Predator Calling Cards, Part 1: Found One in My Mailbox

Lisa Cherry —  July 2, 2012

mailbox 738130_letter-boxI sat down the other day for a rare moment of relaxation with my new issue of Country Living. It’s the one women’s magazine I subscribe to.

I looked forward to dreaming up some unachievable new interior design as I flipped my mind over to unwind mode.

Featured on page 92 and 93 was a quaint 19th century house in upstate New York.  But I had trouble figuring out the heading…

My mind did a double take as I re-read the article's opening line… Jesse and Gus have forged a surprisingly modern home.... I turned the page to find a picture of this "couple"—two men and their five-year-old daughter.

What?!  I was accidentally taking a tour of a homosexual couple's house? I dropped the issue on the floor in disgust. The images of the cute little girl stuck hauntingly in my mind.

 I wasn't sure how to express my shock and outrage. I was the only one awake at that hour and there was definitely no one else I wanted to pollute with my discovery.  So I picked up my magazine again and turned to the editorial contact page contemplating my recourse.

My email to the editor titled Not Liking This went something like this:

I have been a fan of Country Living for a while now, and I have always found the magazine to be a breath of fresh air in our bustling world. I sat down to relax with my new July/August issue only to get a shock. I DO NOT want to look at photos of two homosexual men building a life with a cute little girl!!

 PLEASE! This has been a family friendly magazine in the past. Today, your magazine hit the trash before my young children could see. Why did you think we would all enjoy this??? What are you trying to sell us?

Unless you can guarantee to me this will never happen again, I want my subscription canceled immediately. I will await your reply and explanation.

Frontline Moms, even the women's magazines are trying to brainwash us into seeing nothing wrong with two men and a baby?!

What if I had left that magazine in my bathroom reading rack as I usually do, and my children had seen it?  They could have been influenced and damaged by this deceptive display.

Apparently Hearst Communications, the publisher of Country Living magazine, believed that the attraction of homosexual men to their readership by running that article would outweigh the loss of conservative women. Isn't it important that we let them know we do not share their indoctrinating views?

Whether it is through prime time TV shows, magazines, or made for teens music videos, our kids are being bombarded with these types of confusing homosexual images. And the sexual acting out in their lives shows it is having an affect.

The Bible is very clear on our standard of truth. Homosexuality is not acceptable to the Lord.

As we work to Unmask the Predators threatening our homes, we must have the courage to discuss these issues openly and frequently with our children.

Sitting passively or in fear is not an appropriate or a safe response. Our children's futures depend on what we allow in their world.

“…Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” Matthew 16:19

Will you resolve with me that when we encounter a predator’s calling card, we will call it what it is, and counter it with the truth?

By Lisa Cherry, Author of Unmask the Predators

Image courtesy of Aneta Blaszczyk

Linked to Visionary Womanhood, The Modest Mom, Workin' It Mondays and The Better Mom.

  • SoCalLynn

    I subscribe to Country Living magazine and noticed this, too. I do not like the "in your face" condoning of this lifestyle either, and I applaud your response. I agree that they are taking a chance in alienating conservative women. However, this isn't the first homosexual couple to be featured in the magazine. I've noticed it many times over the last few years; in fact in almost every issue. I think it's just one of the first times they featured both partners and their child and that got your attention.

    • frontlinemama

      Thanks for your comments. I had never seen it before but as I said in my article I am not a "reader" so much as a "gazer" of this magazine. The imagery in not just Country Living but in many other print and online publications is getting more and more brazen and "clear." I am going to deal with this issue in my next post. I am so concerned with the effects we are seeing in the hearts of many kids and teens we talk to.

  • creationscience4kids

    I've written to Victoria magazine (by the same publishers), not about this issue, but some other serious ones. Back 12 years ago, they were understanding and either passed on my comments to the author, or stopped the offensive section. Let's pray that Country Living will respond to your concern as well.
    Some of the hardest things to do are to speak out as necessary, but using appropriate words so they don't take offense at our delivery. Your letter looks like you handled it pretty well. :-)

  • Beth

    This is the first time I stumbled across the blog and I have to say I will NOT be back. I cannot believe that someone who is apparently very christian is SO judgmental. There are so many ways this post could have been done more tastefully.

    Luke 6:37

    “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven"

    I am a mother and a blogger. I am not homosexual and I will not encourage my children to be; But such harsh judgements are no ones place but Gods.

    • frontlinemama

      Beth, I so appreciate you writing your comment. I think you are raising some very valid issues for us to further explore. I am hoping you might see this response even though you say you are not coming back. My next post call Part 2 What Is a Predator? and my part 3 What is Judgementalism?will address some of your points. Can we continue the dialogue?

  • Kate

    Um wow... maybe you are naive. But just because two men are w/a child do NOT make them predators. I can only pray you are not passing your judgmental attitude to your children.

    No wonder the conservative Christians get a bad rap. Thankfully I am a Christian, but if you have these views as a "conservative" I want NOTHING of being a conservative Christian.

    • frontlinemama

      Thanks, Kate for your comment. I hope we can continue to talk about this issue. The definition of my word "predator" definitely needs further explanation. I will do that in my next post for all to see. These are tough issues that probably deserve our attention as moms.

  • Carly

    Wow. I think I am more shocked at YOUR response. Honestly, I can't see Jesus, having read a magazine that features a homosexual couple, writing an angry letter to the editor. I can picture the radical, loving Jesus I know praying that the couple would be loosened from bonds of sin, praying for the little girl be raised in truth, and begging God for some way to love the couple with graciousness and be the LIGHT we are called to be.

    Hiding that magazine or lifestyle doesn't protect your children. They will see homosexuality somewhere else. Why not invite them into a conversation to explain what God thinks and teach them to love those lost in sin? I know I'm not equipped to cast the first stone at that couple or anyone else, like Jesus talks about in John 8:7, because my life is without perfection also.

    Love, grace, and truth over judgement and anger is my vote every time!

    • frontlinemama

      Hi Carly, Thanks for expressing a view here on Frontlinemoms. You have provoked us to more reflection on this issue which is good. Perhaps you have not read enough of my other posts to know I write extensively about talking with our children about these issues. You are right. They will not be able to escape the world where homosexuality has become extremely common. We talk about it a lot here in the Cherry house. We have a church that welcomes those struggling with same sex attraction to come and receive healing. However, it bears remembering I bought this magazine for the purpose of my own entertainment. If my entertainment is not healthy to have around for my children (which all good moms today have to make judgements on this issue on a daily basis since we have so many different things to protect our children from!) then I as a mom must not let them be confused. I am going deeper into this issue in my next 2 posts which will deal with the definition of "predators" and "Judgmentalism." May we continue our dialogue?

  • luke

    I believe that this is a huge issue in our culture. It is one thing for a homosexual couple to be featured in a "edgy" magazine or article...but the fact that it has infiltrated nearly every media outlet shows us how we have been slowly numbed into viewing this as a normal and acceptable american lifestyle.

  • Mommy Head

    Very well said! There have been times lately where I have had to shut off my favorite tv shows because they were featuring a homosexual couple. I refuse to allow my children to view those things at such a young age because I don't want them to see it as normal. I hope the magazine will listen to you.

  • gladmomma

    Carly, maybe it is shocking to hear someone tell the truth about same sex attractions and challenge their proponents’ insidious PR campaign. Shockingly refreshing.

    Jesus actually expressed strong emotions, including anger when He was here on the earth. He strongly reproved the Pharisees for their deception (Matthew 23 1-39) and didn’t shrink from cleansing the temple (Mark 11:15-17).

    Jesus said that those who cause a child to stumble would be better off cast into the sea with a millstone tied around their necks (Matthew 18:6). That’s compassion for children, and judgment for those who would deceive them.

    Lisa, keep up the good work. It’s what you were made for (Ephesians 2:10).

  • Scott

    To Carly, Kate and Beth, I sincerely hope you'll read part 2 before deciding on realing more in the future. I've known Lisa for years and have never found her to be critical or truely judgemental. On the contrary, the church she helps lead is located inbetween two low-income housing areas and has a very large food ministry. They are very involved in redeptively serving not only the poor, but also those with mental health issues. They have a large youth ministry that is also an outreach mostly low income, single parent families.

    Their children are doing well, bright, positive, actively involved in in both ministries. Two spend time weekly working with my son who has severe autism.

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  • Sylvia R

    I had the same thing happen to me!  
    Actually, you've missed it in the past. This kind of thing has appeared before in Country Living, but it was quite veiled. Somewhere in the article you'd read something about the homeowner's "partner," and you couldn't be sure if it meant business partner, or what. I'd read and just hoped it was business partners, or that we'd see no more like that. And a long time would pass, and up would pop another, still foggy. But I know the issue you are talking about, because when I saw that dear little girl, it just jolted me! I wanted to cry. I may have. How could that poor kid grow up healthy? I prayed for her, stuck the mag in the trash and cancelled my subscription! What may be interesting to you (it was, sadly, to me) is that right after I got my subscription refund in the mail, my next copy of CL arrived. And there was another "couple" with their home featured. Now the articles were coming in consecutive months, veiled less and less. No one could convince me that someone involved with this mag has been making an orchestrated effort to subtly slide CL's readers into his/her desired way of thinking about this moral issue. This isn't even honest speaking outright, but subtle manipulation -- using a woman's home-centered magazine as a mind bender. 
    I'm glad you wrote--both your post and your email to Hearst. I just dropped my subscription, because I didn't want that jammed down my throat when I sat down for a relaxing break with a magazine and a cup of tea. I'd also had problems with the ghoulish stuff in some of the October issues, again hoping it would just "go away." These things don't. They just get worse. I wonder if it's safe to try Victoria magazine again?

  • Lynne

    I just ended my subscription to Readers' Digest.  It's not family friendly anymore.  I don't want it in my house.