Sometimes even Moral Guardians have to accept that The New Rock & Roll isn't going away. They can't stop people from watching/reading/playing/listening to it, and even if they succeed in instituting a Censorship Bureau, it's still not up to their standards.
Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. If those works aren't up to their standards, they will make works that are. And they can even throw in a message about their beliefs and views in these works. Thus they make The Moral Substitute. So now all those children can have their fun, while their responsible parents don't have to worry about that strange new music they didn't grow up on. Everybody wins and nobody loses right?
If everything works out, sure. However almost by definition creating the Moral Substitute means directly competing with what it is the substitute of, while explicitly targeting a more specific demographic. Imagine creating a competitor to Coke and Pepsi but targeting only middle-aged mothers at the expense of appeal to the general population. If that sounds like a troubling investment to you, then you see why production values tend to be lower. Adding to the complications of course is the need to produce absolutely nothing even mildly offensive to the specific demographic you are targeting. Put it all together and the Moral Substitute suffers from a reputation of being an overly bland case of Follow the Leader. And those that weren't offended by the original are very unlikely to embrace this product.
Of course if you are in the target demographic you just might appreciate something catering to your particular mindset. Cue possibly small but reliable following. Enough of this exists to keep the phenomenon going as new media fads emerge.
As one might expect works may end up Totally Radical and/or Poor Man's Substitute.
In America the lead suspect for enacting this trope will be the devout (conservative) Christian demographic as the foremost Moral Guardians with substantial political pull. They are large enough to have created their own sub-culture out of this trope; nowadays, one can find Christian-focused works for any medium, from music to movies to books to even video games. It must be noted, though, this trope can apply to absolutely any point of view in existence, with examples covering the whole social-political spectrum. For example, within the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, this trope was usually enforced by the various Communist Parties, which created their own Boy Scout-esque youth groups, their own pop music, their own action movies, their own Westerns (depicting the inspirational struggle of the American Indians against American imperialism), their own chewing gum, and more, all to stop people from admiring all that decadent stuff from the West (didn't work this way).
Could be considered a Super Trope to Christian Rock, though that genre isn't nearly as deep into this trope as the label would suggest.
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The Eagle was launched by an Anglican vicar who saw local children reading adult-oriented American horror comics, and wanted them to read more wholesome material. He made sure to focus on quality, and brought out a very popular and fondly remembered comic which gave us Dan Dare.
Dan Dare was originally created as a sort of military chaplain in space, but he was changed to a straightforward pilot to better appeal to children.
High School Musical is a pretty tame movie series, but there is still a religious alternative: Sunday School Musical, released by The Asylum under their Faith Films imprint - although in this case, the reduced production values aren't due to this trope so much as due to the M.O. of The Asylum being reduced production values.
In order to counter the allegedly less-than-flattering portrayal that the 1996 film adaptation of Evita gave to Eva Perón, the Argentinean government commissioned Eva Perón: The True Story, a dueling movie released that same year.
SpineChillers Mysteries, a Christian answer to Goosebumps. Similar cover font and art design, but all the spooky stuff turns out to be faked (because Satan has no real power), and prayer works coincidental miracles.
The rise of cheesy Airport Novel and techno-thrillers from authors such as Tom Clancy and Dan Brown has led to the creation of the Left Behind series, where fundamentalist Christians try to stop the Antichrist with high-tech weaponry. Many books like this start out like normal "apocalypse" books (with the usual waking up one day to find something wrong, everybody in a frenzy), but slowly everything starts becoming Jesus-related.
The Narnia series wasn't written as this, although C. S. Lewis was very conscious of and open about his inclusion of Christian themes in the books. However, these days (especially after The Film of the Book), it seems to be treated as such against secular kid-lit fantasy lines like Harry Potter. Still, the Narnia fanbase isn't entirely composed of Christians.
And, of course, His Dark Materials was written as a substitute for the Narnia books — from an antitheist viewpoint.note Strictly speaking, any fiction that doesn't mention a deity can be considered atheistic or at least secular, but that's not the case with the HDM series.
The inspirational romance genre serves as the moral substitute for steamy, bodice-ripping romances. While the above link to the Other Wiki doesn't note it, leading publisher Harlequin has a successful imprint (Steeple Hill) that only turns out books of this kind using the parent company's Strictly Formula approach.
Taking this methodology a step farther, there exists Christian spanking porn. Of course, the makers deny that it's porn at all and prefer the term "Christian domestic discipline romance fiction". They claim it was created for Christian couples to explore what God intended for marriage (i.e. According to the makers, He wants husbands to spank their wives) without having to look at anything icky.
The Twelve Candles Club was a Christian — specifically, conservative evangelical — alternative to what the author saw as filth and immorality found in secular preteen novel series like The Babysitters Club. The approach was... odd. Basically, each book would start with a fairly standard BSC-style plotline; the characters would make it to the second-to-last chapter without mentioning religion in any way, but then, when all hope seemed lost, one of them would suggest that the group pray about their problem. They would do so, and the problem would suddenly be solved by some miraculous coincidence.
Some reviewers consider Twilight to be the moral substitute for other vampire and romance novels, such as the works of Anne Rice, which are generally less pro-abstinence. More than that, this series of Livejournal posts makes a pretty solid argument that it's the Mormon Alternative.
Frank Peretti wrote a number of novels, many of which could be considered Moral Substitutes for the paranormal/occult detective and action and adventure genres.
The New Basic Readers were a series of grade school primers published in the 1930s through the 1960s, featuring, among other characters, Dick And Jane. They were published for the public school market. A division of this company, the New Cathedral Basic Readers, were the Catholic School equivalent. They kept all the secular stories of the original, but would add a few religious-themed stories (ie, the kids read a Bible story, or buy a Blessed Mother necklace for their mom, or have a nun for their teacher).
"Anti-Tom" literature, or plantation literature, was a genre that was popular in the Southern US in the 1850s. Written to counter Uncle Tom's Cabin and the unflattering portrayal it gave to plantation slavery, such books instead sought to romanticize slavery as a noble system that existed for the good of black people. Abolitionists were presented as either misguided idealists who didn't know what they were talking about, or Strawman Political villains who were conspiring to destroy the Southern way of life. In turn, after the Civil War, the slave narrative emerged as a substitute for the substitute, seeking to portray the harsh realities of the old slavery system.
The Truax was written in The Eighties by Terri Birkett, the wife of a hardwood flooring factory owner, and published by the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers' Association as a counter to Dr. Seuss' environmentalist tale The Lorax.
Jerel Law's series Son of Angels openly advertises itself as the Christian alternative to the work of Rick Riordan, whose popular young adult-oriented series (Percy Jackson, The Kane Chronicles, etc.) draw upon Greek, Egyptian, and Roman mythology for their universes and characters.
The Jewish Superman clone "Shaloman", who'll help anyone who shouts "Oy vey!". The fact that Superman himself was inspired by Judaism and was created by two Jewish people seems to have been overlooked.
The Half Hour News Hour, a Fox News show that aimed to be the conservative version of the left-leaning Daily Show. Most of its humor was based around taking cheap potshots at Democrats and liberals to canned laughter, not to mention had a bad timeslot. It only got a half-season's worth of episodes.
Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld worked out better thanks to it having better time slots, and being more of an imitation of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn (which wasn't a left leaning show anyway) rather than the Daily Show.
Fox News in general explicitly styles itself as the moral substitute to allegedly left-leaning news sources.
All TV channels owned by the Venezuelan government. All of them try, with various grades of success, to promote an "alternative" view to the "imperialist" (read: American) channels, who means that most shows are devoted to how wonderful the government is and how evil the oppressors are. One of the channels was deliberately built as an "socialist" alternative to commercial channels, and even is trying to do "social" Soap Operas. It seems that the effort is not working, though; the combined ratings of all government channels are inferior to the least popular of the commercial channels, and even the directors of some of those channels admit that they are not attracting enough viewers.
The requirements various countries have of a mandated amount of locally produced TV and film.
This was famously lampooned by the Canadian Sketch Comedy show SCTV, which had to fill Canadian TV's extra two minutes per half-hour with "Required Canadian Content". Miffed at the fact that a Canadian production, with all-Canadian writers, actors, and producers, was not enough in and of itself to meet requirements, they decided to fill those two minutes with all of the most over-the-top Canadian stereotypes they could possibly cram into two minutes. The result was Bob & Doug McKenzie, who became so popular that they eventually made it into the American feed of the show.
The PAX television network was intended to be a family-friendly alternative to the major broadcast networks, but ended up being mostly infomercials and reruns, along with Billy Ray Cyrus as Doc. It's since changed its name to ION and its programming now consists entirely of infomercials and reruns, with the occasional movie during prime time hours (including, oddly enough, Hogfather during the Christmas season). It later consisted of reruns from CBS primetime shows, including Ghost Whisperer, NCIS, and Criminal Minds, indicators of some definite Network Decay.
Ironically, Sesame Street itself is now under fire from some quarters for allegedly being subversive and immoral.
Dooley and Pals is considered to be a religious alternative to Barney & Friends. The shows' plots are very similar (kids hang out with a fantasy creature, while singing songs about various topics), despite Barney being secular in comparison. (According to the A.V. Club article on Smile of a Child TV linked to below, the series wasn't originally a moral substitute but recut with some pro-Christian material so it could be one.)
Bibleman is a moral substitute for superheros/superhero shows in general. Unlike some alternatives however, it is aware of how silly and campy it can get.
Trinity Broadcasting Network, one of the largest religious broadcasters, has two sister channels targeting children and teens/young adults with inoffensive, usually pro-Christian programming. The A.V. Club took extended looks at both Smile of a Child TV (advertised as an alternative to the Nickelodeon, Disney, and Cartoon Network channels) and JCTV (a channel clearly patterned after MTV and its ilk), which give a good overview of how this trope operates in practice.
The entire genre of White Power and neo-Nazi music, which includes rock, metal, ska and, amusingly enough, rap. Whether it can be called a moral substitute...
There's also Saga, the Neo-Nazis' answer to Madonna. Madonna is a devotee of Jewish mysticism, see.
National Alliance leader (and secret author of The Turner Diaries) William Pierce was well aware of the irony. He despised rock music and preferred that young people listen to classical music or opera, but was pragmatic enough to decide that if white youths were immature enough to be into the rock scene, that was what his label Resistance Records was going to give them (provided it could impart a "white power" message, of course).
The tween singing duo Prussian Blue began their career as a white-power alternative to Disney's multicultural teen pop stars. They've since renounced racism, though, saying that their mother, who is still active in racist causes, was a Stage Mom who tried to use them as a mouthpiece for her views (though they remain on decent terms with her).
During the Second World War, Hitler had tried to purge the German airwaves of everything "degenerate" and un-German. Towards the middle of the war, however, his propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, had realized that most people didn't want to listen to Wagner, stirring martial music, or Oom-pah-pah traditional tunes all day, while Allied bombers droned overhead. As an alternative, he put together a band (ironically, partly composed of Jews who had hidden their parentage), to play what basically amounted to Weird Al-style parodies of popular swing tunes, with the lyrics changed to denigrate the Allies and extoll the virtues of Germany.
Pat Boone made his career out of taking somewhat-racy popular music (especially Rock & Roll) and defanging it, going back to the 1950s when he released a tamer version of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti", which had itself been bowdlerized from Little Richard's original version (which was about the mechanics of gay sex), so in effect Boone defanged something already largely toothless. He rode this to become the second highest-selling artist of The Fifties, with several of his covers, including "Tutti Frutti" and Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame", reaching higher positions on the charts than the original recordings (though the originals are today recognized as the First and Foremost versions). He's still doing it to this day; In A Metal Mood, an album of Boone converting such songs as Metallica's Enter Sandman and Ronnie James Dio's Holy Diver, has earned a So Bad, It's Good cult following (amusingly, Boone has since claimed his church threw him out for even touching metal music).
Little Richard recorded "Long Tall Sally" in an effort to produce a song that Pat Boone couldn't cover. Boone gamely tried, but Richard's version ended up beating his out on the charts.
In a curious inversion of the usual order, atheist activist Michael Newdow (best known for his challenges to the Pledge of Allegiance) released a CD of "solstice" carols with the religious elements removed for the enjoyment of his fellow atheists. Lyrics here. It's odd.
During the latter years of the Cold War, the Soviet government promoted the career of Dean Reed, an American expatriate living in East Germany, as an alternative to decadent "rohk" music, which had replaced decadent "jast" music on their hit-list.
Chris Rice parodied the concept of moral substitutes in his "Cartoon Song." He stopped playing it live in 2004 because too many people were missing the point that God wants His believers to do the praising themselves, not through their choices of entertainment.
Although most Christian rock bands don't really fit here, the band ApologetiX makes blatant use of this trope, as all of their songs are based off of popular secular songs, like a Christian version of "Weird Al" Yankovic.
The "gang" mentality, by the way, was lampshaded clear into the stratosphere by WWE's CM Punk between 2009 and 2011. His "hardcore straight-edge" gimmick, originally heroic, took on a diabolical "cult" flavor, with Punk's followers essentially a group of skinheaded thugs and Punk himself looking disturbingly like Charles Manson (until Rey Mysterio shaved him bald).
"White Metal" or "Unblack Metal" is this to BlackMetal.
Will Smith built a good chunk of his music career in The Nineties on this trope, marketing himself as the less vulgar and violent alternative to the edgy Gangsta Rap and militant Hardcore Hip Hop popular at the time. He never used "hard" swear words in his songs, and one of his lines in "Freakin' It" had him challenging gangsta rap artists to "write one verse without a curse" (a reference to Eminem dissing him over how clean-cut his music was).
Ditto for MC Hammer, who made a point of including a Christian song on every one of his albums, and is today a Pentecostal minister. His attempt to stay relevant and go "gangsta" with the 1994 album The Funky Headhunter cost him a large chunk of his fanbase, and was one of the factors that set off his rapid decline.
Conservapedia, the conservative Christian version of The Other Wiki. Its editors started the Conservative Bible Project, an attempt to produce a Bible translation free from "liberal bias." Yes, the people behind Conservapedia are producing a Moral Substitute for The Bible. The project seems as though it will remain perpetually unfinished, though, given that very few of the people involved with it had any knowledge of ancient Hebrew and Greek (and those few who did found themselves driven out). Even many conservative Christians (including Jack Chick and Joseph Farah, owner of of the arch-conservative news site WorldNetDaily), the target audience for the project, found the whole thing disgusting, if not blasphemous.
Conservapedia later spawned its own left-wing secularist substitute in the form of Rational Wiki, which tends to focus on debunking pseudoscience and mocking Conservapedia's use of such in some of their articles.
And then there's Liberapedia, which is one part the liberal alternative to Conservapedia, and many parts over-the-top satire.
Air America Radio was created as the left-wing alternative to conservative talk radio, and managed to pick up such hosts as Jerry Springer and former Saturday Night Live stars Janeane Garofalo and Al Franken (a future senator). It sputtered on for several years on corporate life support (Even Neal Boortz, noted for his opposing views, donated money!) before it shut down.
After a number of Christian fundamentalists got it into their heads that tabletop RPGs (particularly Dungeons & Dragons) were Satanic, someone came up with Dragon Raid. RPGnet actually gave it a favorable review, with some interesting commentary on the overall "watered-down substitute" phenomenon. Ironically, the game was criticized by the same fundamentalists despite its Christian viewpoint; they figured any fantastic roleplaying was evil.
There were several attempts at Christian (TM) Games during that period, including a Chutes-and-Ladders knockoff called "Revelations", marketed to "mothers worried that your children are into games with Dungeons and Demons and The Occult".
The board gameKosherland, which is Candyland, but with all the candy imagery (and candy-themed cartoon characters) replaced with imagery and cartoon characters about food that orthodox Jews can eat.
"Uh-oh, you landed in cholent swamp; you lose a turn!"
Among certain circles that decried standard playing cards as featuring Satanic imagery (or "making fun of the Holy Family" or being used in gambling, or...), the card game Rook became popular as it had no imagery whatsoever... aside from the titular crow-like bird.
Uno and Dutch Blitz are also big hits in such communities.
One notable immoral Moral Substitute would be the white power RPG Racial Holy War, which you can find a thorough mocking of here.
Heritage USA, part of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL media empire, was planned as the Christian version of Disney World, and wound up becoming fairly popular after its opening in 1978. Today, however, the park is best known for playing a role in the scandal that led to Jim Bakker's downfall and subsequent imprisonment. The park was closed in 1989, and parts of it have since been redeveloped (mostly by various ministries), while the rest lingers in various states of decay.
The Holy Land Experience is an Orlando, Florida theme park that uses the production values of the Universal and Disney Theme Parks (even hiring designers who'd worked on them) to recreate Biblical times and places, primarily focusing on the ministry of Christ. Instead of rides, the main draws are live shows (passion plays, etc.) and opportunities to interact with performers who play Christ, his disciples, etc.
After the American Girl doll brand was involved in controversies over claims that the company's charitable contributions supported pro-abortion and pro-gay rights groups, several alternate doll brands popped up intending to be more moral alternatives. In some cases, they all but called out American Girl by name when criticizing "other" companies in their publicity. American Girl remained the leader in brand recognition, marketing and quality, and for the most part the imitators have since fallen by the wayside and folded with little fanfare.
Dara and Sara, the officially-sanctioned Iranian Barbie doll substitute.
Speaking of Barbie: there have been more than a couple of alternatives claimed to promote a more "healthy, realistic" body image than Barbie: more natural proportions, for example. At least one such version had molded nipples, supposedly so young girls didn't think that the fact that their breasts weren't featureless lumps meant there was something wrong with them.
The game developer Color Dreams changed its name to Wisdom Tree, and rereleased their old games with new titles and Christian themes slapped on. Some notable games that they made included Bible Adventures, Sunday Funday (a rebadged version of the old Color Dreams game Menace Beach), and Spiritual Warfare (a thinly disguised Zelda clone — not half bad, but mostly by virtue of picking a good game to rip off). These games did not carry the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality, and came with special cartridges that were designed to get around the lockout chips in Nintendo's consoles.
It is widely believed that the reason Color Dreams turned into Wisdom Tree was not out of piety, but so that they could get around Nintendo's licensing. Nintendo's primary pressure tactic was refusing to sell their games to retailers that sold unlicensed games. Christian bookstores were immune to this, as they didn't stock video games in the first place. Seeing an opportunity, the newly-renamed Wisdom Tree convinced the bookstores that their games would bring kids to God, and started selling their games to them. Another theory is that Color Dreams changed their modus operandi after Nintendo sued them for selling unlicensed games — after all, what sort of evil company (and a Japanese one, at that) would hate on a Christian game developer anyway?
Seanbaby reviewed a Christian version of Dance Dance Revolution (entitled Dance Praise) in one issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, concluding with an offensive but somewhat pertinent quote: "[What I learned was that] Christian anything sucks more than regular anything."
He also reviewed Bible Adventures and Sunday Funday. After comparing Sunday Funday's gimmick of quoting scripture versus Menace Beach's gimmick of having your girlfriend's clothes disappear between levels, he concluded that "If you suck at making things but want people to buy them anyway, crap with Jesus sells better than crap with tits."
There's a Catholic-themed clone of DopeWars called, yes, Pope Wars. It's somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
There was a PC game spawned by the Bibleman video series by a company called Covenant Studios. It played sort of like Diablo with jerky controls, sprites that moved at a snail's pace and weapons of a purely defensive nature — even the character who had a laser gun at the time. Instead, there's a clunky system to destroy enemies with random Bible passages. To top it all off, Bibleman, the character the series is named after, has to be unlocked before players can take control of him. Oddly, despite this winning combination, the purported PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance versions never materialized. At last check, the developers' site had disappeared off the face of the internet.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has made a number of animal rights-themed Flash parodies of popular games.
If that really was meant as a joke, then PETA hasn't learned their lesson very well with their newest game, Pokemon Black and Blue. Like their other parodies, this one fails at its job, one of the reasons being that the last "boss" in this game is apparently Ash Ketchum, who's not only not featured in the games, but is perhaps the most loving and caring trainer towards Pokemon (or at the very least, his Pikachu) of any character in the franchise.
The Left Behind books have an ongoing series of Real Time Strategy games as well. They generated some controversy over the idea of "kill or convert" approaches to heathens, though the emphasis does lean more towards conversion rather than combat. The first game, at least, has some genuinely interesting ideas and mechanics for urban warfare with a strong "hearts and minds" theme, but is crippled by a lot of amateur mistakes for the genre and its obsessive devotion to ideological purity rather than good gameplay. For example, the main menu shows a CGI rendering of The Creation of Adam with Adam wearing white boxer shorts, and completing missions unlocks bonus (Christian rock) music and informational documents... like why evolution is wrong and how archaeology proves the Bible.
Filthy Figments, the "positive" alternative to Slipshine, for those who object to eroticism with men holding the strings. It's just as smutty as regular porn but it's drawn by women.
Spoofed in a YouTube video starring a troupe of rapping kids promoting the "Christian Side Hug," which avoids the "sinful" crotch contact of the traditional hug. No, as much as it might seem to be par for the course, and as much as you might want it to be, it's not even the tiniest bit real.
It seems like the video may not be a parody, and those guys were dead serious. It's supposed to be a parody, yet Word Of God states that they were serious about keeping physical contact to a minimum.
This trope, in conjunction with New Media Are Evil, has been cited (especially by the "old media") as a major reason for the declining quality of news coverage in the Turn of the Millennium and beyond. The thesis is that, before the rise of the internet and cable news, there were only a few mass-market media outlets that had to moderate their reporting and editorials in order to avoid alienating large sections of the populace and going out of business. Today, on the other hand, it is possible to get several news sources that conform to a strictly ideological point of view, while lambasting more moderate sources as biased. Both the Fox News Channel and MSNBC explicitly style themselves as, respectively, the "honest" alternatives to the "biased" Mainstream Media (from a right-wing perspective and a left-wing one, respectively), while there exist countless blogs and news websites that do the same (and often take their biases to far greater extremes than the cable news networks).
Veggie Tales is a Christian Moral Substitute to (often Merchandise Driven) Saturday morning cartoons. Unlike most examples here (and indeed, contrary to the expectations of those who haven't watched it), it's actually high quality for its genre and is often enjoyed beyond the Animation Age Ghetto and even beyond its Christian target audience (to wit, the jokes are actually funny and the references are actually clever, and it's wholly independent of the show's religious angle), in addition to having pioneered the use of 3D in children's animation. Just goes to show that Tropes Are Not Bad.
At least until it was syndicated for national broadcast, meaning all references to Christianity were removed. However, after a Creator Backlash and protests from Moral Guardians, the references were restored.
The Kingdom Chums, a Christian equivalent to the Care Bears and other similar cartoons (but featuring only three toys). Judging by the videos on YouTube, there was a series, although it was obviously too obscure for IMDB and Wikipedia.
...only to have this trope inverted with Moral Orel, its very immoral substitute.
Branson, Missouri, in the words of The Simpsons, is "Vegas if it were run by Ned Flanders." To explain: the city offers elaborate hotels, shopping, and tons of live shows, but there's no gambling or "party scene". The shows focus on G-rated entertainment, especially musical revues — oldies, country, and Broadway are the most frequently appearing genres. Other shows include grand-scale musical adaptations of Bible stories, and such headliners as Yakov Smirnoff, the Oak Ridge Boys, Tony Orlando, and Jim Stafford. (Another Simpsons episode had the chorus of a revue declare: "We took Nick at Nite and made it a town!")
There have been "alternatives" to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from every direction. The Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, for instance, had the Pioneers, and Nazi Germany had the infamous Hitler Youth. A number of churches have also created their own "scouting" organizations, such as the Pathfinders (Seventh Day Adventists), the Royal Rangers for boys and Missionettes for girls (Assemblies of God), and Awana (Southern Baptists). More recently, due to the increasingly conservative bent of the Boy Scouts of America (not surprising, since Lord Baden-Powell came up with the idea during one of Britain's imperial wars of conquest, and "scouts" throughout history have traditionally been connected to the military), there are also a few scouting organizations that have sprung up with more moderate and non-denominational views on Christian doctrine (such as the Christian Service Brigade), and others with the aim of being more accepting of gays, lesbians, and non-Christians.
The Boy Scouts themselves were partly inspired by an organization called the Boys' Brigade, which was (and is) an explicitly Christian youth organization. Therefore, the Boy Scouts were the "less moral" substitute (which is pretty funny when you consider the controversy over their views on religion and homosexuality). Also, as the name suggests, the Boys' Brigade has even stronger military overtones than the Boy Scouts: humorist Clive James, who was a member of both groups in his youth, commented that the Scouts emphasize "woodsy lore" and the Brigade prefers "parade ground drill." For example, the adult organizers of the Brigade are called Officers (with the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain), and younger members can become Non-Commissioned Officers, with ranks running from Private through Staff Sergeant.
Also important is the increasingly close links between the Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, i.e. the Mormons. Although the BSA is hardly run by the LDS Church, a large proportion of its senior leadership is LDS, which explains why the BSA has been holding so closely to conservative interpretations of Scouting's founding documents (neither the European nor the Canadian Scouts, for instance, have any problem with atheist, gay, or lesbian scouts and scouters).
In Norway, there were two Scout groups, the KFUM / KFUK scouts (Christian), and the NSF (mostly Christian). However, the NSF was the one to operate on a semi-official basis, because unlike the KFUM / KFUK, it was not sex-segregated when whoever it was made the pick. The KFUM / KFUK scouts has since stopped their segregation and the NSF and KM (their new name) co-operate on nearly everything.
Several churches, appalled at the pagan influences of Halloween and the monsters seen in traditional haunted houses, have taken to doing "Halloween alternative" parties, in which children disguise themselves as Biblical characters. Some take this to extremes by setting up "hell houses," in which the attendees are shown scenes meant to portray the decadence of secular culture, finally ending in a room occupied by Satan, claiming that all of the characters they had seen are now firmly in his grasp. In the worst of these, the Hell House is marketed as a normal haunted house, and is thus a Bait and Switch, and in some the attendees must either agree to be saved (ie, become born-again Christians) or must traverse the length of the building in order to get out. The whole concept is savagely mocked in a Something Positive sequence starting here. Perhaps more common are the Harvest Parties, which feature game booths, contests, and the requisite candy, typically hosted in whatever part of the church has an open floor and forgoing the ghouls-and-ghosts theme.
Christmas and Easter are Christian substitutes for pagan solstice celebrations.
Christmas may be a Christian substitute for solstice celebrations (though some early sources suggest otherwise - let's just say there's room for either interpretation), but Easter certainly isn't. Not only is it months away from a solstice, it's the celebration of the central belief/event of Christianity, celebrated at the time of year that it happened. If it's a Christian version of anything, it's the Jewish Passover.
Easter is almost two holidays in one. There's the one about Christ's death and resurrection, and then there's the one about bunnies and eggs and chocolate. While it is "months away from a solstice", it's not months away from the vernal equinox and the associated fertility rites (do eggs and rabbits suggest anything to you?). For that matter, the word "Easter" probably comes from Eostre/Ostara, a pagan Germanic goddess.
Some parents who school their children at home do so because they perceive public school as un-Christian or un-whatever their religion/worldview is. It's also possible for Christian parents to give their children a complete Christian education, all the way from pre-school to Ph.D.
The American Center for Law and Justice is a Christian conservative counterpart to the ACLU founded by Pat Robertson that litigates for pro-Christian, pro-life issues.
It is important to note here that the ACLU also does work defending the civil liberties of Christians in regards to the free exercise of their beliefs.
For people who believe proprietary software is evil, Linux and other free/open source software can be a secular example. Quite a few packages exist solely to replace popular proprietary software, such as Gimp for Adobe Photoshop. On the other hand, many of these are comparable in quality or even better than the proprietary programs.
Worth to note that most of these were newer meant to be Moral Substitutes. Going with the Gimp example: It was created because Adobe doesn't port (Photoshop) or only lazily ports (*cough*flashplayer*coughnote (it's infamous for crashing any Linux browser outside Firefox... and even that on its bad days, amongst other problems.)) its products to Linux so people made their own out of necessity. (If a software (like Gimp) needs or at least needed "Gtk" under Windows it's safe to assume that it was ported from Linux as that is a pretty standard shared library there.)
The Church of Reality is a secular humanist alternative to religion, for people with an emotional or cultural need for religion or the social aspects of going to church once a week but no belief in the supernatural.
A whole industry of vegetarian products exists to provide replacements for burgers and bacon, among others.
Nazi Germany pushed "moral" (for lack of a better word) substitutes throughout the arts and sciences.
Early on, the Nazis advocated "Deutsche Physik" as an alternative to the physics mainstream, which they felt to be too dominated by Jews like Albert Einstein. It fell out of favor in the late '30s once the sturdiness of the "Jewish physics" became apparent even to many Nazis.
After the Nazis clamped down on "entartete kunst" (degenerate art) following their rise to power, they pushed art that upheld "blood and soil" themes of militarism and racial purity, often infused with classical Greek and Roman influence. Hilariously, as Crackedpointed out, an exhibition of the banned art (the only legal venue for such work) to show the German people how evil and Jew-corrupted it was wound up attracting far more visitors than a nearby exhibition of Nazi-sponsored art.
Arguably, fascism itself, as its proponents saw it as this towards socialism. It combined many of its economic proposals (broad populism, state control of industry, etc.) and its revolutionary spirit with ultra-nationalism and reactionary social views, in sharp opposition to socialism's international worldview. In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler described both capitalism and socialism as two sides of the same coin, i.e. both controlled by Jews, and both needing to be destroyed. It's not for nothing that the Nazis called themselves the "National Socialists", the "National" part differentiating them from the "subversive" international (read: Jewish) socialists that they viewed as destroying Germany. This post on Alternate History Dot Com goes into detail on how, while socialism was explicitly oriented towards the working class, fascism was a "big tent" ideology that held something for those in all socioeconomic strata.
Similar to Nazi Germany's "Deutsche Physik", the Soviet Union under Stalin pushed Lysenkoism as a more acceptable alternative to evolution by natural selection, which they felt was too capitalistic ("survival of the fittest" and all that). It was abandoned (along with much of Stalin's legacy) after Nikita Khrushchev became Premier, due to the fact that it had proven itself to be a total failure as a scientific theory.
Non-alcoholic wine, beer, and even whiskey! Ariel non-alcoholic wine even managed to win some awards.
On a more historical level, many soft drinks began life as (or were later marketed as) "temperance beverages" billed as alternatives to intoxicating liquor. Coca-Cola even marketed itself as "The Great Temperance Beverage" around the turn of the 20th century. Ironically, its original formula included cocaine.
While it may be hard to imagine today given the rhetoric surrounding it, the health care reform plan that ultimately became "Obamacare" started out as a conservative, free-market alternative to Bill Clinton's plan (dubbed "Hillarycare" after his wife, the main architect of the plan) in The Nineties. Famously, Mitt Romney implemented such a plan at the state level as governor of Massachusetts. It was only after Barack Obama, a Democrat, championed the plan at the federal level that it was disowned by Republicans. This left Romney in the awkward position of having to be against something he favored as governor when he ran against Obama in 2012.
His solution? Declare it a States' Rights issue, as what works in one state might not work in another. Whether that argument held water is up for interpretation.
Labor Day in the U.S. is held the first Monday in September, instead of May 1 like in other countries, because of the association of the latter date with those Dirty Communists. The American labor movement was itself a moral substitute to Communism, thanks the the influence of staunchly anti-Communist AFL-CIO under Samuel Gompers eventually squeezing out the more radical Industrial Workers of the World. The early successes of the labor movement meant that workers could gain representation and fair treatment without overthrowing the capitalist system, which partly explains why Communism never became a significant movement in America.
Similarly, the New Deal was a moral substitute to communism and fascism, setting out to reform the capitalist system so that it wouldn't be overthrown (like it had been in Russia and Germany) while taking steps to ensure that The Great Depression would not happen again.
More recently, a private committee in China established the "Confucius Peace Prize" in response to a Chinese dissident receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. The prize was proposed as a way "to declare China's view in peace and human rights to the world."
Pastrami and corned beef can be moral substitutes to bacon for observant Jews. The one dish Americans think of as quintessentially Irish, corned beef and cabbage, was in fact bacon and cabbage back in Ireland, but Irish immigrants to America initially only had kosher delis and butchers available to them, so they had to make do with the next best thing.
Bob Roberts parodies this idea by having the title character as the fanatically conservative child of hippies who uses the musical style of protest songs to express his ideology.
Of course, most of those protest songs took as their subject matter standard populist themes that had been a part of American folk music for several decades (not that many conservatives wouldn't have a problem with those), not the "sex, drugs and rock-n-roll" commonly associated with hippies.
Parodied mercilessly in a viral campaign for Dantes Inferno, which offered a game at the complete opposite end called Mass: We Pray. And naturally, it was presented as a game using Wii-like technology. The punchline was that, whenever you clicked any link on the fake website for the game (which is now dead), you got a message more in the style of the real game informing you that performing mass without a real Catholic priest falls under the sin of Heresy.
The Simpsons has parodied this trope on more than one occasion.
Heritage USA and the Holy Land Experience were parodied with Ned Flanders' theme park Praiseland. The park quickly becomes a dud, with visitors finding it too focused on Sunday School-style evangelism at the expense of entertainment, until an apparent miracle at the park (actually the result of a dangerous gas leak) causes attendance to skyrocket.
Christian video games were spoofed with Billy Graham's Bible Blaster at the Flanders' house.
Rod Flanders: "No, you just winged him and turned him into a Unitarian!"
The first King of the Hill Halloween episode had a Moral Guardian do her best to destroy the holiday out of her belief that it's Satanic. Instead she offered up a "Hallelujah House", which served mainly to beat children over the head with Christian aesops (like "Premarital sex kills instantly").
The page quote comes from an episode where Bobby gets interested in Christianity due to a group of devout skateboarders. Hank spends most of the episode looking kind of bad (since he started off wanting Bobby to care more about their faith, but hates the direction he's taking), but in the end he explains that he just doesn't want Bobby to treat something that important as a mere fad, like his long-forgotten Troll Dolls and Tamagochi.