I feel today, after reading many posts about the series and books entitles Twilight. On both blogger and Xanga there is much discussion pro and con. It all brings back the controversy over the Golden Compass and Harry Potter. Along with these books and movies one can also bring up the controversy over such fads as Pokemon and to for the older kids Dungeons and Dragons (this dates back to my growing up years).
I have not read any of these books nor have I seen any of the movies beyond the first Harry Potter movie, which I thought was poorly acted and had a dismal plot line). My feeling is that it isn't necessary for parents to read a controversial series of books or a questionable movie to pronounce it something that they will not be taking their children to see.
I think there is something more basic and fundamental that can and should help us, as parents, decide whether something should be seen or read by our children or whether they should be a part of a particular "fad". My husband and I use the question, "Is this going to help our child/children get to heaven?" Sound over simplistic? Lets look deeper into what this all means and maybe you won't think that we are being overly childlike in our trust in God when it comes to choosing good reading and viewing material for our kids. Let me add a disclaimer that we have and do make mistakes, we are only human, but even then I think God helps us to "mop up" the mess afterward because our intentions are pure.
Our first premise is that every book and movie that comes out does not have to invade the "womb" of spiritual safety that we try daily to maintain in this household. Even if it is "good" full of virtue and lots of fun and maybe even has a moral that is worth presenting to our children doesn't make it, the book or movie, worthy of being allowed into our sanctuary. A home is a sanctuary that is meant to keep the world out not a "vacuum" that is meant to "suck" the world in.
Our second premise it that each child must be trained. Their conscience and free will need to be trained every day. This means often saying no to the things that one desires which may be okay to experience, for instance a certain book or movie. In that training we also stress that if something is "questionable" when it comes to faith and morals, whether it is fiction or not, it is a good thing to deny yourself. The phrase "everyone else is seeing it" or everyone else is reading it" or "so-and-so's parents let them read it or see it" don't get said around here. My pat answer, while my husband is smirking in the background, is "their parents aren't responsible for your salvation, I am. If they are willing to adopt you and take on the responsibility of raising you then you may indeed read that book or see that movie." They know better now not to say those things to me. The bottom line is, is it a want or a need?
Our third and final premise is that one doesn't need to see, read, experience everything out there that there is for the human to experience. Not only is it impossible but it is also sinful to make the attempt. We have a good better best scale when it comes to books and movies. Obviously we fail often in this area but not in the way that you think. Best is, of course, reading classics. Reading is invaluable to developing the person. In making the mind, heart and soul both well rounded and in conformity with the will of God. The greatest minds of the Catholic church never made a movie. Better is to see classic movies and movies that come from the classics that you have read. Never before but after. The older the version the better. I could go into pages and pages about the loss of truly good acting and that art form but this is neither the time or the place. Good is to see movies and read books that have been perused by the parents or someone who is trusted by them first and reviewed for the parents. Books and movies that have controversy attached to them before they even come out are suspect and needn't be seen for that reason. That is a fad that only feeds itself and thus should be put under the category of self denial if only for that reason.
We don't need to see and experience everything that comes along but we are made for heaven and every and all decisions should be made for that reason so that nothing that is sullied can be presented to God for entrance into heaven.