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By John Horvat II

 

The real problem is the moral model that Hollywood adopted long ago.

 

Entertainment should provide individuals and families with relief from the daily trials that all must face. That’s at least the way it should be. However, the words “family” and “entertainment” don’t often appear together anymore, especially in Hollywood. All the big studios have long produced films that are far from wholesome. A recent court case underscores just how far they have gone.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has just handed a victory to the three giant studios, Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox and Time Warner. They have secured a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, a small Utah-based video-streaming business that provides family entertainment to clients.

The company’s crime? Stripping Hollywood movies of nudity, violence and profanity.

VidAngel is a company that custom filters objectionable material from movies and streams this sanitized version to homes at a cost of one dollar a day. Business is, unfortunately, booming for the family-owned business—there is so much to be filtered these days.

The giant film studios claim the VidAngel’s business model deprives them of revenue by undercutting and disrupting distribution networks. The company counters such claims by saying it merely works under the protection of the Family Movie Act, a 2005 law that specifically allows companies to stream lawfully obtained movies for home viewing with offensive content filtered out. Tiny VidAngel, like David against Goliath, has vowed to appeal the court decision. Nearly 30,000 donors have contributed to a legal defense fund. The company sees this latest effort as the last stand in a decades-long campaign to run the movie filter services out of business.

The business model argument used to secure the court victory sidesteps the real issues surrounding the controversy. The real problem is not the business model of VidAngel but the moral model long adopted by Hollywood.

 


DisneylandHollywood Could Clean Up Its Act

Hollywood could easily put VidAngel out of business by simply keeping nudity, profanity and violence out of its movies as it once did. Instead, business in the filter services is booming because Hollywood insists upon putting a constant stream of offensive material in their films.

The Hollywood model works on the assumption that it has no obligation to uplift moral standards in America or the world. It bears no responsibility for the behaviors it promotes and glorifies. Thus, when Hollywood films are targeted to appeal to base instincts, studios claim they only aim to stimulate, excite or make people laugh. When people start to imitate the nudity, profanity and violence they see on the screen, the studios deny any connection. All of this is done in the name of entertainment. It really isn’t entertainment but gratification.

The problem with gratifying base instincts is that they are never satisfied. The unruly passions always demand more, and Hollywood responds by lowering the standards yet further and pushing the envelope to levels once deemed unacceptable. That is why VidAngel is successful since many parents naturally want to take measures of self-defense against this immoral cultural offensive.

By denying its responsibility to uplift culture, Hollywood actively brings it down. It presents violent role models in which the distinction between good and evil are often confused. With its nudity and promiscuity, it glorifies a hypersexual culture. With its crass narratives, Hollywood has brought vulgarity to language, behavior and relationships.

But Hollywood has done much more than simply promote objectionable conduct. The effects of this “entertainment” would certainly be less if it were merely a pastime or fad. However, entertainment now permeates everything. It is to be found in university “safe spaces,” the evening news, national elections and religious sermons. Everything must be in some way entertaining, vulgar or funny. This “entertainment” obsession imposes itself upon the nation so that things no longer have consequences and nothing can be taken seriously anymore.

Worst of all, such “entertainment” separates individuals from the seriousness of those important life questions that explore the meaning and purpose of existence. In their place, modern “entertainment” fills the void with false content, artificial rules and trivial goals, which contributes to a spirit of unhappiness and depression that haunts all modern societies that relentlessly pursue material happiness.

There was a time when the Disney name was itself a filter against profanity, nudity and violence. It could be trusted to filter out harmful content. Now, Disney and others are unapologetically suing to preserve their right to continue producing films with objectionable content and prevent their filtering.

Entertainment needs to return to its roots of uplifting culture. Anything else is not culture and not entertainment. Why not call it what it is—dirt that the studios need to filter out.

 


 

 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 2, 2020

Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer. When   ...

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April 2

Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer.
When the Lord intends
to bestow a particular virtue on us,
He often permits us first to be tempted by the opposite vice.
Therefore, look upon every temptation as an invitation
to grow in a particular virtue and
a promise by God that you will be successful,
if only you stand fast.

St. Philip Neri


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Francis of Paola

Francis explained that the lives of kings are in the hands o...

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St. Francis of Paola

Born in Paola, a small town in Calabria, Francis’ parents were humble, industrious people, dedicated to the service of God. Childless after several years of marriage, the couple prayed earnestly for a son, and when, at last a boy was born to them, the grateful parents named him Francis after the Poverello of Assisi.

At age thirteen Francis was placed in the Franciscan friary of S. Marco where he learned to read and where he began to tread the austere life he was later to live.

Two years later, after a pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, and with his parents’ consent, Francis retired to a remote location by the sea where he lived in a cave. Before he was twenty, he was joined by two others who also sought a life of prayer in solitude. With help from some neighbors, they built for themselves three cells and a chapel where they sang the divine praises.

Seventeen years later a church and monastery were built on the spot for them with the approval of the bishop of Cosenza. The hermits were so beloved of the people that the whole countryside joined in the work.

Penance, charity, humility. This trinity formed the foundation of Francis of Paola’s rule, which was particularly austere. In addition to the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, he imposed a fourth binding them to observe a perpetual Lent, abstaining not only from meat, but also from eggs and milk products.

The community received Papal approval in 1474, and in 1492 from being called Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi, they became the “Minims” from their founder’s desire to be known as the least (minim) in the kingdom of God.

Francis of Paola became universally renowned as a wonderworker and prophet. In 1481, King Louis XI of France, who was slowly dying, sent a messenger to the saint begging him to hasten to France to heal him. Francis only acquiesced at the command of the Holy Father to whom the monarch ultimately appealed. At the French court the king fell on his knees before the humble hermit begging for his healing. Francis explained that the lives of kings are in the hands of God and have their appointed limits; prayer should be addressed to God. Ultimately, changed in heart, the king died resignedly in the saint’s arms. In gratitude, his son, Charles VIII, became a great sponsor of the Order.

Francis spent twenty-five years in France and died there on Good Friday of the year 1507 at the age of ninety-one. He was canonized in 1519.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

I turned to God, but God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is...

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Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayer?

Question:  I pray and pray, but I feel as if God is not listening. We always had a good, peaceful family life, but these last years have been tough. We don’t seem to be getting along and our finances have taken a turn for the worse.

I am so anxious about this situation that, not having anyone to turn to, I turned to God.

But God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists, who laugh at prayer, saying it is nonsensical and only a figment of the imagination with no real value?

Answer:  God is faithful to His promises, and God promised to answer our prayers. “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9–10).

If God promises to answer our prayers, He will do so infallibly. But in prayer there are two sides: he who asks and He Who gives.

Our part is to ask. How must we ask?

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, teaches in his book Prayer, the Great Means of Salvation that prayer must be persevering and humble.

So many times we hear people saying: “Oh, I used to ask God for this and that and the other, but He never gave it to me. Now, ten years later, how glad I am that He didn’t!”

One thing is certain: God will not fail to answer a humble and perseverance prayer. Whether He chooses to grant what we ask immediately or make us wait, we must trust that He, regardless of appearances, is doing us good. What we think is good and what He thinks is good may be two different things: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways” (Isa. 55:8), but here is where we must abandon ourselves to His beneficent will. Our part is to be patient, calm and, above all, faithful, because this is the time for testing and later will come the time for full enjoyment.


Answering Atheists and Agnostics
As for atheists and agnostics, their skepticism proceeds from the fact that they, respectively, deny God’s existence or deny men’s capacity to know God.

In this case, we can only express our regret over their ignorance of this Supreme Being, our omnipotent Creator and loving Savior.

We may direct them to a few sources that may help in their search for the truth of His existence. Atheism and agnosticism can only be sustained in ignorance or ill will because the evidence of God’s existence is overwhelming.

Moreover, God will not hide Himself from those who seek Him sincerely and unconditionally.

Another consideration pertaining to non-believers is this: If God were to grant us absolutely everything we ask at a moment’s notice, such people might start believing purely out of self-interest.

They would look at God as a wand-wielding wizard. And God Our Lord is infinitely more than that. He wants us to know, love, and serve Him for Himself so that He can treat us as children and heirs and grant us unending happiness in Heaven.

"My impression is that the Rosary is of the greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady of Fatima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God."  Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima.

 

Order Your Rosary Guide Booklet today!

 

I turned to God, but God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists,

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