Jerry Newcombe

Incest as romance and entertainment? Society seems to play a game of “Can you top this?” Or really “How low can you go?” Hollywood often leads the way, but there are many that follow.

It seems that things acceptable today would have been unthinkable a decade ago and not even on the radar screen a half-century ago and a criminal offense 100 years ago, in many cases.

Lifetime television has brought to the small screen, "Flowers in the Attic," dealing with

incest apparently as a romance---based on a popular 1979 novel.

This book was made into a movie in the 1980’s, but the producers toned down the incestuous relationship. What has changed between then and now?

Why do they feel comfortable including it now? Because of the sexual anarchy our nation seems committed to, things that would not have been considered for television 30 years ago are now too often commonplace.

The reality is, rejection of sexual norms in one area will make rejection in other areas more palatable to us. We are losing our ability to be shocked at things that should shock us, which is an indication of a seared national conscience, as Paul points to in Romans 1.

Writing about this movie for (1/16/14), Elizabeth Kulze opines, “The plot of ‘Flowers in the Attic’ itself is a delicious assault on family morals...”

She also adds, “Thematically, one could argue that it’s a story about child abuse and its devastating effects.” The ultimate villain in this movie is the “puritanical grandma,” who forces these children into an attic where things get out of hand.

Kulze says that Lifetime hopes it will be such a success that they will make a sequel. Yipes.

Years ago I once asked my long-time pastor, the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, “How do you deal with the argument that [producers] often say, ‘Well, we just reflect life as it is?’”

He responded, “I would like to say to them that life consists of more than a toilet and a gutter and a brothel, and there are other parts of life that could be reflected.” Obviously, Hollywood produces more than filth, and well done movies promoting positive values tend to do well.

Kennedy used to often quote Alexander Pope's couplet that included the old-fashioned word "mien" (pronounced "mean"), which means "countenance" or appearance.

Said Pope: "Vice is a monster of such horrible mien, / that to be hated needs but to be seen. / But seen too oft, grown familiar with its face, / first we endure, then we embrace."

Jerry Newcombe

Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a key archivist of the D. James Kennedy Legacy Library and a Christian TV producer.