Will Secular Cinematic History Help Sink America?

American Hustle characters
American Hustle characters

Spanish philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Arrogance, misuse of power, and an acceptance of all things hedonistic have caused one world-changing nation after another to sink from glory to mediocrity.

Is it America’s turn? Study America’s cinematic history and you’ll discover that moviemakers have mapped a secular destiny for America that doesn’t bode well for its citizens.

Studios were once regulated by a motion picture code established in the 1930s to protect the values and moral concepts society considered the standard for living. Violent acts had to be filmed in a way that would not jolt the viewer. Actors could not utter “God” or “Jesus” in a profane manner. (Imagine that!) And nudity and perversity could not be shown.

A lot has changed since the demise of the code in the late 1960s. Unfortunately, not all change is progress.

Throughout the decades since the demise of the code, films have abandoned a respect for biblical principles and begun embracing concepts that too often debase the culture. Here are examples featuring films on several subjects.


Then: “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950). This heist caper gone wrong is as much a character study as a suspense adventure. Intense with realistic situations and dialogue, it contains absolutely no obscenity, and the criminals pay a price.

Now: “American Hustle.” The acting is so good in this tale of a con artist drafted into a sting operation by the FBI, many tend to overlook its crude and deleterious abuses. Seventy uses of the f-word alone pepper the players’ speech patterns, along with 10 profane uses of God’s name. Viewing it, I could find no moral compass worth the cacophony of verbal and visual abuses I witnessed. Can you name a crime film from the current decade that doesn’t contain the same abusive content?

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Phil Boatwright

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