Editor’s note: Chuck Norris’ weekly political column debuts each Monday in WND and is then syndicated by Creators News Service for publication elsewhere. His column in WND often runs hundreds of words longer than the subsequent release to other media.
I don’t have to explain to anyone how many television programs have turned much more risqué and even downright lewd over the decades. But I want to tell you about something that can change the course of values in television and movies.
Once upon a time, about as edgy as it got was Barbara Eden’s “I Dream of Jeannie” character showing her trimmed tummy and Elvis swinging his pelvis on “The Ed Sullivan Show” – though the broadcast screen only captured the upper half of his body as he did.
Today, of course, we’ve got everything from Miley Cyrus twerking in prime-time music award shows to explicit sexual scenes and over-the-top dialogues in even so-called “family programs” broadcast when kids are still up and surfing channels.
While television programming continues to push the edges of licentiousness further every new fall season, many people – including parents – across the nation are still looking for refuges of decency when it comes to entertainment – and that includes at theaters, too.
Actually, there is a man who has been in show business for more than 40 years, fighting to hold a line on decency, respect and moral boundaries in movies and on television. His name is Dr. Ted Baehr. Ted and his wife, Lili, are dear friends of my wife, Gena, and me.
Ted is the founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE: The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment and Chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, as well as a noted critic, educator, lecturer and media pundit.
I would encourage parents to check out Dr. Baehr’s MOVIEGUIDE to see what movies currently in the theaters and on DVD are appropriate for your children. And I also highly recommend Ted’s latest bestseller, “How to Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul).”
Ted’s website explains that his life’s purpose is to be used of God to redeem the values of the media while educating audiences on how to use discernment in selecting their entertainment.
I’m proud to be a member of the Board of Reference for this dynamic organization, MOVIEGUIDE. It has a very long track record of making a difference in Hollywood.
As noted on Movieguide’s website:
Everyone agrees that media has an immense influence on the way we think, act and even believe, and that is especially true of our children. Yet, much of what is produced and praised in Hollywood attacks our core values of faith, family and freedom. But we can make a difference! The battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation has never been more important than now and that battle is taking place at movie theaters and on your TV.
How can we ensure that our young people are being influenced positively through media? The answer is simple as WATCH, COMMENT, PRAY & INVITE and FIGHT:
WATCH: On March 1 at 2 p.m. EST (12 p.m. CST and 11a.m. PST), the 22nd Annual Movieguide Faith and Values Awards air on the Reelz Channel. (Find out where to watch on your cable or satellite system here.)
This year’s star-studded gala is hosted by actor-comedian Bill Engvall, with appearances by – among others – “Duck Dynasty” stars Korie and Willie Robertson, “The Bible’s” Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and emotional performances by Billy Ray Cyrus and Joni Eareckson Tada, who exclusively performs for us the Oscar-nominated, “Alone Yet Not Alone.”
(Speaking of faith and family values, I’d like to congratulate Roma Downey and Mark Burnett on their great movie rendition of the person and life of Jesus, “Son of God,” due out in theaters and other venues this Friday, Feb. 28. It’s certainly going to be a powerful and inspiring way to enter into the Easter season.)
COMMENT: Go to ReelzChannel’s Facebook page and state that you support Movieguide’s mission and will watch on March 1.
PRAY & INVITE: Keep the telecast in your prayers, share the information through your social media accounts and perhaps invite someone over to watch along with you. Here’s a link to sample emails, Twitter posts and Facebook posts – among other resources – you can send to your friends to invite them to watch the broadcast, just as I have used throughout my column here.
And I would add, FIGHT: Continue to fight for change. Renew your war on ratings: Change the channel and help change the culture. And stand up for MovieGuide’s mission and outreach.
By doing the above five actions, you and your family are not only making a statement for decency but standing up for future generations. Help us on Movieguide’s Board of Reference to remind Hollywood that America consists of families who want inspiring and edifying wholesome entertainment.
As Ted wrote me a few weeks ago, “Help us to take on the Goliath and win the culture for the future of your children and grandchildren. Fight the culture war for your family by watching the battle of the century this Saturday: Oscar vs. Teddy! This is a fun but serious battle between: Oscar (the symbol of movie awards) and Teddy (the symbol of the Movieguide awards).
On March 1, let’s rally across the nation and pay gratitude to those in the movie and television industries who have given us inspirational entertainment, and let’s encourage them to continue their fight for the sake of our children and future generations by watching – and encouraging others to watch – the 22nd Annual Movieguide Awards.
We all can still change Hollywood and our country one channel and one theater ticket at a time!
The Christian Film & Television Commission
1151 Avenido Acaso
Camarillo, CA 93012