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Hollywood’s promotion of the sexual revolution has greatly increased poverty in America.
Between 1965 and 1995, the percentage of families made up of children living only with their mothers doubled from 9.9 percent to 19.8 percent. During this period, Hollywood went from producing “The Sound of Music” to making movies and TV shows promoting promiscuity. When the Protestant Film Office closed down in 1966, Hollywood and America changed. In 1967, “The Graduate,” “Bonnie & Clyde,” “Valley of the Dolls” and “Born Losers” were all in the top-10 grossing films. In 1968, top films included “Rosemary’s Baby,” and 1969’s top films included “Midnight Cowboy,” “Easy Rider,” “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” and “Goodbye Columbus.” Thus, Hollywood pushed sex and violence, and America’s Kennedy-esque youth culture bought into it.
The sexual revolution of the late ’60s and early ’70s has been a financial disaster for America’s children, despite massive spending on welfare and social programs. In 1965, the average income for a married couple with children was $7,265. For a single mother, it was $3,532, just under half the income of a married couple. The disparity has grown. In 2005, the average income for a married couple with children was $66,067. For a single mother, the average was only $22,688, just over one-third the income of a married couple. One reason for this is that, in 2005, vastly more married couples both work full-time jobs.
While the liberals in Hollywood, the mass media, the Supreme Court and the church created this mess in our popular culture, the liberals in government were adding to it by giving single mothers an increasing amount of taxpayer money for every child they had out of wedlock. At the same time, these do-gooders encouraged the fathers of these children to abandon them to Leviathan, the Welfare State.
What was the result of all this evil hedonism and misguided government largesse? An increasing number of male children, and now even female children, turned to violence, gangs, sex, drugs and alcohol. This created even more single mothers of children without fathers while laying waste to America’s inner cities, not to mention the inner cities of nations around the world.
What can we do to end this cycle of poverty, violence and immorality created by do-good liberals and selfish pagan hedonists?
As Dr. Ted Baehr, the publisher of MOVIEGUIDE?, continues to remind us all, the mass media creates the culture that elects the judges and elects the politicians who appoint the bureaucrats and fill the higher courts who run our lives and hire the schoolteachers who indoctrinate our nation’s children. Thus, by producing movies, TV programs and other forms of entertainment that promote chastity, marriage and fidelity, Hollywood could help reduce promiscuity, poverty and crime.
In fact, according to MOVIEGUIDE?’s well-researched statistics, between 1995 and 2005, Hollywood produced less R-rated movies and more movies containing positive moral content with Christian values. During that same period, the percentage of families headed by single mothers actually dropped from 19.8 percent to 18.2 percent. This percentage is still far above 1965 levels, but it is a definite move in the right direction.
If all of Hollywood’s leaders could make an honest effort to produce films that promote strong marriages and encourage saving sex for marriage, they would rescue millions more children from lives of poverty, crime and disease. Ironically, this also would be of great financial boon to the motion picture industry. Children living in a family making $66,067 per year can afford to see more movies, buy more DVDs, and download more songs and TV programs than children living in a single-parent family making only $22,688.
Many in Hollywood, however, have still largely forgotten how to make a truly uplifting film. It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) made you feel that one man’s life, dedicated to his family and his fellow man, can make a difference. George Bailey gave up his own dreams of seeing the world to help his dad stay in business, his brother go to college and the people of his town buy homes of their own. When was the last time you left a theater inspired to make more out of your life?
If many leaders in Hollywood still refuse to produce inspirational movies, people outside of Hollywood will. “Facing the Giants” is what Hollywood refers to as a micro-budget film. In a matter of weeks, it has earned back its production budget many times over. While it is not an astounding blockbuster like “The Passion,” it stands to do well on DVD and encourage others outside of Hollywood to make similar films. The movie shows a strong love-filled marriage battered by problems with finances, problems having children and the possibility of the husband loosing his job. It inspires viewers by showing the strength of the marriage, even in the darkest hour, and what it takes to overcome problems.
Hollywood can have a positive impact on reducing poverty in America, and the world, but it will take courage on the part of executives who daily get requests to greenlight movies promoting immorality.
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MOVIEGUIDE? is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today’s movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out.
David Outten and Tom Snyder are managing editor and editor, respectively, of “MOVIEGUIDE?: The Family Guide to Movies & Entertainment.”