Rebecca Hagelin

There’s nothing like a cold winter day to make you think about taking the family to the local multiplex and seeing a movie. Grab some popcorn, forget your worries for a couple hours, and enter that larger-than-life world of imagination and spectacle, of heroes and villains.

Warning: Your choices are going to be somewhat limited if your aim is wholesome family entertainment. What’s showing at the movies this week? Hmm, the story about how the world’s most infamous cannibal acquired his taste for his fellow man? An apocalyptic future world in which the human race is threatened with extinction because of an infertility crisis? How about spending the evening with a deranged killer that stalks young people?

Why on Earth do parents actually pay for their children to explore the depths of human depravity? Simply put, most parents just aren’t paying attention.

And what about the video store? Next time you go, count how many titles you see that feature raw sex, violence, disloyalty, etc. Take a few minutes to watch how many kids check out movies filled with messages that undermine the strong character traits most parents want their children to develop. As I point out in my book, Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That’s Gone Stark Raving Mad, it’s crazy to hope that our kids will grow up understanding the importance of fidelity, purity and honesty when they are digesting a steady diet of garbage -- all usually paid for by mom and dad.

But take heart, parents: There are great films made by great artists featuring great stories that your family will enjoy. Lots of them. And one place to find comprehensive information about such films is The Dove Foundation, founded in 1991, promotes family-friendly entertainment in a refreshingly positive way. It doesn’t organize boycotts or call Hollywood producers names for putting out a bad product. Instead, it encourages good movies by reviewing films for parents and by putting its “Family-Approved” seal on those that actually provide clean entertainment. As Dove notes on its Web site:

“For years we have watched the morals and attitudes of the entertainment industry slowly creep into our society. We maintain that the number of PG-13 and R rated films, with their increasingly salacious material, are not representative of the desires of millions of moviegoers. It’s time for positive family values to impact those in Hollywood instead of Hollywood impacting family values.”

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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