Of all the soulless enterprises I’ve ever come across in the online world one of the worst has to be the ‘Cap Movie Ministry’, a website which provide alternative film ratings for ‘Christian’ parents using its own ratings system which includes scores for ‘impudence/hate’ and ‘offense to god’ and even provides a handy list of scriptural reference to ‘counter’ the messages of particular films.
A perfect example of the sour-faced, tight-arsed attitudes to be found all over this site can be found in this review of Hayao Miyazaki’s materpiece ‘Spirited Away’ which it believes should have been rated a PG-13 under US ratings.
Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) is quite simply the finest conventionally animated children’s film since the early and far less sanitised Disney full length features such as the classic interpretation of Pinnochio which, even today, remain one of the darkest childen’s films ever made. It deservedly won an Oscar for best animated featured and, more remarkably, the Golden Bear award for Best Picture at the Berlin Film Festival.
It’s a magicial adventure, a fairy tale in the grandest of traditions and one that all the more fascinating and beautiful for its cultural setting and grounding in the spiritual traditions of Shinto, yet the reviewer, as is ever the case with fundamentalist Christians, simply chooses to interpret the spiritual grounding of the film as mere ‘witchcraft and sorcery’ – I pity the reviewer’s kids for having a parent of so little imagination and so clear a sense of cultural fascism not least when the reviewer maks such a point of highlighting – as so many other reviews on the site do – the appearent ‘evils’ of the film in showing a child who ‘talks back’ to adults and has a mind of her own rather than being an unthinking, unfeeling and pathologically obedient automaton. Read enough of these reviews and you get the feeling that the people behind this site would have preferred Pinnochio to stay an inanimate puppet than to become a real boy.
Perhaps the clearest possible sign of the utter stupidity of this site, however, is its review of Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ the one wholly religious, unremitting Christian movie the site reviews – I mean how much more Christian can you get than a movie about the man himself based directly on the Biblical texts. Yet even this film loses points on CAP’s rating scale for causing ‘offense to God’, despite the reviewer clearly being a fan – “This is the first time I’ve seen a story of the Truth told truthfully” says the reviewer as his opening gambit.
And the offense itself? The little matter of depicting “attempts of Satan to tempt and control our Lord and events that would impede Him”…
…errr, I know its been a while, but isn’t that ACTUALLY IN THE FUCKING BIBLE?
And that’s ultimately the point which this website misses entirely, that for all occasional bits of pondering on the nature of the universe and man’s spiritual relationship with his presumed creator, most the the Bible is concerned with with the fact that the Israelites spent and awful lot of time either fucking or fighting – and mostly fighting.
The whole business of the earth being a mere 6,000 years old is based firmly on one long passage detailing the genealogy of Christ – a “Who Begat Who” – while the rest of book tells happily of little incidents like Samson laying waste of a whole army with an asses jawbone or kids taking the piss out of a prophet – Elijah, IIRC – for being a bit of slaphead only for them to be savaged by a bear a bit later on. Hell, who needs ASBOs when you have that kind of justice system for dealing with young offenders.
Apply CAPS rating system to the Bible itself and you’ll almost certain come out with a zero score – the same, incidentally, as American Psycho – thereby proving conclusively that the damn book is just not suitable for kids.
So much for morality, eh?
I’ll leave the last word on this to the late, great Bill Hicks – I’m currently reading the new edition of ‘Love All The People’ and if, like me, you believe in a world where people think for themselves then buy it, read it, and enjoy, I can’t recommend it highly enough:
“I don’t care what you believe, but you’ve got to admit beliefs are odd. You know what I mean? You have to admit that. A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he eve wants to see a fucking cross? Kind of like going up to Jackie Onassis with a rifle pendant on, you know?”
Hat Tip to Bloggerheads for the reminder.