How many of you live outside the United States? As
an American, I want to apologize to you.
Every day, an American industry drops metric tons of
toxic waste in your countries and your homes. I refer to Hollywood, whose
primary products are sex, violence, perversion, nihilism, attacks on religion
and a thoroughgoing anti-family ethic. These are products produced both for
domestic consumption and export.
That wasn’t always the case. As fans of old movies
can attest, in the 1930s and ‘40s, Hollywood was unabashedly pro-family. It
treated parents with respect, took sex seriously, affirmed faith, and generally
promoted those values that foster social cohesion.
Fathers were wise and benevolent. Mothers were
loving and nurturing. Children were generally respectful. In movies like “Since
You Went Away, “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn,” the
“Andy Hardy” series and “I Remember Mama” – family life was celebrated.
This ethos was charmingly encapsulated at the end of
`1939’s “The Wizard of Oz,” with Dorothy heartfelt declaration, “There really is
no place like home.”
Movies of that era called us back home. Today,
Hollywood tells us that at best families are irrelevant, and at worst stifling,
suffocating and an obstacle to self-actualization and happiness.
With honorable exceptions, today the typical movie
family is comically or tragically dysfunctional. To one degree or another –
children are rebellious, if not self-destructive. Parents are portrayed as
well-meaning fools or monsters. We’ve gone from “Father Knows Best” to Father’s
a beast, or an idiot or a raving lunatic.
Typical of this assault on normalcy was a 2006
comedy – nominated for an Academy Award – called “Little Miss Sunshine.” The
movie revolves around the road trip of a family that includes: a father who’s a
failed motivational trainer, a mother who’s a chain-smoking neurotic, an uncle
who’s a suicidal homosexual, a brother who worships Nietzsche and a grandfather
who’s a drug addict. This is Hollywood’s idea of family life in the 21st
There are family values and there are Hollywood
Family values include fidelity, respect, love,
sexual restraint, nurturing and mutual support.
Hollywood values are the exact opposite. The
worldview which shapes today’s movies includes:
Sexual liberation – the glorification of pre-marital sex (including adolescent
experimentation), adultery, promiscuity, homosexuality and the sexualization of
children. In other words, actors and actresses, writers, directors and producers
want us all to live the way they do. In movies, more often than not, casual
liaisons end well. Forget about marriage, characters don’t even have to fall in
love before they fall in bed. The 2005 film “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” was based
on the premise that an unmarried 40-year-old man who was sexually inexperienced
was a freak of nature. The next time you go to a romantic comedy, take a stop
watch with you and time how long it takes for the couple to have intimate
relations. You’ll only need the second hand.
Live-for-the-moment – The family ethic is based on restraint, self-sacrifice and sublimating
our own short-term happiness to the greater good – which, of course, makes
long-term happiness possible. The Hollywood ethic is based on the immediate
gratification of whims. It tells us that not to express our feelings – and act
on them uncritically – is unhealthy, neurotic and soul-annihilating.
The cult of the imperial self – or in the words of the pop song, I-gotta-be-me. Hollywood
regularly tells us that putting anything ahead of our own happiness – including
family obligations -- is stupid, if not psychotic.
Militant feminism – the bizarre and amply refuted notion that men and women are
psychologically identical, that so-called gender-roles are socially imposed and
that to believe otherwise is “sexist.” Think of all the films where 110-pound
women, who look like anorexic fashion models, beat up 190-pound men, who look
like football players. Hollywood actually believes that 1997’s “GI Jane” was a
reflection of reality. That was the movie where Demi Moore (who previously
starred in “Striptease”) became a Navy SEAL. But the family is based on gender
roles. “Mr. Mom” notwithstanding, a man can’t nurture a 2-year-old as well as a
woman. Men and women were endowed with physical and psychological attributes
which compliment each other – the more we try to obliterate those differences,
the harder family life becomes.
Radical secularism – the belief that religious expression is dangerous and a hindrance to
happiness and self-fulfillment. In film after film – including “Kingdom of
Heaven,” “King Arthur” and “V for Vendetta” -- Christians are portrayed
sadistic, hypocritical or repressive. But it’s faith that validates the natural
family. The Bible is a handbook of family values. Undermine traditional religion
and you will inevitably undermine the family.
The normalization of homosexuality – the dogma that people are born homosexual or heterosexual
and are unable to change, that all voluntary sexual activity is equally good and
that homosexual liaisons must be afforded the same recognition and respect as
heterosexual marriage. Note all of the movies where homosexual characters are
happy, helpful, well-adjusted and generally appealing – so unlike members of the
typical Hollywood family. Like promiscuity, pre-marital sex and adultery,
homosexuality undermines the family. The natural family will not thrive when
competing models are validated.
The family ethic rejects each
and every one of these nitwit notions. It posits moral absolutes and demands
sexuality sublimated by monogamous marriage, marital fidelity, putting others
(and the common good) before self, gender differentiation and the Biblical
perspective on sexual relations.
These worldviews are
If you’d like to know how
well Hollywood values work, compare the divorce rates of Beverly Hills and
Biloxi, Mississippi – or the number of Manhattanites in therapy versus the
number of residents of Rapid City, South Dakota who are going through a mid-life
includes seductive images splashed across the screen, stories that stack the
deck in favor of its worldview and beautiful faces selling its social poison.
All we have is truth.
Of all the challenges to
the natural family – bureaucracies, courts, academia, feminism, homosexual
activism and the sexual revolution – this is the most potent. It invades every
aspect of our lives, attacks our values and inculcates its worldview
We must find new ways to
expose and counter this foe. Otherwise the real-life family of the future will
look like the Hollywood family of today.