Some members of Congress have a bone to pick with the Motion Picture Association of America. Roy Blunt from Missouri and Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, both Republicans, have been especially vocal in their opposition to the PG rating the MPAA gave to an inspirational sports film called “Facing the Giants.”
They believe the film should have been given a G rating because of its inspirational message. They also contend that the MPAA gave it a PG rating simply due to its religious content, a claim the MPAA denies.
The film, scheduled to be released in September, is about a high school football coach who is faced with being terminated after six losing seasons. His faltering career, along with other troubles in his personal life, compels him to seek God’s help.
After receiving a message from an undisclosed recipient, he somehow interprets it as his guidance from God. He then develops a new mission for his football team: they no longer have a goal of winning games, but a goal to live for God and to do everything in his name, including playing football. “If we win, we praise God. If we lose, we praise God,” the coach tells the team.
I’m sure it’s a nice warm and fuzzy family film about how all you have to do to be successful in life is to have faith in God and try your best. But face it; it’s probably the trying your best part that’s most important in succeeding.
The congressional representatives, as though they have nothing more important to do with their time, want the House Energy and Commerce Committee to hold hearings on the matter. The explanation by the MPAA that the film’s PG rating was due to mature themes did not ease their concerns about the film’s rating or the subjectivity of the rating system as a whole.
“This incident raises the disquieting possibility that the MPAA considers exposure to Christian themes more dangerous for children than exposure to gratuitous sex and violence,” Blunt wrote in a letter to the MPAA.
Well, let’s see. Gratuitous sex in films probably is not responsible for too many innocent deaths. And it certainly doesn’t hold any responsibility for torture. It’s simply, according to Christian dogma, a sin.
On the other hand, Christianity has been directly responsible for the violent deaths of millions of innocent men, women, and children throughout much of history. It is responsible for merciless torture killings throughout the Middle Ages and into the nineteenth century. And it is responsible for putting the brakes on scientific progress from before Galileo’s time up through the present day.
Islam has taken over where Christianity left off in the Middle Ages when it comes to torture and murdering innocents. The only real difference is that the fundamentalist Muslims have better weaponry.
So, yes, Congressman, maybe a film that has a theme centered on organized religion ought to contain at least a PG rating. It certainly is a mature subject matter. Not to mention the fact that some scenes in the movie address other adult topics, such as pregnancy.
Of course, not all people of religious faith have trouble with the MPAA’s rating of the film. Although they haven’t addressed the controversy surrounding the film directly, a Christian missionary group called the XXXchurch, probably doesn’t care what rating the film gets. It is making its rounds, touting its own religious message that Jesus loves porn stars, too.
Members of XXXchurch go to porn conventions and hand out copies of the bible, adorned in red and stamped with the message, “Jesus loves porn stars.”
Their introduction to the bible, which is written in plain English, states, “Jesus loves pornographers as much as he loves pastors, soccer moms, liars, thieves and prostitutes. We're all just people who need God to save us from the mess we're in, and lead us to a better way.”
So you see, representatives of the people, apparently everyone from a disgruntled football coach to porn stars get to seek God’s guidance to get them through life, however misguided.
I wonder if the XXXchurch came out with a Christian-based porn film whether the folks in Congress would have a problem deciding what rating it should have.