So, the other day some relatives of mine who are Christians wanted to go see the movie, "Kingdom of Heaven". Before they went to see the film, they wanted to make sure of one thing:
"Does it have SEX in it?, because, we can't go if it has sex."
They check screenit.com, which is actually quite a helpful website if you want to take your kids to something, but want to know what you are taking them to, first.
So, they click on Kingdom of Heaven and see that under Sex/Nudity the film has been given a "Heavy" rating.
"Oh, no!" They say. Then, they read and see that there's just a scene of two people making out, and breathe a sigh of relief. These are married people, by the way.
Out of curiousity, I checked to see the ranking under violence (blood/gore on SCREENIT). "Kingdom of Heaven" received an extreme for several blood spraying sliced throats, beheadings, decapitations, etc. Now, I'm not knocking "Kingdom of Heaven" for this. Any honest portrayal of the Crusades is going to have to be chock-full of violence. It's just neccessary, and I don't hold this against the film, at all.
What I don't get is, why, in Christianity, is R-rated sex considered so much worse than R-rated violence? As the always cool Bruce Campbell once said, "Why isn't it okay to show a man kissing a breast, but OKAY to show a man cutting a breast off with a chainsaw?"
What's up with this double standard?
I have always been of the opinion (since I could have an opinion) that if the story and the artistic goals of the film need certain scenes to be met, then they are neccessary, so don't think I am just knocking film content, here. My favorite book is chock full of sex and violence, so...
I am just knocking this strange prevailing notion that as Christians, we can watch a woman be cut in half, but we can't see the same woman in her underwear.
What's the deal? This seems to be a singular American notion, as well. In Europe, for instance (and I say this from experience, however limited), violence is abhorred more than sex.
Is this hatred of sex part of American Christianity's Puritan heritage?
I remember the American Church's unprecedented acceptence of the first Matrix film. Many in the evangelical field said the closing shootouts were great examples of "spiritual warfare". I also saw, in many cases, parents taking their young children so they could witness this "example" for themselves. I thought our battle was against flesh and blood?
My first thought upon viewing the Matrix lobby shootout scene was, "Isn't he just killing innocent humans who have no idea what the hell is going on?"
So, why do we make excuses to enjoy violence, yet balk at the thought of seeing breasts, which God created, and which are spectacular (yes, I am pop-culture referencing trash). In my opinion, seeing bare breasts in a film is a lot less jarring than seeing someone get their ear chopped off. Breasts are beautiful, and created by God. Decapitations are not.
Instead of our kids growing up with a natural respect for the God created beauty of the human body, they are growing up with repression and guilt. Meanwhile, we show them videos where Bible quoting super-heroes beat the shit out of "demons." Where is the reason in all of this?
No wonder the Church has such a problem with Internet pornography, right now, and no wonder much of the American Church is riding on the shoulders of their new "saviour", George W. Bush, and shouting, "Let's kill all them Arabic Islamic bastards!" Okay, that was a low political blow. Forgive me that if you can, but please listen to the point I am making.
Violence is just natural to us. The prevailing thought of innocent Iraqis killed in combat seems to be a throwaway "too bad for them", meanwhile all forms of sexuality are banished, except in private forms of depravity, where they are reveled in sick worship.
I don't get it. And, no, I am not knocking our servicemen overseas. I hate always having to say this, but obviously, just because I don't believe in a war does not mean I want our troops to die. I want them to all come home safely.
I just wish things here didn't have to be the way they are.
Transmission out...wait, not yet.
This reminds me of a post I made questioning the popularity of "Passion of the Christ" (Check the February archive). What thing about seeing the most brutal recreation of Jesus being flayed and beaten made Christians more excited to see a film than ever?
Just a thought.