In our age, the words of this proverb are coming to life. We live in a society that is pure in their own eyes while attacking all biblical morals and values. And nowhere is this seen more than in the media. Bible in the News has often commented on the media bias and narrative war that is being fought against Israel and the Jewish people. And of course this same narrative war is being fought in the larger media industry as well. Much of our culture and political views are influenced by the media - whether that is through the news we digest, the books we read or the films that we may watch. In many ways, the media defines the conversation and have a huge impact on politics beliefs and personal morals. In many ways, this makes sense, since in a free society, you would expect different news outlets to have different opinions and points of view on any given subject. However, as society moves further and further away from any biblical values, then the media can become an incredibly potent weapon in shifting public opinion against biblical views that were once common in the western world.
The New Barbie Film
One example of this is the new Barbie film that came out last month. In the last few weeks, there has been much debate and conversation around some of the issues that are touched upon in the film, and even the conservatives seem to be split down the middle by it. However, the Barbie film is just another example of how western culture is not only loosing it’s biblical roots, but attacking previously understood norms. Even just a glance at the wikipedia page for the Barbie film demonstrates an insane political agenda: At the start of the film, Barbieland is a matriarchal society. Later in the plot, the characters learn about the Patriarchal system in the real world (Note here: the implicit, working assumption of the film is that the real world is dominated by oppressive men). Barbieland is then taken over and becomes a patriarchal society where “the Barbies are indoctrinated into submissive roles, such as agreeable girlfriends, housewives, and even maids.” However, by the end according to wikipedia, the patriarchy in Barbieland is overthrown and the barbies regain power. Having now experienced systemic oppression for themselves, the Barbies resolve to rectify the faults of their previous society, emphasising better treatment of the males in Barbieland. Finally, the two main characters, the barbie and the seemingly oppressed male figure go off to find their own autonomous identity. There is no reference a heteronormative relationship, marriage families or any happy ending in fact. Further to this, the amount of times the words “patriarchy” and “oppression” are used on the wikipedia page demonstrates the clear post-modern discussion that this film is hoping to stimulate.
A Male Actor plays a Barbie Doll!
A transgender actor Hari Nef, who plays a "Doctor Barbie" told Out Magazine that the film had an empowering message about being transgender."As much as there’s a celebration of femininity and being a girl in this [movie], I think there’s also an encouragement of letting go of the checklist we ascribe to living and living your life and being in your body your way, on your own terms," Nef said. Regardless of any reservations we may have about this kind of radical messaging, just the sheer self-absorbedness of the statement is staggering.
The film has also been praised for deconstructing "heteronormative" gender roles about toys and colors."And I’m so glad that this movie exists because I think it puts the final nail in the coffin of that very heteronormative idea of what gender is, and what is or is not gendered.
Films that have open and clear agendas such as this, sow confusion in a very powerful way. There is no telling how many millions of young people have been affected by this messaging, and this is only one film of the countless many that all have similar ideas behind them. It is commonly known that in the past, the overrepresentation of sexual activity outside of marriage, with divorce constantly shoehorned into any TV series or film has a huge effect on the way that sexual immorality was perceived in the world. More recently, the same overrepresentation has been seen for homosexuality and a huge number of films that question gender, queerness and family life. This media barrage stands in direct contradiction to the principle that God created humans male and female, and that a man should live his father and mother and cleave unto his wife. There can be no doubt that this relentless narrative pushed by the media, will have devastating effects.
Glamour Mag's Favourite Quotes!
A final example of the overtly political narrative pushed by the barbie film can be seen through Glamour magazine’s favourite Barbie quotes:
“Basically, everything that men do in your world, women do in ours." (Barbie)
“I’m a man with no power, does that make me a woman?” (Aaron Dinkins)
Whatsoever things are Pure
In Philippinas 4:8 we read:
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
It is hard to see if any of the western media diet today could fall into these scriptural categories. It is important to be aware of how the things we might watch, read or listen to can influence our perspective and thinking.
This has been Daniel Blackburn joining you for this weeks edition of Bible in the News.