Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Age Appropriate Filth

I've never seen a complete episode of the The Simpsons or Family Guy. I've seen enough commercials or snippets as I cruise past the channels to know pretty much what the premise of these shows are: rude, sometimes blasphemous (yeah, Todd, I said it), profane, disrespectful, etc. What intrigues me is that many self-proclaimed Christians watch these cartoons, as well as other television programming and movies with very little thought for their content.

"It's just a cartoon" or "hey, I don't talk like that, I just watch it" or "at least it's not as bad as some other shows; there's a lot worse stuff out there." These are just some of the excuses I've heard from folks that (a) claim the name of Christ AND (b) would never dream of letting their children watch the same fare...which brings me to my point.

Why do Christians --forget about the pagans; they're acting according to what they are--believe there's some kind of "line" where a little profanity or vulgarity is OK...as long as you're an adult?! I have relatives that are diligent to a "t" when it comes to monitoring their teen and pre-teen's television programs/movies, but after the kids are in bed or at least out of the room, they see nothing wrong with watching something that is FILLED with verbal or visual smut.

They reason that, as long as they don't actually use the "F" word (for example) in everyday conversation, there's nothing wrong with plunking down their hard-earned cash (or sitting in the "privacy" of their own home ¹) to listen to someone else do it. And it's not just profanity I'm talking about. Getting back on The Simpsons, why would any Christian think it's funny to hear Bart Simpson pray- "We paid for this ourselves, so thanks for nothing"? What's funny or cute about that? I thought as Christians we believed that ALL things have their beginning with God, including the food on our tables!

If it's inappropriate for children, it's more than likely not appropriate for adults either. Paul wrote:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. -- Philippians 4:8 (NASB)

If you don't agree, that's fine--you're entitled to your opinion. But...I don't want to hear about how you think I'm a prude or have my head in the sand or "you're just being ridiculous. I wouldn't let my 3-year-old watch The Simpsons, but my son is 17 years old and he knows the difference between right and wrong." Christians need to quit being gutless wonders that just aren't willing to seperate themselves from the world.

I know an individual that tells the story of when they were in junior high and her father caught her and her sister watching a questionable TV program. "There's only a little bit of cussing in it" was their defense. Later in the day, when they were called to the dining room for supper, they both noticed a small clump of dog manure RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR SPAGHETTI! "I'm not eating that!," they exclaimed. "Why not," their dad responded, "there's only a little bit of manure in it..."

¹ Maybe they should re-read Psalm 139:1-4 "O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all."

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