Too Politically Correct

MSN Encarta defines politically correct as

deliberately avoiding offense: relating to or supporting the use of language or conduct that deliberately avoids giving offense, e.g. on the basis of ethnic origin or sexual orientation

In that context, then, it seems that Christianity is politically incorrect, at least according to The Motion Picture Association of America. Christianity, it seems, can be just as offensive as slurs on ethnic origin or sexual orientation, violence or brief nudity.

This article addresses the fact that a new low-budget film,"Facing the Giants," is too evangelistic. According to the MPAA, that earns it a PG rating. Their definition of what earns such a rating is this:

"The theme of a PG-rated film may itself call for parental guidance," states the online explanation of the rating system. "There may be some profanity in these films. There may be some violence or brief nudity. … The PG rating, suggesting parental guidance, is thus an alert for examination of a film by parents before deciding on its viewing by their children. Obviously such a line is difficult to draw."

"Facing the Giants" is co-written by brothers who are associate pastors of media at a Baptist church. It contains:

…waves of answered prayers, a medical miracle, a mysterious silver-haired mystic who delivers a message from God and a bench-warmer who kicks a 51-yard field goal to win the big game when his handicapped father pulls himself out of a wheelchair and stands under the goal post to inspire his son's faith. There's a prayer-driven gust of wind in there, too.

But the scene that caught the MPAA's attention may have been the chat between football coach Grant Taylor _ played by Alex Kendrick _ and a rich brat named Matt Prader. The coach says that he needs to stop bad-mouthing his bossy father and get right with God.

The boy replies: "You really believe in all that honoring God and following Jesus stuff? … Well, I ain't trying to be disrespectful, but not everybody believes in that."

The coach replies: "Matt, nobody's forcing anything on you. Following Jesus Christ is the decision that you're going to have to make for yourself. You may not want to accept it, because it'll change your life. You'll never be the same."

How does the MPAA equate such themes with profanity, violence or brief nudity?

Kris Fuhr, [is] vice president for marketing at Provident Films, which is owned by Sony Pictures. Provident plans to open the film next fall in 380 theaters nationwide with the help of Samuel Goldwyn Films, which has worked with indie movies like "The Squid and the Whale."

…The MPAA, noted Fuhr, tends to offer cryptic explanations for its ratings. In this case, she was told that it "decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions. It's important that they used the word 'proselytizing' when they talked about giving this movie a PG. …

The first definition of proselytize, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is "To induce someone to convert to one's own religious faith." And while the coach does suggest that "getting right with God" might solve some of teenage Matt's problems, he does not, according to this description, try to convert the boy. He only presents the option.

It IS interesting, as the article states, that, "faith has joined that list of deadly sins that the MPAA board wants to warn parents to worry about."

This is all on my mind because, as a Christian, I am wondering when someone will censure me for expressing my faith. I am already not free to share with my students at school, although I will let them know that I pray before meals and attend a church. But will it someday be for me like it was for this high school graduate who shared her faith in her valedictory speech and had her diploma withheld as a result?

WHY is the Christian message more offensive than one which might come from a different faith or from an atheist? WHEN did that happen? WHO made the decision? And WHAT will happen to Christians as a result of this shift in thought?

First They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemöller


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