THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (BP)–Along with others who write about the entertainment industry, I believe that Hollywood is having a detrimental affect on the American culture. Since the demise in the mid-1960s of the Motion Picture Code (a set of moral guidelines based on the Ten Commandments), Tinseltown now finds itself with a soulless void. Today, Hollywood’s life lessons often are predicated on the erroneous belief that we can achieve happiness and contentment without regard for the teachings of God’s Word.
A spiritual malignancy festers within the conceited presumption that biblical directions are no longer relevant in this electronically enslaved age. Humanism and other deleterious philosophies have polluted and diluted an industry that once adhered to a biblically based code of ethics. It is this irreverence that erodes the bedrock of a nation once established on Judeo-Christian principles.
Every so often, someone will write a perceptive book that warns us of Hollywood’s arrogance toward sacred matters. One of the best is Michael Medved’s courageous “Hollywood Vs. America.” And now a new book exposes Hollywood’s seductive powers — “Death By Entertainment” by Holly McClure (Lions Head Publishing).
Holly is a movie critic whose weekly Southern California newspaper column is syndicated across the country. The mother of three, she also hosts a radio talk show in San Diego and is a familiar face on the talk show circuit, having appeared many times on “Politically Incorrect” and numerous other programs. Best of all, her life and talent are dedicated to our Lord Jesus.
What I enjoy about Holly’s writing is that while she is well-informed, with a sincere heart for America’s families, her work is always an easy, fun read. It’s interesting, to the point, and erudite. Holly has brought this compelling style to her newest effort, Death By Entertainment. She provides an intuitive look at the media’s influence on our culture, and then offers up practical solutions.
Some insightful chapters include “Our Addiction to Entertainment,” “The Hidden Agenda,” “Our Popular Culture,” “Marketing Our Culture,” “The Ratings Game” and “Raising Your Kids to Be Media Savvy.”
Her Christian ethic enters into the book, often valiantly. For example: “Today, the morality Hollywood preaches from the big and little screen is materialism mixed with secular humanism that is rooted in ethical nihilism. People often refer to Hollywood as ‘liberal,’ and it is, but that liberalism begins with darker philosophies that reject a moral America based on traditional values.”
If you have children, and especially teens, you need effective tools to help young minds wade through the agendas of the media. If your kids watch TV, go to movies or play video games, you need to be aware of the secular messages that are bombarding their minds and spirits. And if you think you have protected them by simply not allowing them to watch television, guess again. They are still being influenced by the entertainment industry’s products — because their friends and teachers are!
According to McClure, “A whole generation of Gen-Xers and millennials have no idea what godly principles and values we once held as a standard for this nation. In fact, they don’t even know what a traditional belief in God is. But in many ways, they are searching.”
She’s right. They are searching. Fortunately, if they are grounded in biblical instruction and given guidelines to help cope with worldly indoctrination, today’s generation will have a much better chance of developing a sincere relationship with our Savior. I believe Death By Entertainment is one of those effective resources that can assist parents in strengthening their family’s Christian walk.
Like most of us who critique films from a Christian perspective, Holly McClure appreciates what a good movie and a good movie message can do for viewers. She understands that movies can nurture as well as entertain. But Hollywood isn’t in the nurturing business. We need to guard ourselves from a bombardment of media messages that can corrupt and despoil the soul of man.
Holly McClure’s book can be ordered from Barnes & Noble and several other nationwide bookstores. For more information about The Movie Reporter edited by Phil Boatwright, go to www.moviereporter.com.