Go Into the Woods to Destroy America, According to World Net Daily

Posted: January 5, 2015 in religion
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I thought a lighter piece of news might be in order for this post, after ranting in the last few about Christian Privilege and related issues. This is also a recent one, posted only yesterday, by WND’s Drew Zahn: “Disney Musical Teaches One of Today’s Biggest Lies.”

This also lets me write about something that WND does that I haven’t discussed before: movie reviews. They tend to review popular or Christian-related movies to let their audience know if it’s worth seeing. From an ultra-conservative Christian viewpoint.

And if you haven’t figured it out by the title of the post, this is about the musical-turned-movie, “Into the Woods” (which happens to be originally by openly homosexual songwriter Stephen Sondheim — something that seems strangely absent from this article/review).

Drew spent most of his article explaining his title, why the overall theme of the movie “teaches one of today’s biggest lies.” Apparently, that lie is moral relativism:

The key message that resonates at the film’s climax is a comfort and encouragement, telling the film’s children (and those in the audience), “You are not alone. Someone is on your side” – it’s a message targeted right at the hurts and wounds of a generation too often growing up without parents or even a single parent in the home.

And while I’ll give the film kudos for speaking to today’s culture, it makes the grievous error of offering audiences today’s culture’s answers, which are thoroughly postmodern and completely bankrupt.

The common hallmark of postmodernism being relativism, particularly in the area of ethics, my generation and those after have a tendency to toss away the social institutions and morals of their forbears (same-sex “marriage” being an obvious example) in favor of determining truth on their own, experientially, and thus completely relativistic.

Postmoderns insist, “What’s right and wrong for you isn’t necessarily what’s right and wrong for me.”

This stands in complete contrast to the Word of God, the character of God and even what wiser generations called “common” sense. It’s harmful, sophomoric and incredibly narcissistic.

I’m reminded of the passages of Scripture that proclaim the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the fool is wise in his own eyes and there is a way that seems right to a man, but it leads to death.

And yet, this relativistic garbage is the moral lesson of “Into the Woods.”
At the film’s resolution, the characters sing, “Wrong things, right things, who can say what is true? … Witches can be good; giants can be nice. … You decide what’s right; you decide what’s good.”

You decide what’s right and good? That’s postmodernism’s greatest lie.

I found it interesting that he would harp on this as being a postmodern idea, or that it’s meant to speak to this generation. The musical itself is several decades old, having debuted in 1986. Personally (and why I chose to write about this), it is my favorite musical. I grew up with Bernadette Peters as The Witch, and I have mixed feelings about the new adaptation, though I’m willing to give it a go.

The music is wonderful, the different fairy tales are woven together very well, and I got something different out of it as I personally grew up, from the fantasy stories and the idea that actions have consequences when I was younger; to, as a teenager, dealing with parents not always knowing what’s “right” and the idea that even in the face of adverse consequences, you can still sometimes turn them around (e.g., Jack’s mother singing in the first act, “slotted spoons don’t hold much soup” to, at the end of the musical, “slotted spoons can catch the potato”); to more adult themes when I was older, such as the heavy sexual innuendo between The Wolf and Red Riding Hood, the adultery between the Prince and Baker’s Wife, and – as Drew points out – the idea that we’re all somewhat making things up as we go along, that no one really does have a monopoly on “right” and “wrong,” we all just try to do right by ourselves, our family, and our larger social groups.

But, therein lies Drew’s problem, and it’s one that is antithetical to most organized religions: The religion must tell you what is “right” and “wrong,” for without constantly learning it from Those In Charge in the religion, you cannot be controlled. In other words, without the threat of an absolute judge, and an absolute moral code, and my religion is the only one that has it Correct, then religions would lose many of their followers. Not only that, but it’s only “us,” the Select Few, who are able to interpret those Absolute Words to tell you, the masses, what you have to do.

“Into the Woods” has as one of its primary messages that morals do change, and not everything you’ve been told is necessarily correct (e.g., the “Witches can be right / giants can be good” lines have the inherent assumption that most people assume witches are wrong and giants are bad, yet the characters have learned that the opposite can be true). As I said, this is antithetical to most dogmatic religions.

So, I can understand Drew’s issue from that standpoint, and I think him having that as his major issue, and warning parents, shows an inherent fear of what could happen if their children are exposed to it:

“Into the Woods” is creative, has some beautiful sets and few very well done musical numbers. Despite its inconsistencies, it’s reasonably entertaining. But it’s not a story I recommend telling, because, well … “children will listen.”

To end this post, I’ll include some of the “Content advisory” that accompanies all of these movie reviews, which I find fairly humorous:

“Into the Woods,” rated PG, contains three profanities and no obscenities.

The movie has some kissing and cleavage, but there are two scenes in particular that carry tones of sexuality – one where the wolf is leering over Little Red Riding Hood, and while he’s lusting after her as a meal, there are some sexual-predator undertones; and another where Prince Charming seduces the baker’s wife into a prolonged kissing scene that clearly themes adultery, even if there is no nudity or sex depicted.

The movie includes several allusions to violence – including the wicked stepmother cutting off the wicked stepsisters’ toes, the fall of the giant to his death, a woman falling off a cliff, women blinded by birds, a man thrown into a thicket of thorns and the killing of the big, bad wolf – but most aren’t actually seen on screen. There are, however, three instances where Jack’s mother slaps him in the head and some minor cuts and bruises.

The film’s fantasy storyline centers on a witch who performs magic on several occasions, gathers the ingredients for a magic potion and works to break a curse. She also raises a dead creature back to life. The occult content, however, is kept to a minimum, considering, through there is a scene where the witch can be heard murmuring an incantation. There is no significant religious content.

I find it humorous because I’m imagining this up-tight religious guy with a clipboard sitting in every movie, and literally putting down check marks and tick marks next to every instance of everything he notes above. Which just makes me laugh, wryly, and quietly to myself as I shake my head.


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