By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher, and Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
If you still don’t think the mass media has no influence on the hearts, minds and behavior of children and teenagers, we submit for your consideration the riots and looting in the city of Baltimore Monday, April 27, when hundreds of schoolchildren and older teenagers gathered in the city after school let out and started throwing large rocks and bottles at police, setting fires, looting stores, and destroying cars and buildings, including houses.
The catalyst for all this arson, rioting and looting? A message and flier were sent out Monday across the city via social media calling for a “purge” (based on two infamous movies, THE PURGE and THE PURGE: ANARCHY) to take place starting at 3 p.m. after school let out.
Here’s how The Baltimore Sun described it:
“The incident stemmed from a flier that circulated widely among city school students via social media about a “purge” to take place at 3 p.m., starting at Mondawmin Mall and ending downtown. Such memes have been known to circulate regularly among city school students, based on the film THE PURGE, about what would happen if all laws were suspended.
“The flier included an image of protesters smashing the windshield of a police car Saturday during a march spurred by the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who suffered a spinal cord injury earlier this month after being arrested by city police.”
A video compilation of the rioting and looting can be found online at http://www.kfiam640.com/onair/tim-conway-jr-33371/baltimore-riots-2015-a-compilation-all-13548533/.
Since the late 1940s (and probably before even that!), atheist, illiberal, intolerant, leftist media advocates have been calling for no government censorship and even no private restraint on what gets printed or created in the media or the art world, including what movies and television programs Hollywood produces and publicly distributes.
Well, they got their wish in the 1950s with the Supreme Court’s ill-considered rulings against control of print publications. Then, they got their wish with the destruction of the Hollywood Production Code in the 1960s and the onset of the MPAA’s new ratings system that included X-rated and R-rated movies. Finally, they got their wish in the 1980s and 1990s with the advent of Cable TV, the elimination of the “Family Hour” on Network TV, and, now, the tremendous growth of such media companies as HBO (GAME OF THRONES) and Showtime (PENNY DREADFUL, which is truly, truly dreadful).
Clearly, the mass media does have a tremendous influence on the attitudes, values and behavior of children and teenagers, AND adults.
It’s also clear that the wide distribution of movies like THE PURGE is a real blight on human civilization, and on the American media establishment that, for all intents and purposes, controls the world’s culture, especially in the industrialized nations of North and South America, Asian nations like South Korea and Japan, Israel, Great Britain, and Europe.
The rioting and looting in Baltimore Monday is just one of the many negative outcomes that come from this toxic media.
The good news, however, is that Movieguide® and its sister organization, the Christian Film & Television Commission®, have been extremely successful at trying to stem the tide by promoting the most family-friendly movies and television programs with moral and spiritually uplifting content, including biblical values like repentance, forgiveness, kindness, and sacrifice and positive, even very overt references to Christianity, Jesus Christ, God, the Bible, church, prayer, worship, faith, moral discipline, private charity, hard work, and economic liberty.
In most years, there are absolutely no R-rated movies in the Top 10 Movies at the Box Office (either in the United States or overseas), there are a lot more movies for families at your local movie theaters, there are significantly more faith-based movies and TV programs, and even blockbuster, morally uplifting movies like MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS, Disney’s FROZEN, THE BLIND SIDE, and SPIDER-MAN 3 have positive references to God, Jesus, prayer, and church.
This battle is not over, however. There are still godless centers of immorality in the mass media of entertainment and in large parts of our major cities, as shown by the riots in Baltimore on Monday. Furthermore, there are still ill-informed, misguided leaders in the United States and around the world who promote, or merely turn a blind eye against, mass murder, terrorism, tyranny, thievery, abortion, fraud, same-sex marriage, government waste, and sexual immorality and perversion.
Movieguide® survives on the prayers and financial gifts of our supporters and friends, and on the blessings of God. If God places this ministry on your heart, rest assured that we will be truly, truly grateful. Not only us, but also your children and grandchildren!