ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
SAD BUT TRUE
Fortifying the Foundation
Thomas A. Carder
This third installment of the SAD BUT TRUE series might not be entertaining but it is not boring, to be sure, that is if you are willing to explore. Because of the complexity of the issue under the microscope, this installment is long and may seem intimidating or prohibitive. Please have the patience to complete your study of this third installment of SAD BUT TRUE. It provides necessary fortification of the foundation for the next installment: The Millstone Installment.
SAD BUT TRUE
Fortifying the Foundation
Thomas A. Carder
President, ChildCare Action Project
Reviewed By: Anthony Fusco
Director - Doctrinal Analysis, ChildCare Action Project
July 19, 1998
Sometime ago I related to you all that Bart Simpson slapped God in the face. Let me remind you.
In a commercial for an upcoming (now past) episode of The Simpsons, Bart said: "Dear God. We paid for all this stuff with our own money. Thanks for nothing."
Strangely enough, I have not heard any uproar about what Bart Simpson said, not even from any Christian source. While I would not expect an uproar from the Dove Foundation, Focus on the Family, or the Southern Baptist Convention, it would at least seem reasonable for some grassroots ministries other than this one to blare about Simpson's comment about God's Grace. But alas, no one has, at least none I have heard.
And PLEASE do think "Bart must know God because he called on His name." Satan knows God! Satan knows God very well! He has been using his version of God's Word, mixed with a ton or two of lies, against us for about 5000 years. "Dear God. We paid for all this stuff with our own money. Thanks for nothing." What a horrible way for an impressionable young child to hear of God. Simpson totally denied the very existence of God's Grace on us. BAD DOODOO! By Simpson's denial of God's Grace, he denied the Word: God's Promises and Law. Simpson boasted of complete freedom from ANY and ALL accountability and indebtedness to God's Love and Law! Now, if your child(ren) has(have) yet to make the choice between believing in eternal life through God's Love and Sacrifice or living only corporeally in Satan's hedonism, they will have to do battle with Simpson's belittling comment on top of the plethora of other attempts of Satan to confuse and misdirect your child(ren).
In just a few years on the air, The Simpsons has done what the rest of the entertainment industry has taken about 43 years to do -- desensitize us into accepting and even embracing traditionally impure and improper behavior. To this some might say, "Yeah, but The Simpsons is the most entertaining program on tonight." Or "Yeah, but The Simpsons is better than a blank screen." Or "Yeah, but there is nothing else on TV tonight." You DO NOT have to accept the lesser of two evils. Just turn the useless thing off! Besides, however immoral or offensive an entertainment medium is has less significance than saying "Yeah, but..." in the first place. Entertainment media such as The Simpsons teach and condition the observer to disregard and to not even care about that which is right and proper: to accept traditionally impure behavior slowly and a little at a time, progressively vile, and sometimes invisible to the victim.
The entertainment industry saturates the consciousness of the observer with "up-yours," "It ain't good enough, no matter what `it' is," and "I just don't care anymore" programming: with freedom from accountability, freedom from authority, moral relativism, and situational ethics. The entertainment industry saturates all forms of communication and all levels of programming with these behavior aberrations. While all age groups with self awareness are ripe for imprinting on these behavior aberrations, the ages attracted by PG and PG-13 movies are most impressionable. And by objective numeric comparative analyses, PG and PG-13 movies present the largest span into immorality, larger than the span from G to PG and from PG-13 to R (our analyses do not include NC-17 or X-rated programming). Kinda points a finger at the design and intent of PG and PG-13 programmers, doesn't it?
You may be asking yourself "Self, just how does the entertainment industry cause such imprinting?" Well, since you've asked, I'll tell you. How many of you remember "You're in good hands with _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _." How about, "You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _?" Or "When it rains, it pours." Or "Just do it" or "You can do it." These are TV commercials, some of which are so old you have to be a baby boomer to have seen them (`answers' at the end of this installment). But if you watched TV in those days, you remember them. You remember them by the same conditioning techniques the entertainment industry has used to quietly and slowly shape, lead, and thus engineer the current state of morality in America -- by repetition, repetition, repetition with progressively invasive and immoral programming. That is how movies and other media have caused such a decay in morality. Not because of any one medium, to be sure, but because of all entertainment media, which, by the way, includes a lot more than just movies. Just as the commercials repeat something until it becomes a household term, the entertainment industry has been promoting, fortifying, and encouraging freedom from accountability, freedom from authority, moral relativism, and situational ethics for so long so often that these behavior traits become a way of life, without the victim even knowing or realizing the slow and sometimes invisible changes.
There are a plethora of other techniques the entertainment industry uses to fortify and amplify the intended statement(s) and expression(s). Color is one: the brightness or darkness of color; the contrast of colors; maximizing and minimizing of color mix; the choice of colors; the number of colors used. Sound is indeed a very powerful ally for the intended statement or expression: the loudness or softness; the choice of styles of music; the boldness or pleasantness of the sounds used. Dictation of permitted music to control a population has been successfully used in the far east. All of these and many other techniques combine to make a statement or expression that can touch every human emotion, most efficiently when combined with verbal definition. If these techniques can touch human emotions, they can be used to shape and direct emotions which in turn shape and direct behavior and even belief -- the entertainment industry uses every one of these and other techniques to do just that.
Some will say the entertainment industry is merely reflecting the reality of life. POPPYCOCK AND PIFFLE. How many of you actually KNOW anyone who has blown the guts out of a cop and watched them drip off the wall behind the cop? One? None? I'll bet none of you. How many of you know anyone who strips before 200 million viewers? Again I'll bet none of you So, the movies ARE NOT real life! I'll say it again. Movies ARE NOT real life! They are just movies: staged, moulaged, and computer-supported acting but with a *very* powerful and personally satisfying voice. Others will say the entertainment industry has merely followed the changes in our culture: that the cultural changes led the progression of immorality in the entertainment media. Again poppycock and piffle. It matters not whether the media led or followed the morality shift in our culture -- the entertainment industry perpetuates and feeds continued moral decay!
The Simpsons producers have, as have a plethora of other producers, capitalized upon the trend of moral degradation of the entertainment industry. More and more TV programmers will follow suit. By seizure of the trend of moral degradation, The Simpsons producers have amplified the freedom to insult that which once was held dear to the righteous man and woman. They have insulted not only God's Law and His expectations of us, but they have insulted God Himself, directly! Whatever was said or whatever "lesson was taught" in the rest of the show -- however the producers tried to soften, excuse, or justify the insult -- was meaningless as background noise because of the impact of the Simpson's statement. This technique of arrogantly throwing out an explosive comment and then trying to hide its impact is akin to another technique. Many programs will expose your children to "Go ahead and try it for yourself. It's okay as long as you are sorry for it afterwards."
That's how the entertainment industry does it.
I am angered to tears with the Simpson types and I WILL NOT REST until I am heard: until all have heard that which I believe Jesus is using me to pass on. For the lack of a better comparison, I am like Paul in Corinth. I am just as sinful as Paul (or anyone else); I love Jesus just as much as Paul; I am just as frustrated as Paul was. And my Christian love for you is as strong as Paul's love for those to whom he `preached.' I am so angered: angered that those whom I care so much for -- you and your families -- are being abused by the servants and familiars of the adversary; angered that many of you seem to LIKE IT! Not only is the adversary using the entertainment industry to corrupt morality, he is using kids to kill kids -- JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIES! We, each and every, MUST become willing to admit to the influence of the entertainment industry and, as our pearls are not to be cast before the swine, do not give your allegiance and trust to the words and rationale of the defenders of the entertainment industry to excuse and justify their apparent manipulation of you through and by what appears to be their desires for your kid$ -- it is SAD BUT TRUE.
I will end this third installment here, to hopefully give you time to reflect on what I have shared with you. I expect the fourth installment, The Millstone installment, to be very thought-provoking. It might even be exciting. It *will* be revealing.
Thank you VERY much for staying with me. Please anticipate The Millstone installment with the respect I have tried to relate in this installment. As with installments one and two, you are free to forward, copy, print, download, or distribute this and all future SAD BUT TRUE installments as you see fit.
Answers to TV commercial trivia:
"You're in good hands with [Allstate]."
"You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with [Pepsodent]?"
"When it rains, it pours." [Morton salt]
"Just do it" or "You can do it." [Nike]
SAD BUT TRUE, Third Installment - Fortifying the Foundation.
©1998 ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
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In the name of Jesus:
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
©1998 ChildCare Action Project (CAP)