When American Catholics began the National League of Decency in 1933, you had to recite the following pledge to become a member:

I wish to join the Legion of Decency, which condemns vile and unwholesome moving pictures. I unite with all who protest against them as a grave menace to youth, to home life, to country and to religion. I condemn absolutely those salacious motion pictures which, with other degrading agencies, are corrupting public morals and promoting a sex mania in our land. ... Considering these evils, I hereby promise to remain away from all motion pictures except those which do not offend decency and Christian morality.

For decades, the league used the threat of its "Condemned" rating to pressure filmmakers to clean up their movies, quitting in 1980 with the condemnations of American Gigolo, Dressed to Kill, Friday the 13th, Little Darlings and Used Cars. By that point, they must have seen the writing on the wall. I was Catholic and 13 that year -- exactly the kind of menaced youth they were trying to protect -- and I saw four of those films the second they made it to cable.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

"-- and I saw four of those films the second they made it to cable.
"

... And, you'll describe their redeeming social value, won't you?

Most of the enlightened leadership of ancient civilizations; e.g., Greece and Rome; along with their philosophers, economic experts (rich businessmen) and victorious military commanders agreed that disciplined morals and adherence to the law were essential to a successful nation; notwithstanding those who have echoed those conclusions from a religious standpoint throughout history.

Ironically, it was the contentions of some of those philosophies, and which argued in denying the mystical, the gods, and religion in general, that weakened the social discipline they otherwise favored as being necessary for a successful state.

When it comes to humanity, and the lessons of history, nothing ever changes -- 'we' are doomed to repeat the same 'philosophical' mistakes, and which have been made over-and-over again; especially by those who attempt to influence others philosophically, or by mockery, in denying any efficacy to teaching and practicing moral discipline.

The "writing on the wall" existed in Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and every evolving civilization since those examples declined. The United States has been successful because of that same discipline, and which is learned morally and socially in the church and home. Those lessons can be applied to all aspects of making a nation successful, and by being a team of those who all hold the same morals and laws in common.

Of course, any such cooperation represents 'conservatism' and an almost slavish adherence to the rule of law. That seems to be something that self-interest cannot abide, and therefor concerted efforts are made to deny the validity of the messenger (religion) and the promotion of an evolutionary 'progressiveness' into 'liberality' (homosexuality, pedophilia, orgy, abortion, euthanasia of old and infirm, mockery of the law and morals, ad nauseam ...)

If killing the messenger was a valid argument, then journalism would already be an extinct art ...


 

Lemme get this straight. The Catholic Church which, in it's past, used to torture people to death fer believing that Jesus didn't own the ass he rode into town on Palm Sunday, which was a tacit ally of Hitler during WWII, was rife with Child sex scandals and has a homophobic, sexist and non-ecumenical bent to it had the balls to try and tell other folks what is and is not decent? That's a laugh and a half right there. At the end of the day all religions are about control. By 1933 the US was already on it's way to becoming a more secular state and that control was slipping and this was a lame assed last ditch effort to try and regain some of it's former power.

After viewing the list I gotta admit their hatred of all things Clint Eastwood was the biggest suprise.

1956: And God Created Woman.

Luff this film. Vadim was a genius.

1961: Jules and Jim.

S'rsly? It's a piece of art is that.

1964: From Russia With Love

Dumb, Just dumb to diss Bond, James Bond.

1966: Torn Curtain

Julie Andrews is a problem?

1967: A Fistful of Dollars

Clint?

1968: Rosemary's Baby

Okay, a chick gets raped by the Devil. Makes a little sense anyway.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Did Clint piss off the Pope while filming his spagetti westerns?

1969: I Am Curious (Yellow)

But not I Am Curious (Blue)? Okay, that's weird but admittedly it was a little too risque fer American audiences.

1971: A Clockwork Orange

Great book. Kubrik kinda missed the point to it though. The rape scenes and the fast motion menage a trois musta freaked them out.

The Last Picture Show

A skinny dipping scene? Grow the fark up!

Billy Jack

Again with the rape scene. Thought it was tastefully done actually.

1973: Last Tango in Paris

Get the Butter! Anal sex, not simulated? They had a point there.

The Wicker Man

Pagans triumphs over Christianity? The Innkeepers daughter? Nuff sed.

High Plains Drifter

Did Clint rape a nun while in Italy? Something bad musta happened.

1976: The Outlaw Josey Wales

Okay, a group of nuns.

Carrie

Dirty pillows.

The Omen

C'mon, Damien was CUTE!

1978: Grease

Was this before or after Travolta became a Scientologist?

Dawn of the Dead

Zombie Jesus jokes musta set them off here.

1979: All That Jazz

Roy Scheider rawked in this one. May he RIP.

1980: American Gigolo

A sidewise shot at the Dalai Lama or just more inanity?

Where the Hell is Midnight Cowboy?

Now I will not rest until I've seen every last movie on this list.

God Bless the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Be Well.


 

Always used to get these guys mixed up with the Legion of Doom.

Always a bit awkward when that happens.

Be Well.


 

"Lemme get this straight."

Yeah, in a potatoe's eye ...

"The Catholic Church which, in it's past, used to torture people to death fer believing that Jesus didn't own the ass he rode into town on Palm Sunday ..."

Your examples represent a moral evolution of the church into its present 'liberal' stance. You mock the remnants of the church's efforts at maintaining moral discipline. This entire thread and your response is the effort to defeat moral conservatism with liberality ...

I generalize in promoting strong moral discipline and others get-off by specifically mocking the institutions which hope to foster strong moral discipline. Thanks to you for making my point ...


 

Taddles the Addlepated: Your examples represent a moral evolution of the church into its present 'liberal' stance. You mock the remnants of the church's efforts at maintaining moral discipline. This entire thread and your response is the effort to defeat moral conservatism with liberality ...

'liberal' stance? Clue to Tad the Mad: The 'Modern' Catholic Church still resides in teh 18th Century and epoP EggZ Benny XVI is trying to drag it back to at least the 16th Century. He recently restored an old exorcism prayer that had lain dormant for over 400 years. Polish priest are now setting up an exorcism center due to that nod. He also recently restored a prayer calling for the conversion of the JooZ.

Far from making "efforts at maintaining moral discipline" the hidebound, moribund Catholic Church is really a regressive force in terms of promoting true morality. It holds humanity back in terms of moral evolution. Sorry yer too dim to figure this out.

/Not really sorry. Just saying.


 

Dethspud wonders, "'liberal' stance? ... The 'Modern' Catholic Church still resides in teh 18th Century and epoP EggZ Benny XVI is trying to drag it back to at least the 16th Century."

I don't know why you insist on ad hominem? You know it embarrasses Rogers, who defends those so attacked by rightwing correspondence by removing the offending posts, but must pretend to ignore it when used in attack by one of his ideology. That's quite an imposition on your host, isn't it?

"He [the Pope] recently restored an old exorcism prayer that had lain dormant for over 400 years. Polish priest are now setting up an exorcism center due to that nod. He also recently restored a prayer calling for the conversion of the JooZ."

It is fantastic of you to find support for my contention that the church is liberal, now! They hope to return to some conservative ceremony of the past, which might help those who can't face their personal responsibilities in whatever sinning they consider themselves possessed by. If their faith saves them from further harm to themselves, in whatever regard, then more conservatism might be an answer to reinforcing moral belief and practice. Meanwhile, those who selfishly want to sin, in whatever regard, will mock anyone who won't join them or speaks out against their doubtful behavior/actions.

"Far from making "efforts at maintaining moral discipline" the hidebound, moribund Catholic Church is really a regressive force in terms of promoting true morality. It holds humanity back in terms of moral evolution. Sorry yer too dim to figure this out."

More reasoning in support of the contention that the church is liberal now! To quote you: " ... [It] is really a regressive force in terms of promoting true morality." Can you see ... or must I explain it to you? You've indicated that by referencing the Inquisition (conservative, then, but moderate/liberal towards blasphemy, now) among those you've listed, here. Really pretty clownish, but expected of Canadians ...

BTW, I'd enjoy seeing what you define as "true morality" ...!

"/Not really sorry. Just saying."

I'm actually sorry that you are so inept and contradict yourself so often, like this. I'll never find a Leftist and, or Democratic that can reason *any* argument.


 

@ "... And, you'll describe their redeeming social value, won't you?"

"Decency and Christian morality" are subjective values, and the application of moral principles to the production of films or other creative works doesn't necessarily mean that "redeeming social value" (whatever that is) will be found in them, or that the lack of such application will leave them bereft of this 'value'.

I think more damage is done to the social fabric by depicting Jesus' parents as fair-skinned, blue-eyed blonds in a Christian-produced film, for example, than by casting Mae West as a wisecracking sexpot who asks, "Why don't you come up sometime 'n see me?"

Perhaps Workbench's own verbose antagonistic moralizer should heed her call, and pay her a visit. Her ministrations would do him a world of good.


 

"'Decency and Christian morality' are subjective values ..."

Decency is almost universally agreed upon. It is indecency which has a bit more disagreement between and among human societies; although there to there is much more agreement than disagreement.

"... and the application of moral principles to the production of films or other creative works doesn't necessarily mean that 'redeeming social value' (whatever that is) will be found in them, or that the lack of such application will leave them bereft of this value."

Neither did I say they did, would or could. My comment was rhetorical and meant as a double entendre.

"I think more damage is done to the social fabric by depicting Jesus' parents as fair-skinned, blue-eyed blonds in a Christian-produced film, for example, than by casting Mae West as a wisecracking sexpot who asks, 'Why don't you come up sometime 'n see me?'"

Here, above, is a good example of the quibble which composes much of the 'disagreement' about indencency -- much of it is invented out of spite!

"Perhaps Workbench's own verbose antagonistic moralizer should heed her call, and pay her a visit. Her ministrations would do him a world of good."

In this instance, those who seemingly support decency with examples, promote paying for sexual intercourse/prostitution ...

That's real progress for your efforts, here at the Workbench ...


 

Tadowe doesn't even sign his name to his brave retort.

I take that as a fair reflection of its worth as commentary.


 

"Tadowe doesn't even sign his name to his brave retort. I take that as a fair reflection of its worth as commentary."

I'm thrilled, as always, in having these issues redirected into yet another personal attack. You certainly fail in any sort of reasonable rebuttal, however often you sign your commentary, ad hominem.


 

You are following continual.Thanks for knowledges besides I m learning a new.Thank you.


 

""The Catholic Church which, in it's past, used to torture people to death fer believing that Jesus didn't own the ass he rode into town on Palm Sunday ..."

Your examples represent a moral evolution of the church into its present 'liberal' stance. You mock the remnants of the church's efforts at maintaining moral discipline. This entire thread and your response is the effort to defeat moral conservatism with liberality ..."

I agree.
Picture frames


 

Thanks for the history, i never knew the catholic church did that.


 

Interesting background information, thanks!

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