Worthless TV

In response to the recent HBO film Big Love, the Church issued a statement that said, in part, the following:

Big Love, like so much other television programming, is essentially lazy and indulgent entertainment that does nothing for our society and will never nourish great minds. Parents who are casual about their viewing habits ought not to be surprised if teaching moral choices and civic values to their children becomes harder as a result.

Should we avoid worthless television programming?

Rated R

I once had a discussion with someone a couple of years ago about the movie The Breakfast Club. This individual stated that the film was rated R and I did not believe it. I could have sworn it was rated lower. So I did a bit of sleuthing and I discovered something interesting. This individual was correct: it was rated R. The thing is though that the R rating was a US rating; in Canada, it was rated PG-13.

This brought up an interesting conversation: when the Brethren state that we should not watch R-rated films, are they referring to US ratings, or are they referring to the ratings of the films where one lives? Should I have based my decision to watch The Breakfast Club on the US system (where the general authorities live), or should I have based it on my local rating system?

Perhaps this is something the brethren recognised, and that is why we rarely hear this specific counsel anymore.

Which actually brings up something else. What about films that were originally R-rated, but have been edited to remove objectionable content? While it may be true that one would be following the letter of the law in not watching an R-rated film per se, it is also true that at some point the R-rated film had to be purchased. In one sense, such an individual would still be supporting R-rated movies.