Sherrie and I have had some bad encounters with some very violent movies (none of them even R-rated) in the last couple weeks--The Bourne Identity, The Manchurian Candidate, The Bourne Supremacy, and Disturbia. Every time we finished watching them we felt awful and had to do something that would lighten our moods so that we would be able to sleep peacefully. I had already seen the Bourne movies before and don't remember being appalled by them, but more fascinated by the fight scenes. That may be due to the audience with whom I was watching it, but if anything my more sensitive reaction is probably the most right (personally).
I have been reminded of an article in the Ensign several years ago entitled, "It's 'Only' Violence," by Brad J. Bushman. He reminds us that Alma taught that sex outside of marriage is a serious sin, and among the most grievous of sins. But he ranked the two most serious sins as denying the Holy Ghost and "shedding…innocent blood," or committing murder. He says, "I was puzzled that many Church members did not feel concerned about watching people being murdered on the screen. And many seemed to consider profanity to be more objectionable than violence in movies and TV programs." I won't quote much more, I'd like you to read the entire article; but I would like to mention the myths that he includes in the articles:
- Myth #1: The mass media simply mirror the level of violence in the real world.
- Myth #2: Viewing violence actually decreases aggression.
- Myth #3: Viewing violence has a trivial effect on aggression.
- Myth #4: Decreasing rates of violent crime prove that media violence does not increase societal violence.
- Myth #5: One cannot know whether media violence causes aggression
- Myth #6: "Media violence doesn't affect me!"
He also includes a list of things parents can do to better protect their children from the violent media by which we are surrounded.
Moroni does a good job of counseling us what type of media we should allow into our circle of influence, inside the sacred walls of our homes:
But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.Let us use this as a standard against which we measure the activities in which we include our families.