Janice Shaw Crouse

Recent evidence suggests that the left’s worry about, and legal challenges to, public displays of the Ten Commandments were unfounded, since the general public was not paying attention anyway. Recently, USA Today noted that 70 percent of Americans were unable to name the Ten Commandments. In a culture where physical health is a higher priority than spiritual vitality, another recent survey found that more Americans are familiar with the specific ingredients in a McDonald’s hamburger than know the individual commands that comprise the Ten Commandments. The vast majority of the 1,000 people surveyed by Kelton Research knew that there are two beef patties in a Big Mac hamburger, while only a few could name all Ten Commandments — even among those who regularly attend worship. Less than half (45 percent) of the respondents could recall the commandment to “Honor thy father and mother.” Sadly, more respondents knew the two least known members (43 percent) of the Brady Bunch (Bobby and Peter) than knew the two least recalled commandments: “Remember the Sabbath” (34 percent) and “Do not make any false idols” (29 percent).

A new movie coming out on October 19 addresses such Biblical ignorance. The Ten Commandments, an animated feature film by Promenade Pictures, will be released nationwide. Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide (www.movieguide.org), reports that the movie faithfully retells the Biblical story of Moses and the flight of the Hebrews out of Egypt. He promises that the whole family will be entertained by the excellent animation and screenplay. More importantly, those who’ve seen early screenings say that viewers will be inspired by the skillful way the film promotes the Biblical principles of love, repentance and faith without sounding like a dull Sunday School lesson.

Family movies are better than ever, and they are more popular than ever. Family films gross an average 200 percent better than movies aimed at the adult marketplace. In 1985, only six percent of movies were family-friendly. By 2002, fully 45 percent of movies released in theaters were aimed at families. Also in 1985, most movies (81 percent) were R-rated, but since 2001, less than half (45 percent) of the movies in theatres have held that rating. In 2005, only two of the top 20 grossing movies had an R rating. This shift in public tastes has yet to be recognized by the Hollywood elites, who continue to promote movies that are less financially successful at the box office.

Janice Shaw Crouse

Janice Shaw Crouse is a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and now political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
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