumping the porno uglies in a whole variety of different situations. This stuff is on the web, and we’re freaking out over something so small as this.
    If I was Matt, and I know he is, I’d be proud of my work. His centerfold is PG-13 at best, so let’s move on to something a little more important.

  • Mere_Christian

    This issue shows that Sodom and Gomorrah were no myth.
    I’m sure the playboy mag-like images on the walls of those towns would seem tame as well to those citizens of permissiveness.
    Fascinating times in which we live. Watching history repeat itself.

  • JohnQ

    If you are going to cite Sodom and Gomorrah you should at least do so in context. The story of S & G is about in-hospitality….not, cartoon nor, displaying the human body.

  • Sho_Sinner-

    Christians need to have a cow over this, because the Hindus who run the 7-elevens can’t.

  • nnmns

    I’m pretty sure Playboy wouldn’t have done that without the permission of the people who control Marge(‘s image). You might think, since that show runs on Fox, they’d have gotten Fox’s permission, too. I want to see the AFP take out after Fox. Let’s face it, Fox loosened up broadcast standards when they came on, not that I’m objecting but AFP should if they are to be consistent (Hah!)
    Anyway the publicity is great for Playboy, the cartoon and of course Fox which runs it.

  • Doc M

    Looks to me like the AFA just wants it’s own name in the news. I bet if we cared to track it, Christians getting made fun of is probably pretty high on the list for the Simpsons and this issue (pardon the pun) will just be one more reason.
    Citing protection of the children is a load of BS. Playboy has been a pretty tame mag for a long time and their stock price has shown it. They NEED to do something as nutty as have a nekkid Marge issue. It’ll sell like hotcakes. The AFA needs to attach itself to this because it’s got noting better or relevant to do.
    “Lets protect the kids from the temptation of cartoon boobies in a magazine no one would ever sell them even accidentally but while we do it, get our press releases ready!”

  • Mordred08

    AFA: “A cartoon is going to be appealing to a child.”
    For the love of Eris, don’t tell the AFA about Family Guy (another FOX animated series definitely not geared toward children). Or several imported anime series (many of which get pretty PG-13 at times, or worse). Or the original Looney Tunes cartoon shorts before they were censored to be more suitable for the kids. I could go on, but I won’t, as I’m afraid People for the Ethical Treatment of Families will try to get it banned.

  • Howard Hinderleider

    The religious right should learn to mind their own business. If you don’t want to buy a magazine, don’t buy it. But you don’t have the right or the obligation to tell everyone else what they may or may not read. I’m really getting sick of these self rightous idiots trying to push their pathetic bronze age religious beliefs on everyone else. Do what YOU want to do; but leave the rest of us alone. It’s really that simple. We shouldn’t have to fight to keep our freedom in this country.

  • Howard Hinderleider

    The religious right should learn to mind their own business. If you don’t want to buy a magazine, don’t buy it. But you don’t have the right or the obligation to tell everyone else what they may or may not read. I’m really getting sick of these self rightous idiots trying to push their pathetic bronze age religious beliefs on everyone else. Do what YOU want to do; but leave the rest of us alone. It’s really that simple. We shouldn’t have to fight to keep our freedom in this country.

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    Mr. Hinderleider,
    No, we should not have to fight to keep our freedom–but inevitably, we must. The danger to our freedom has little to do with conquerors from without and almost everything to do with theocratic usurpers within.

  • Bryan

    “It’s irresponsible of 7-Eleven to display porn in front of boys who pop into 7-Elevens for a hot dog or a Slurpee,”
    I think that hotdog and that Slurpee will be WAY more damaging.

  • jestrfyl

    It what universe does the AFA complaint make any sense? They don;t like the Simpsons or Playboy, so what makes anyone think their opinion on this particular bit of wackiness means anything at all. Once more, they complain simply because they can complain. They don;t get it that foolish remarks like this simply continue to devalue anything they say on any topic, even important ones. Because they have no idea what they are talking about – supposedly they have no experience of either the TV show or the magazine, or DO they? – their critique is a waste of electrons in B’net’s case and ink in the instance of the newspapers. But then, I am taking time to comment on this fol-derol-derol, so I am guilty too. I think I;ll go watch one of my DVDs of the Simpsons.

  • Ruairi

    If it was Marge in the middle of a shootout or car chase they would be hey look at that. You give her the possiblitly of a human body then its OH NO. The tolerance of violence in this society is so much more a threat than any nudity. Those kind of values are truely misplaced. This isn’t to say that some porn is harmful. If it it includes children than that is a whole other thing, but showing off a body isn’t. Sex isn’t porn again its a violence aspect involved to me that makes it a Porn problem.

  • Fred Conwell

    The AFA are pornographers – they make money off the sexual lives of others. (French pornographie, from pornographe, pornographer, from Late Greek pornographos, writing about prostitutes)

  • Stupid idiots

    Marge simpson is going to be the reason why young boys pick up playboy!
    maybe they would prefur to look at the naked women inside.
    what kind of world do these people live in?

  • melodysol

    Do we as a majority of society take the AFA’s opinion as the way we should consider living, as some kind of guide, or gospel to live by? NO!!! This soundbite about the Simpsons and Playboy from this “christian voice” of an organization. It just gets the name of their association attatched to something that people actually are interested in. Twenty years plus and the Simpsons are still going strong, they must be doing something right . Myself, I was ten years old when the show debuted, the same age as Bart Simpson. Now I am thirty , and I still am absolutely in love with this show. Fox has not ever had as much success with anything. For this organization to ask a convienient store to not carry Playboy of all the twisted pornography that is sold next to the register across this great free country, just seems completely devoid of any rational thoughts. Has the AFA ever seen a Playboy magazine? It is far from exploitive. Other puplications of the same genre, are not presented as art. Playboy has been empowering women as beautiful in all forms of womanhood.

  • Your Name

    The AFA is a small but well funded group. They are totally opposed to nudity if any sort. They tried to shut down our nude use of a public recreational facility in Michigan which we were renting once a month in the winter and had been for years. Once they got wind of it they tried to have the city council shut us out because we allowed families to bring their children. Fortunately, the city attorney advised otherwise. With absolutely no evidence that simple, voluntary nudity is harmful to anyone or to anyone witnessing it, these AFA nuts go totally nuts trying to shut down social nudity while, as other commentators have pointed out, utterly ignoring the violence and corruption that pervades our society. (BTW, there are scientific studies that indicate that verify that social nudity causes no harm to children.) The Puritans were never as sex obsessed as are these AFA people.

  • red

    Why is this even reported, I mean seriously what DON’T crazy “christians” have a problem with? People just need to ignore them.

  • Punman

    I wonder if the drapes match the carpet?

  • Your Name

    October 17, 2009 8:14 AM
    “This issue shows that Sodom and Gomorrah were no myth.”
    Apart from the fact that you’re wrong on this (Ezekiel reveals the true “sin” of Sodom), most people of your ilk are only too happy to let people believe S & G was about gay people, instead of a story about rape.
    Meanwhile, please, please, please let the AFA waste their time, money and efforts on tehir faux-outrage over this cartoon nonsense. It means they’ll have even less $$$ to spend in their fight against GLBT American families and their fight for equal treatment before the law (can YOU say ‘Constitution’?).

  • cknuck

    YN the Sodom and Gomorrah story was clearly about homosexuality and homosexual rape, not all homosexuals are “gay”.

  • jestrfyl

    ? what ? huh ? eh ?
    OK, I get that not all gay people are homosexual. They can also be merry, frivolous, and otherwise having a lark. But I am fairly sure that in modern parlance all “Gay” people are homosexual.
    The doomed citizenry of S & G were not condemned for their sexual orientation but for their many and various sexual abuses.

  • jestrfyl

    Wait minute, now I am mixed up. The syllogism is this…
    Not all gay people are homosexual, but in modern parlance, all homosexual people are “Gay”.

  • Andrea

    I think hot dogs and slurpees are more damaging than pornography.
    I also think boys will find a real woman as or more appealing than a cartoon.
    It’s also foolish to think that ‘cartoons are only for kids’. There’s lots of adult toons out there.
    You will never be able to stop people from looking at porn. Even if it became unavailable to consumers, they would just start making their own. The American Family Association should try to focus their resources on more worthwhile pursuits.

  • Ray Berthiaume

    I am a Simpsons addict. I loved the book THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SIMPSON by Mark I. Pinsky. The series has done a wonderful job of treating sex and nudity in a healthy way. Much better than most churches do.

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