Roman RRated Entertainment
Television: Psalms 101:3 "I will set no worthless
thing before my eyes"
Carefully sensor what television you and your children
Did early Christians have
TELEVISION too? Sure sounds like it!
Immorality, Sex and violence!
- 260-330 AD Lactantius "I am inclined to think that the
corrupting influence of the stage is even worse [than that of
the arena]. The subjects of comedies are the deflowering of virgins
or the loves of prostitutes.... Similarly, the tragedies parade
before the eyes [of the audience] the murder of parents and acts
of incest committed by wicked kings.... Is the art of the mimes
any better? They teach adultery by acting it out. How do we expect
our young people to respond when they see that these things are
practiced without shame and that everyone eagerly watches."
(Lactantius Institutes bk. 6, chap. 20, paraphrased)
- 140-230 AD Tertullian "The father who carefully protects
and guards his virgin daughter's ears from every polluting word
takes her to the theater himself, exposing her to all its vile
language and attitudes." He asked rhetorically, "How
can it be right to look at the things that are wrong to do? How
can those things which defile a man when they go out of his mouth
not defile him when going in through his eyes and ears?"
(Matt. 15: 1720). (Tertullian The Shows chaps. 21, 17)
- 260-330 AD Lactantius "He who finds it pleasurable to
watch a man being killed, even though the man has been legally
condemned, pollutes his conscience just as much as though he were
an accomplice or willing spectator of a murder committed in secret.
Yet they call these 'sports'-where human blood is shed! ... When
they see men placed under the stroke of death. begging for mercy,
can they be righteous when they not only permit the men to be
killed, but demand it? They cast their cruel and inhuman votes
for death, not being satisfied by the mere flowing of blood or
the presence of gashing wounds. In fact, they order the [gladiators]
-although wounded and lying on the ground-to be attacked again
and their corpses to be pummeled with blows, to make certain they
are not merely feigning death. The crowds are even angry with
the gladiators if one of the two isn't slain quickly. As though
they thirsted for human blood, they hate delays.... By steeping
themselves in this practice, they have lost their humanity....
Therefore, it is not fitting that we who strive to stay on the
path of righteousness should share in this public homicide. When
God forbids us to kill, he not only prohibits the violence that
is condemned by public laws, but he also forbids the violence
that is deemed lawful by men. (Lactantius Institutes bk. 6, chap.
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