In April of 2008, a networking session titled “The Commercialization of Childhood: The Role of Belief Communities”, at the summit of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, provided an opportunity for members of theistic and non-theistic communities to exchange about the concerns and strategies in relation to the commercialization of childhood. There was a consensus that, even in the most vibrant community, united by common world-view, the influence of popular culture is being felt as never before.
Present were members of the following communities: Baptist, Buddhism, Episcopal, Society for Ethical Culture, Judaism, Presbyterian, Religious Society of Friends (Quaker), Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church.
The rich exchange demonstrated common experiences, such as the ways in which the stereotypes promoted by popular culture infiltrate schools, no matter what their affiliation, through the play of children and the possessions they bring.
Those who were present are engaged in a wide range of activities, from testifying before legislatures about violence in entertainment media to working to end sex trafficking. There was a lively discussion about storytelling and the pivotal role the story of our communities can play in offsetting the impact of the story of consumption and superficiality.
A panel discussion at CCFC’s summit in April, 2010 continued to develop interest and information about bringing together faith and humanist voices about the impact media and commercialism has on the development of young children.