Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Christian Themed Films More Dangerous than Sex and Violence?

© 2006

The movie ratings board run by Hollywood's six top studios is back-pedaling from a process that reportedly used to target movies for PG ratings if they carried an evangelical Christian message, WorldNetDaily has learned.

The move by the Motion Picture Association of America followed controversy over a rating for Sony Provident Films' "Facing the Giants," which was given the PG tag after officials told the movie's makers it was because it was so Christian.

"The scene that caught the association's attention was an exchange between a coach and a player," said Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission in an op-ed piece published this week. "The coach assures the player that following Jesus Christ is a decision everyone makes for himself, but, if he accepts Christ, it will change his life."

The PG decision prompted 15,000 e-mails of protest, and now things have changed.

"The chairman of the MPAA's ratings board, Joan Graves, announced the association would no longer consider statements of faith or religious content as 'thematic element' that could trigger a rating of PG or higher," Baehr confirmed.

Graves, through spokeswoman Kori Bernards at the MPAA, insisted she only was clarifying that using Christian statements for a rating never happened, and the movie's rating actually was based on a conversation within the movie that refers to infertility.

But those involved with the film believe they understand.

"They're going to say they never consider a religious reference (in setting ratings)," said Tom Snyder, editor of MovieGuide, a publication that reviews and rates movies for their family values and quality content.

Baehr said that after the flood of protests over "Giants," many times the number of protests for any previous dispute, Hollywood was worried, and the result was a meeting among the power brokers where Graves provided her assurance a similar decision wouldn't be made again.
Bernards said Graves attended the meeting and simply "clarified" that religious content was not used for the rating.

But Nancy Lovell, a spokeswoman for the film company, said it was clear at the outset that was what had happened.

Kris Fuhr is vice president of marketing at Provident, which plans to release the film in the fall in hundreds of theaters nationwide. He told reporters the MPAA had decided the film carried too many messages from one religion and that might be offensive to those from other religions. He said the MPAA described the movie, which contains no profanity, no violence and no sex, as "proselytizing."

"That's exactly what happened," Lovell told WorldNetDaily.

Even Congress jumped aboard when the complaints were rolling in. U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said it was "disquieting" to consider that the MPAA "considers exposure to Christian themes more dangerous for children than exposure to gratuitous sex and mindless violence."

More at 'Proselytizing' Film Given 'PG' Rating for Calling on Jesus.


limpy99 said...

Just asking, but could Rep. Blunt name one movie with any gratuitous sex and violence that didn't get at least a PG-13?

And personally any movie that strongly recommends any sort of lifestyle to children should get a PG rating so the kids and their parents can talk about it. After all, if there was a movie where a homosexual was held up as a role model, I'm sure you'd want to chat about it with your children.

Christinewjc said...

The PG rating is usually given because of this:

"The MPAA's guidelines say PG-rated films may include profanity, violence and even brief nudity."

Placing just the possibility that a child might be exposed to an evangelistic type encounter in a movie should no where near be considered having the same need of guidance for a child compared to when a movie contains profanity, violence and brief nudity. At least that's what I think.

If a film included a storyline that sang the praises of Buddhism, for example, would the MPAA automatically give the same rating of PG for the same 'proselytizing' reason that it gave for the Christian themed story? I highly doubt it.

Hollywood discriminates agains Christians in particular and Christianity in general. That's a fact. But I also think that there is an underlying reason for it. This may be just my own opinion, but perhaps some of my fellow Christian friends who post here might agree.

You don't see Hollywood or the cable T.V. industry banning the use of the name of "Jesus Christ" when it is used as a curse word. Just watch one episode of The Sopranos and count how many times Christ's name in spoken in vain.

But when His name is lifted up in a positive manner including honor and praise through an individual's conversion experience, Hollywood and media execs shudder and scurry off into the darkness like cockroaches...attempting to get themselves far away from the brightness of Christ's light of Truth.

Oh, they say it's for other reasons, but I think that despite the fact that they reject the name and Person of Jesus Christ, they still are compelled to see that there is power in Him and in His Name.

You don't hear scripts written using the names of "Buddha" or "Mohammed" as curse words, do you?
Have you ever heard an actor exclaim, Oh Buddha! or Mohammed damn it!??

Of course not.

Want to know why?

Because, subconsciously, all people recognize the power in the name of Jesus Christ! They may not choose to give Him honor, praise and glory nor will they accept Him as Lord and Savior during their earthly lives. But one day every knee shall bow before the One and Only King of kings, Lord of lords. He is Jesus Christ.

Rom 14:11 For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Phl 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;

Phl 2:11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

That's what Hollywood and the media most likely reject and fear...

limpy99 said...

I still don't see any movies listed that had gratuitous sex and violence and were rated PG or less. Not that I'm taking shots at you, I just can't stand politicians who say stupid things they can't back up.

You say that it is a fact that Hollywood discriminates against Christians. Do you have any facts to back that up? I think its more likely that Hollywood just doesn't make Christian themed movies because they usually don't sell very well, and Hollywood is about the Almighty Dollar.

Yes, I know The Passion of the Christ, (Or "The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre", as someone else memorably described it), made a phenomenal amount of money, but I would regard that as an exception.

And I would hope you wouldn't argue that The Passion deserved a G rating.

Boo said...

"You don't see Hollywood or the cable T.V. industry banning the use of the name of "Jesus Christ" when it is used as a curse word. Just watch one episode of The Sopranos and count how many times Christ's name in spoken in vain."

Sopranos is on HBO. They don't ban any type of cursing.

"You don't hear scripts written using the names of "Buddha" or "Mohammed" as curse words, do you?
Have you ever heard an actor exclaim, Oh Buddha! or Mohammed damn it!??"

When was the last time you heard anyone in real life use either of those expressions? Using God or Jesus as a curse word is in the culture, which scripts reflect.

I recall an interview with Robert Duvall where he said it was extremely difficult to get funding for The Apostle because executives didn't get the point of a movie like that that didn't indict the religious right. It's too simplistic to simply say that Hollywood is anti-Christian tho. Hollywood is about what sells. When they have a product that works, they keep going back to it, which is why movies with some actual originality are pretty rare. Hollywood saw big-budget special effects fantasies making money, and they saw The Passion making money, so we got Chronicles of Narnia. It is extremely rare for a studio to get behind a movie they perceived as a new (for Hollywood) genre or something that doesn't have a proven track record. Plus with the way Christian groups are always excoriating Hollywood there isn't much incentive to try to sell to them.

From the previews I saw The Passion just looked too gory. I didn't want to lose my lunch.

limpy99 said...

The Passion was just over the top gore. I know the point that was trying to be made, but still...

For the record, The Chronicles of Narnia was ahuge disappointment to me. I read those books dozens of times growing up, and the movie just fell flat. The Apostle was a very good movie, but then, anything with Robert Duvall in it is three steps ahead to begin with.

GMpilot said...

Christine, I would think you’d be proud that you hear “(May) God damn them” or some such epithet; it shows that even the blasphemers acknowledge your God’s curse as the worst possible thing that could happen to them! It follows that the way it’s used now is exactly the same. What does it imply? That the person or object that is the subject of that comment has indeed been damned by God; not merely abandoned or ignored, but actively cursed.

When you Christers talk about “the wrath to come”, just what do you think that means, anyway? It means that those who aren’t God-saved are…well, you know.

It’s possible you’ve read The Three Musketeers. If you have, you know that the heroes—and some others—do a good deal of swearing, mostly with religious overtones such as S’death! and S’blood! That was common, and highly offensive, 400 years ago; now, it just sounds quaint.
Zounds! is one I’m sure you’ve heard. It sounds rather amusing today, but once it was right up there with the other two: it was originally S’wounds! Because it was considered blasphemy to utter the Holy Name in full, people simply used the apostrophe of ownership and the noun which left no doubt as to what and whom they meant--God’s death, God’s blood, Gods’ wounds.
Now that you know this, will you seek to have The Three Musketeers removed from library shelves? Or Shakespeare, who followed similar patterns?

I spent a good deal of my military service in east Asia, and I never heard anyone say “Buddha damn it!” Why should they? As far as I know, Buddha never said anything that approached this:

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Mat 10:37~38

Incidentally, hostess, unless you have seen movies made for audiences in Egypt or Laos or Taiwan, and can understand the dialogue, you haven’t heard an actor say “-------- damn it” either.
You can get off your high horse now.