Hollywood a Reminder Not to Take Blasphemy, Idolatry Lightly
- Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Ray Comfort has taken on the challenge of witnessing to people on the street, and of debating atheists over the existence of God on national television. Now, in his latest project, the New Zealand native and co-host of The Way of the Master is taking on the entertainment industry.
Comfort’s latest book is titled Hollywood Be Thy Name: The Idol Makers (Bridge-Logos, 2007). He recently sat down with Crosswalk.com to discuss what’s going on in Hollywood and what Christians can do about it. . . .
One of the promos for Hollywood Be Thy Name said that “If people would apply what is in this book, it would revolutionize America.” How so?
First, we’ve got to understand that Hollywood has an agenda, and that agenda is anti-Christian in nature.
Let me give you a little background on Hollywood: when it first began, in the 1900s, it went really bad. In the 1920s, there was violence, movie stars up for murder, and there were drugs, and Hollywood had a very bad image. The executives in Hollywood hired a guy named William Hays – have you heard of the Hays code? Williams Hays was a Presbyterian senator. And they said, “We want you to give Hollywood a good image.” So what he did is he instituted the Hayes code, which outlawed blasphemy, profanity—the name of God, the name of Jesus, even the words “damn” and “hell.” They weren’t to be said irreverently. In 1934 they enforced the Hays code, and they were able to do it by saying that any movie theaters that showed a movie without the Hays code seal of approval would be fined $25,000.
So from the year 1934 to the early ’50s, we got some good movies. I mean, real good, wholesome family movies. You got Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, It’s a Wonderful Life—all those great movies that are heartwarming and family oriented.
In the 1950s, Hollywood began to push the envelope through First Amendment freedom of speech laws. They said, “It’s our right to say what we want.” So, there were some innuendos and profanity in the ’50s that got kind of bad. In 1968 they threw out the Hays code—they outlawed it. They just said, “You’re outta here,” and they gave parental control.
Is that when the ratings system came in?
Yeah. That unlatched the door to profanity, adultery, unspeakable violence, and especially blasphemy. That’s when it really started, and they could say those words they’d been forbidden to say.
Now for some reason—no one seems to know why—but in the late ’60s crime rates in the U.S. tripled. Not only that, but for some reason during the late ’50s and the ’60s, a whole generation became rebellious, and turned against the Judeo-Christian ethic of their parents. No one knows why. But I think I know why, because I can see the power of the media.
I mean, why do we pay $30 million for a 30-second advertisement during the Super Bowl? Because people are influenced.
So what concerns me is this: in this little 13-minute DVD that we’re giving away [Hollywood and God is free with purchase of Hollywood Be Thy Name or can be viewed online at HollywoodandGod.com]—we want to get it in the hands of pastors—I ask Christians: “Do you go to R-rated movies?” And they say, “Yeah.” And most of them do.
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