This issue has really been on my heart this week and I felt led to share my thoughts. My heart breaks when I see children being exposed to things that they are neither spiritually or developmentally ready for, or when they are exposed to just blatant raunchy, rebellious behavior all in the name of “humor.” Don’t get me wrong, I love comedy and love to laugh, but I am seeing a trend that concerns me. I think that we sometimes get numb to sin when it is presented as humor, and I think we need to be accountable as parents as to what we allow our children to see on TV and in movies. When we tell our kids to obey God’s word and to make wise choices based on His word, yet we allow them to see movies that make light of sexual purity, drug use, and present clearly sinful behavior as normal or something to laugh about, we are sending our children mixed messages.
Take, for example, PG-13 movies. Do you assume that because it is rated PG-13 that it is appropriate for anyone over 13? A new movie came out this week that is aimed at teens and is billed as a spoof of the Twilight movies,Vampires Suck. Here’s just a part of what is in this PG-13 movie: (from www.pluggedin.com)
Edward shows up in Becca’s room at night, ogling and/or cuddling her. After making out with him, Becca strips down to an S&M-style bra and panties. Wielding a whip and other bondage-oriented accoutrements, she throws Edward down, lies on top of him and kisses him passionately. (She’s trying to make him “do everything” since they’re both virgins. He resists her by breaking a lamp over her head. She responds by saying she likes it rough.) When Edward bites Becca, the act becomes very sexualized as they writhe and groan.
Jacob is portrayed as effeminate and his pack of “wolves” as homosexual dancers. Two men kiss for a prom photo. (Prom is portrayed as a sexual free-for-all.) “Lesbian” is used as an epithet. Becca says that she and Jacob played doctor as children, and that she once gave him a prostate exam. Couples make out. “Humping” and incest are mentioned. Virginity and abstinence are mocked. A girl describes how she still can’t ride a bike because she and her lover had such rough sex. A paralyzed man complains that he can’t feel his penis. Frank remarks on the size of his daughter’s breasts, and he makes disgustingly inappropriate sexual comments to her. He even parades his blow-up sex doll—a running joke—around in her presence. Male and female genitalia are crudely referenced, as are various sex acts. One f-word and at least 15 s-words. God’s name is abused about 10 times, twice coupled with “d‑‑n.” Christ’s name is misused once. Other language includes “h‑‑‑,” “b‑‑ch” and “a‑‑.” “Blow,” “balls” and “douche bag” are also used. A man displays a “single-digit salute.”
I saw first-hand similar issues with another teen favorite Dinner for Schmucks. My husband and I actually went to see this one for ourselves and were shocked to see not only young teens, but families coming out of this film, some with kids as young as 8-10 years old.
I wonder how many parents assume that the MPAA has their back, and that if they give a movie a PG-13 rating, that means it’s appropriate for everyone 13 and over? Nothing could be further from the truth. The real deal is that teens bring in a huge chunk of money to the movie industry. PG-13 allows movies to be raunchy and rebellious, yet still open to teens and put the responsiblitly on the parents. Here’s how the MPAA themselves describe the PG-13 rating: “PG-13 places larger responsibilities on parents for their children’s moviegoing. The voluntary rating system is not a surrogate parent, nor should it be. It cannot, and should not, insert itself in family decisions that only parents can, and should, make. Its purpose is to give prescreening advance informational warnings, so that parents can form their own judgments. PG-13 is designed to make these parental decisions easier for films between PG and R.” From my point of view, movies that are PG-13 now are overwhelmingly similar to R movies from when we were teens.
Obviously, YOU are the parent of your children, and no one can or should tell you what is best for your kids. But I want to encourage you, as Christian moms, to not make decisions about media without knowing what you are allowing. When we tell our kids that something is wrong, but then we expose them to 100 voices telling them that it is okay, we become one voice in 100 and the majority will win out.
Listen, today’s culture is absolutely battling for the hearts and minds of your children. Get your sword and shield and don’t be afraid to fight for your kids. Ask questions. Do your homework. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t be afraid to say “No.” Your kids may not understand now, but they will thank you later.
Remember, you are creating a legacy with the decisions you make each and every day and the choices you make now matter. They affect your family now and they affect future generations.
By the way, www.Pluggedin.com is a great resource for parents to review movies, video games and more for content. We use it frequently.