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Articles

What’s That Noise? TV and Sex

We have a TV in our house. Our rabbit ears pull in ABC and PBS only. That's enough for me to watch "Antiques Roadshow" and local news. We do not watch other programs on ABC, which I fondly refer to as "the sleaze channel."

How would I know ABC is so much sleaze? Because when I'm watching the news, I see its disgusting ads for upcoming episodes of its disgusting programs. And by disgusting, I mean blasphemous, immoral, and disrespectful.

I assume the networks not picked up by our rabbit ears are equal competitors.

If you, like me, were one of the 160 million Americans who watched this year's Super Bowl, you got plenty of sleaze in its 48 minutes of commercials. The sexual innuendo and lewdness were rampant. Perhaps parents who watch ABC sitcoms on a regular basis failed to notice.

This all reminds me of some Congressional hearing held a few years ago challenging the entertainment industry to clean up its act. Those hearings were about protecting children from violent and immoral music, movies, TV, and video games. Both Democrats and Republicans expressed deep concern. But most entertainment officials rejected stronger government regulation as unwelcome and unconstitutional.

TV producers also balked at attempts to get dirty shows off the air during hours when most kids are watching. And the Supreme Court concurred, striking down a law that banned dirty shows from cable TV during those hours.

What some parents see as the bright side, U.S. broadcasters are required to air three hours of "educational" children's shows every week. But that does not deal with the problem either. The problem concerns who does the teaching and what is being taught. No government rules or lack thereof will turn false world views into the truth.

And something else that government rules will never change: All TV shows are educational.
Most of the Hollywood reps testifying before Congress did agree on one thing: Parents-not they and not government-should decide what their kids listen to and watch. I say exactly the same thing.
But I disagree with them. Consider the source. Notice who is doing the talking. If a dad tells his daughter, "You look good," she should give him a hug. If a cannibal tells her the same thing, she needs to run like crazy.

Most of the people who produce American entertainment are not Christians. Even worse, many, probably most, are anti-Christian. So when they say things that sound good in their music and movies and TV shows, be on guard. Their words don't mean what your words mean.

When Hollywood producers say parents should control their children's entertainment, it sounds like what the Bible says. But they mean the opposite. They mean: "We want total freedom to continue producing our stuff our way. Don't get in our way. Hey, if parents don't like it, that's their problem."
In other words, they do want to control what kids listen to and watch. They say it's up to parents. But in real life, it usually doesn't work that way. And they know it. Much of what kids see and hear and learn is controlled by the entertainment industry. Children by the millions are being pulled into the pit of Hollywood values.

What would happen if Congress did pass laws to keep violent and immoral shows off the air at certain times of day? What would happen if Congress did force recording companies to put stronger warnings on their filthy music? Not much.

Violence and immoral behavior in entertainment will continue. Anyone who wants it will get it. But the problem is that the entertainment industry does not need violence or immoral behavior to spread its beliefs. And the entertainment industry is an excellent teacher.

Disobedience is cool. Disrespect and immorality are funny. A godly person is a doofus. Truth is anything you like. God is a fairy-tale hero. Those lessons are taught all day, every day, on TV, on the radio, in CD stores, and in theaters.

Is it up to parents to control what their kids listen to and watch? Absolutely. Because that's what God says-not because the entertainment makers say it.

– Norm Bomer, Senior Editor

To find this month's online lesson, go to the "Biographies and Lessons" section, which can be found right in the middle of the GWNews.com home page. As long as you are a subscriber, you will have access to this and all the archived materials you find there.

 

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