|Charlotte Corday after the murder of Marat (1861) |
by Paul-Jacques-Aime Baudry
"If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." ~From the LDS Thirteenth Article of Faith
Alright. Enough is enough. I can stay silent no longer.
I am getting more and more frustrated by all the fawning praise and hype that has been surrounding a certain best-selling book series that has recently premiered as a movie. I am disturbed by what the violent images presented in this series have the potential to do to individuals-- mothers and fathers, young adults and teens, but especially to children.
The embracing of violence in movies and books that is done by many of the same people who condemn sexual images and innuendo has long confused, annoyed, and concerned me.
I do not get it.
Of course, exposing ourselves to p*rnography and suggestive images and scenes (including descriptions in books) is wrong. We know that virtue is chastity and purity.
So, the question I'm asking is this: Is it virtuous, chaste, pure or lovely to immerse ourselves in murderous, violent thoughts-- even those of a fictional character?
Even if it's in a book about how scary it is to live in a world without freedom?
"A boy, I think from District 9, reaches the pack at the same time I do and for a brief time we grapple for it and then he coughs, splattering my face with blood. I stagger back, repulsed by the warm, sticky spray. Then the boy slips to the ground. That’s when I see the knife in his back."And:
"It takes a few moments to find Cato in the dim light, in the blood. Then the raw hunk of meat that used to be my enemy makes a sound, and I know where his mouth is. And I think the word he’s trying to say is please. Pity, not vengeance, sends my arrow flying into his skull."I don't know about you, but I do not find ANY way, means, or justification for the quotes above to fit within the description of "virtuous, lovely, good report, praiseworthy."
Whenever I bring up my objections to literary (this applies even more so to the movies) violence such as the quotes above, I hear these excuses:
"Yeah, but have you READ the books? They're sooo good!"
"The author is such a great writer!"
"I couldn't put it down-- it just sucked me in!"
Well, let's apply these lines of thinking to p*rnography.
"Yeah, but have you actually LOOKED at the pictures? They're so tastefully done!"
"The photographer is so talented!"
"I couldn't look away-- the pictures were just so captivating!"
In this day and age, I think most people I know can agree that it's sad that society at large is rarely willing to call evil what it is-- EVIL.
And so I am puzzled why so many people who consider themselves good parents, concerned citizens, and followers of virtue are allowing themselves to tarnish and damage their spirits-- and the spirits of their children-- all in the name of entertainment or pop-culture!
No, I don't get it.
I pray that my family and I will always consume and contribute only to those things that uplift and inspire us toward becoming more holy. And for me, there is no way that violence-- real or read and watched-- can bring us to that higher plain.