A Ban Achieves Little

The attempt by various religions to deter their congregations from viewing movies has usually been a failure. When clerics have spoken from their pulpits criticizing movies, the primary consequence has been increased attendance at those movies. The attempt to ban some title merely succeeds in calling attention to something that might have been ignored. A movie like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” gets a huge amount of media attention. Any attempt by a religion to take a stand on it only gives it more attention. It is appropriate for any religion to oppose anything immoral, because of gratuitous violence or any other unethical display. I see nothing wrong with a church taking a stand of endorsement for high quality media, or of critique for less edifying movies. The value of the stand lies in the cogency of the moral critique, but the effect on potential moviegoers is probably negligible.

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