Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Rebecca Cusey Responds to Christian Complaints About Movies

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Rebecca Cusey has a very thoughtful piece on the outstanding Patheos website titled, “Christians and Movies: Recognizing the Danger Within, Not Without.”  She writes:

In Matthew 15:10, Jesus states, “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” In the passage, He taking religious people to task about their rigid dietary rules, but I think the words apply more broadly. It applies to all makers of dairy products, as Monty Python would say.


We must each do the hard work of recognizing our own weaknesses. For some, it may be that sexual content does indeed feed a weakness within. Others may revel in the dark side of violence or evilly enjoy gruesome scenes. For many women, the danger is a false depiction of romance, as in ‘Titanic,’ which feeds the selfish dissatisfaction in our hearts with our spouses and families.

It’s not only entertainment media, but all aspects of consumer culture that can light the warning lights in the dashboard of our hearts….We give media too much credit for having power over us, and let ourselves off the hook in the process. It’s much easier to blame media for our strayings and discontentments than to recognize they come from within.


I appreciate this point of view and her emphasis on the importance of taking responsibility for ourselves, our actions, and our responses to what we see.  On one hand, we must acknowledge that we are influenced by media and culture.  A multi-billion dollar industry is devoted to using the latest and most sophisticated techniques of psychological conditioning to get us to buy things (Cusey acknowledges that she is as or even more likely to be led into temptation by a catalog as a movie).  The artistic and commercial focus behind any movie or television show is on engaging our emotions and directing our thinking.   And part of responsible, mature behavior is protecting our minds and spirits from toxic influences as we protect our bodies from harmful substances.  But Cusey is right that too often religion-based fears about media fixate on the wrong questions.


Previous Posts

A Look at Remakes (And Not All of Them Are Terrible)
The blogger behind Phyllis Loves Classic Movies held an invitational blogathon on a subject many people have strong feelings about: remakes. Phyllis herself took on one, or I should say, two of my favorites: "My Favorite Wife" with Irene Dunne ...

posted 2:19:00pm Oct. 12, 2015 | read full post »

Celebrate Columbus Day!
Christopher Columbus has not yet had the movie he deserves, but I prefer the Fredric March version to the later movies.  And I recommend a brilliant and completely engrossing biography from biographer Laurence Bergreen called Columbus: The Four ...

posted 8:00:30am Oct. 12, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Writer-Director John Swetnam of the Dance film "Breaking Through"
John Swetnam is the director of "Breaking Through," the story of a young dancer who achieves viral fame and then sees it strain her relationships with her friends. I talked to him about the best way to film dancers "There was a Fred Astaire ...

posted 3:49:09pm Oct. 11, 2015 | read full post »

The Art of More -- Coming to Crackle November 19, 2015
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"] An intense, one-hour drama set in the high-stakes world of New York auction houses, “The Art of More” ...

posted 8:00:00am Oct. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Jon Gries of "Endgame" (and "Get Shorty" and "Napoleon Dynamite")
I'm a big fan of actor Jon Gries, who always brings something very specific and interesting to his roles. In "Endgame," the story of a championship chess team from a school in a poor community from writer/director Carmen Marron, it would have ...

posted 3:27:36pm Oct. 09, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.