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Device filters profanity from TV, videos, cable, satellite

KNOXVILLE , Tenn. (BP)–Watching popular movies and television programs without the threat of a profane word ruining your fun may sound like a miracle in today’s culture, but recall the Red Sea parted and the whale swallowed Jonah.
A new invention being sold in LifeWay Christian Stores replaces offensive audio and is helping heal a raw nerve with families and churches fed up with entertainment unfit for their children’s ears.
Curse Free TV is a small computer that filters curse words from television, separate videocassette recorders, satellite dishes and cable box devices. While not a perfect method to safeguarding what children see and hear, it blocks profanity and other objectionable language, including taking the name of God in vain, from most network programs and videos.
It also eclipses traditional Christian product lines since it works from a moral standpoint anyone can appreciate, religious or otherwise.
Gary Loftin, manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Knoxville, Tenn., told a Knoxville News Sentinel reporter that requests for the curse word censor are far-reaching and second only to calls about upcoming installments of the top-selling “Left Behind” fiction series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.
Loftin has sold the $149.95 box to buyers as far away as Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Corpus Christi, Texas. After he was pictured with the product in newspapers across the nation, calls poured in — many from television station managers whose viewers wanted more information.
“This is really an item for Christians, Muslims, basically everyone,” Loftin told the Sentinel. “What family wants their 8-year-old to hear filth?”
That was the situation facing Dewey Plaster from Idaho Falls. With children ages 10, 6 and 2, Plaster and his wife, both Sunday school teachers, were frustrated with the foul language heard far too frequently, including network television.
“After we had our first child, we realized how quick they are to pick up words,” Plaster added. “And some television shows you think are safe for children to watch really aren’t.
“It’s nice to sit with the kids in front of the TV and not worry that they’re going to hear something bad,” Plaster said. “We want to set the right example for our kids. Our prayers have been answered.”
Curse Free TV President Jonas Robertson helped develop the device to search hidden close-captioning text for more than 100 offensive words. Once the word is detected, the box momentarily mutes the sound and replaces it with acceptable words and phrases. For instance, Curse Free TV replaces 21 offensive words in “Mrs. Doubtfire” and 32 in “Kindergarten Cop.” The occasional slip-up occurs during live programming when closed captioning is not available or when closed caption text is misspelled.
Unlike the V-chip, which totally blocks an R-rated program and doesn’t work with video movies, the profanity-censoring device cleans up R-rated language. Parents must continue to show caution, however, with nudity and violent images.
Curse Free TV is available in 82 LifeWay Christian Stores across the country and at its Internet store at www.lifewaystores.com.

Harper is communications coordinator in the marketing and business operations department of the LifeWay Christian Stores division at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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  • Sharon Harper