From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Bretheren Youth Citizenship Seminar

From George Conklin <>
Date 27 May 1996 14:54:37

Nevin Dulabaum,   (847) 742-5100
Director of News Services 
Church of the Brethren

(Elgin, Ill.) April 17, 1996 -- Participants of the 1996 Church of the
Brethren National Youth Christian Citizenship Seminar met today with two
senior members of the White House staff to discuss public policy concerns
related to the seminar theme of "Biblical Values and Media Myths."  

Marilyn Yager, deputy assistant to the president, and Barbara
Woolley, associate director of the White House Office of Public
Liaison, summarized the Clinton administration's position regarding two
matters of concern to seminar participantsmedia violence and the proposed
Food and Drug Administration regulations regarding tobacco advertising
directed at youth.

During the hour-long meeting between Yager, Woolley, and the 80
seminar participants, Yager emphasized that President Clinton is
alarmed by the fact that while the crime rate among adults is declining, it
is rapidly expanding among youth. For these reasons, she explained, the
president firmly supports a provision of the recently adopted
Telecommunications Act that calls for the installation of a V-chip device
in all new televisions, which will enable parents to screen out violent
television programming. Yager also expressed the administration's
appreciation for entertainment industry leaders voluntarily agreeing to
implement a ratings system through which parents will be able to screen out
objectionable programs using the V-chip technology.   

Woolley described the Administrations efforts to establish FDA
regulations that would restrict the promotion of tobacco directed
at children and youth. She emphasized that the president is
enthused about expanding opportunities to work more closely with
youth and religious organizations in raising the awareness about
the damaging health effects of tobacco products, and was
encouraged by the level of awareness exhibited by the youth
participants of the seminar.  

Yager and Woolley responded to a youth inquiry about candy
cigarettes, saying that they set a bad example for impressionable
children and that manufacturers of candy cigarettes have
voluntarily ceased to produce them.  

Shortly thereafter, another youth inquired about the manufacturing of toy
cigarettes and cigars, which he had seen earlier this week in a Washington,
D.C., store. The youth asked if the Clinton Administration had asked toy
cigarette and cigar manufacturers to also voluntarily quit making such
products. Yager and Woolley said it was a "good idea they had not
previously considered," promising to look into the matter immediately.   

"Each of us (CCS participants) looked around and said, `Maybe we
are having some influence here after all,'" said Tim McElwee,
director of the Church of the Brethren Washington Office, who
added that he was "impressed and pleased with the knowledgeable
questions and comments made by the youth during the session."  

Prior to this meeting, seminar participants had studied related
aspects of media education and the proposed FDA regulations. They then
devoted the majority of Wednesday afternoon to visiting with members of
Congress or congressional aides regarding these and related concerns.  

CCS, which is co-sponsored by Youth Ministry and by the Church of the
Brethren Washington Office, began in 1948 as a means for
Brethren to be involved with government actions and public policy. Other
issues focused on at past Christian Citizenship Seminar's have included
homelessness, racism, peacemaking, and nonviolence. A business item on
child exploitation being presented at this year's Church of the Brethren
Annual Conference, the 210th annual meeting of Brethren delegates where
denominational polity and policy is decided, originated with youth from the
1995 CCS, where participants focused on the global community.  

The Church of the Brethren, a 144,000-member denomination
consisting of 23 districts spanning most of the contiguous United
States, is headquartered in Elgin, Ill. It was formed in 1708 when the
Brethren movement began in central Germany. It is a historic peace church,
conscientiously opposed to all war.    


Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home