Friday, January 25, 2008

can mormon youth watch anything?

this is just a quick side note to the discussion of rated r movies and other media at various stages of mormondom.

according to the church's for the strength of youth booklet, lds youth are told to "not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way"(emphasis added). the problem with this is that the 'in any way' virtually bans all movies. because any movie with any bit of violence... for example, simba fighting his uncle scar in the lion king... contains violence in any way.

ironically, the church's film about joseph smith actually has a warning because of the violence in the movie (people are shot, beaten, tarred and feathered, kicked, etc!!). "some scenes depicting events surrounding the early history of the church may be too intense for small children." here, the church is asserting that it's own production has violence (and vulgarity) in some way.

so does that mean that lds youth are not allowed to watch church movies? and let's not forget those hyper-violent seminary videos with people being shot, cut, and scalped - complete with scenes of blood and gore. i remember a video about moroni with scenes of blood and dead bodies flowing through a stream.


on a side note, the owner of 'flix club' (orem's distributor of family-friendly edited movies) was arrested today for paying minors for sex and illegally selling and distributing pornography. oh the irony.


  1. Maybe Mr. Flix chose that job so HE could be the one to edit out the sex scenes and justify watching them.

  2. And all this time I thought those film censor guys were "taking one for the team"--seeing all the boobs and blood so that I wouldn't have to.

  3. By the way, as I hinted at over at VSOM, I think the only way to make sense of the statement in the "For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet" is to infer that the depiction of violence or immorality is insufficient to make the work itself violent or immoral. Otherwise, LDS youth shouldn't be reading the Book of Mormon, due to its violent content.

    While the Book of Mormon includes both violence and immorality, its ultimate message condemns those behaviors. In other words, it is not thematically violent or immoral, even though its content is not free of those elements. Thus, if the "in any way" standard is to be taken seriously, it must demand a focus on theme rather than mere content.

    This interpretation (which, I believe, is required if the standard is to have any meaning) debunks the notion that the MPAA rating system serves a useful purpose in identifying "violent" or "immoral" films. As we know, the MPAA is almost blind to theme and context when it comes to rating movies. A bloody movie that sends a pacifist message will merit an R, while a less bloody movie that celebrates violence gets a PG-13. Many popular films (think James Bond and the Bourne series) belong to this latter class.

    However, if you want my honest opinion, I don't think the "For the Strength of Youth" counsel was intended to refer to theme rather than content. I just think that its authors probably didn't think about all of the implications of the "in any way" language.

  4. you might be on to something..


Please provide a name or consistent pseudonym with your comments and avoid insults or personal attacks against anyone or any group. All anonymous comments will be immediately deleted. Other comments are subject to deletion at my discretion.