Friday, May 31, 2013

7QT (Vol. 42): OMG is not OK

Last weekend, I watched Parks and Recreation for the first time. It was funny with likable characters. It was also extremely profane. The few expletives were bleeped out, but it seemed that God's name was used in vain roughly every minute. This made me uncomfortable... because I was enjoying the show and trying to just ignore the blasphemy.

I hear God's name profaned a lot, of course. "Everyone" talks that way. It's on the radio, in books, in movies, even in conversations at church. Societal acceptance of sin doesn't make it less sinful, though. After Parks and Recreation, I asked my husband what he thought about us consuming media that treats blasphemy like a non-issue. The next day he came to the same conclusion I had: we cannot be lukewarm about this.

My husband noted that he'd always considered four-letter words worse than blasphemy (even while having no problem with most expletives) growing up, because that's how society reacts. Yet, the Ten Commandments say nothing about "bad words" while explicitly forbidding taking God's name in vain.

This is hard, especially for him. He's an aspiring screenwriter, has frequently watched movies to socialize, and owns a lot of movies. After sorting through our movies last night, he lost almost 50 (to my seven) and has 16 (to my one) that he needs to re-watch to determine suitability. We're losing at least half of our movie collection. We're losing most of Psych, too. We own seasons 1-5 on DVD, so I plan to re-watch those and keep track of what (if any) episodes are good. Psych is my favorite TV show, but between blasphemy and advocating for sex outside of marriage, I'm not sure there will be much to keep.

You might be surprised at some of the movies that didn't make the cut. The Incredibles. Iron Giant. Matilda. Even Babe, which is rated G. Using God's name in vain is so pervasive and accepted, no one gives a second thought to including it in family movies. Guarding against sin is something we have to do for ourselves. In the near future, we'll check our music and books, too. I think this will be easier, since I read mostly fantasy and Christian romance and he reads mostly non-fiction.

We have kept a few with blasphemy. Documentaries, those telling true stories (e.g., Good Night and Good Luck) or describing aspects of our society (e.g., Requiem for a Dream) are not using blasphemy as entertainment; they are depicting what actually happened. Even within this genre, we're only keeping the ones that we believe have an important message. Maybe we're just rationalizing sin by allowing even these in our home, but at this point, we think we are making the right decision.

We're expecting a fair amount of backlash. "You're over-reacting. This is pointless." They'll argue that we can't shield ourselves from everything and it's not like hearing it is the same as saying it. Laughing at racist jokes isn't the same as saying them, either, but it is wrong to give the appearance of supporting sin. And hearing it enough causes us to become complacent. We cannot turn a blind eye to that which offends God.


  1. God will bless your family for this decision!

  2. I'm so glad to see that someone else thinks this way - thank you for writing about it.

    1. You're welcome. It's always nice to find companions on the journey!