It is becoming increasingly difficult in our culture to find any form of entertainment that doesn’t trash the traditional values of Christian Americans. When such individuals seek appropriate films, they often have little more than a rating with which to judge content.
As the makers of an upcoming faith-based theatrical release can attest, though, ratings can also send the wrong message.
“My Son,” produced in-house by a Baptist church in North Texas, recently received an R-rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, which many feel was a decision made to punish the film for its Biblical message.
Retta Baptist Church pastor Chuck Kitchens said the MPAA claimed they gave the movie a prohibitive rating “because of violence and drug use portrayed in the film,” though he listed several PG-13 films filled with the same themes in a greater concentration.
“I was very shocked,” he said. “It makes me sick at my stomach.”
Though the association has not responded to his requests for additional information regarding its decision, Kitchens can only assume the intention is to curtail the motion picture’s reach.
“A group of people out there don’t necessarily like strong evangelical Christianity,” he said, noting he will not shy away from the principles set forth in God’s Word. “People call us bigoted, and then they go on the attack.”
Still, he worries some churches will not want to support the film based solely on its rating, noting those behind the film are “relying on pastors to advertise to their congregations and sell tickets.”
The double standard embraced by Hollywood elitists is palpable in their treatment of movies like “My Son,” and Kitchens said that all he wants is “a level playing field.”
Parents Television Council’s Dan Isett said that the MPAA is notoriously taciturn regarding the process of rating films, adding that “nobody really knows what these ratings mean.”
The ambiguous criteria used to label movies as potentially inappropriate allows for the misuse of the system by ideologically driven individuals.
The MPAA, like the IRS and other ostensibly nonpartisan entities, will never admit an institutional bias against conservatives or Christians; their actions, however, leave little room for doubt. The next generation is continually exposed to repulsive content via network television and movies with permissive ratings. When filmmakers — without the backing of Hollywood power brokers — risk their own capital to produce a morally uplifting release, however, the MPAA is quick to drop its hammer.
Hopefully, churches and individual believers around the globe will realize the duplicitous nature of today’s leftist entertainment industry and make a concerted effort to support this film despite its rating. As for Kitchens, he said the movie will debut on schedule even with its objectionable designation.