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On piety, Star Wars, and raising your children to be morally aware

Let me preface this rant by first saying that I have no children at the moment.  I am a Christian, and as such, subscribe to the beliefs of wanting to treat each human being as I'd want to be treated.  I also realize that faith and rationality aren't necessarily to be used in the same sentence.  In my experience, rarely the twain shall meet.  Thus, I start my criticism.

I came across a conversation this morning from someone who happened to also belong to a Christian sect, talking to one of my co-workers who'd seen the premiere of "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" last night.  She was inquiring as to the child-safe nature of the film, and how violent and sexually graphic the film might be.  If the picture displayed any trace instances of either, she'd consider completely forbiding her kids from going anywhere near the theater.  Sound familiar?

She probed my colleague's assessment of the movie, asking specifically about any love scenes.  He replied by saying the film would be, in his opinion, completely OK for today's kids.  "There's swordplay, some fights, gunfire," he recapped, "and a quick beheading, but that's minor.  That's about it."  Her reply?  "That's fine...but there's no sex, right?  A fight is OK with me, but I won't let them watch a movie with people making flippy-flop."

This I have a problem with.  Not necessarily religious zealots, not moral elitists - but people that let what they think is piety create a system of misaligned morals. 

This being an application of a thing that really irks me, I joined the conversation by asking why her morally-rooted parenting practice restricted her offspring from receiving sensory input of the act of intimacy, yet permitted her kids witnessing an act of violence.  I prodded, asking why she wouldn't allow her kids to see a love scene, because inline with one of the major tenets of her faith, they'll themselves someday engage in the act of bumping uglies.  Man was not meant to be alone, you know, and as such it's assumed that they will someday themselves fall in love...and eventually have sex.

And futher building on this concept - and perhaps more disturbing - she was perfectly alright with letting her kids witness what essentially are fabricated acts of murder.  Which obviously isn't a Christian thing to do.

Come on now - it's Star Wars.  If any "sex" scenes do exist, they'll be relegated to being tame, brief makeouts or a scene depicting intimate love...not a full-on, 200 MPH, jackhammer porno.  What did you expect?  Briana Banks getting buck wild with Anakin Skywalker, saying, "Yeah, baby...gimme that lightsaber..."?  Use some common sense.

I find it interesting, and certainly not unique, how often this happens.  People reject the face value of intimacy caputred on film and grossly underestimate the impacts of violence.

But recalling a bigger predication of my faith, I fall back on Luke 6:37 ("judge not, lest ye be judged").  So who am I to say who's right?

Comments

Jason Salas said:

Great point, Chris.
# May 18, 2005 8:51 PM

Erik Porter said:

I grew up with a father, much like the woman you described, and I totally agree with your statements.

I like to look at it like this in regards to "protecting" your kids like that: Good intentions, poor execution.
# May 19, 2005 2:13 AM

Scott said:

I probably feel the same way as this woman. Seeing violence is typically not a temptation depending on the context. The concept of good and evil and the often violent struggle between the two is not sinful. Now I wouldn't want my kids to see a guy get enraged by a bad driver, jealousy, etc. that goes off and commits acts of violence. That is sinful. I think more and more parents think that just not letting their kids see violence is helping them when what they really need is to learn to deal with tough emotions.

It's like the argument for gun control. Instead of solving the root problem many argue for just getting rid of all guns.

We live in a violent world...just look at the weather. If voilence in itself was sinful Jesus wouldn't have used voilence to chase the money changers out of the temple. God also used voilence in many places in the Bible for punishment or to help one group of people over another.
# May 19, 2005 1:27 PM

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