Al Menconi - 10-15 Editorial
- Thursday, October 14, 1999
Recently, I was asked to sign An Appeal to Hollywood (www.media-appeal.org). This is an Internet letter to the Hollywood industry encouraging them to develop a new voluntary code of conduct. It's not the answer, but it is a start. The Hollywood industry as a whole is saying the responsibility lies solely with parents to supervise their family's entertainment. But as a parent, I know that's easier said than done. These days there is so much garbage to supervise, that it's become a full-time job. And when you think about the single parents who are just trying to hold their families together, the job becomes almost impossible.
What makes this issue even more difficult for Christians is that we're being asked to evaluate immorality that has become commonplace in today's society. There was a time when we would not have tolerated some of the filth that passes for entertainment today, but now it has become commonplace. How did this happen? It starts when a musician, movie, or TV program "boldly pushes the envelope" of acceptable morals and good taste. They usually do this to get noticed and it usually works. Then someone else goes further, so they can get noticed. And then another goes a little further than the last guy. Before we realize it, those immoral borders we thought they would never cross now have become the "norm."
Need proof? Think back. Do you remember when "Three's Company" was considered risqu because two young women had a man as a roommate? They had to pretend that he was a homosexual so the landlord would accept their situation. Now, nearly every program on television has couples living together outside of marriage and no one thinks twice about it.. We've come a long way since 1977, haven't we? Think about the first time you heard profanity in a movie. It shocked you, didn't it? Now we hear worse every night on television and justify it by saying "all the shows have it." Do you remember the first time you saw a sex scene in a movie? Were you offended and embarrassed? If not, you were probably surprised. Now, we're surprised if a movie doesn't have a sex scene -- even a TV movie. I'm sure you could think of hundreds of similar examples.
So should we just give in and give up? What can Christian parents do? The big job for us isn't filtering through all the worlds' garbage. Our job is to teach Christian values to our children. But big goals start with small steps. Signing the letter at the above website is a start. Also, let me share just one simple, practical step I'm taking to start redefining what is acceptable for my family and my community.
Our local music/video outlet, The Wherehouse, rents and sells X-rated videos. This is not acceptable to me, or any moral person. I cut in half my Wherehouse video rental card. Then I mailed it to their main office with a letter that informed them I would not patronize their store as long as they have X-rated videos. I'm encouraging my friends to do the same. This is not censorship. It is the first step in redefining what is acceptable to my family and friends. I urge you to begin looking for ways to redefine what is acceptable in your community. Signing the Appeal to Hollywood is just a start. Contact me if we can help. And don't forget to bathe your efforts in prayer.
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