ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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Pamela's Prayer (1998), (NR)
CAP Score: 92
CAP Influence Density: 0.15

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

PAMELA'S PRAYER (NR) -- Is a gentle, humble and warm kiss the first step to sexual behavior?

Is a kiss outside of marriage really a sexual act or a prelude to sexual behavior? It is clear that some of the Hollywood kissing such as when the face disappears under a gaping hole is sexual or is at least meant to be. And a kiss such as a licking kiss is clearly only a beginning or starting point. But is a gentle, humble and warm kiss the first step to sexual matters? To get right down to the nitty-gritty it probably is, but at least it is more controllable.

Though I avoid recommendations like the plague, this movie is an outstanding parental teaching tool because it is such an amazingly beautiful portrayal of courage and integrity and honor as I have ever seen. A genuinely moving experience for fathers with daughters. Pamela Bucklin (Serena Orrego), born to Wayne (Rick Scheideman) and Sarah Bucklin (Shawn Hardin) was never kissed -- until her wedding day at 22 years old. Wow!

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Pamela was born in 1969 and lost her mother to complications from giving birth. Amniotic fluid embolism was the name of the complication. Wayne must now raise his daughter all by himself with some help from his father and mother. And with the help of Jesus Christ, help Wayne asked for with Pamela every night without fail since her birth. Wayne went to the foot of the Cross with Pamela every single night until her wedding night. Then, on her wedding night by phone she led her daddy in prayer of gratitude ... Pamela's prayer.

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At 16 years old Pamela is confronted with many temptations. A gigolo named Jerry Clarke (Justin Crofts) tried every trick in the book and every manner of deceit imaginable just to kiss the girl who had never been kissed. It didn't matter who she was. This was a matter of conquest. All Clarke was interested in was getting satisfaction of having "broken" her. Clarke used the typical guilt/shame leverage tools such as "You're not a little girl anymore" and "I can see I'm not good enough for you. There's no need to hide it." Clarke even used lies to build his conqueror image among his peers.
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Seeing her friends paired off and holding hands, knowing they were having fun on dates and kissing, was too much for Pamela. In a moment of defiance, Pamela agreed to meet with Jerry at a basketball game and sit with him. No more. Pamela went with her friend Jessica (Sarah Padbury) so she could tell her dad she went with Jessica. Being found out by her father it would seem that Pamela, according to new age ethics and the humanistic master of all that is proper - the movies, would lash out and rebel all the more. Let me just tell you that our Lord brought to her a great prize for her obedience to her father and to our Lord. "Defiance" and "obedience" in the same paragraph? You'll have to see this movie to understand.
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Of all the fathers, only Wayne Bucklin insisted on no kissing and no dating. All of Pamela's friends were dating. But not Pamela. All of Pamela's friends were kissing. But not Pamela. And there is another verse to that song which needs no mention, another verse which may be the best statement made by this movie.

It may seem I have told you so much of the pieces and parts of Pamela's Prayer that you know enough about it to not need to see it. You can trust that this movie is powerful enough for fathers with daughters that nothing I could put to paper would take away any of its moral thunder. This is a story of the disappearing beauty of honor and respect for your parents' wishes and wisdom. Of integrity and personal strength through our Lord. Of the real meaning of love: that love is not sex and sex is not love; that sex is just a tool, a beautiful tool but a tool nonetheless for married couples; that deep and rich, immensely fulfilling love can and does grow without sex before marriage.

While this movie is not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), it earned a CAP score of 92 which places it equivalent to movies rated G by the MPAA. Issues that may need your experiential maturity include adolescent arrogance against parental authority [Isa. 30:1] and lying and deceit to gain selfish advantage [Rev. 21:8]. Sexual issues include planning of "social" conquest and one issue of admission of sexual immorality [Hebr. 13:4; 1Cor. 6:19-20]. No nudity or foul language was found. Not even God's name in vain with or without the four letter expeltive. No murder. No drugs. No alcohol.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ].
  • Isa. 30:1 "Woe to the obstinate children," declares the LORD, to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin;
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Hebr. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
  • 1Cor. 6:19-20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Pamela's Prayer (1998) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • none noted

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • use of guilt/shame leverage tools to conquer
  • adolescent arrogance against father
  • lie of omission and lie to boost social image
  • sneaking with lying to deceive

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • planning of "social" conquest
  • admission of sexual immorality

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • none noted

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I aplaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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