April 16, 2021

How Dare Christians Want Movies That are Clean

Why that’s highly unintellictual of them!  How barbaric!  This “problem” is addressed by the American Princess— who I usually agree with, but now have to stand at odds with.

I think AP miss the point of editing out the extra “stuff” out of these films.  These people take to heart the Pauline command of being in the world but not of the world, but struggle because there are certain films that would not pose any problem to the Christian except that it has a word that is not germain to the plot in it.

In truly conservative economic fashion– there’s demand for this kind of film, and no supplier.  Look at the stats– G and PG films are the biggest sellers.  You don’t need R ratings, nudity, and vulgarity to tell a good story or have a smash hit.

But how dare parents want to filter things from their kids.  How dare them to want to clean up their culture– to choose not to expose their children and themselves to the perverseness available to them.  How dare they chose to like a good story, but not to want to see the topless scene or hear the explicitives.  This, of course, makes them anti-intellectual:

But thats not the disturbing part. It is the fact that there is an audience for this kind of revisionism at all that speaks volumes of the state of conservative intellectualism in this country, and perhaps in general. As Kathy Shaidle says: “I’m guessing most of the clientele for these bowlderized films are a certain species of anti-intellectual Protestant, whose big concerns are swearing and nudity and whose idea of high culture is Friday night football.”

Surely, those that think that I need to be a part of the world to understand it truly do not understand the separated life Christ called us to, nor are they wise to the things of God.

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14 thoughts on “How Dare Christians Want Movies That are Clean

  1. Then just make your own movies, with “good stories” and other pedestrian values. But do not bowlderize another person’s property and vision to suit your own. Don’t like nudity and cursing? Then avoid it and criticize it all you like. I do. But I don’t ask filmmakers to change their creations to suit my personal tastes.

    What if a bunch of non-Christians added nudity and swearing to Christian films to make them more appealing to THEIR tastes? Then what would you say?

    And “explicitives” isn’t a word.

  2. Interesting. I love how your posts get me thinking. I’m not sure what to say about this subject at this time, as I have often wished that movie producers would not “ruin” an otherwise good movie with profanity, and nudity. But maybe those are just movies that need to be skipped altogether as they really are not conducive to a growing Christian’s life…

    As Paul said in 1Co 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

  3. Yes, there are many movies out there that needs to be skipped, they pollute our brains away from God.
    I have this dilema coming up: my girl’s girl scout group wants to see a movie this month, no title has been suggested, right now only the time is being discussed since it’s hard for us to get together. But I almost dread this as I know I am the most conservative one in the bunch and probably will not like the choices they have in mind. We may have to skip this event because really, there are no good movies for 7 yr. girls out there right now that I can think of.

  4. Kathy, people change artist visions all the time– especially on the web. I purchased a copy of a person’s movie, why should I not have the ability to watch it however I want to in my house? Why should I not have the right to filter out the language or fast forward through a bad scene? I agree with you that if you don’t want the association with the movie, don’t let it into your house, and that’s the course I’ve taken for the most part. But why should an artist’s right to have his vision preserved trump my right to watch what I want to watch the way I want to watch it in my home?

    As for non-Christians adding stuff to Christian movies– it happens all the time. Christ has been mocked in many ways and people have made all sorts of movies about things with bad religious characters. If they want to add it to their movies in their home, why should I stop them?

    Mrs. Diamond, agreed, all things may be lawful and not expedient– which is why we don’t have cable in my house and are very choosy about what we watch.

    Gia, don’t let yourself be bullied into going to see something you feel you shouldn’t. Stand on your faith and let it be an opportunity to be a testimony. Take courage in your convictions. A little embarassment is better than a broken testimony.

  5. Again, let’s compare this discussion to the written medium. If someone were to take the above post, keep it true to form, but only copy a few paragraphs, am I going to get all bent out of shape because they did not quote the whole article in total? I will if they selectively take words out to make it say something it didn’t say, but I will not worry if the story is still the same.

    Same thing with art. There are many places out there that are providing photography and images that people are using pieces of and giving the author credit. My banner up top was designed by someone and I gave the person credit in my footer. He didn’t put my text on it, though. He’s not having an issue with it.

    So, why is it that a movie, if a person chooses not to see certain frames whether through the use of the remote control, technology, or a company that can utilize technology must be seen in only forms that the original authors intended it to be seen in? Why can’t we skip around or mute sections if we want?

    Why am I not able to do with something I purchased whatever I want as long as it’s in my own house– be that to make it a Christmas tree ornament, send it away for processing, or view it just like it is? I purchased it, the person got their money, and I spent even more money to get it in a format that I thought was appropriate for my family, and you’re telling me I don’t have a right to do it?

    This is a slippery slope that could lead to all kinds of regulation.

  6. I can sympathize with perhaps taking a PG or PG-13 movie and editting out the few swear words or “inappropriate” things to bring the movie to something you or your family can watch. You paid for it. Its a free country. Its your choice.

    However, I think this issue takes a turn for the dumb when I see things like Saw being sold at these sites. Its no different than the lunacy that occurs when movies like Scarface get TV edits and are broadcast on cable. Let’s just face it, some movies you simply cannot watch if you are morally offended by their content. Taking the cursing or blood out of Saw, Scarface or similar movies leaves you with a movie centering around violence, murder profanity even if you dont see it.

    It becomes more of an issue of how much the words themselves bother you. Personally, I think the words are a formality and the really offensive stuff is the idea behind it. If you want to watch Saw and edit out all of the offsensive things, then you’d basically have to edit out the entire murderous plot. But apparently people want to see things like that, they just want it watered down to the point where they dont have to hear *gasp* profanity but the sensless murders are fine; onscreen or offscreen.

    So yes I can understand the inclination to censor movie to make them more appropriate but I think its very easy to lose touch with the more important things such as the themes behind these movies. You can still be highly offensive without being vulgar.

  7. Strange to find myself disagreeing with MInTheGap, but the court made the right decision.

    What you do with a (legally purchased) movie in your own home is your business. Copy it to a second tape/dvd and edit out anything you want: credits, previews, nudity, swearing, or then entire ending! It doesn’t really matter what you want to do to a movie you purchased. The fair use doctrine allows you to what you want with your purchased property, and I don’t think the ruling changes this aspect of fair use at all.

    The change that the ruling makes is that you cannot provide a service to perform the same edits for other people. And this is where I agree with the decision.

    Imagine that instead of deleting scenes of offensive content, the person providing the service deletes a few random scenes. Maybe in Star Wars, Alderan doesn’t get blown up in your version. Or in your version maybe Tara never gets burnt to the ground in Gone with the Wind. Perhaps the John Cinema version of the Passion of Christ gets a little more reasonable length by dropping the Crucifixion. I think we can all agree that a service that makes these edits for people is altering films away from the director/producer/film company’s intent.

    Altering a film’s intent as a service is what this decision prevents. Altering a film’s intent yourself, for yourself, is still allowed by this decision as far as I can tell.

    Now as to whether this was a good lawsuit by the plaintiffs, that is another matter. These services required a purchased copy of each film they edited. Considering that the target audience of these services may not purchase copies of the films now, how many sales will this decision cost the film companies? Probably a few but not enough to make a noticeable dent in sales. Will it reduce the number of people going to theaters? Not really, as I doubt film purchases done months after a release will impact ticket sales at all. So the film companies and other parties that were the plaintiffs really lose nothing other than respect and gain the assurance that their films will only be distributed as originally intended.

    Obviously, there is a market for clean films. Witness the success of G and PG films and the existence of services that did this editing. If the film companies don’t want to produce clean films, then maybe we should question their motives. Certainly their motive isn’t to produce as much profit as possible. Is it possible that there is an agenda of pushing down moral values across the board in Hollywood? Whatever the reason, Hollywood isn’t filling the void for clean, family-friendly films. Maybe there is now an opening for independent film producers to fill this need? In any case, don’t blame the film producers and companies for stopping the service – blame them for making it necessary in the first place.

  8. But why should an artist’s right to have his vision preserved trump my right to watch what I want to watch the way I want to watch it in my home?

    God, you are a troglodyte! Please at least tell me you’re Protestant… Sorry I intruded on your Hamburger Helper life. Go back to your collection of teddy bears now.

  9. I’m not protestant, so you should at least get your insults in order before resulting to namecalling instead of actually debating.

    I can see the legal point of view, but I have no idea how you can attribute me in any way to something stone age or simple. As far as I know, the current technological age has given us more tools to adapt things to the way we want it (from where we can watch TV– screens, cell phones, pdas, fastforwarding live TV and skipping commercials, etc– to what we want on our hamburger).

    I agree with you this far– if you’re offended by the material, you certainly can choose not to purchase it. I do not know that I can go so far as to say that it’s a sign of anti-intelligence to edit out things you don’t want to see or hear. In fact, I think it would show a sense of conviction and a stand for principle to actually do something about one didn’t like instead of just accepting what was given to you.

  10. God, you are a troglodyte! Please at least tell me you’re Protestant… Sorry I intruded on your Hamburger Helper life. Go back to your collection of teddy bears now.

    Resorted to name calling I see? Just remember when you point at someone three fingers are pointing back at you!

  11. Wow. What an interesting thread. Name calling and all. I’m impressed!

    Anyway, I have often wondered what the big deal is about TV Guardians, or whatever, in the home. I agree some movies, like the Saw example, certainly aren’t worth editing. But one like Seabiscuit, with a wonderful story but way more profanity than I could ever be comfortable letting my child listen to, would be a great candidate for this. And my daughter would love that movie.

    And I agree with Mrs. Diamond, most of the movies, and all of the television are kept out of my house. But if someone wants to edit what they have purchased in order to protect their child, I don’t get what the problem is. And being called names doesn’t exactly help me see the point.

    I had a student in my class this past year who was repeatedly getting in trouble for saying things she had seen on television/movies. Things I cannot type on this family-friendly blog….things a seven year old had no business even knowing about. She told me it was from movies in her home. Her mother told me it was from movies in her home.

    How is this better than protecting children from such sexually explicit material? Or such foul language? I don’t know many people, Christian or not, who are happy with seven and eight year olds running around using the f word or saying GD all the time.

  12. Don’t tell me that with all the special features on DVD’s these days that they can’t have a feature that takes all the cuss words out, and modifies the nudity. If there’s a nude bar scene then they can edit out the nudity and just have the people’s conversation. I’d rather have boring and be able to let my family watch it. Not that there’d be any reason to watch a movie that had a nudity scene in it, but they pop up unexpectedly sometimes.

    Really. They need a Conservative Viewing Feature. Family Friendly Feature. Something.

    Have you heard of Feature Films For Families? They take some of the popular ones and edit them for families. Then they also produce some that are definitely Christian. My mil gets them from time to time and passes them on. Even then, they’re not completely “safe”. It depends on your standards.

  13. How in ther world did I miss THIS thread??I can’t believe some people get so upset about this idea that they resort to name calling! Wow! What grade are we in again? I seem to have forgotten.

    Regarding the ruling, I wonder why anyone cares. I mean, if I payed for the movie, the producers and evryone else got their money. What difference does it make if I alter it anyway I choose? What is the big deal if I pay someone else to edit it? Maybe I am not techno-savvy enough to do so myself. I really think it is a wonderful idea to have a company that does this.

    Although I do wonder one thing, if there are people who are viewing the movie in its original bad form, are we causeing them to struggle in the same way we would be if we were to watch the unedited version? I suppose most people use this to edit out the less offensive scenes in generally decent movies, not like SAW, which of course would not make any sense to see if it was edited for content! (Not that it makes much sense to me to see it anyway!) Well so if people are mostly editing out words, and sexual stuff, then well I guess it isn’t as bad as making someone watch SAW to edit it! lol…

    Fascinating. I really wish I had something like this. Though, I will say, my biggest issue with most movies is not the cuss words, or the nudity, but the poor cultural example they set. The sublety is really what gets me. Not the obvious, which is easy to address with kids. It is the subtle indoctrination into a worldly culture that gets me. ANd I can’t see anyway to edit around that!

    Mrs Meg Logan

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