We are all at different levels of spiritual progression in our lives. We all have areas we need to improve on. Some linger in the halls during Sunday School, others never do home/visit teaching, while even others haven't been back to the temple since they got their recommend. My area of improvement is R Rated movies.
Please let me say that all of the above are things that can impede our Spiritual Progression. I try not to rationalize my choice, only to say that is the choice I have made. One day I hope to be as good as my wife who abstains from R-Rated movies and even some PG-13 ones! But today is not that day.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to confess that I watch R Rated movies on my public blog. There are many religious hobbyist that feel R-Rated movies are a one way ticket to Outer Darkness. I also didn't want others to feel I encourage the practice. I want to go on the record as saying if you have made the commitment to avoid these movies hold on to that! I don't want anyone to misrepresent me to say watching R-Rated movies are okay.
But for those of you like me, who haven't reached that level, I hope I can help you avoid the pitfalls of some of the worst that cinema has to offer. In a sort of superficial rationalization, I try to be very cautious of the movie I choose. I steer clear of any hyper sexualized movies like Black Swan, The Reader, or Shame; no matter how "artistic" it may be.
During Conference of 1986 Ezra Taft Benson gave the following council to the young men,"We counsel you, young men, not to pollute your minds with such degrading matter, for the mind through which this filth passes is never the same afterwards. Don't see R-rated movies or vulgar videos or participate in any entertainment that is immoral, suggestive, or pornographic. Don't listen to music that is degrading"
Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game) wrote an article around the release of "The Passion of The Christ" quoted President Benson's talk. He says, "The mention of R-rated movies is clearly linked to a specific goal -- keeping one's mind free of entertainment that is 'immoral, suggestive, or pornographic.' The purpose of the Prophet's wise counsel is to keep us from entertainment that will excite sexual lust in an inappropriate context."
My big pitfall is historical war movies like The Patriot or Saving Private Ryan. And maybe the occasional irreverent comedy.
So, please don't judge me. I will make sure to always include the rating of the movie I review so you can steer clear of those reviews if you so choose.