How Classic Movie Principles Can Change the World
By Christine de Marcellus Vollmer, Contributing Writer
Movies with wonderful heroism and virtue marked my childhood in the 1940s and ‘50s.
My mother would leave us at the movie theater to see ROBIN HOOD, IVANHOE, HORNBLOWER, REACH FOR THE SKY, and other adventures–historical or fictitious–fueling our young minds with ideals and the conviction that our safety or comfort come second to doing our duty or saving others.
Sometimes we would stay at the theaters all day, from matinee to evening showings, taking in a double dose of these extraordinarily motivating pictures.
These films motivated us to read books of classic literature, where the development of character was spelled out even more clearly. I and my six siblings all grew up with the sense of excitement to do our part in making the world a better place and combatting evil.
These wonderful guidelines modeled how to apply the Bible to the modern world and taught us about the will of God.
In those days, the Legion of Decency of the Catholic Bishops kept a very close eye on the content of movies. Anything indecent or corrosive of morality was forbidden to good churchgoers.
Then, in the 1960s, the Supreme Court decided pornography was some form of “art,” and all barriers against indecency, immorality and vice fell as gratuitous content proliferated film.
Many honest Christians felt hopeless in the face of dark Hollywood until Movieguide® took up the mantle to minister to the entertainment industry.
The mission started by Ted Baehr has seen tremendous success! The filth continues to be produced, but thanks to Dr. Baehr, parents who love their children can be forewarned when a perfectly fine movie suddenly shocks viewers with a graphic rape scene or other degrading and nightmarish scenes.
Still, my childhood endeared me to movies with strong morals, and when I saw the tragic changes in culture, I knew I had to act.
While Dr. Baehr focuses on movies, I’ve targeted schools.
I was shocked and disgusted when sex education began to infiltrate schools when I was a child.
I decided to fight fire with fire and produced an education in affectivity and sexuality that would be so much better than the degrading and reductionist information given by the Planned Parenthood/Siecus material. We wanted to replace this curriculum.
While it felt like an ambitious and impossible challenge, the Lord is on our side!
We produced Alive to the World, a structured K-12 program that uses an exciting continuous story of a group of boys and girls, who grow from preschool to graduation at the same rate as the students.
The curriculum is based on a true anthropology, including gradual brain development, and leads the students to understand many of the issues and options with which life presents them, and to parse them through the lens of virtue.
The situations the students in our stories encounter help the readers deduce what is the correct and moral option without imposing preachy language.
Examples of situations every child and adolescent faces at each age give the impression to the readers that they are reading their own story and they are fascinated to understand how the correct decisions or behavior are arrived at. This is a subject that teachers tell us is the book always ready and out on the desk before class begins.
From the time that we are born, we have a desire and a yearning to do what is right. Our loving Creator made us for Himself. The world, however, is a confusing place. Today the purveyors of filth and vice are sending messages by every means. Children need and welcome an engaging story that shows the way, chapter by chapter, to developing their character and to honing the virtues that they admire in the wonderful Christian movies that MOVIEGUIDE is sending their way.
For more information, please go to: www.alivetotheworld.org
Editor’s Note: Christine Vollmer is President PROVIVE, Editorial Coordinator for ALIVE TO THE WORLD school curriculum, and President ALAFA EDITIONS. Christine de Marcellus-Vollmer and Carlos Beltramo conceived and developed Alive to the World in the conviction that education is the tool, par excellence, of social change. And further, that school can be where children and adolescents develop character through learning and experiencing values, skills and self-awareness that will enable them to shape society for the better.