First off, I’d like to say hi to the fellow forumers. And before I get into the actual dilemma/questions, I want to warn you that I have scrupulosity so I don’t know if I’m over-reacting a little bit. I apologize for the length in advance.
But now that that’s out of the way, here’s the dilemma.
I’ve enjoyed watching action movies pretty much all my life and recently (within the last year or two) got into watching more zombie/horror movies and stuff like that.
About a week ago, I saw the movie Dead Alive (from Peter Jackson before he was famous with LOTR) and I was laughing at the ridiculous over the top gore for the entire movie in which case, it was probably the goriest movie I’ve ever seen.
It wasn’t until after that I felt really guilty about it. I felt as though I was doing God a disservice by enjoying the movie. I did a little research and realized that it wasn’t healthy spiritually to enjoy those types of movies. So over the past couple days, my mind as been flooded with analysis about what movies are acceptable to watch and which ones aren’t. I’ve read tons of articles and also tons of reviews from Christian movie review sites. It was also interesting to find out that our beloved Pope John Paul II commented on movies in general, which can be found: catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0411fea1.asp
I’ve come to the conclusion that gratuitous gore and pervasive language,etc. are no types of things that should be in our thoughts. Also, it’s important to avoid the “occasion to sin” when watching movies.
Basically, the article above gives a lot of good insight of what to form our conscience around however, I’m having trouble figuring things out.
When it comes to gratuitous gore, pervasive swearing, excessive nudity, etc. that’s completely understandable and actually makes sense, however, the article also says that if the movie has a point or moral concept that it’s talking about, it may be justified in terms of the movie. What does that actually mean? One could arguably say that Pulp Fiction, underneath all the language and graphic violence, is a story of redemption. (In which case, the Pope was quoted as saying: “Even when they explore the darkest depths of the soul or the most unsettling aspects of evil, artists give voice in a way to the universal desire for redemption”.
What is an occasion to sin when it comes to movies and film? How do I judge what is an acceptable movie to watch since I want to value my Catholic beliefs?
Is it a sin to watch movies that have violence, etc. even if they may have a purpose to the story?
I’m having a tough time sorting all this out. I’ve searched this forum and read the different threads about this but its very difficult to discern what is acceptable to watch. I’m finding it hard to never watch some of my more recent favorite movies ever again (Dawn of the Dead remake, 28 Days/Weeks Later, etc) but it’s SO important to keep close tabs on my faith. What do you guys recommend? Part of me thinks that I’m doing the right thing by getting rid of a bunch of these movies that aren’t good, but I’m also not sure about some. And the other part of me is also saying that my heart is in the right place, but that I’m over-reacting a little bit.
Any help is appreciated. Hopefully this can cause discussion.