We are part of the problem with the media today

I found this blog post that I want to share:

churchofthemasses.blogspot.com/2008/04/christians-and-media-prayer-for.html

I am one of those who is of the opinion that if you aren’t contributing to the solution, you are part of the problem. And I agree with the poster that acting like victims of the MSM instead of standing up and being the light is a tragic mistake. So, even though I am not a member of the industry, I am going to pray her prayers. And I am going to create a Rosary thread in the prayer intentions section of CAF. If you, like me, have ever bemoaned the falsehoods, vanity, or vulgarity (among many other sins!) of your TV, magazines or movies, then I ask you to please, please, please, contribute to the prayer thread. We have to be willing to make difference!

Thanks, and God Bless You All!

A little perspective is in order. This perspective was gained by actually living through the past 40 years of media and studying it.

Like frogs in pots of cool water, Christians enjoyed the media of the 1950s and most of the 1960s. It reflected our beliefs and values. It assured us through spokesmen from their Standards and Practices Departments that every TV show was watched to make sure it was suitable for the whole family. As the 1960s ended, the heat was turned up slightly under our cool pots of water but we thought, “Oh, that’s not so bad.”

As the 1960s faded into the 1970s, Beatle John Lennon went from I Want to Hold Your Hand to Why Don’t We Do It in The Road. Movies became raunchier and more suggestive, and the heat was turned up a little. The media added cable and porn in motels in the 1980s. The heat went up a little more. In the 1990s, profanity and partial nudity were added to network TV and by the end of the 90s, porn on the internet. The water was reaching a boil.

In the 2000s, the abyss has been reached. The standard character template on TV, and in movies is profoundly dysfunctional. Profanity? Comedians are using it. Shock jocks are using it.

We all need to be aware that a group of adults planned this, financed this and appeared as actors in this. It was no accident. Even in comic books, the world turned dark. The same in fiction books.

The media in the 1950s and 1960s had its spotlight trained on the good, the modest, the beautiful, the uplifting, the joyous. Now it has turned its spotlight on the dark, the grim, the destructive and dysfunctional, immoral and pornographic. The world is one big dysfunctional mess filled with perverts at all levels of society.

There are other stories, but until we repent and renew our minds, we will be distracted by the noise generated by the worldly media that not only wants us to look and listen but embrace its sick, twisted and totally self-destructive visions.

God bless,
Ed

Really? While I appreciate the movies of that era, I don’t see them generally reflecting Christian beliefs and values. Admittedly this is an earlier example, but the charming *Best Years of Our Lives *treats divorce as the answer to the main characters’ romantic dilemma. Is this a Christian value? I find this sort of thing throughout the movies of the era you’re lauding. I don’t see a lot of Christian values–I see secular values expressed with taste and restraint. Which is good but not what you are claiming. Movies with a religious theme were almost always empty of genuine religious content. Take *The Ten Commandments, *for instance. It’s a wonderful movie, but there’s not much about it that differentiates it from any costume spectacle about a hero facing down a tyrant. The 1998 animated movie *Prince of Egypt, *or even the 2006 miniseries, gets in a lot more of the Biblical content. Same with movies about Jesus. *The Passion of the Christ, *or even the (admittedly heretical and disturbing) *Last Temptation, *present who Jesus was and what He did for us far more profoundly and movingly than any movie I know of from that era. It seems to me that you’re mistaking secular bourgeois values for Christian values.

In the 2000s, the abyss has been reached. The standard character template on TV, and in movies is profoundly dysfunctional.

Doesn’t Christianity teach that people are dysfunctional? (It’s called Original Sin.) Wouldn’t movies and TV shows that *don’t *show profoundly dysfunctional people be at odds with Christian values?

Even in comic books, the world turned dark.

And the Christian view of the world is not dark?

Don’t get me wrong-- I think there’s a lot to be said for the movies of the era you’re describing, and a lot of valid criticism of our own era. I just wonder whether the standards you are using are actually those of orthodox Christianity. Your post doesn’t appeal to any distinctively Christian value, just the sorts of values that make for decent, pleasant, civilized society. That is a good thing, mind you, but not distinctively Christian.

Edwin

Nicolosi is great. She spoke at the college where I teach in the spring of 2007.

Edwin

When going to the confessional, people don’t bring along videos to show the priest images of them in the midst of their sins. Look up the Catholic Legion of Decency. It ceased to exist in 1973. Look up the book The Cross and The Cinema. It verifies what I’ve been writing.

God bless,
Ed

I have to disagree. The 50s if anything reflected a false sense of security and lies full of govt propaganda.From the govt and schools telling people to hide under a desk or a doorway in case of a nuke attack, to Drs doing commercials promotuing the healthiness of smoking cigarettes, to sitcoms showing Americas uptightness with sex by having Lucy and Rickey sleep in separate beds - and carried over into the 60s doing the same thing on **** Van ****, to Father Knows Best, Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it To Beaver where the mother vaccumed in a dress and pearls…its was a sort of brainwashing to try and make families think this is how reality was when in fact my family who lived thru that time told me even back then they were laughing at the unreality of these shows…to a host of other stuff.

And what did we find out about these so called beliefs and values? The REALITY was: Bud from Father Knows Best was smoking pot back then, Muffin was raped in real life, Lucy and Ricky were cheating on each other and robert Young was severly depressed. THAT is reality. Though I like some of these shows, Americas problem and still is, is that it has false memories as if WE the reality people were actually living TV life of that time.

much prefer being awake from the Matrix that was the 50s.

This is nonsense. I was there. My parents didn’t need television to tell them what to do. In fact, on warm, sunny days, our Mom turned off the TV and told us to go outside.

We spent a lot of time with our neighbors. We called them Mister or Missus. We said hello. We respected our elders, priests, nuns and our neighbors. Not everyone went to the same Church but we all shared similar values. That was a community.

The television closed out the day with a movie showing a jet flying through the sky that ended with a voice-over that said “And I touched the face of God.” No one complained about the Nativity in front of the local City Hall.

As kids, we knew what would happen if there was a nuclear war - we’d be dead. But that didn’t stop us from being kids.

Most importantly, we were taught modesty in word and dress, decency in word and thought and politeness, a lot like Leave it to Beaver. By the way, we knew they were actors.

God bless,
Ed

I can make a guess as to how you think this is a response to what I said, but since I don’t think it’s a relevant one, I’m not particularly inclined to do your work for you. So I’ll ask you to flesh it out for me.

Look up the Catholic Legion of Decency. It ceased to exist in 1973. Look up the book The Cross and The Cinema. It verifies what I’ve been writing.

Well, before pointing me to a book, you might try defending your views a little more thoroughly yourself. Just what “Christian values” are you talking about? I asked that question and you have not answered it.

Edwin

I presume you’re talking about “I have slipped the surly bonds of earth”? I love that poem–I think about it every time I go up in a plane. But if you think about what it’s saying, it really isn’t a Christian view at all. It’s a hymn to the glories of modern technology. Do we really think that technology allows us to escape earth and touch God’s face? Do we think medieval people couldn’t touch God’s face? I don’t mean to be “surly” myself on this one, since as I said I like the poem. But your example helps make my point–you are confusing comforting, vaguely theistic, sub-Christian values with Christian ones. The belief in progress and technology that dominated the 1950s was fundamentally idolatrous.

Edwin

And you are only offering an opinion. Having been there, I can say there was a lot more repect in the media for Christian values. TV stations wished their viewers a Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays, not Winter Break. The local city hall had a Nativity in front of it. No one complained. Christmas music was played from storefronts onto the street where people passing by could hear it.

I watched as the media slowly, gradually turned away from the true, the wholesome and the uplifting. I heard how badly it wanted its freedom. Well, when that happened, we ended up with the filth on TV today. It took 40 years but that was always the goal. I watched as actress after actress portrayed prostitutes in films. Sad.

God bless,
Ed

To quote the Government message at the time: “We are in a struggle against Godless Communism.” They said this often.

God bless,
Ed

President Eisenhower to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in April 1953:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies - in a final sense - a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children… this is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the threatening cloud of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron."

Excerpt from Storm Warning by Billy Graham

Peace,
Ed

That depends on your taste in art. I for one am not amused by stories which are often just goody, lighty-light, happy-ending-from-the-start stories. Did you know that Grim’s Fairy Tales weren’t as Disney-ish as they were actually made out? It shows that dark fiction existed long before. If you want more examples go read classic horror novels such as Dracula and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Those beat Goosebumps stories any day.

Stories that are deemed ‘dark’ reflect a lot of today’s realities and that good sir is an artistic quality worthy of praise. Stories that don’t usually have that feel are rather difficult to relate to, especially when you’ve tasted a lot the world’s bitter realities.

As for dark comics, the same can said as well. While I would most definitely keep any of my manga (anime comics) I have from the eyes of children too young to read them, anyone with a decent sense of maturity can find a lot truths that would be impossible to express if were to go along the lines of I Love Lucy. :rolleyes:

Though if you’re referring to the trash the likes of MTV and other youth culture junk networks often dish out then I have to agree with you there. All the shows I’ve witnessed so far are about nothing but booze, sex, and reckless partying. shakes head

From my perspective, you’re just making my case with every post.

They (the powers that were) used Christian phrases to sanctify secular holidays.
They enlisted God on their side in an ideological struggle with Communism.
Christians are supposed to be impressed by this? These are supposed to be great examples of “Christian values”? Can’t you see how incredibly shallow these things are?

What it boils down to, by your *own *description, is that the era you praise so highly used a Christian veneer to give legitimacy to secular values, not that it was in fact dominated by Christian values.

America has been for some time a “nation of Indians ruled by Swedes” (i.e., a deeply religious population with a secular elite). The difference between now and then is that the Swedes are openly hostile to the Indians instead of just patronizing them, and the Indians have woken up and decided to do something about it (I will not pronounce on which caused which). It may also be that there are significantly fewer Indians, though that depends on how you define it, I suspect.

Edwin

That’s good. Whether it’s distinctively Christian I’m still not sure, but I agree with it.

I think part of the problem is that I’m not at all sure there are such things as “Christian values” that can be detached from Christianity. I think there are good, healthy values, and I agree that some of them (not all) were upheld more widely then than now in many ways. But what does it mean to call them “Christian”?

And in spite of Eisenhower’s fine words, I see a lot more cynical worship of power in books and movies from the 1950s ant 60s than in what is being produced today. Nearly every TV show that I watch (admittedly this is skewed because I mostly watch sci-fi) asks difficult moral questions about the use of power. This is something we are more sensitive to than people were 50 years ago. We are less sensitive to other things.

Edwin

You, apparently, were not there. The spirit of God was alive in my community, not denigrated as it is now. Shallow? There was a manifestation of the work of God in our lives.

What is shallow and gross and demeaning is the media of today. It portrays people as sick, twisted and deformed. it is not entertainment by any definition.

Peace,
Ed

“artistic quality worthy of praise”? I’m a professional writer. I work in the media. What you are talking about is degrading and demeaning of the human person. I recall the “artists” of the late 1960s demanding their freedom when all they actually wanted was an excuse to show a scene of some young woman getting her top ripped off. Please. Don’t fall for that artistic nonsense.

I’ve got to watch and/or read dark and twisted stories to get at truths? Sorry. Having been a writer for a while, I know there are many ways to tell stories that reveal truths that are not dark. It’s not impossible.

Peace,
Ed

:thumbsup:

Never said you should, I’m just saying that you could. Many of the comics I’ve read had a lot of moral dilemmas that could really make you think. For instance, which dilemma would really test out your moral backbone?

  1. Choosing whether or not you should lie to your wife/husband about the surprise party you’re planning for her/him.

or

  1. Choosing between saving your friends or saving the world.

We live in the 2000s not the 1950s. The world’s already in a moral stupor as it is and people are far more aware of its problems than before. People like things they can relate to and these things are almost always the dark realities they see in this world. You can’t write a story portraying the horrors of gang-violence without including the ‘un-Christian’ elements that are affiliated with it. (e.g. hip-hop culture, vulgar slang words, gun fights). Neither can you write a story of how traumatizing it is for a girl forced into prostitution without going into some details that would make some people squirm.

I do beg to differ.

It almost makes me weep—vulgarity and filth has become like wallpaper, and many people literally don’t know what it was like to live in a cleaner world.

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