August 15, 2007

Obstinate Twits

I have a certain appreciation for Focus on the Family. They've produced a lot of things I've enjoyed (and also some I haven't) over the years, from their publications to their website to their radio dramas, and even some video releases. I think that (most of the time) they are one of the good public faces of evangelical Christianity, which to me means that I am generally not embarrassed to be part of the same religion as them. They are a respectable contrast to the shameful antics of, for instance, our Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells.

However, that aside, I have no respect for how Focus engages with our culture. They approach everything with a tally sheet, ready to mark down the number of swear words, negative attitudes, sex scenes (actual or implied) . . . the list goes on and on. These are potentially useful statistics for certain audiences, I suppose, but for the most part I wonder why anyone who needs to know exactly how many times someone says s*** in a movie ever goes to the movies at all.

To FotF's credit, they actually do watch/read/listen to whatever they're talking about before they discuss it, but I've gotten the feeling on more than one occasion that a review was half-written before they ever walked into the theater. There is no real discernment involved in what they do, and no, mere balance-sheet auditing of "wholesome" vs. "inappropriate" content is not an acceptable substitute for true judgment.

Well, speaking of ironic lapses in perception, a Looking Closer reader noticed something amusing and frustrating. Dr. Dobson recently distanced himself from an error in the Washington Post which stated that he approved of Harry Potter. This couldn't be further from the truth, see, because everything about Harry Potter is a danger and a detriment.

Meanwhile, in another corner of the Focus website, there is an editorial bemoaning the low value placed on "sacrificial heroes" by our "superficial culture." Contrast that with this headline from Christianity Today (a model of Christians engaging in an even-handed dialogue with culture).

And that's really all I have to say about that . . . other than to note, yet again, that anyone who still insists on ragging on Harry Potter is an obstinate twit.

Posted by Jared at August 15, 2007 10:55 PM | TrackBack