Hollywood Lied. People Died.

Father Daniel Lord, SJ, drafted the code that managed Hollywood morals for decades

Somewhere out in the realm of art, there is a line.

Where it is, how it should be treated, and what it applies to are hotly debated subjects.

This line divides authentic art from escapism.

What is authentic art?

Human beings are beset by two sets of desires.  Human beings have the shallow desire to give in to their baser passions — Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Laziness, Anger, Envy,  and Pride.  These desires call us to make our god some lesser aspect of creation, reject discipline, ignore the pursuit of truth, and hide from the one, true God.  But human beings have a deeper set of desires.  We desire Greatness, Holiness, and Excellence.  Humans desire to build habits of Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility.  We desire to be all that God created us to be and unite with Him at the end of the journey.

The drama from great art arises from the tension between these two desires.  The tension runs largely in between people, creating villains and heroes.  But it also runs right down the middle of every human heart.  Some of the greatest writers to address these high matters in the English language are William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

What then is escapism?

Escapism rewrites the rules of reality to de-emphasize the true drama of human life.  People might, for example, pursue “coolness” rather than Excellence.  The cool people are often deeply flawed people who habitually give in to baser temptations.  However, their “coolness” nevertheless acts as a substitute for authentic virtue, carrying these people to sympathy in the minds of their audience and also delivering them success in their endeavors.  Oftentimes, the “cool girls” are successful, stunning-looking specimens who flit in and out of sexual relationships without an emotional scar or a single case of conception.  The “cool guys” often dashingly break the law, administer vigilante justice, and personally bring to a bloody end hundreds of their enemies without suffering so much as a stubbed toe.  Modern escapism promotes “coolness” as an alternative to Virtue and Greatness.

Why is that escapism?  Can’t reality work that way?

Escapism soothes a struggling conscience.  The heroes are not real heroes.  The only difference between us and them is that when they do something sinful and wrong, they get away with it and typically benefit from it.  In Pretty Woman, a story is told of a young 20-something hooker (played by Julia Roberts) who sleeps with a rich guy and ends up happily married to him in an explosion of romance.  Sadly, the reality is not so rosy.  Hookers are typically under the dominion of a tyrannical pimp.  And the average life expectancy of such a person is 21 years old.  That’s right.  Dead by 21.  The idea that either a selfish, lustful rich man or a hooker have the virtues necessary for marriage is also a fable.  In Boondock Saints, prosecutors of vigilante justice make bloody piles of their enemies.  There are oceans of men in the federal penitentiary that operate under the delusion that they attempted some sort of glorious vigilante justice.  James Bond sails through life with minimal virtue and rarely a scratch surrounded by large-breasted women who he whips through without any true emotional damages or conceptions.

That is not art.  That is escapism.  And that is what Hollywood largely peddles these days.

One of the cleverest deceptions of the cultural Left has been the promotion of “coolness” as a substitute for Greatness.  Virgins or people who believe in Chastity are portrayed as clueless losers who can’t score a one-night stand.  The sad truth is that those people who develop habits of one-night stands are going to end up struggling with child support payments, sexually transmitted diseases, single motherhood, or abortion weighing on their lives and hearts.  It is those who develop habits of Excellence that go on to accomplish great things personally and professionally.

Hollywood still bitterly complains about the Legion of Decency and the Production Code written by Father Daniel Lord, SJ, and enforced by the Motion Picture Association of America (the industry trade association) which censored Hollywood from 1934 to 1968:

  1. No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it.  Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, or sin.
  2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
  3. Law, human and Natural, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.

This, Hollywood elites claimed, stifled their inner creativity by subjecting them to the misguided morals of the oft-boycotting Catholic populace.  Sadly, since MPAA has ceased censorship and gone to the ratings system in 1968, Hollywood has embarassed itself by producing primarily escapist garbage that promotes destructive habits as a positive good.  They then flatter each other at the Academy Awards about each other’s “art.”

It seems that having the morals of the American populace was the exact ingredient that Hollywood needed to succeed in producing the movies of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

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[Warning: Graphic!] The AIDs Agenda of Planned Parenthood

The International Planned Parenthood Federation-produced advertisement  pasted below (made for Great Britain) has disturbing and somewhat graphic images.

It shows with limited visual discretion a number of various sexual encounters that include fetishes that result in bloodiness being incorporated into the sexual act, including sodomy.  The implication is that these people are spreading the HIV disease amongst each other.  One partner is knowingly spreading HIV to an unknowing partner.

The haggard-looking people in the video seem miserable but the International Planned Parenthood Federation is trying to make them seem sympathetic.  That is because, amazingly, the Criminalize Hate Not HIV campaign is based on the idea that people who intentionally spread HIV & AIDs without telling their consensual partner should be granted legal immunity from prosecution.  IPPF is seeking to pass a statute that criminalizes “hate” or judging people’s morals in an allegedly bigoted way.  And it seeks to come to the rescue of individuals who are consciously spreading the HIV-AIDs virus.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation is based in London.

England has virtually no effective social conservative movement in the country.  This has several causes.  The official state Church — Anglicanism — served as the platform for the Left’s entrance into Christianity.  The very fact that the official Church is state-controlled leads to the Church adopting the Leftist beliefs of the government.  Additionally, a state-controlled Church decreases faith by creating unappealing Church-State collaboration.

There is no also separate Executive Branch (except, technically for the Queen).  The Executive Branch in the United States has to most thoroughly connect with the populace — campaigning, for example, for party nominations in such small states as Iowa and New Hampshire.  The Speaker of the House (in the United States) and the Prime Minister (in England), by contrast, win their seat by backroom deals, clout, and closed-door negotiation among elites.  The popular platform of the President tends to lend itself more to Populism while the elite deal-making tends to lend itself more to Elitism.  Elitist laws and an elitist Church have bred elitist culture that dominates England.

That is why it is interesting to see what Planned Parenthood keeps itself busy doing when is not reeling from the advance of the social conservative movement as it is in the US, where social conservative sentiment keeps the organization more cautious and defensive.

Why does this matter to citizens of the US?

It shows how radical Planned Parenthood would be if it got the chance.  Like most progressive organizations, it reveals its true intentions bit by bit.  In a country with as little political resistance as England, its ugly ideology is more laid bare.

Furthermore, the United States spends boatloads of its foreign aid on the International Planned Parenthood Federation — around $100 million from 2002 – 2009.  And much more than that has been spent domestically on the Planned Parenthood Federation of America — about $ 2 billion in the same time period.

The United States is spending billions attempting to stop the spread of HIV through George W. Bush’s PEPFAR program.

It is disturbing to know that we are also funding an organization so committed to an ideology that will self-evidently expiate the spread of the virus.

Their commitment to sex without boundaries or babies is leaving no frontier unexplored.

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Delving into the New York Times Bewilderment on Vatican II

The New York Times has some serious rethinking to do on Vatican II

When someone justifies something by invoking “in the spirit of Vatican II,” orthodox Catholics tend to wince.  The phrase was ubiquitous in the ’70s and ’80s.

It could be associated with something as minor as deviations from the Liturgy or something as major as the ordination of female priests in violation of eternal Catholic doctrine.  Generally speaking, the phrase resulted from the kind of simplistic one-dimensional (but influential) thinking that dominates journalism in the US.  Allegedly, someone is either moderate, liberal, conservative, or “far-right,” a pejorative reserved for the majority of Americans who hold some social conservative beliefs.

No nuance.  Ideology can be found on a one-dimensional line.

There is no question that Vatican II was pastorally Populist.  It emphasized the critical importance of the renewal of a zealous and authentic Catholicism as practiced by the laity.  It restructured the Church to make it more pastorally suited to operate in a Populist world — emphasizing religious liberty, ecumenism, and collegiality.  Because a Populist State professes ignorance on advanced theological matters, the Church was in essence pastorally forswearing the temporal power that came with Christendom, where the State looked to the Church to define the boundaries of Revealed Law and Natural Law under which the State could operate.  The ability to define such boundaries of the State clearly comes with temporal power.  At the same time, collegiality and ecumenism armed the Church with the tools necessary to build as wide as possible a consensus on the truths of Natural Law.

How does this look to the New York Times Editorial Board?  (As the most influential and agenda-setting publication for the entire media industry, I will use them as a proxy).

Let’s imagine we were to operate under the assumption that ideology was a one-dimensional continuum between liberal and “far-right” as Progressives on the NYT Editorial Board simply love to assume.  The Church forswearing its temporal authority looks “liberal.”  The Catholic Church is seemingly taking steps to go from a “far right” theocracy (we are trying to be NYT-level simplistic here) towards something else.  Therefore, the Church must be taking steps to become more Leftist.  Accordingly, women priests, moderate proclamations on contraception must be merely a matter of time.  Sadly, this view did not confine itself to the NYT or even the media.

Catholics began to think so too.  Hence, various Leftist agenda items began to be classified as “the Spirit of Vatican II.”  In other words, operating under the assumption of the progressives (history progressing Leftwards), these Catholics were presciently being obedient to the upcoming Leftist Vatican III (but more safely referred to as the “Spirit of Vatican II”).  This is the essence of the Modernist heresy.  Truths of the faith change in accordance with the age and the Catholic Church had better catch up with the times!

Most of the proponents of the “Spirit of Vatican II” have, of course, never read the Council documents, which boldly proclaim the eternal truths of the Faith.

Ironically, the Populist Catholicism that is emerging is creating a vibrant ecumenical, pro-religious liberty, collegial Church has launched an unprecedentedly pro-life movement.  60% of Americans now believe abortion should be illegal except in the cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother.  86% oppose the abortion-on-demand of Roe v. Wade.  The majority of teenagers are breaking new barriers in a statistical Chastity Revolution.

After a longstanding post-Vatican II decline, there is a Diocesan Seminarian Boom in the United States. The Catholic Diocesan Seminarians situation hit rock bottom in the 2004-2005 academic year after the sex-abuse scandal broke. We are now in an explosive V-shaped recovery with more Diocesan Seminarians than we have had since 1984 – 1985.

Populism entails a belief in democracy.

However, it rejects the idea that Natural Law can be put to the vote.  The vibrant lay-driven Catholicism emerging out of Vatican II has strengthened Populism.

The battle is far from over but the Left is reeling.

The one-dimensional Progressive thinkers of the New York Times Editorial Board must be bewildered.  The Church liberalized, didn’t it?


The Church Populized.  And there is a very, very big difference.

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